So you are engaged with a ring!…it is finally official.
After all of the excitement has died down you keep getting asked the same questions,
“WHEN are you getting married?”
“WHERE are you getting married?”
Honestly, beyond a dress and wedding colors you are clueless. You now realize that planning a wedding is so much more complex than you could have ever imagined! You need more than Mama’s opinion to get you through this.
Deciding to hire a wedding planner is a big step-what does that mean, what should you expect and how much is a wedding planner going to cost?
Let’s examine the types of Wedding Planners that are available and their services. Who you choose will depend on your budget, needs and the type of wedding that you are dreaming of:
* The Full Time Wedding Planner: They will help plan your entire engagement, ceremony, honeymoon and thank you notes. This type of wedding planner is bound to become your BFF, so make sure that you can spend lots of time with them and can easily vibe with them! They will require the most in fees, generally 10% to 20% of your entire wedding budget. This may seem like the most expensive, but having somebody who knows the intricacies of your wedding more than you do is a load off and allows you to focus on the wonderful aspects of getting married!
* A “Day Of” Coordinator: They are there for everything that you need on the day of the wedding. If you have a simple wedding, this can be an effective and financially comfortable choice for you. They ensure sure that the day goes off without a hitch, but you will have to have other help like a family liaison working with them.
* An “In House Coordinator: This is a person that works for the house of worship or the facility to make sure that the facility is respected and to help you with small necessities. They are not generally going to serve you very much, but depending on your ceremony-this may be exactly what you need. Regardless of the type of coordinator that you have, there will almost always be this type of coordinator present.
While these are general types of Wedding Coordinators, there are others that fall in between but all of them must be paid-including the “in house coordinator.”
Here are 10 Tips to help you decide if you should have a wedding planner and if so how to choose a good one:
1. Your Wedding Planner must be PROFESSIONAL and an actual Wedding Planner, not an event planner. A Professional Wedding Planner will help you take care of “The Business of Weddings.” From catering to crying Mother, your Wedding Planner needs to be able to hold you AND the vendors down!
2. Your Wedding Planner must be CONNECTED & RESPECTED. – This ensures that you will get the highest caliber of vendors to give you the best price and will not fake out because their real customer is your Wedding Planner who brings them consistent business and they don’t want to ruin that relationship!
3. Your Wedding Planner must be a good LISTENER. They will have to listen to you, the Bride, but also to other family members who are participating in the ceremony. She needs to know after one conversation that your mother will not have even one pink flower in the whole wedding as well as remember that you are allergic to mushrooms and what time the cake will arrive.
4. You Wedding Planner must respect and be able to work within your BUDGET. Many times they will also assist you in creating a budget and helping you move funds from one line item to another.
5. Your Wedding Planner should have CLASS. Whatever that means to you, if you are the kool-aid and supermarket cake type, a Costco planner will work wonderfully for you. If you are the Four Seasons and Christal type, make sure that your planner has class that equates to your exclusive tastes.
6. Your Wedding Planner should have REFERENCES and Planning Affiliations & Certifications. And you want to do more than just see them on paper, you will need to speak to a few of their most recent clients and you want to ask them the hard questions such as:
* How does your potential planner behave under pressure?
* Are they timely?
* Do they follow through?
* How did they handle the vendors?
* Were they nice?
* Did they make excuses or make it happen?
* How did the wedding end up?
* Where they 100% satisfied with the wedding planner?
7. Your Wedding Planner should have a SET FEE. Either an hourly or a Wedding Project Fee, depending on what services they are providing for you and not have “add-on” fees. And they should NEVER have their own deals with any vendors. This is very UNPROFESSIONAL.
8. Your Wedding Planner should have a CONTRACT for you and the vendors. The Wedding Planners should be the leader in all conversations with vendors and a true advocate for the Bride and Groom. From pricing to quality the planner should have your best interest at 100%.
9. Your Wedding Planner should be FULL TIME. Im not knocking anybodies hustle, but if you cannot go handle an emergency situation with a vendor at 2 pm because you are at work…you.are.fired. You hopefully will only get married ONE TIME. And you desire that this be a special, perfect event, not a couple extra hundred bucks to your Sisters Friend. No, not your Wedding.
10. Your Wedding Planner should have the CAPABILITY to help you:
* Create a time-line from the beginning until the day that you and your spouse get home from the honeymoon and begin your life together
* Select Invitations as well as appropriate wording
* Work with your Pastor or other Officiant
* Select and reserve a ceremony and reception site
* Select, hire and manage suppliers and vendors
* Sometimes be the family referee
* Take care of the small administrative details-so that you do not have to
I sincerely hope that this little bit of information helps you to decide if a wedding planner is for you and how to choose a good one! Please beware of the unscrupulous Wedding Planners, and enjoy this celebratory experience.
Sharelle D. Lowery
Etiquette & Lifestyle Blog | Author | Professional Speaker