When planning your wedding, there are so many things to think of and take care of, that getting a professional to help you and ensure you have a flawless BIG day is a MUST! We share five tips about hiring a wedding planner / coordinator, who to hire and what to expect:
TIP 1: Wedding Planner vs. Wedding Coordinator?
Planners are involved in the earlier planning aspects and create the game-plan for your wedding. They include venue searching and help build and update budgets and planning checklists. They seek out your very best event partners and attend meetings to ensure that everyone is speaking the same language. They will review your event partner contracts before signing to ensure that all is as needed. They provide one-on-one planning meetings and help you along the way. Some planners also provide design or styling services, helping with the creative specifics of your wedding day, while others opt to leave those details to a wedding designer.
We suggest a planner for any wedding that involves bringing in a heavy logistics day (meaning, you have to bring everything in from a light bulb to a fork). There are so many moving parts with planning, that having someone manage the budget and build an effective team for you wins 1/2 the battle.
A coordinator dots the i's and crosses the t's. They work on a short(er) timeline than a planner (oftentimes a month-of coordinator) to confirm contracts and details you have organized, and ensure nothing is forgotten. They create a day-of timeline and diagrams and confirm details with the event team, as well make sure things like final payments and guest counts are in order. They oftentimes conduct the rehearsal ceremony (regardless if your officiate attends or not). They place personal items out, they orchestrate the wedding ceremony, including giving musician cues, and ensure that all vendors are on the same page. They coordinate items involved on the day of the event, from event partner arrival and running the day as scheduled to the last departure. They are your liaison and decision maker so that you are (stress) free to enjoy your wedding day.
Oftentimes venues require a coordinator for the month-of, which is a great idea, because this person will be an extension of YOU and looking out for your best interest (as opposed to a venue coordinator or catering coordinator).
TIP 2: TRUST IS EVERYTHING
When choosing a wedding planner, it is important to find someone that you entirely trust and get along well with. This person will be responsible for turning your dream wedding into a reality and has a lot of control over where your money gets spent. Choose wisely! Remember that throughout your planning time, you will be meeting them often, going places together and emailing back and forth, so it is essential that your personalities compliment one another. Make an appointment to meet them face-to-face to see if their style suits yours. It’s almost like dating all over again!
TIP 3: UNDERSTAND EXPECTATIONS
After you have found your planner, sit down with them and go over your contract clearly, point by point and in person. Each planner is different and some are willing to do more and some less. Make sure that you each know exactly what you are expecting, so that there are no disappointments later on. Be honest your planner can only help you if they know exactly what you want. Communication is everything!
TIP 4: WHAT IS YOUR (WEDDING) PERSONALITY
The biggest downfall I have seen in clients is that there is so much information online which can send couples for a tizzy, impeding the opportunity to make final decisions.
If you find yourself uncertain about decisions and overwhelmed by the availability of information, hire a planner to streamline ideas and possibilities.
If you work full time, and only have after hours and week-ends to dedicate to wedding planner, hire a planner to assist doing some of the footwork with vendors for you.
Typically planners will offer packages that include some planning meetings and phone calls to help ensure you are making the right decisions and entertaining the appropriate options for your wedding day. Honestly, they become a wedding-therapist and ensure you don't suffer from sleepless night syndrome.
TIP 5: KEEP A CHECKLIST
Don't expect your planner or coordinator to have all the details and notes. Write things down along the planning journey so that when you have check-ins and meetings you are well organized and ideas can be flushed out effortlessly.
Remember to choose wisely, communicate, read your contract and set clear expectations. If you end up with a full service planner or someone who manages on the day of, your planner is there to help and will be your backup in ensuring that everything runs as smoothly as possible. One less thing to check off your list! Click HERE to visit our A-List Wedding planners and coordinators
Photo ByCherry Photography