Planning a wedding can be a stressful experience but if you decide to book a wedding planner this can reduce your stress dramatically. They can do all the legwork for you, comparing venues and suppliers, and presenting you with the ones that meet your criteria. Here are some things to think about before you book a wedding planner.
The best time to book a wedding planner
Interviewing and selecting wedding planners is most likely the first thing to do after you have told people about your engagement. Once you have decided that you wish to book a wedding planner, choosing one should be your key priority.
There are a few things that you and your fiancé must discuss and agree on prior to starting your search for a wedding planner including a maximum budget that you need to work within, an estimated date for your wedding, a broad idea of the number of guests, and the geographic location of your special day.
Questions to ask potential wedding planners:
How will you keep track of costs?
Check whether you will be paying the service providers directly, or whether you will be paying them through the wedding planner.
How are your fees worked out?
Is it a set cost based on their degree of involvement in the organisation of wedding or a percentage of the total cost of the wedding? Be careful if the planner takes a percentage of the total expenses as they might be less careful with the budget.
Can you provide a reference?
A good wedding planner will become a friend in the build up for the big day, and the majority of brides they work with should be happy to talk to you if they have had enjoyable experiences with the wedding planner. Ask planners for a reference; ideally from a bride that has had a similar size or type wedding to the one you are organising.
What happens if you go over budget?
Ask about how the planner will deal with suddenly going over budget. Will the planner come up with ideas to cut the costs in other areas to cover for the overspend?
What makes a great wedding planner?
Local planners will know the local wedding venues and wedding service providers like florists, bakers and musicians. When you are finding potential wedding planners, it is best to check in the area where the wedding will take place, especially if you live away from the spot.
You may want the hassle taken away from wedding planning, but unless you are aware of what is happening and when, you might feel like you have lost control of the wedding. Good wedding planners will provide a detailed budget, highlighting a cost breakdown of each aspect of the wedding. In addition, they will create a complete timeline showing when they will book and organise everything.
A professional planner will know about the going rate for different services and will be able to negotiate on your behalf. Try to find a planner that is able to get the perfect deals on local venues, products and services. They might also be eligible for trade discounts, and should be able to prevent any hidden extra fees that many venues try to include.
You must be comfortable with your pick of wedding planner as you will be in constant contact with them in the weeks leading up to your wedding, as well as on the special day itself. You will wish to interview several wedding planners so that you are able to compare their fees and the services they offer, but in many cases your pick will come down to whether you get along with the wedding planner or not.
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