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Finding Your Wedding Planner

Finding Your Wedding Planner

By Christine Boulton, owner, 

If the task of planning your wedding strikes you as beyond your time or expertise, then the answer is to hire a wedding planner. Even if you are on a tight budget, a good planner is worth ever penny you pay. 

There are many reasons to hire a planner, including time and organization. But the single biggest thing an experienced planner brings to the table is knowledge. They know all the best vendors, especially the ones that never advertise. They know which vendors are dependable and which ones to avoid like the plague. The local vendors will bend over backwards to help a planner they know. Their future business depends on it.

They know which little details get noticed and which ones are a waste of time and money. They have already tripped over a zillion pitfalls and can guide you down the bridal path with out a trip or a bump. They do little things that would never occur to you to make your day go more smoothly. For them it is a routine born of experience.

Your planner will know the ins and outs of the wedding contracts. It is their job to be your advocate and liaison with the vendors. They know the logistics involved with the different locations and elements involved. They know things no one tells you, like how long it will take to deliver and set up your tables and chair, or what time to deliver the cake.

So how do you find the right planner? Start with word of mouth. If you have been to a wedding that you loved ask about their planner. You can also check the local forums, bridal shows and magazines.

When you have gathered a few names check out their Web site. Go through their online galleries and take notice of whether all the photos seem to come from the same one or two events. That can be a sign that they are just starting out and won’t have the level of experience you need. If you like what you see give them a call. 

When you interview them find out about the services they offer. It can range from as little as being a director on the day of your wedding to offering referrals to an almost turnkey solution where you do little more than show up. When it comes to wedding consultants, personalities do matter. You will be spending a lot of time together so find one that fits your style. If you can’t quite seem to make them understand your vision, move on; you have a failure to communicate.

What if you are have already started booking things before you decide you need a planner?  Ask the vendors that you liked for a referral. They know all the planners and will have a good idea of one that will fit your needs. Just don’t expect miracles late in the game. Consultants do their best work when you bring them in early.

Taking the time to find the right wedding planner will save you time, money and untold amounts of stress and worry. It may be just as important as finding the right groom.

Christine Boulton has been a professional in the wedding industry for more than 20 years. She is the owner of and currently serves as a marketing consultant to some of the industry’s largest vendors. Christine, who is known for her never-ending stream of research and always knowing and understanding what brides want, is published regularly in this and various other magazines and blogs.

Photographs by David Wright Photography