What to look for when hiring a Wedding Planner

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Written by Wendy Wharton

What to look for when hiring a Wedding Planner.

Getting engaged is so exciting.  Telling family and friends and having them sharing in your exciting news is beyond fun and laying awake, long into the night, discussing ideas and wants with your partner is intimate, and most times a great bonding experience.  All is perfect in the world and then you get down to the inevitable, the planning of the wedding.

Once you realize that all of the little details, connections, and knowledge is either over your head, or that you are too busy to spend hours and hours researching options. Do yourself a favor and hire a wedding planner.  This is even more true and important if you are planning a destination wedding.

So, what are things to look for when interviewing a wedding planner?

  1. Certification – People often say that you do not need a certificate to be a wedding planner, but we disagree. While you may be able to do a good job, if you are organized, well connected, and smart, is it enough?  I would to equate that to saying that you don’t need a medical degree to be a doctor.  I am sure that people that have had a lot of experience can be as well trained, and knowledgeable to a degree, but would you go to your doctor if they didn’t have the qualifications?  I know I wouldn’tCertification in your wedding planner means that they have the cultural knowledge, budget management, and skills to ensure you day is as you planned it.
  2. Hire local – One of the most important details you want to ask about is, is the planner local to the area that you are planning your wedding in. Making sure that your planner is located in your destination will ensure you don’t over pay extra on services from vendors, as they know the costs in their region.  Hiring local will also ensure you get vendors that are specific to your needs, which will also allow you to think outside of the box and really personalize your event.  Knowledge of other details, like laws, legal paperwork requirements, safety, money exchange, and personal knowledge of the venue and the ability to do site visits are also great reasons to hire a local planner.
  3. Responsive to your calls or email – One of the things we hear the most, when we speak to clients about their experience in finding a local planner, is their disappointment in the planner who either never responded or often responded late to client calls and emails for information. No one likes to be ignored and that is especially true when you are a planning the social event of your life. 
  4. Offers tips for saving money – Let’s face it, one of the reasons to hire a wedding planner is their organization skills, but the cost savings is the real perk. Although many people feel that hiring a wedding planner is an additional over-all cost, the fact is, their connections and local knowledge should save you money in the long run.  Wedding planners have well developed negotiation skills and this is only one way they can save you money.  Using their relationships with vendors, and venues will ensure you get the best options for your event and that you spend less to get them.  From whole-sale liquor purchases to the freshest local and in season florals and everything in between, your planner should cut costs and save you money.
  5. Up to date on industry trends – Your planner should be continually learning and growing. Attending bridal shows, following hot trends, working with cutting edge vendors, and most importantly, making sure to offer you advice and ideas on everything from décor to catering is the basis of a good planner.
  6. A genuine passion for planning and their clients – Your planner should be as excited about your wedding and all its details as you. If you find that your planner seems bored or on auto pilot then they are not the planner for you.  The best planners look at every wedding with new eyes and new ideas.  Make sure yours isn’t just going through the motions.
  7. Offers options to protect your money in case of a change in plans – Is there any mention of a refund, of your deposit, or the ability to carry your deposit forward to a new date, should something happen and you need to postpone? This is so important and a good planner will make sure that your money is safe with them and their preferred vendors.    

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