One of the smartest things you can do when you are planning a wedding is to hire a wedding planner.
Wait? What? That isn’t what the headline said. You’re right, but the truth is the right wedding planner can take your wedding from good to great; the wrong one can absolutely ruin your wedding.
What follows is a list of what can go wrong if you hire the wrong wedding planner.
Weddings today run the gamut from laid-back barn weddings to grand crystal draped affairs. So do planners. Your goal when you hire a wedding planner is to hire a general contractor to execute your ideas.
Yes, they are also there to offer advice on what works and what doesn’t because they have done this before and you haven’t. What you don’t want is a planner that is planning the wedding of their dreams.
Look through as many pictures of their work as you can. Hit their social media and do searches for them on platforms like Facebook. If everything looks pretty much alike, keep looking.
That is unless that is the wedding of your dreams. Interview a few planners and listen carefully to what they say. If you aren’t hearing your vision coming back to you, move on.
You have a sweet simple little wedding in mind but your planner has different ideas. Bit by bit, little by little your planner has informed you that there are things you must add.
“You can’t possibly not have at least 200 votive candles,” he says, followed by telling you that “Without uplights, the room just won’t pop”.
“Yes the venue has chairs they will include but they are just too ugly for words. We’ll rent chivaris!” Little by little the cost adds up.
Before you know it you are planning a brunch for the next morning when all you really wanted was a simple ceremony and a laid back reception with catering from your favorite barbecue joint.
Before you hire a planner, get firm on what you want and firm on your budget, and then find a planner that can work with it.
Every venue has rules and policies. They are there for a reason. It may be that your event has to end by a certain time due to zoning or you can only use certain photo backdrops at a certain time because of tight scheduling.
A good planner knows these things and works within them in setting up your timeline. A bad planner ignores them at your peril.
I have seen situations where the wedding venue manager had no choice but to physically pull the plug on the band to keep from being hit with hefty fines from city hall because the planner lied to the client about how late they had the venue.
Don’t just trust your planner to know the rules, talk to the venue yourself and read the contract.
Your Vendors or Theirs
There can be as many as a dozen vendors involved in a large wedding. One of the reasons that you hire a planner is to help sort through the hundreds available.
What can go wrong is when a planner just hires the vendors for you, especially when it comes to the biggies like decor, catering and entertainment. Your idea of beautiful flowers and your planners many not are even in the same ballpark and catering, don’t even get me started!
You need to have your planner recommend at least three possible vendors for the categories that are most important to you. If the cake matters to you, then you need to be meeting with several that your planner has recommended.
Spend your time and energy selecting those components that matter most to you, let your planner pick the ones that aren’t most important.
Control Freak or Out of Control
Any large event is going to have a glitch or hiccup. How your wedding planner handles them can make all the difference in the world.
They are the last line of defense before the glitch comes looking for the lady in the big white dress. If your wedding planner isn’t a little flexible and able to roll with the punches all they will do is create tension with the other professionals that will be the ones that have to come up with a solution.
If you have a really good planner, you will never know that there was ever an issue. If you have a bad planner they will not only lose it but they will bring it to you to solve.
You hired a planner to prevent hiccups and to fix them if they should arise. If you can’t count on them to do both of those things, why are you paying them?
Yes, a good planner can be the most valuable asset in planning your wedding. A bad planner can either take over and plan the wedding they want or drop the ball leaving you to deal with the madness left in their wake.
Here is what you need to know to make the right choice.
- Find a planner that matches your style or at the very least understands it and can execute it.
- Look for transparency. Know why they are making the recommendations they are making.
- Do your homework. You need to see and read all of the contracts associated with your wedding.
- If an aspect of your wedding is important, you should interview the vendors the planner recommends yourself.
- You want their recommendation but the final decision should be yours.
- Check their references. Check with the vendors and especially the wedding party venue to see if their track record matches what they are telling you.
Choose wisely, do your homework and communicate your vision and you can relax and leave the details, nitpicking and hiccups to your wedding planners. Forget these things and you may get the wedding from your nightmares, not your dreams!