Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the most magical and meaningful days of your life. With so many details to manage and vendors to coordinate, planning a wedding can quickly become stressful and overwhelming. This is why hiring a professional wedding planner like First Class Functions is highly recommended. But not all wedding planners are created equal. Follow this guide to learn tips for selecting the best wedding planner to bring your vision to life without going over budget.
Define Your Wedding Vision
Before researching wedding planners, take time to clearly define the vision for your big day. Consider details like your preferred wedding style (rustic, modern, classic, etc.), must-have details, estimated budget, expected number of guests, and your overall vibe. Having a clear vision in place from the start will help you determine which wedding planners could be the best fit for you. Share these details when first reaching out so planners can decide if they are properly aligned to meet your needs.
Do Your Research
Once you have your wedding vision defined, start researching local wedding planners. Search online directories, wedding websites like The Knot and WeddingWire, and ask recently married friends for recommendations. Make a list of potential planners and visit their websites to learn more about their experience, styles, services and pricing. Try to narrow down your list to 3-5 candidates that seem aligned with your needs.
Ask Lots of Questions
Schedule intro calls, meetings or video chats with the wedding planners on your short list. Come prepared with lots of questions including:
- How long have you been in business? How many weddings have you executed?
- What is your approach to wedding planning and communication style?
- Which services are included and what are the different planning packages you offer?
- Do you have vendor recommendations or relationships in place and can handle negotiations?
- Will you be my day-of coordinator or do you have someone on your team in this role?
- Can you share photos, inspiration and reviews from past clients?
Discuss Your Budget
An experienced wedding planner should be able to guide realistic expectations around wedding spending and work within your established budget. Share your estimated budget during your initial meetings and get clarity around what’s included (or not) at specific price points. Make sure to ask if they charge a percentage of vendor payments or other hidden fees that may impact your budget.
Vet Their Event Experience
Just because someone handles weddings, it does not guarantee seamless event execution. Thoroughly vet their coordination skills by asking questions like: How do you manage vendor relationships? What’s your process the week/day before the wedding? How do you prepare for emergencies or last minute changes? Have backups in place if key staff get sick? Their responses will give you insight into what it will be like working with them.
Trust Your Gut Instinct
Take note of how each planner makes you feel when you communicate. Do you feel heard, understood and like you are their top priority? Or do you feel intimidated, ignored or not on the same page? At the end of the day, you want to select a wedding planner that puts you at ease and gives you confidence they can flawlessly execute the wedding you envision. Let your gut instinct guide which partnership makes the most sense.
Once you connect with several potential planners, compare custom proposals outlining deliverables, timelines and fees. Look beyond just pricing to see whose wedding planning approach resonates most. Also consider chemistry – which person do you feel most comfortable with guiding such an important event? Which proposal do you find most organized and detail oriented? These factors can differentiate very similar bids.
Check Reviews and References
Before signing any contract, check reviews from former clients on various wedding websites and published features. Also request and contact references to learn about their first-hand wedding experiences. Hearing how responsive, organized and seamless past couples found working with them provides great insight.
Trust the process and do your due diligence selecting a partner to plan your wedding. The extra effort researching options and asking the right questions will pay off with hiring the best suited planner to execute the wedding of your dreams within budget. With your vision in capable hands, you can relax knowing all the planning details and vendor coordination is covered. Get ready to celebrate your big day seamlessly organized to perfection.