Choosing to use a wedding planner can be a great way to take some of the stress out of getting
ready for the big day. Picking the wrong planner, however, can quickly become a disaster in the
making. There are things to look for to ensure the best.
Since it's likely you will turn the decision making over to the planner, it is important to find one
- Knowledgeable. If event planning were a specialty that required bachelor's degree certification, wedding planning would need a doctorate's. A good planner is knowledgeable about putting together every detail of a wedding from the invitations down to the birdseed that's thrown on a couple of way out the door. They will cover almost everything.
- Area savvy. A good wedding planner will know where to go to find exactly what a couple is looking for in just about everything. They can suggest the best printers, bakeries, restaurants, clubs and even florists within a geographical region. They will have at their disposal personal knowledge about these providers and will be able to suggest based on special requests, budgets and even theme requirements.
- Willing to listen. A good wedding planner listens to a couple of requests and then decides or recommends based on them. The best wedding planners do not take over the show or make the big day "their" creation unless you want them to. They know when to ask questions, what questions to ask and when to steer clear of deciding. They should be as involved or as hands-off as a couple wishes.
- Comes highly recommended. This is key in finding the best wedding planner. If a planner does not have satisfied former clients and a fair amount of experience, the person may not have the ability to handle all the details from the start to the ceremony. Be wary of those who come without references.
- Willing to take on as much or as little as asked. Some couples ask wedding planners to handle every step in the process, from picking out the music to booking the reception hall. Other couples want their planners to perform a few major details. Good planners, however, can ride herd over as many or as few of the details as you want them to handle.
- A person you can work with. If you and your intended are not comfortable with the person, go elsewhere. It is likely you will have to work closely with the wedding planner in the months, weeks and especially days leading up to the ceremony. If the person does not "click," do not sign a contract!
If you do decide to go with a wedding planner to help you prepare for your big day, make sure to
check into their background. Make sure they have the listening skills necessary to carry out your
wishes and the organizational skills demanded to pull off a big event. When you choose the right
planner, he or she will be able to take your "dream wedding" and make it a reality.