To be continued
- Will the planner commit to your budget and not push you in the direction of things you simply can’t afford?
- Will the planner devise a master plan mapping out all the little details, from floral arrangements with your favorite shade of blue to desert servings (This will cue you in to organisational prowess and a willingness to keep you in the loop on every matter imaginable)?
- Can the planner name the best and most suitable locations in your area (that would be just right for your wedding size, style, and budget)?
- Is the planner familiar with the best florists, photographers, caterers, bands, and DJs in your price range? Can he/she explain their strong points to you briefly? (Ask yourself: Does the planner seem both knowledgeable and passionate?)
- Can the planner save you some discounts with any vendors? (Planners bring volume to favoured vendors; often they’ll reciprocate by slashing prices or throwing in extras.)
- Will the planner read over the vendor contracts for you? What are some common traps to look out for?
- Can the planner create a timeline that tells everyone involved in the planning process — vendors, members of the wedding party, bride/groom, and families — what to do and when to do it? How will she/he make sure that everyone sticks to the schedule?
- Will the planner handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing?
- Can the planner counsel you on etiquette matters and alert you to hot trends on the wedding horizon?
- Will the planner coordinate delivery, arrival, and setup times with photographer, florist, musicians, caterer/banquet manager, et al?
- For the day of the wedding, will the planner be willing to oversee the entire event by supervising vendors, troubleshooting emergencies, and soothing nerves? Can she/he share any anecdotes that require performing above and beyond the call of duty?
- Will the planner be willing to step in as your advocate, conveying your visions and desires to vendors when you don’t feel up to the task?
- Will the planner help plan and book your honeymoon?
- Has the planner won any awards? Is he or she a member of any national and local events planning associations?
Note that there are some services you may require that are not included in the planner’s sphere of regular service. You will need to discuss them. He or she may be willing to take them up as well. Such special arrangements come with separate negotiations. All the best as you plan with your planner.
Like I hinted from the start, your planner will have suggestions (by virtue of experience and relevant exposure) that you will do well to consider. You’re both trying to assess each other and how well you’ll work together. The planner will probably initiate discussions — take this time to consider manner, personality, confidence, and warmth, whatever you’re looking for.
Whoever you enlist, do not hire a planner who doesn’t want to listen, who is bossy, tries to convince you of what’s best for you, critiques your ideas, has no references, and won’t sign a written agreement.