outdoor evening reception

How to go about hiring a wedding planner?

If you have decided to hire a planner, the next aspect is to ensure that you make the right choice in hiring the right person. At times going about is may not always be easier, considering that on one hand the industry has plenty of talent to offer and on the other,  the person of choice must be in a position to understand your ideas, preferences and be on the same page as you.

There are a numerous reasons why hiring a event planning professional today is the choice of many; especially for those that are working professionals that have very limited spare time during the day organize their big day.

Some brides, thrive on the excitement of planning themselves and even work together closely with the event coordinator and plan the wedding together. Others leave the decision making to the planners limiting their interactions to a bare minimum. Choosing the right fit  though also takes plenty of time and efforts, as it depends on many aspects and here is the best approach to it.

1.       Communication is key

The first thing to consider is how comfortable  you are with the individual or agency that you plan to hire and if personalities gel. It is often best for the bride to voice her ideas on the style, colours etc and pay close attention to the responses. If your thoughts and ideas are met with enthusiasm and a personal connect is established definitely makes it a good start. Generally planning a  wedding takes months and therefore considering to being able to work comfortably with the person is essential. Additionally, good communication and being comfortable with the person also ensures that you can rely on him/her for making decisions, asking for guidance and also at times emotional support.

2.       Do your homework

Finding the right person that would match one’s personality is essential, but how exactly does one get down to doing that?  – by spending time on research, asking friends and family for references and checking websites, social profiles and portfolios.  Having initial consultations with a few short-listed names in order to determine whether a tangible synergy exists is an approach in the right direction.

Pay close attention to their portfolios of  their recent work to give you a sense whether there is a dominant design style that they adopt that matches with your tastes.  Notice whether elements such as the lighting, colours, décor  and style blend together cohesively. Look for reviews to give you an idea of what recent clients have to say and also valuable mentions such as awards, credibility etc

3.       Get down to business

When it is time to meet the planners in person, asking the right questions will help make a much informed hiring decision. Getting to know how much time a planner can devote on the day itself is essential as also if there are any other events that they would be planning/coordinating on the same day/week. Ask about the strength of their workforce and the number of personnel that would be  dedicated to your event event. Discuss about the role you expect the planner to play and what your expectations are, including the time that the planner is willing to devote to plan the wedding with you.  Many brides also factor in the experience of the planner with a particular venue and also with a particular culture. A good interaction will bring about better clarity when deciding to hire.

4.       Plan your budget

It is always  recommended to discuss monetary aspects in the initial meeting to get a sense on price points for vendors, venues and fees. It need not be an accurate estimate but to give you an idea of what costs would be. Similarly, before you meet with a planner in person, work on a rough budget for items such as venues, photography, decor, catering, entertainment etc. If you having a hard time getting it done by yourself, speak to friends that have recently tied the knot and get ballpark figures.

5.       Seal the deal

Take some time to examine and compare rates, policies, services and any formal proposal/contract that you receive from your final list of planners. If required re-schedule another meeting if needed if it will help with your decision.  Ensure all that is discussed is put to paper and is agreed upon by each other. Pay close attention to the fine print as well to avoid any confusion or miscommunication before signing and securing a right-hand helper.

6.       Get your money’s worth

Securing the right agency and you are all ready to get started on organizing. Allow the planner to take the lead and do all the heavy lifting on your behalf. Take the initiate to schedule meetings to stay on top of things and look to participate as much as needed to help achieve the right results. Keep in mind that to get the best out of the planner maintain excellent communication,  give clear direction on your preferences and also be efficient and certain on your decision-making.