Wedding planning is getting stressful when you can’t wait for it to be over. It’s supposed to be a dream finish, a joyful celebration, a romantic triumph.
But, it’s tough to pull a dream off when alone dealing with scores of providers and even more decisions. Stress relief is reason enough to turn your problems over to a wedding professional after you are finished taking care of the basics like picking out Azazie dresses for yourself and your bridesmaids.
How do you recognize a first rate wedding planner?
Event planners take up several of your yellow pages, and 15-thousand hits of Google. So, what do you want in your event planner? Katie from orlajames.com agreed “It’s all well and good passing the planning stress to a planner but you want to know your big day is in the right hands, so make sure you are confident in them!”
Personal relationship You are going to work with your planner for a long time, so your personal relationship is crucially important. You must find someone or some service with whom you feel comfortable, someone who listens well and appreciates your input. While you want the planner to deliver, you want to remain in charge.
Professionally experienced. Some planners focus on certain wedding themes: beach weddings, country clubs, or ethnic traditions. Others are just friends of friends. But, you want the planner with years of experience, not the party planner who thinks a wedding is just another party.
Experience means they have testimonials and references you can check. It means the planner has developed relationships with various vendors, from caterers and florists to venues and photographers, who can meet all your wants and still respect your budget limits.
Critically organized. Good planners get things done. They are anal about detail and know how to prod and coax vendors to deliver on contracts. You want to see photo albums, schedules, timelines, and project management processes you can share.
At the same time, you don’t want to be at the receiving end of that fixed focus. You want a good manager but not a controlling one.
Creative thinker. Dreams are built on creative and innovative solutions. Coming up with color palettes, centerpieces, invitations, menus, and more takes venturesome talent. Part of that talent is working collaboratively with you to give you want and, then, to notch it up. As wedding photographer Diana Elizabeth says of wedding planners, “They create pretty.”
Such a planner is also good at pulling things together, so that your mutual vision materializes. A planner cannot do that without investing fully in your wishes. According to Inside Weddings, “An extraordinary planner will even sketch out what you have in mind to confirm that they are visualizing the same thing.”
Skilled diplomat. Good planners negotiate deals with photographers, venues, bands, florists, and other resources. They have the personal chemistry to respect and realize your vision within your budget.
But, they also deal successfully with bridesmaids, in-laws, and finances. The best respect everyone’s needs and shapes solutions within the bride and groom’s vision.
Special Skills: Depending on your budget and the size of your dream, you may not need the soup to nuts wedding planner. California Non Stop, for example, offers DJ-centered planners with specialists who “From your arrival, cake cutting, special dances, garter and bouquet toss, and finally your departure, we will make sure that your wedding experience is as you’ve always imagined it would be.”
Once you find the talent and personality you have been looking for, review any agreement in depth and detail. Insist on proof of liability insurance, and secure a performance checklist you can share.
If you can match your energy and passion to a provider with the same commitment to performance, you have everything you need to pull off the wedding of the century.
Mike Carroll is a freelance contributor to Towering SEO and OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through research, content copy, and white papers. He frequently writes about management, marketing, and sales with customized outreach for digital marketing channels and outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.