A tough question – how do you find the right wedding planner for you? There are so many wedding planners out there all who have varying levels of experience and so many different styles and different ways on how they approach your wedding. I thought it would be a good idea if I put together some pointers or where to start in your search and how do you decide?
The fact that you have arrived on this page is a start! I would suggest by looking online and searching for a wedding planner in your area and also the area you want to get married in. Whilst I mainly cover Sussex and Surrey, I have worked with couples who married as far as Suffolk as well as some destination weddings in Italy and Portugal.
If you have a certain style or theme of wedding, I would recommend looking for a wedding planner that perhaps specialise in that type of wedding or have that look and feel you are looking to create. There are many wedding planners that specialise in a certain type of wedding such as a festival vibe, urban style or quirky weddings. For example, I specialise in marquee weddings and couples that want to hire an exclusive venue such as a country manor house where they can create their own vision and style in to their day – think of it as a blank canvas.
Have a really good look at their website and social media pages. Look at their testimonials, there should be many to look through if they are experienced. View their portfolios, do the real weddings resonate with you and do you like the style of weddings they have created and worked on? I mention that you should have a look at their social media pages such as Facebook and Instagram. These pages often have lots of up to date images and examples of their work. One question to ask – are the images of their own work? Or are they stock images or reposts from other suppliers? I always post my own images of weddings I plan as I want my followers to see my work rather than stock images and see a true reflection of me as a person and my business.
Most planners offer a free initial consultation and if you can do this face to face, in-person then we highly recommend this if possible. I personally work with many couples who live abroad but marrying in the UK so I always suggest a Skype video call. When you meet with your planner, they should be asking you lots of questions and be showing you enthusiasm about your plans including your style and ideas. Remember you will be working together intimately over the next several months or longer, planning one of the best days of your life so it is so important you have that connection.
You need to feel confident that you can talk openly to your planner, whether that is about your concerns on any aspects of the day, or more personal subjects. Your planner should be your advocate throughout the entire planning process. They are there to offer guidance, expertise when needed and execute your wedding day that exceeds your expectations.
Money Talk – I would strongly suggest you talk about budgets and fees early on to save yourself some major disappointment. A good planner will talk through budgets very early on in your conversation to establish how best they can work with you. I would not be able to create a proposal for you without have a clear idea of your budget. A good planner will be charging a percentage of your overall budget for full planning of somewhere between 10 – 15%. Although cost is a big factor when choosing a wedding planner, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Likewise does their fee reflect their experience? They may have been in business for years, but how many actual real weddings have they planned? Are they offering a set fee for £2000 for example to plan your wedding without evening knowing your budget or ideas about your wedding? If so, they are working below the minimum wage and I would have to question their experience or level of commitment to your day.
If you can, narrow your search down to two or three planners you like the look of. Make contact with them all and see how they respond. As with any supplier, I would expect a response within 48 hours if they are professional and interested in working with you. If you are happy with their responses and warm to them, then ask to meet with them. As I mentioned before, most would be more than happy to meet for a no obligation chat or if further afield I would suggest a Skype call.
Essentially as a wedding planner we all do the same job – we plan weddings but like a photographer, a venue or perhaps a caterer, we all have different styles, budgets, experience and most importantly different personalities. So when you choose your photographer and want fun, colourful images, you will not pick a photographer that specialises in fine art photography so likewise, you should pick your planner in the same way. If you decide to choose another planner, its ok…we won’t take it personally! Likewise, if I am not the wedding planner for you then it’s ok! It is important we are exactly what you are looking for.
If you’ like to chat more about how we can work together then please do get in contact.