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Tips for hiring a wedding planner.

Article by John Rzasa

Hiring a wedding planner is a personal decision you should not take lightly. A wedding planner can take a lot of the stress out of planning a wedding, but there is a cost involved.

Generally speaking, you will pay a wedding planner either a percentage of the total cost of your wedding, or a flat rate. A wedding planner's job is to make your wedding happen on your terms. The planner will handle making all or most of the arrangements such as picking the location for the reception, ordering the invitations, setting up the cake and food tasting, and arranging all the details. He or she also takes care of arranging for payments and scheduling vendors such as the caterer, photographer and DJ.

What Makes a Good Wedding Planner?

A good wedding planner will explain what you can expect every step of the way, and offer you options for services, vendors and your arrangements, as well as answer all your questions. A good wedding planner is a broker of services and will offer you multiple choices in vendors. The planner's job is to help you get what you want, within your budget without cutting corners.

Here are a few tips for hiring a Wedding Planner:

  • Ask for references from other Brides and Grooms. Be sure to request references from weddings similar in budget to yours. This is the best way to determine if a wedding planner is a good match for you.
  • Ask the wedding planner to give you an overview of what he or she envisions for your wedding. A prepared wedding planner will bring samples and a written plan to your initial meeting.
  • Ask the wedding planner if your budget is realistic. Get him or her to tell you where you will have to make cuts or adjustments. An experienced wedding planner will find creative solutions to help you maximize your budget.
  • Ask the wedding planner what his or his or her terms are for payment, such as deposit and when your balance is due, and possible refund policy.
  • Ask the planner about the timeline for your big day. How much time will you have to devote to sampling food, picking out invitations or meeting with vendors? A good planner will give you a pretty good idea of the amount of your time will be required during the planning process.

Remember, your wedding day is your day, not the planner's day. Above all, be sure you are completely comfortable with the planner you choose to hire. Even if you choose not to hire a planner, it's a good idea to purchase a wedding planning guide. Many of them come in a binder format with timelines and tips for planning your wedding.

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