If you've decided that you want to work with a wedding planner, firstly, congratulations! This will be the single best decision you will make in planning your wedding celebrations. It will minimise your stress and maximise the quality of your entire event experience, I promise. But how do you begin in finding the right fit planner for you? It's an important decision. A good fit with your planner should make the whole experience feel smooth, effortless and enjoyable - you will come to rely on, and spend a lot of time across the coming months with, this person.
You will want to begin by getting a feel for the style of those in your shortlist. Look at the portfolio of their work on their website and social media. Does the style resonate with you? Do you get the feeling that this suits you? Read what they write - what is their approach as a planner? What do they describe as the most important elements of the weddings they create and are these in line with what is important to you both?
WHAT SERVICE DO YOU NEED?
Planners have different types of service offering. I work with the majority of my clients on Full Wedding and Event Planning (everything from start to finish covering the planning, design and production) and with some clients on a consultancy basis. There are planners who will offer an on the day only co-ordination service. There are others who will offer partial planning of specific elements and some services focus solely on design and style. Understand what it is you would like and make sure you are looking at planners who specialise in those areas.
WHAT IS THEIR EXPERIENCE LEVEL?
Most planners will have on their website a background of information including how long they have been in the business. Look at testimonials, ratings and reviews and sense check you are getting someone who has the knowledge and skill that you are looking for. If you are planning a specific type of wedding, a marquee wedding for example, you will want to work with a planner who specialises in or has vast knowledge of this specific type of wedding. If your wedding is overseas, find a destination planner for your country of interest.
WHAT IS THEIR FEE AND HOW MUCH DO THEY CHARGE?
As with every supplier you book, expect to pay for quality and experience. Most weddings we plan take between 200 and 350 planning hours and this is why we have a minimum fee, to ensure we cover our time and costs. Our standard approach is to charge a percentage of your wedding budget and, where this would equate to less than our minimum fee, then a minimum fee applies. A percentage fee ensures that you are paying for the work that is being done on your behalf. As an example, if you decide to add an additional live music act to your wedding, this increases your budget spend and it also increases the work for your planner. They will most likely source the act, they then need to ensure this fits within the schedule and agree set timings and breaks with the band. There will likely be some form of band rider to fulfil (on the most basic level the band will require refreshments - this will need to be communicated to your caterers and dietaries will need to be taken into account), your planner will need to agree things like performance space and also load in and set up/sound check timings. At the other end of the scale, if you decide to change things and this decreases your budget, your planner will likely be doing less work, and the fee goes down.
Different planners will charge different percentages and will have different minimum fees. This should be reflective of the level of experience they have. Ask the question but also be prepared to invest for quality service and experience. There are many layers of detail to planning your wedding that you will only come to fully comprehend as you go through the process - you want to ensure you have the right person by your side.
DO YOU GET ON?
To do their best work, your wedding planner will need to get to know you both really well. You will end up revealing a lot about you, they will end up seeing you through one of your most emotional life experiences. You need to make sure that you connect on a human level with your wedding planner and that you can put your trust in them. The best way to establish this is to have a call with them. Most wedding planners will offer an initial consultation, this is certainly part of our way of working. For us, this is a video call where we cover all elements of your wedding aspirations and planning to date. It provides an opportunity for you to get a feel for how we work and for us to get a good insight into your wedding and how we can best help you. You'll want to come with questions prepared, particularly around ways of working and covering all elements of the wedding planning process most important to you. This consultation is offered to all couples looking for full wedding planning and is followed up with a detailed proposal. The most important elements in finding your perfect fit planner are a sense that you can trust them and that they understand what it is you are trying to reach with your wedding celebrations. There is nothing more frustrating or stressful, on both sides, if this isn't the case. If you have that trust and connect, the foundations are there and the rest will flow effortlessly.
If you would like to find out more about our approach, please book a consultation via the link below