Wedding planner and event designer Linda Howard shares her tips for choosing the wedding professional that's right for you.
In the case of certain weddings, your mother has been planning your wedding since the day you were born. In other cases, you and your fiancé are on your own.
No matter what the circumstance, do not assume that planning your wedding will be an easy task. Comforting is the fact that there are professionals trained in protocol, etiquette, and event planning to make it more manageable. Professional event consultants are there to guide, advise, organize, listen, and assist in keeping the process enjoyable for everyone. Take advantage of what these experts have to offer you regarding your wedding planning, from the broad strokes down to the smallest details and everything in between.
Once you have decided to enlist the services of a professional wedding consultant, there are many factors to consider in selecting the right one for you. Particularly if you live in or near a large city, there will be a wide variety of consultants to choose from, and just knowing what to look for can be quite overwhelming. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind as you start the selection process.
Look for a consultant who...
...you can respect and relate to. You will have many questions regarding protocol that require the appropriate answers. Make sure he/she is receptive to your ideas and has a comprehensive understanding of wedding planning in your local area. They should not patronize you.
...you can talk to. You want to feel comfortable calling him/her and asking the silliest of questions, without being worried that you are an inconvenience. Feel certain that you are being heard.
...has good taste and understands colors and design. This person will be helping you design your special day and will need to understand the specifics involved in taking your vision to the next level. Ask to see his/her portfolio.
...has a strong reputation in the wedding industry. Be sure to check the consultant’s professional references. He/she will be putting together a team of vendors and needs to have a good working relationship with everyone. Call a recent client for an honest assessment of his/her work.
...is organized. A consultant plays a key role in keeping you focused, calm, and on schedule. A personal checklist should be created and closely followed to make certain that you are on track. Ask to see a sample timeline.
...is trained and educated as a professional wedding coordinator. This day is too important to make any mistakes. The person you hire needs to know how to ensure that your wedding day is perfect from start to finish. Check the coordinator’s credentials and ask questions about his/her experience.
...does not plan to coordinate more than one wedding per weekend. Expect the consultant’s full attention. Your event should be his/her top priority and a personal commitment to being there for you is a must.
Keep this list in mind as you speak to each wedding consultant that you are considering hiring. As is the case with every vendor who you will work with, you may talk to quite a few before you meet “The One.” Rest assured that you will find the consultant who is the perfect fit for you.
Opening photograph by Laurie Bailey Photography