How to Find the Right Wedding Planner
The most important person on your wedding day is your fiancé. The second most important person, may just be your wedding planner. Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, so for many, working with an experienced professional may help to alleviate some of the burden and stress of organizing all of the details that surround a large scale event. There are three types of professional wedding planning assistants, so your first step should be to decide what level of assistance you need. Consider if you could benefit from either:
- A full-service planner – Someone who will guide you every step of the way and help you plan every single detail surrounding your wedding
- A venue assistant – Someone who will assist you only in choosing your venue and vendors, but all the other details (e.g.: the dress, the logistics, the schedule) will be on you
- A day-of coordinator – Someone who will assist you for the thirty days leading up to your big day, and the day of, in coordinating logistics and sticking to the day’s schedule
To help you choose the right wedding planner, you and your fiancé should ask yourself the following questions:
• What is your budget? How much could you spend on a planner?
• Are you planning a large or small wedding?
• When do you want to get married and how much time do you have to plan?
If you have the budget, and are planning a large scale event, or don’t have much time to plan, you may want to consider a planner. Create a short list of local planners in your area and schedule time to interview each one. Ask each prospective planner the following questions to determine if their wedding planning approach will suite your needs and your style:
- Are you available on the day of our wedding?
- Are you a full-time wedding planner?
- Are you a certified wedding planner? If so, where did you earn your certification?
- Do you carry personal liability and professional indemnity insurance?
- Is your specialty wedding design or coordination?
- How many weddings have you planned/how long have you been a wedding planner?
- How many weddings do you typically plan in a year?
- What was the most unique wedding you ever planned?
- What is the most challenging wedding you ever planned and what approach did you take you overcome obstacles?
- How do you communicate with your clients?
- Are you a member of any wedding associations?
- Do you work with an assistant(s)? If so, how many and what is their experience?
- Do you have a recommended timeline that you follow to ensure all deadlines are met?
- (If you are planning an outdoor wedding) Have you ever planned an outdoor wedding? What back-up plan do you recommend to deal with inclement weather?
- (If you are planning a destination wedding) Have you ever planed a destination wedding? Would you plan to travel to our destination the day of the event?
- How do you deal with stress, particularly on event day?
- How do you charge for your services? Hourly rate? Percentage of the wedding cost? Flat fee?
- What is your payment policy? Do you require a down payment? When is final payment due? Do you accept credit cards?
- Do you have preferred vendors that you typically work with?
- Are we required to book with your preferred vendors, or can we choose whoever we want?
- Will you invoice us for all the vendor fees or will we pay each vendor directly?
- Will you help us to plan the rehearsal dinner as well?
- Will you help us to plan our honeymoon as well?
- Do you have a portfolio that we can review?
- Can you provide references?
The most important thing to look for when meeting with planners is someone who you feel like you connect with personally. If during your conversation you feel inspired by a planner’s creativity, comforted by their organizational skills, or reassured that they truly care about you and your vision, then they just may be destined to become your wedding day secret weapon.
If you’re looking for a planner in the greater Bergen County region, we recommend meeting with these exceptional wedding planners and consultants:
Kim Myl – Lulu’s Event Design
Christine Fox – Fox Event Planning & Floral Design
Christine Figliuolo – Creations by Christine