How to select the perfect planner

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You have a special occasion or an event idea and a budget you are ready to go…but what else should you consider? This is the question that may have you at a standstill, there are several elements to planning an event and that’s where the professionals come in. So how do you know which planner to hire? Some may find it easy to google wedding or event planners but once you google and setup a consultation then what? Well I have a few tips and questions that you should definitely ask your selection of potential planners

The first 3 questions are the easiest

1. Are you available on my wedding date?

Why you want to know: When it comes to questions to ask a wedding planner, this should be your first.You don’t want to waste your time (or theirs) if they’re not free on the chosen date.

2. Can you work within our budget?

Why you want to know: Next up on the list of important topics to cover: money. “While not necessarily a fun topic, it’s extremely important for the couple and their planner to have a thorough discussion of the wedding budget as early on in the process as possible.

3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)? 

Why you want to know: It’s not always clear from their website what their services are, so it’s good to ask for a thorough explanation of the types of ways they can help you with your wedding and event planning. With some planners “Full Service” can mean different things, its best at this point to find out if their package includes wedding invitations, guest list and RSVP management. For me personally in my packages I outline exactly everything you will receive when you obtain the Full Service Package but be mindful not everyone is the same!

4. What will be the mode of correspondence and how will we/I be involved in this process?

Why you want to know: There is no specific method to how the planning process works, some planners may want to setup weekly check ins and follow-ups via phone, while other may want to create a vision board and verbally walk you through the samples and designs. There’s no specific flow it is what ever you like best.

5. How do you handle professional services, contracts and payment processing?

Why you want to know: This is where you get a better understanding of how vendors will be handled throughout the process. Some planners may want you to pay them a lump sum and then pay the vendors directly elevating any payment issues or discrepancies and also to ensure they are the point of contact for everything moving forward. Others may want to assist you in selection and allow you to pay the vendors directly. This is also based on your preference, you may want to have more control over the contracts and budget per vendor. My advice be very clear and concise on how this should be handled and do not deviate from the original agreed upon arrangement. Also once this is done the planner can be your advocate and step in as needed if and when necessary to ensure your vision is conveyed correctly. You can also ensure the vendor process at this point as well, in regards to the selection process and options available for vendor choices.

6. Do you handle rentals, delivery and arrival coordinations and setup times with florist, caterer and musicians etc?

Why you want to know: You want to ensure everyone is on the same page on every item regarding your event, don’t just assume make sure you ask these questions and receive a definitive yes or no for these options.

7. Can you create a timeline for the day of and how will we stick to the schedule?

Why you want to know: Your planners role is not only to manage your amazing day but to also manage family and friends that are a part of that day and this may not be as easy as you think. you know your friends and family better than your planner so give them a bit of insider tips on how to manage them if necessary.

8. How many events do you have that day in addition to mine or within the same week?

Why you want to know: You want to make sure your planner is not overbooking and over extending themselves, this is important to you as well as to them. Don’t get me wrong we are multi-tankers by nature but you want to make sure they have a great team in place to handle all the events they may be working with at this time as well.

9. How do stay calm in stressful situations and day-of disasters?

Why you want to know: This is a great question to understand the backup plan organized if needed and the steps they take to correct any unexpected issues all of this will demonstrate whether or not they will be able to take care of any situation on your big day!

10.What are some ideas you can come up with to create our vision?

Why you want to know: This is a preliminary question but its important to understand where they are coming form as far as the mindset and if you are on the same page. Remember just because they understand your vision doesn’t mean they can bring it to life. Also with this are they keeping in mind your budget for the event, for example if you say I want a beach theme and they immediately want to whisk you off to Costa Rica, however your budget is explicit then they may not be the planner for you.

Hopefully these tips will assistantships you along your journey to finding the perfect planner!!

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