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How to go about hiring a wedding planner?

While planning a wedding can be fun, it is a rather daunting task and often, one best left to the professionals. There are a lot of pieces that need to be put in place and just like in a game of Jenga, if not stacked properly, could send the entire structure tumbling. Although hiring a planner may cause a slight dent in the wedding budget, with almost 10% of it being set aside as their fees, if chosen rightly, one will be able to witness the wedding of their dreams unfold before them without the stress and hassle that comes from all the planning and executing.  There are a numerous why hiring a event planning professional today is a must; especially for those that are working professionals that have very limited spare time during the day to focus on wedding related activities.

Some brides, however, thrive on the excitement of planning their big day themselves and in turn save on the cost of hiring a planner, channelizing the money into their honeymoon or into a post-marriage fund. Whichever be the case, one undeniable factor is that there are a lot of nitty-gritty to be taken care of and planning one’s own wedding allows little time for a life outside of those plans.

In the light of that, here are a few pointers for those who might want to consider the option of getting external help to plan the perfect wedding.

1.       Communication is key

The first thing to see is how comfortable the bride is with the planner and if their personalities gel. It is often best for the bride to voice her ideas on the style, colours etc and see how the planner responds. If her thoughts and ideas are met with enthusiasm and she feels a personal connect, that planner is a keeper. A good relationship is key in helping the planner execute the event with meraki. Being with the bride every step of the way ensures that the best options are made available, and knowing her enables the planner to chip in when she is unable to deal with certain decisions or when a vendor is getting on her nerves.

2.       Do your homework

We’ve seen that finding the right planner to match one’s personality is key, but how exactly does one get down to doing that? A simple answer is, the old-fashioned way – by doing proper research, asking around and checking various profiles and portfolios. Similar to when you enter an ice-cream shop, ask for tasters and keep sampling till you get the flavour of your choice; searching for the right planner would involve having initial consultations with a few short-listed ones in order to determine whether a tangible synergy exists. Checking out prospective planners websites for pictures of events done by them may also help in seeing if there is a dominant design style that they adopt. Also notice whether elements such as the lighting, colours, décor blend together cohesively. It would also be beneficial to check out clients they may have worked with as also any tie-ups they may have or awards they have won.

3.       Get down to business

Getting to know how much time a planner can devote to one’s wedding is essential( some freelance as wedding planners over the weekends only) as also if there are any other events that they would be planning/coordinating on the same. It would be great to get to know the strength of their workforce and the number dedicated to every specific event. It is also essential to know and communicate whether the planner would be required just for a consultation or to handle everything on the day or if one would like them to be a part of the process right from the get-go.

Consultants can only help with ideas and guide the bride on the right path, while day-planners will help bring to fruition, already conceived plans.  Neither of these would be a part of the whole process and hence it is essential for one to make sure that the services being paid for are exactly what is desired.

4.       Plan your budget

In the frenzy of getting a wedding organized, and on account of being so involved in the planning process themselves, many brides tend to skip out on the wedding planners fees while preparing their Big-day financial plan. This tends to have serious repercussions later, resulting in splurging on other amenities, thus exceeding the budget. A careful and comprehensive planning strategy if employed, while keeping in mind all such aspects should ensure relief from any pecuniary troubles.

5.       Seal the deal

Take some time to examine and compare rates, policies, services and any formal proposal/contract that may be offered. Also, it is essential for the bride to make sure that she is the planner’s number 1 priority and that the focus is on connecting her with vendors that are able to envision and execute her dream wedding while sticking to the budget plan. Several planners work with fixed vendors with whom they have established a good rapport over time. This helps in assuring one that the quality will be of a particular standard and helps the bride attain a sense of confidence. Once all doubts have been clarified, make sure that the planner is contacted and informed of the desire to move forward. Don’t forget to read the fine print in order to avoid any confusion or miscommunication before signing and securing a right-hand helper.

6.       Get your money’s worth

As the saying goes, kindness eases everything almost as much as money does, and a kind act never goes unrewarded. So an extra tip would be to treat everyone with respect, be compassionate and kind and throw in a compliment as and when possible. It is often noted that when one does so, the quality becomes superior, service gets better, and the overall ambience of the event is pleasant, with chances of discounts being thrown in and charges getting waived as the planning progresses.