A word of advice, don’t let a well-meaning friend or family member plan your wedding. Even with the best of intentions, they simply don’t have access to the resources of a professional wedding planner. A professional can help secure package deals on important features such as tux rentals and floral arrangements. They have insider knowledge of all the best venues and when and how to schedule them. Most importantly, you can work just as closely with your professional wedding planner as you can your best friend, assuring that your day goes exactly the way you’ve always envisioned it. Your choice of wedding planner is as important as finding the perfect wedding dress. Here’s what we recommend you choose the perfect wedding planning partner.
Is Your Wedding Planner Certified?
There’s an organization that helps regulate the training and certification of professional wedding planners. The American Association of Wedding Planners (AACWP) offers membership only to those professionals who’ve completed an approved course of study, have at least a year of wedding-planning experience, and who carry proper liability insurance. If you hire a planner that’s AACWP-approved, you’ll hire an expert who knows their way around a wedding. Master wedding planners are certified, have at least 8 years of experience under their belts, and have established accounts with national wedding suppliers. These individuals cost more to hire, but you’ll have proof they’re good at what they do.
Does Your Wedding Planner Have Online Reviews?
Unless yours is their first event, your choice of wedding planner should have an established website and reviews on sites such as Yelp and Google Reviews. Former clients should be able to attest to their abilities at finding and scheduling gorgeous venues, organizing photo shoots, and contracting with vendors for food, flowers, and decor. Look for planners with multiple reviews that are four stars or higher.
Does Your Wedding Planner Offer Additional Services?
Finding someone willing to officiate your wedding is often the most difficult task. Some wedding planners have contracts with local clergy of various denominations to help make things easier. Others may have contacts at state and federal parks to help you schedule an outdoor wedding that would otherwise be impossible. Ask who your wedding planner knows and what additional perks they may have to offer you on the days leading up to your dream wedding.
Have Any of Your Friends Used This Wedding Planner?
Word-of-mouth referrals may actually be the first recommendations that come rolling in, but don’t base your final decision on a vague recommendation by a friend’s cousin’s brother’s wife. Thoroughly vet any planners your friends and family suggest, and make sure you ask those friends precise questions about how their event was handled and whether they’d use that service or individual again.
Take care in choosing the person who plans your wedding, and don’t opt for the first name on the list. Check reviews, look for certifications, and talk with clients who’ve actually used the service. Meet with your prospective wedding planner in person and see whether they fit with your personality. You don’t want an abrasive relationship with the person who will be responsible for one of the most important days of your life. Do these things first, and you’re sure to find the perfect person to plan your dream wedding.