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How to choose a great wedding planner
OK. So you’ve decided to hire a wedding planner. How do you choose the right one? Below are some tips to help you navigate the wedding planner selection process.
Choose someone with experience
Let novice wedding planners gain their experience on someone else’s time. What you are looking for is someone who has done it all before: they know what can go wrong and more importantly how to make sure things go right. A good wedding planner will not only have have a plan B up their sleeve, but a plan C and a plan D as well. They have to have fabulous connections and offer you suppliers which are 100 % reliable and services and products which are unique and hard to find.
The most important thing to do is to check references, and to make sure that the planner has an impeccable reputation both with past clients and service providers. Ideally the prospective planner will give you the contact details of several past clients so that you can have them checked out. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it’s an important decision. Like they say, “act in haste, repent at leisure.”
Choose someone who only does weddings
Definitely choose someone who specialises in wedding planning, as opposed to choosing a florist, caterer, decorator, venue manager or baker who “also plans weddings.” In addition to getting someone who really knows their trade, they will remain more impartial when it comes to selecting service providers, as a caterer/wedding planner is not about to propose their competitor for the wedding reception. Choosing someone who plans only weddings is a good idea because there are a lot of aspects to weddings which do not overlap with work in the incentive travel, conference or congress industries.
Communication is key
You will be entrusting this person with one of the biggest days of your life and the success of this event will also depend on your how successful you and your planner communicate. Their job is to translate your dreams into reality and the more comfortable you feel working with them, the better. Go with your gut instincts, that’s what they are there for.
Choose someone who will make your wedding one-of-a-kind
There is no feeling in the world like hearing your guests say that your wedding was one-of-a-kind and that it was an expression of your joint personalities. Choosing a planner who has experience staging very personal affairs is important. When interviewing a planner ask them to tell you about the different kinds of weddings they have planned to get a feel for whether or not they do original affairs or “cookie-cutter-weddings.”
Choose an accredited planner
A good sign that a planner knows what they are doing is if they are professionally accredited. The main associations are: the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), Association for Wedding Professionals International (AfWPI), the Wedding Association, UK – the National Association of Professional Wedding Services (NAPWS).
Choose a full-service wedding planner
In order to avoid any surprises, make sure you are hiring a full-service planner, ie: someone who will also be in charge of the hundreds of rsvps coming in, deal with all of the hotel and transport accommodation issues and help guests with all of their requirements. The last thing you need to do when you are getting married in an hour is to have to work out last minute seating arrangements, figure out who is staying in which hotel, help someone find a great local hairdresser or book a last-minute babysitter. Leaving it to the planner will mean you will be calm, serene and composed for that all important walk down the aisle.
Frank Damgaard and his wife Grisel run Monte-Carlo Weddings, the premier full-service wedding planning company on the French Riviera.