How/If to Choose a Wedding Planner

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Because it always seems to be a question of whether or not you'll even hire one, I'll start there.  Are you a stay at home "full time bride"? Then you might find yourself with the time and the means to plan yourself, but I'm not joking when I say "full-time".  There is a reason Wedding Planning is a profession, it requires expertise, negotiation skills and experience to get it right every time.  If you'd like to sit back and relax as much as possible the day before and the day of, it would be a good idea to hire one.  That last thing you need is to snap at your soon-to-be mother-in-law the day before because you're stressed if the candles in the reception will be lit on time. The good news?  Although they can be expensive, many end up saving you money in the long run when they negotiate and find the best deals out there for you specifically.

So let's get down to definitions because believe it or not, they don't all do the same thing:

Wedding Planner: helps you choose vendors and curate your wedding day to be exactly what you want it to be. Think of this person as your new best friend and you would call them right away to book!

Wedding Coordinator: makes sure everything goes smoothly on the big day so that you don't have to worry about anything. Often venues provide this person for you, but they do not help plan in any way.

Wedding Designer: don't know what you want your day to look like or worried it won't all look good together? A designer can help put together a look and feel for your wedding based on your guidance and will make sure the whole look is beautifully coordinated.

It's pretty clear from my research on this topic that choosing a wedding planner is closest to interviewing someone for a job you'll ever get without being in management.  Sites tell you to ask them how they would handle {insert your most terrifying wedding nightmare here}, how they have handled opposition in the past and what their negotiating skills are like. If you'd like a full list of interview questions, Here Comes The Guide has created an awesome list. All of these are definite factors as to who you choose, but as much as the photographer, this also comes down to how you feel about them.  They will be with you for a good portion of the day, and much of the communication to stay on schedule will be between you and the planner.  If not it's with the photographer (see my blog post about that here).

My last plug for Wedding Planners/Coordinators/Designers (many wear more than one hat- so ask!) is that you will be making SO MANY decisions leading up to the day, how are you going to make sure that they will all go together?  Hiring someone to help you with this with experience is definitely the way to go!

Not sure where to start looking for one? Reach out to some vendors you have already hired.  I have a list in my back pocket if anyone is looking for some pretty talented ones ;).