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How to Choose a Wedding Planner, Part 2

Robin's egg blue linen and white details

In our first post in how to choose a wedding planner, I talked about what to look for during the research phase of searching for a wedding planner. Now that you’ve narrowed the field to some contenders, here’s what to consider.

Is their style in keeping with yours?

If the wedding planner or designer’s photos all showcase elaborate weddings and you want a rustic wedding, they may not be for you. Now, a planner may very well be capable of executing your vision even if the person hasn’t done it before — perhaps they’ve never been asked — but Robert and I preferred someone who naturally gravitated toward decor similar to our vision.

Do the weddings they’ve done look similar?

This gave us pause because it indicated to us a lack of creativity. This may not matter if you love the style of all the weddings they’ve done, but I was looking for someone capable of thinking outside the box, and I wanted to see evidence of that.

Have they worked with budgets similar to yours?

When you interview a wedding planner, be upfront about your budget and what you want for it. Ask them whether they could execute what you envision within your budget. If they can’t, decide whether your expectations are realistic. If you feel they are, look for someone more accustomed to working within your budget.

Have they worked at your venue before?

It helps if your planner knows contacts at your venue and is familiar with the space. We had an unusual situation in that our venue went through a major renovation this year. No one we talked to had worked at the space post-renovation and many hadn’t pre-renovation. We decided that of all the issues, working with the venue previously mattered least to us. You may feel differently, so determine what’s most important to you upfront.

Do you like how they handle your questions?

You’ll be asking a lot of questions while planning your wedding, so take note of how the planners respond to your first questions, whether over email, by phone or in an interview. If over email, did they respond quickly enough for you? Were their responses to the point or expansive? Which do you prefer? As a meticulous person, I wanted someone equally meticulous, so I looked for responses in this vein.

Do they have connections with other vendors?

Again, you need to determine how important this is to you. You may have vendors in mind already and won’t need much help. That’s how I felt. That said, my wedding planner highly recommended one florist, and we went with her without bothering to look elsewhere. It made it so much easier. And because our planner is helping with the design of our wedding, I liked the idea of her working with someone she had a rapport with.

Do they “get” your vision for your wedding?

This one’s a little squishy but important. If you feel they aren’t getting what you have in mind, you need to either explain yourself better — pictures speak louder than words, so feel free to send them a link to your Pinterest boards — or look for another planner.

Do they seem organized and knowledgeable?

It’s easy to get distracted by photos of decor, but organization and knowledge is just as important, if not more. In fact, your guests are less likely to remember your decorations than they are the fact they had to wait in line for 30 minutes to get food or something of that nature. Don’t be afraid to pick a wedding planner’s mind during the interview process. Obviously, they can’t give away all their secrets, but if you have a particular concern about your wedding, ask how they’d handle it. Their response should give you a sense of their knowledge.

Do you like them?

This is someone you’ll be working with closely over an extended amount of time. It helps if you like them.

More to come in this series! And be sure to read the early installments on whether a wedding planner is for you and what level of wedding-planning service you need.

Photo by Coppersmith Photography, courtesy Apres Party and Tent Rental

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