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What do I need to plan a wedding?

Guidance: What to Look for When Hiring a Wedding Planner

When asking herself, “What do I need to plan a wedding”, a professional wedding planner is perhaps one of the best investments a bride can make in her wedding.  However, many brides overlook the value of this resource because they don’t really understand the role.

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Unlike a photographer who takes your photographs only or a floral designer who  solely provides flowers, wedding planners tend to wear multiple hats. In recent years, these multiple hats have morphed into other roles like wedding coordinator, wedding designer, and wedding stylist to name a few; hence the confusion inside and outside the industry as people struggle to determine who is who. For the purpose of this article, I will focus on my personal idea of a wedding planner. Simply put, a wedding planner is someone a bride holdsresponsible for helping to identify and track all the tasks associated with planning her wedding and ensuring the tasks are detailed and managed through completion. For most professional wedding planners, “through completion” means ‘through the end of the wedding day’ which adds coordination of wedding day activities to the wedding planner’s responsibilities.

A wedding planner will help you avoid pitfalls

However, there are resources that focus solely on the execution of the wedding day activity itself and therefore market themselves as wedding coordinators. So, it is important for brides to be clear about where they want help in the process to ensure they are properly matched with the type of resource that can provide the services they need.

It is recommended that you hire a wedding planner before you begin making major decisions about your wedding. For the best results, start looking for a wedding planner once you’ve set the vision for the wedding and agreed on a realistic budget. Finding a wedding planner should be no more than a 21-day process as follows.

Days 1-10

Check out websites of wedding planners that have been recommended or ones you found from surfing the web, social media, etc..

Days 11-16

Narrow your options down to 3 wedding planners that you want to call and speak to each one directly to get a feel for whether you want to take the interaction further. Chances are, if you are not impressed by the phone call, you will likely not be wowed in person.

Days 17-21

Meet your top two wedding planners in person. These personal 1-on-1 meetings (also known as consultations) give the wedding planner more of an opportunity to get to know you and to share what they can offer

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for your wedding. But, it also allows you to test the chemistry you have with each individual since the person you choose should not only be highly qualified to perform the duties of their role, but they should be someone you like, trust and respect. Without all three, the relationship between bride and wedding planner will fail.

My number one answer for the question, “What do I need to plan a wedding?” is a wedding planner. Here are some quick tips to help you choose the right one.

Tip #1:

Training and experience

Wedding planners that invest in themselves by completing formal training programs and attending conferences and workshops offering continued education opportunities to build skills demonstrates their commitment to wanting to offer their best selves to their clients. Because wedding trends change, you want to ensure you are hiring someone who keeps their finger on the pulse of the industry so their knowledge is current.

Tip #2:

Vendor relationships

A sign of an exceptional wedding planner is one that has great relationships with reputable wedding vendors. The more vendor relationships the wedding planner has, the less energy you will have to spend searching for vendors on your own and possibly ending up disappointed with your selections. With an abundance of vendors in every category, it is difficult to distinguish one from the next. But an experienced wedding planner will know who is reliable and who will give you the quality of product and exceptional service you deserve.

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Tip #3:

Personality and reputation

When it is all said and done, it does not matter how experienced a wedding planner is if she or she does not have the personality for the job. Being a wedding planner is so much more than managing people, logistics and time. It is about being personable, flexible, patient, selfless, sensitive, and much more. A wedding planner has to be comfortable working with people and poised under pressure. Be sure to pay attention to how the wedding planner responds to your questions. If her answers are vague, rushed or filled with uncertainty, this is likely not the right person to trust with your wedding.

Exceptional organization and time management skills are important when it comes to planning a wedding, but what you need more than anything to plan a wedding is the right attitude. Protect your investment, protect your sanity and protect your relationships and consider hiring a wedding planner.

Thank you for joining me. If you have questions about this topic or others, send your questions to Tia@theWEDucator.com. Until next time, happy planning!

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