Hiring a professional wedding event planner can be a big investment, but it is one of the best investments you can make for your big day. While purchasing your wedding dress and selecting your cake can be exciting, there are other countless small details like permits, seating charts, endless questions from families that can weigh you down with stress and frustrations. The stress can put you over the edge planning a wedding in a city like Miami, where there are endless options to create the wedding of your dreams. Where do you start? How do you create a budget? What is the appropriate amount of money to spend on a photographer? A professional wedding event planner knows the answers to all of your questions and can make your dreams a reality without breaking your budget. Here’s how you can choose an event planner that best fits your needs.
1. Complete your homework
First, search for prospective event planners. Go through their websites and social media to make sure it is up to date. A big red flag is a planner that doesn’t update their platforms regularly. In their bio, look at their industry experience. Does the planner have a wide range of planning experience? A professional planner with versatile event experience is always a good sign, they are interested in creating the event of YOUR dreams and will know the appropriate vendors to do so. Also see the types of services they offer, the places they have worked at, and reviews on Wedding Wire and The Knot.
2. Jot down the favorites
Write down your favorite planners you have chosen based on factors such as types of services they offer, availability of wedding dates, the sites they have worked with, and their typical price range per event. Find the perfect blend between all these factors that fits best with your budget and requirements and call them for a meeting.
3. Prepare for the first meeting
In the first meeting try to bring anything including high definition images, magazine clippings, your inspiration boards that best describes your vision. Apart from going through the planner’s portfolio and their expertise, you also want to study their personalities. This would a major factor in deciding whether you will be able to work well with the planner over the course to the wedding day. Be verbal about your ideas and watch how he/she responds to your queries. Then ask how your ideas can become reality and what measures will they take to do the job. A great planner should be able to understand a client’s needs clearly and act accordingly to transform them into a truly unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience.
4. Consult references
Remember never feel pressured in hiring a planner. After all this is your wedding and you have the right to call the shots! Ask some references the following questions.
- How close did the planner work with their budget?
- Can you see any pictures of their weddings?
- How perfectly did he/she conduct the wedding as per their vision?
- Which services did the planner take care of, for instance, meeting with vendors, guests list, reception stage setup, etc.?
- How well was he/she communicating and negotiating with the vendors?
- How prompt was he/she in responding to your calls and immediate changes?
- Did the wedding go as you wanted?
- How did the things go wrong (if any) and what was done to counter?
- How well he/she replicated your ideas into reality?
5. Lock the deal
Do take time to review other things including prices, impressions, and proposal (some planners may present a draft of their overall terms and offerings on to which your contract terms may be decided). Once you are done with finalizing a planner, move forward with the contract. The moment you sign the contract and pay the deposit, you are on your way to a stress free wedding day!