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Tips For Hiring A Wedding Planner

Updated on September 14, 2015
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Online wedding planner for over 10 years. My goal has been to show everyone the best way to plan their wedding without breaking the bank !

How To Hire A Wedding Planner

He gave you the ring and the celebrations have begun ! And so has the stress and craziness. So much to think about ! Wedding ceremonies, receptions, music, invitations, cakes, receptions and suddenly your mind is a jumble of ideas and confusion. Worse than all of that, everyone in your family has their own ideas about your wedding !

Let's face it, planning a wedding is a huge undertaking ! It's one of the biggest parties you will ever plan. Many people because of time and everything that's involved opt to hire a wedding planner. Let's face it, taking some of the stress of wedding planning away, makes the process a lot more enjoyable.

The key to hiring a wedding planner is to interview the planner. Make sure to spend time with this individual so that you understand their experience level. Of course you will want to check with the Better Business Bureau regarding any vendor or services that you hire. Ask what education he/she may have. Ask the planner if they are members of any associations . Ask if they have one any awards. Ask if the planner has a book of events that they may have done so that you can see some of their work.

Most wedding planners have different packages. You don't necessarily have to use them for every aspect of your event. They do take some of the stress out of your wedding ! For example you might hire them just to take care of your wedding day. You might have them handle the week before your wedding. Decide what you can afford and take advantage o their services to make life easier for you !


Ask for recommendations and check them out ! Other couples would always be willing to share their experiences when asked

Reasons To Hire A Wedding Planner

Beyond the idea of saving chaos and stress while planning your wedding, there might be a few advantages to hiring a wedding planner that you have not thought about.

  • A good wedding planner will understand your budget and plan accordingly. She or he will weed out the vendors that don't fall within your budgets. You will save a lot of time in researching through different vendors. The wedding planner has done all the research ahead of time. They will understand your needs, preferences and your budget
  • They may have more leverage with vendors who really want them to refer business to them in the future. They will do the haggling to get you the best price possible.
  • They have researched the vendors so you will save lots of time. They have all the information and will direct you to the right people.
  • They will keep track of payments due to your vendors and keep you in the loop with your budget
  • They will handle all the details on the décor, reception and ceremony making your day smooth and enjoyable
  • They will help you balance your budget and focus on the things that are really important to you

Make sure that you get a list of all prices in advance ! have a valid contract that has a list of all services as well as the prices and the date the services will be rendered

The Difference Between A Wedding Planner & A Wedding Coordinator

Not to confuse your considerations, there is a difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator. While subtle in their definition, there can be a large difference in their services and their prices.

A wedding planner works with the bride and groom from start to finish-soup to nuts. They plan with the couple for up to a year before the wedding. They don't make decisions for you, but guide you through every part of the wedding process from invitations through your wedding day. They do numerous tasks and take the stress out of your event.

A wedding coordinator works with the bride and groom very close to the wedding and in the day of the event. All the plans and arrangements have been planned. The coordinator ties it all together and coordinates everyone on the day of your wedding


How Wedding Planners Get Paid

There are different ways that wedding planners can get paid. These are the most common ways of payment, so you should take them into consideration when contracting services.

  • Some planners offer "free services"- They are paid by the vendors that are used for the references of goods and services. The vendor will pay them a percentage of the service fee that is used. You may want to think about this type of payment. The planner may direct you to the vendor paying the highest fee rather than the one that is right for you.
  • Percentage Fee-The wedding planner will charge you a percentage of the total amount of the wedding, generally 15-20 %. This type of payment is often used in weddings over $30,000
  • Flat Fee- These are generally packages that contain a certain amount of hours and /or services

Many planners offer a combination of fees with different types of services available. You may decide that you want to use the planner only your wedding day. The more services you use, the more costly it will be

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You could request a wedding planner just for the day of your wedding to make your day less stressful

Must Have-Tons Of Ideas

Things You Should Know Before Hiring A Wedding Planner

There are a few things that you should know before you consult a wedding planner

  • How much money you have in your budget
  • How many people you would like to invite
  • Your preferred wedding date
  • Any ideas about the theme, décor or other ideas for how you see your wedding

A wedding planner is essential if you are planning a destination wedding. It would be most difficult to plan a wedding without a local planner guiding you through the process

Your First Meeting With Your Wedding Planner

You will want to come prepared for your first meeting witj your wedding planner. Bring any clippings, ideas , color samples, Share your ideas and see how she/he responds. Gauge your feelings on how easy it would be to work with this person for the long haul. Always check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure that your planner has not had complaints. And ask for several references !

Some questions you should ask the prospective wedding planner on the first meeting

  1. Do you have the date that I have in mind open? If not what alternative dates are available?
  2. Are you a certified wedding planner? Where did you get your training?
  3. Are you a member of any wedding association?
  4. How long have you been in business? Do you have a business license? Never accept any planner who is not a legitimate business
  5. How many full weddings have you planned? You want to have an experience planner, not a novice
  6. How many weddings do you handle a month?
  7. Will you personally be at our wedding ? If you are not going to be there, who will our planner be? How many assistants will you have at our wedding? If an emergency happens and you are unable to be at our wedding, what would you back up plan be?
  8. Is wedding planning your full time job? If not what other type of job do you do? You don't want someone who's main job may interfere with your planning?
  9. If our wedding is outdoors, how would you handle bad weather?
  10. Do you take a commission from any vendors that you recommend to us? How do you get paid? Hourly, percentage, package or a combination?
  11. Are we required to use the vendors that you recommend, or can we use vendors that we want?
  12. Will you be present at vendor meetings and be reviewing any contracts?
  13. Do we need to pay the vendors directly or will you invoice any charges from them to us?
  14. Will you be handling giving out final payment checks to vendors on the day of our wedding?
  15. What part of the planning will be our responsibility?
  16. Do you have package options, or is everything catered to our needs? How many meetings or phone calls on our behalf will be included?
  17. Are wedding rehearsals included in your services?
  18. Are wedding rehearsal dinners included in your services and packages? If not what would be the extra fees for handling it?
  19. Do any of your packages or services include time helping me to select a wedding dress? If not what would be the cost to that service?
  20. After we give you the exact amount of our budget, will you provide a breakdown on how the money will be spent?
  21. Can you provide a detailed list of all items that will be included in your services?
  22. What types of payments do you accept? What is your policy on deposits and when will your final payment be due?
  23. What is your refund policy?
  24. Can you provide references?
  25. Do you have a portfolio of weddings that you have done for us to view?



One Final Thought

While a wedding planner is an expense to your wedding, he/she may just be able to save you money in the long run. They will save you time and stress. There is no price to put on that end of your wedding. They also have the inside scoop on local vendors and can often negotiate with them to get you discounts. They will work with your budget to make the most out of every dollar. It's an option that you may want to comsider

What Experiences Have You Had With Wedding Planners?

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