Choosing a Wedding Professional.

Anyone that plans a wedding or any event for that matter will tell you that it is a huge undertaking, especially if you want it done precisely as you envisioned it. So, unless you are already equipped to handle the stress and demands of selecting your own vendors, negotiating your contracts, designing the look of the event, and creating floor plans you are more than likely going to consider hiring a wedding planner or coordinator.

The first thing to do is to understand that there are a variety of wedding professionals available to you. Although, the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between them and what they are responsible for, so you have to be sure that you are clear about who you want based on your needs this is an example of what I mean:

Wedding Coordinator: Coordinators typically get involved within a month to a week prior top your wedding, and is there to confirm the vendors and guide the couple through their wedding day. Coordinators are typically in charge of putting out any “fires” the day of the wedding.

Wedding Director: Directors/ On-site coordinators are typically paid by the venue and are available to oversee the direction of the wedding from the venue’s perspective. Their main focus to ensure that the venue’s rules are being followed. They can be helpful in setting out programs, escort cards, etc. but will generally not be too involved with executing the details of the event itself.

Wedding Designer: A designer is responsible for creating the look and feel of the wedding. They are experts at defining the inspiration and vision of the wedding for the couple. The goal of a designer is to infuse the couple’s personality into their wedding and create an amazing experience that appeal to the five senses.

Wedding Planner: A planner will orchestrate a wedding from start to finish, including all of the details. Wedding planners typically offer only full packages and are responsible for guiding the couple through the entire wedding planning process including venue selection, budgeting and vendor selection to name a few.

Based on the definitions above, you can clearly see their area of expertise and it is important that you select the professional based on their specialty and your specific needs. It is important that you feel comfortable with which ever professional you select. It has been my experience that the best events have been with couples that I can relate to, understand their design ideas and concepts, and can communicate openly with. Ask yourself when interviewing professionals, the following questions:

  • Do I feel comfortable communicating the vision of my special day with this person?
  • Do they embrace my vision or try to change my mind about the details?
  • Do I like the work that I’ve seen from this professional’s portfolio?
  • How knowledgeable are they about my particular market?
  • Do they offer additional advice or tips on how to save money or maximize dollars spent?
  • How willing are they to offer references and recommendations?
  • How easy are they to work with? Will they be able to work well with your other vendors?
  • Do I feel confident that this professional can execute my vision.

If you answer truthfully, you will be able to identify who you are the most comfortable working with. It is very important that you realize that your wedding professional is going to have to get to know you intimately in order to integrate your personality efficiently into the event details. If you don’t feel comfortable telling this person details about your relationship that you want to see in your wedding, then they are not the professional for you. There are a variety of wedding professionals available to assist you in your particular market, so don’t feel like you have to choose someone that you don’t mesh well with. Choose someone that “gets” your vision, your personality, is creative, exciting to work with, and knowledgeable. If you speak to this person over the phone and you feel as though you have known them from childhood, it’s a good indication that they are worth consideration. It’s your day and you are going to want to have people around that support you and the next step that you are about to take, so start with your wedding professionals and choose wisely!

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