What do you need to know before hiring a wedding planner?

When I was younger, I was convinced I'd spend $10,000 on a dress, and of course I'd hire a wedding planner. Fast forward 15 years, reality sets in. My dress costs less than $2000, and I don't have a wedding planner.

I still wanted to hire a planner when I first started planning my wedding. I don't have one creative gene in me, but I am particular about what I DON'T like. My problem is that I don't know what I do like!

I started asking for wedding planning quotes over a year in advance. Getting married in a small town has its perks, but it also means there are limited number of vendors per industry. Wedding planning was one of these limited industries. The best, and really, only wedding planner was already booked on my date. So I asked for quotes from planners in Vancouver, gritting my teeth about paying for their travel costs the whole time.

In the end, I opted for a day-of coordinator instead of a full wedding planner. A day-of coordinator is a fraction of the cost of a full planner. She will confirm your vendors, choreograph the rehearsal, handle any last minute emergencies, and basically anything you need on your big day.

A lot of brides try to save a few bucks by having friends or family be the day-of coordinator. However, for us, we want our guests, and family to enjoy our big day. After all, we're spending all this money for a great celebration. The last thing we want is for our guest or family to worry about is if we would like the way they set our table.

By hiring a professional, you can dictate exactly what you want. If you don't like the way something is, all you have to do is ask it to be changed, without having to worry about hurting the other person's feelings.

Here are some things to think about when considering hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator:
  1. Does your budget allow it?
  2. What do you need the planner to do? Many planners offer partial packages where they takeover where you left off. You could also customize packages where the planner only deals with specific aspects of your wedding, such as, caterers, rentals, or decor.
  3. Meet with several planners to get a sense of what they can do for you. Do you have a "good" feeling about the company? Go with your gut!
  4. How busy are you leading up to the wedding? If you are working 80 hours a week, plus other responsibilities, chances are, you won't have time to actually plan your wedding.
  5. How big is your wedding? If your wedding is small, you can probably handle everything yourself. It's a different story if you have 200 guests.
  6. What is the minimum you'd be happy with? This is a strange question. But does your budget fit with your vision? Are you happy with a lesser quality to fulfill the quantity?
  7. At least hire a day-of coordinator!!! If you take anything away from this post, this is it. Don't ask your family or friends to coordinate for you. It might get tense on the day when something they do doesn't match the vision in your head. Save the stress, spend the money. Just hire the day-of coordinator!!
What are some of your wedding planning tips?


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