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Why do you need a wedding planner and how to choose one?

Planning for your big day? A destination wedding?

Destination weddings have become increasingly popular as they are a wonderful way for couples to plan a memorable celebration and offer a great experience to friends and family in a location that is unique and exciting.

Why choose a wedding planner?

Weddings, in general, require a lot of planning, and most brides and grooms cannot handle the stress of doing everything themselves. So many of the couples nowadays lead busy professional and personal lives. They simply do not have time to carry out a wedding in line with their dream vision. And planning a wedding remotely can add more to the stress as the couple is sometimes unable physically and personally to select their venue and all their vendors.

When you decide to have a destination wedding, you are given the opportunity to create a memorable trip for you and your guests. Providing multiple occasions to get together beside the wedding itself- like a welcome dinner or a farewell brunch as well as activities for your guests- will create beautiful moments to cherish. A professional planner will come in handy in simplifying all the organizations involved. Wedding planning is a skill that comes with tons of knowledge and experience of strategy, finance, management, leadership, crisis management and public relations. It requires expertise to execute events and handle logistics, details timings, and practicalities successfully.

Choosing a wedding planner comes before selecting the venue. A professional planner will send you a selection of sites to suit your budget and requirements and will help you navigate and negotiate in hiring other suppliers like the caterer, photographer, florist, musicians, and more. They will work within your budget and, most importantly, will guide you on what is realistic and keep you on track.

Some couples feel that hiring a wedding planner is an added expense when a well-experienced one can actually save you money. Their knowledge of real market prices will guide you to what is worth signing for and where it is better to save. You can certainly benefit from their insider connections, their experience, and know-how that will bring you advantageous negotiations. And in the case of a destination wedding, they will help you deal with vendors and the different set of rules of a country new to you. Their knowledge of protocols and cultures is valuable.

These are all added value to the final cost of the wedding.

You may argue that some venues have a coordinator, and their services are inclusive in the cost. But they are only responsible for the arrangements at the site like your choice of menu, when to start your dinner and some pre-selected table layouts and vendors. Their main concern is the venue, as they are paid by them, and not your couple’s need. While a wedding planner is your personal assistant, your dream maker, your coach, your confidant, and your therapist.

How to choose a wedding planner?

Choosing a wedding planner for all the event may or may not be practical, depending on your budget. You and your better half would want to plan a few aspects; you may consult a planner midway too. Most planners do offer partial or customized packages based on your needs.

Start by short-listing the wedding planners you most like that work in your preferred destination country. Look for experienced professionals. Unfortunately, there is still no barrier to enter this industry, and in the last few years, numerous agencies of WP arose everywhere. These people, who are convinced that you need no special skills to do this job, are discouraging the fellow experienced wedding pros as well as clients. As Giovanna Duailibe from Belief Wedding Creators said recently: “If you think hiring a professional wedding creator is expensive, you have no idea how much an incompetent can cost”. It takes years to learn how to correctly manage the timing of an event, to understand its dynamics, and the importance of every detail.

So, the experience is the keyword. Check the WP online profiles, their work, and read the reviews. Choose wisely. Do not contact many wedding planners because you can get lost. Contact only the ones whose work really stroke your attention and not just the ones that offer cheaper services.

Another word of advice. Once you select a few potential WP’s, try not to send emails with generic requests for packages and pricing. An experienced planner will not understand your needs and queries from this mail. Just the fact that you probably sent it to dozens of others and that your decision might be based on the lowest price given. Instead, be concise and direct and provide as many details as you can to avoid useless back and forth emails – preferred location and date, number of guests, type of ceremony/event – and possibly give an overall desired budget to work on.

The next step is to set up an initial video consultation to find out if the wedding planner is right for you.

Be prepared for this meeting. Create a list of the specific points you would need to discuss with your planner and what you should inquire about their experience. Expect as well some questions. Your planner will want to get to know you as a couple and have a more precise idea of your requirements, needs, and style.

At a certain point, you will have to talk about your budget. I understand that some couples might not know the exact figure or do not want to share it with their planner at the beginning although, in their mind, they already have an approximate idea. The right approach would be to mention that you would like to plan your dream wedding while possibly staying under a specific amount. Try not to fix on an unrealistic number in your head that the planner might not be able to work with. Budgets do not have to remain the same and can change along the planning process.

If you feel comfortable with the planner at the end of the meeting and think you might go ahead with this agency, there is another essential question to be asked. Check if you are going to get handed off during the planning road to someone different from the person whom you just spoke with. It can be frustrating to discover that at a later stage, you will not be working with the same person you related with well and who understood your requirements fully.

Now, after you have discussed your queries and needs, either the planner will be able to give you a range of pricing during your meeting, or you will be sent a quote via email to be reviewed.

If you really like the planner, but the quotation you received is much higher than what you can afford, then consider working together to meet somewhere in the middle. A good planner will make your investment worthwhile.

The next step would be the signing of a contract or a letter of agreement. Before you sign one, you must read it carefully and clear all misunderstandings ahead of the wedding planning.

A wedding planner is no obligation, but hiring one will broaden your options and explore ideas you did not think about! A wedding planner is a professional who can handle all the stress involved in a complex event and is ready to deal with the unexpected. They will plan your dream wedding, making it an unforgettable experience to be remembered.