A Bride’s Best Friend
Almost immediately after she gets engaged, a bride feels the pressure to start planning a wedding. This is a thrilling time, but it can also be overwhelming. Some couples choose to hire a professional to manage their nuptials.
A wedding planner can decrease stress by taking care of things you don’t have the time or desire to do. He or she can handle a variety of tasks from sending out invitations to booking your honeymoon travel. They can help you stick to your budget and get great deals with vendors. If you’re planning an out-of-town wedding, a wedding coordinator familiar with your destination is invaluable.
A wedding planner can provide different levels of service to accommodate your needs and budget. A one-time-only consultation will get you started with things like a wedding day timeline and vendor referrals. Partial planning kicks in a couple of weeks before the wedding. The planner will finalize details and make sure the ceremony and reception go off without a hitch. Full-service coordination guarantees that all aspects of your wedding will be taken care of from beginning to end.
About.com’s weddings expert Xochitl Gonzalez suggests that couples ask themselves these questions as they consider hiring a wedding planner:
- Are you too busy with work to make time for planning your wedding?
- Do you need someone to help bring your vision to life?
- Are you mainly worried about the wedding day itself?
- Are you mainly worried about stretching your budget?
- What are you prepared to spend?
- Does this person make you feel comfortable?
Once you’ve decided to seek out an expert for your wedding planning, it is time to do your research. Ask recently married friends and family for recommendations. Visit the websites of several different coordinators to check out their resumes and portfolios. Pick three to four favorites that you want to meet with in person. The planner will need to know your budget, the number of people on your guest list, the geographic location of the wedding, and an exact or approximate wedding date. Realsimple.com provides this list of must-ask questions when interviewing a potential wedding planner:
- Have you worked at the venue or with the vendors I have in mind? What are the pros and cons of each?
- How many weddings of my size and budget have you planned?
- Who are your favorite florists, bands, caterers, stationers, etc.?
- What role do you feel I should play?
- How do you handle dicey situations? For example, how aggressively do you negotiate? How would you handle something like a groom with a broken leg?
- How often do you expect to meet with me prior to the wedding? How many hours do you work on the event day, and what time will you begin and end?
- How do you charge? Is there a flat rate? Are there add-ons? What exactly do the costs entail?
You should feel confident that the planner you choose understands your needs. There should be no doubt in the planner’s ability to execute the vision you have for your wedding.
A good wedding planner has excellent time management and organization skills. Planners are knowledgeable about wedding trends and traditions. They are also well-connected in the industry. Make sure you find a person who keeps you calm throughout the planning process and excited for the big day ahead!