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your recent engagement {part 3}

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“What planner is the best fit for me?”

I’m going to start to duck and cover as this part of a discussion always gets heated….

Looking at wedding planners can often turn into a blur – many of the names, websites and services all start to sound the same and run together.

The truth is there are no requirements to call yourself a wedding planner – if you had ‘fun’ planning your own wedding and wanted a career change, lost your job or needed a hobby…wedding planner became the new ‘fun’ thing.

There are TONS more wedding planners then when I started 12 years ago – movies and TV reality shows glorified us (and vilified us) as an industry.

Anyone with a website, blog or social media presence is a wedding planner

There is a planner for every style, taste and budget – and after talking to 1000’s of couples and hearing dozens of horror stories about ‘ya get what ya pay for’ -  here is a list of things to look for when  interviewing a planner.

  • Are they professional – does the website show their work, does it actually say who they are or are the just a ‘WE’, do the showcase weddings of the level you are looking to plan. What does their voice message sound like {hey, leave a message -  might not work for you}
  • Are they part of any wedding industry associations or do they have any formal training? Continuing education, networking and giving back to the industry are HUGE indicators of business stability and professionalism.
  • How many weddings have they done? While everyone has to start somewhere – planning your own wedding, with your money and your ideas is TOTALLY different than working with 5-6 couples and being a partner in their wedding.
  • What other life experience do they bring to the party? Finding a well-rounded planner; one who has some background in catering, floral design, entertainment or bridal attire can be a huge help in the planning process.
  • Are they listening to you? This is your wedding and your vision, likes and dislikes should always be part of the big picture.
  • Do they have people who assist on the wedding day – a solo act makes it tough to stay one step ahead of the action, necessitates a lot of running around and what happens if something goes wrong or they get sick?
  • What is their back up plan? Professional planners have friends who are professional planners- while we might technically be ‘ competitors’ but we’re also friends and have each other’s backs in case of emergency.
  • Ask the venues you are looking at as well as wedding professionals you may have encountered at bridal shows or friends weddings….they’ll probably be able to refer people they have worked with who do a great job

Probably one of the biggest factors in finding the right planner for you is the part you can’t quantify…do you click? You will be spending a lot of time together during the planning process – you want to like the person you are working with.

 

 

 

 

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  1. Wendy12-29-11

    Great advice, Mark!!   It is appalling at who calls themself a planner!!   Even some of those "celebrity" planners are awful!!   

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