Wedding planners are real-life fairies — they make even the wildest dreams come true. They are someone you can count on and feel confident that your big day is nothing short of spectacular. While it's so tempting to jump straight into finding the perfect dress after the proposal, choosing an agency should, actually, be the first step on your wedding to-do list. Here, we've compiled tips on how to pick your wedding planner and collaborate with them to achieve the best results.
To Hire or Not to Hire?
Being in the industry for years, wedding planners are aware of all the ins and outs and know exactly how to make your event truly memorable and special. They will come up with the perfect concept that reflects your and your partner’s love story, offer you a selection of venues that might potentially suit you two, recommend the trusted vendors and just orchestrate every detail in the best way possible. More than that, wedding planners also juggle the roles of a coordinator, a budget manager, a legal counsel and emotional support.
But can a couple handle all the wedding planning themselves? Well, in theory, yes, you can pull it off, especially for a small, intimate wedding or elopement. But will such an event be as meticulously thought out and creatively executed as one with the guidance of a professional? Going the self-planning route can be emotionally draining, and surprisingly, it might even end up costing you more. Yet, if you decide to host a wedding without a planner, consider bringing in a coordinator at least. They can take on major tasks, giving you some time to relax.
What's the Process Like?
First of all make a list of wedding planners or agencies that you think match your style. Once you’re done, reach out to them without any hesitation. Make sure to ask some key questions and only then schedule a personal meeting with each to pick one. The next step is finalizing the concept with your chosen planner, finding a wedding venue together and building that dream team of vendors. It’s also time when you approve on the guest list, send out invites and just solve all the wedding-related issues that might come your way.
So, what happens on the big day? Your wedding planner will be there for you from the early morning hours up until the last farewell, making sure your wedding experience goes smoothly and is absolutely worry-free.
Your potential wedding planner or agency's portfolio is their calling card, so absolutely do take the time to thoroughly explore their previous work. Don't limit yourself to just their official website (which might not always be up-to-date), but also their Instagram page where you’ll find the highlights and the best projects. Remember, wedding planners come in all styles and specialties. Some specialize in opulent celebrations with hundreds of guests, while others work on intimate destination weddings and elopements. You likely already have some favorite wedding concepts in mind, so watch out for projects that have a similar tone and vibe to your dream event. Ask yourself: Do you like the execution? If so, bingo, you are one step closer to finding your perfect planner!
Once you have circled the planners whose wedding projects you enjoy, make sure to review all the terms and nuances of collaborating with them. Most of this info can be found on the planner’s website’s FAQ page, but if not, reach out to them via email or in a messenger app. Having everything in writing ensures you don’t miss a thing. Before teaming with the agency, there are a couple of key things to know about: Is there a minimum budget? Do they work on a fixed fee or charge a percentage of the total event cost? Also, do they form contracts with other vendors?
Before Meeting in Person
If everything aligns perfectly for you, contact the pro as soon as possible (while they are still available)! Send them all information about your dream wedding — the planned dates, guest count, concept you're after, budget, and any other essential details. The planner will promptly respond, giving you an honest opinion on whether your wedding expectations are in sync with reality. Discuss what type of wedding best fits your timeframe (usually, opulent celebrations require more time to plan), the seasonal considerations, initial steps to take, and the ideal timing to see your potential vendors. If you resonate with the planner's responses, go ahead and set up a face-to-face meeting.
During the Meeting
Your wedding planner will practically become your second family during these busy months of planning. And even though professionalism is very important, matching with them on a personal level is just as much. You should feel comfortable around them, so listen to your inner voice and heart very carefully. As you chat about your big day, take notes of what your planner's priorities are. Maybe they emphasize decor more or are all about guest comfort - it's a chance to see if your values align. And don't forget to ask about their approach to picking vendors. Will they give you recommendations and what’s their criteria?
You may still have no clear vision of your wedding day, however, be sure to discuss with your planner a rough timeline, backup plans for bad weather, and how they handle other unexpected issues. This way, you'll feel confident knowing you're placing your once-in-a-lifetime celebration in the hands of someone you can wholeheartedly rely on.