The key to success is all in hiring the right planner. Here’s what you can expect from that first meeting when you are trying to make your choice
Wedding planners help to relieve the stress of planning your wedding, no matter the size or the intricacy of the celebration. Planning a wedding requires overseeing multiple details, and for many, the process can become too much. They get bogged down in the planning process and are too stressed to enjoy the big day once it arrives. Hiring a wedding planner helps you get all the details in place while also relieving your stress.
You may not be used to hiring professionals that offer the same kind of relationship that a wedding planner does, involving several meetings and a close working relationship over a long period of time. Therefore, you may not know what to expect.
Talk about Your Vision for Your Wedding
Before a wedding planner can tell you about the services available, you need to discuss what kind of wedding you have in mind.
Do you want a traditional wedding in your family church with your entire extended family and life-long friends filling the pews? Or do you want a farm wedding with only a couple dozen of your closest loved ones, followed by an old-fashioned barbecue in the barn?
You should have an idea of the wedding style you want, as well as the potential size of the wedding. Not all wedding planners will be able to handle the type of affair you have in mind. A wedding planner that usually handles small, DIY affairs is unlikely to have the skills or the staff available to handle a 500-guest country club wedding. In contrast, a planner that’s used to high-profile events is unlikely to want to take on your intimate, backyard wedding.
Discuss What You Need from a Wedding Planner
You can hire a wedding planner to handle every detail of your wedding from start to finish. Or you can hire a planner to handle logistics on the day of your wedding.
If you only need day-of services, the wedding planner will arrive a few hours before the ceremony to meet with vendors and oversee the setup of flower arrangements, tables, linens, and more. The planner will sign contracts and hand over payment. The planner will also be a point of contact and answer any questions that vendors have.
Your wedding planner will also answer questions for guests, direct bridal attendants for the walk down the aisle, help guests transition to the reception, and more. Hiring a wedding planner for these day-of services can help you to relax and focus on getting ready and getting married. You shouldn’t have to worry about logistics when you have other things to do.
If you want a wedding planner to help you from start to finish, you can get the planner to help you find your vendors, to attend meetings and interviews with you, and to give you advice every step of the way.
Though some people have planned their weddings in their minds since they were children, others have no clue about what they want. Some wedding planners even offer design services. They can put together a colour palette, come up with flower choices, suggest decorations, and more.
Be honest with your wedding planner about your needs in that first meeting. You need to be sure you are getting the right planner.
Review the Details of Each Package
Most wedding planners have pre-determined packages that spell out what services are offered and that include a set price. Usually, these packages have cute names related to the name of the planner, like the “Full Fruit Basket” for a wedding planner with citrus in the business name.
Once you’ve explained what you have in mind for your wedding and what you need from a wedding planner, the planner should present these packages to you and explain them in detail. The planner will tell you what services are included in each package, as well as what each package excludes. The planner will also explain what add-ons are available. For example, there may be an hourly rate to extend time.
Of course, most wedding planners are willing to create a custom package that suits your needs, such as if you need help with designing your wedding. If you need a custom package, you should not expect to get the details of pricing at that initial consultation. The wedding planner will need to create a proposal and then send it to you by email.
Check on Date Availability
You may love the wedding planner, and you may choose a package that fits your needs perfectly. But you may be dismayed to learn that the planner already has a wedding booked on the day you picked.
You should discuss dates availability during that initial meeting. If you haven’t already set a date, the wedding planner will likely ask you to give a general time frame. Do you want to get married next Autumn, or next spring? The planner will tell you how full the schedule is already during that time. She’ll also tell you how quickly you need to pin your date down to ensure availability.
You may find out that the planner is already booked for the date you want. That may be the end of the conversation. But if you’re flexible and are committed to hiring that planner, you may decide to change your date.
Just make sure you talk about the date at that initial meeting so you can make whatever decision is needed.
That initial consultation with the wedding planner is essential. It will give you a sense of whether your personalities are the right match. You’ll also learn if all the logistics will come together the way you need. Start the interviewing process early in your wedding planning so you can find just the right planner. You’ll be happy when you have the (stress-free) wedding of your dreams!