“We are on our holidays so until Monday the 31st of August, we will be sharing some of our favourite posts from the archives!”

Ages and ages ago we presented you with a number of reasons why you should consider hiring a wedding planner especially if you are getting married abroad and today, we are sharing our top tips for choosing a wedding planner that is a good fit for you and your partner. A good wedding planner needs to possess a number of various traits and skills but above all else, you need to be very confident in their ability to deliver your perfect day.

Tips for Choosing your Wedding Planner

EXPAND YOUR SEARCH AREA

Put the effort in at the start and expand your search area. As we said in this post about choosing the right wedding photographer, don’t just rely on the first page of your google search result. Look at blogs, spend time going through the real wedding sections and vendor listings to see what is out there. Like choosing a photographer, you should really be looking to find a wedding planner that is in line with your own tastes and whose work you are visually drawn to. You have to like what they are doing and how their weddings turn out, because yours is going to be one of them. Don’t be shy and do email blogs for their recommendations, perhaps you have come across other vendors you like who could also recommend a good planner-  just start thinking outside of google and put in the hours. Finding the right wedding planner for you at the beginning will save you heaps of time later on. While searching, bear in mind that ideally you should be looking to hire someone local to the area or with good knowledge of the local area.

SHORTLIST YOUR FAB FIVE

Narrow your selection down to three to five wedding planners and email them for more information on their rates and packages. Ask them about their process and have it in writing so that you can look back over it when it comes to making a decision. Other questions you might want to ask at this point is the experience they have and make sure that they can provide client references. Ask them what sort of weddings they like to plan themselves and how many weddings they typically take on a year. Planners that take on a higher number of weddings a month will have less time in the run up to your big day and throughout the planning process so it’s important that you are aware of that and have a fair idea of how much time and how available the planner will be to you. Inquire about the team that will be involved on your wedding day and what other support they have in place should someone fall ill.

Tips for Choosing a Wedding Planner

INTERVIEW THEM VIA SKYPE OR GOOGLE+

This is so so important and why you should narrow down your search before you choose. It is crucial that you get to know your potential wedding planner before you book them so after picking your top three from email correspondence, set up a skype call or google hangout. Are their language skills good enough that there won’t be a breakdown in communication at any point? You will be spending the entire run up to your wedding going back and forth to each other so their personality should play a huge role when making your decision. Do you like them? Are they amiable? Confident? Do they enjoy their work? Do they seem genuinely interested in your wedding day and excited by it or is it just another wedding that they will be organising? It’s all about the vibes girls and gut instincts. If you are not sure that you would befriend them normally (again, the same goes for your photographer) then it’s a no go. Move on.

UNDERSTAND AND BE COMFORTABLE WITH THEIR SERVICE OFFERING

All planners work differently. Some companies are only interested in creating a smaller amount of weddings a year but give a huge amount of attention to each one, offering a more bespoke and unique experience. Others are logistical experts. They might not play a huge role in the creative side of your wedding such as the styling and designing but can plan and manage the necessities like booking vendors and legalities in their sleep, and then roll them out one by one with success. Really understand what it is you are getting from your planner before you sign anything and make sure you are more than happy with that service. Look for the detail in the contract. As your planner, will they be assisting with managing your budget and your vendor payment schedule or will they be more high level i.e. referring vendors regardless of budget and committing to being present on the wedding day only?  For weddings abroad, one element I would always insist on is that they will handle the legalities of the marriage in their entirety.

FIND OUT WHO THEY ARE REALLY WORKING FOR

OK, so this is a greyish area because again, all planning companies have different policies and arrangements made with their preferred vendors. Some wedding planning agencies have arrangements made with a handful of local suppliers and will only recommend these vendors to their couples because they are getting a percentage or fee back from the vendor if you book with them. Most planners will only work with the best in the industry anyway but in rare cases, you might not be getting the best service for your money. There is an argument to be made here that the planner is working for you but with their own best interests in mind. Other companies then are independent and therefore committed to getting you the best service at the best price. These companies generally prefer to pick vendors that are more suitable to their clients’ style and needs and simply make the decision to remain vendor neutral by not receiving any kick-backs. Either way, you should find out what sort of relationship or agreement your potential planner has in place with their preferred vendor list so you go into a contract eyes wide open.

Tips for Choosing a Wedding Planning

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL

Give yourself plenty of time to read through your wedding planner’s contract and make sure it is detail rich, lists services, tasks and commitments specifically. Know how many hours consultancy and assistance you are entitled to, whether it’s eight or unlimited and find out how many onsite and meeting days the contract allows for. If there are any additional fees for calls, expenses or time for meeting vendors on your behalf, make sure they are listed upfront with costs so that there are no nasty and surprising invoices later on. A contract that lists a vague service will not be helpful if you feel later on that you are not getting the attention and time you have paid for. Look out for hidden costs such as VAT / TAX, Service Charges and Tipping.

So there you have it! If you have any specific questions or queries, pop us a mail- we’d be only delighted to hear from you. Happy planning!

Images by Moumou Photography via Fly Away Bride

6 Responses

  1. Noreen Cassidy

    Possibly the best article I have read on Wedding Planners. Advice is spot on and if followed should lead each Couple to their perfect choice as no two Planners are the same.

    Reply
  2. John Mahoney

    I agree that it is a good idea to consult with several wedding planners before you make your choice. It makes sense that doing this can help you make sure you have plenty of options available and find the one that best suits you. Do you know what factors play a part on how much a wedding planner charges for their services?

    Reply

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