A common question that comes up in the early stages of planning a wedding is “should I hire a wedding planner?” If you are planning a fairly sizable wedding, have time constraints of your own, or would simply prefer to delegate some of the work to a professional to handle, a wedding planner may be a great fit for you.
While there will of course be a fee for your coordinator’s services, wedding planners can often negotiate discounts from the vendors they work with regularly. If negotiating is not your cup of tea, why not let someone do it for you? In fact, they money saved on reduced vendor rates can sometimes outweigh your planner’s fee and actually end up saving you money in the end.
If you do decide to hire a wedding planner, here are some questions you might ask him or her:
- How long have you been working as a wedding coordinator?
- How many weddings do you plan throughout a typical year?
- What do your services include? Can you help me secure vendors and contracts, and then be there on my wedding day to coordinate everything? Can you offer creative wedding ideas based on my vision for the day?
- Do you have a portfolio of past weddings or events that I can look at?
Ask around for recommendations from any recently married friends, or talk with hotel or catering managers for names of wedding planners in your area.
Depending on your particular requirements, coordinators may charge a flat fee or an hourly fee for their services, and some may charge a percentage of the total budget for the wedding.
Full-service wedding planners will be with you every step of the way, contracting vendors, providing advice and pulling everything together, where as “day-of coordinators” will just be there on your wedding day to oversee the event. As a third option, you may want to just hire a wedding consultant for a few hours or more to get help with creating a budget, developing a timeline of events and to answer all of your miscellaneous wedding planning questions over a meeting or two.
- Some hotels and other wedding venues will provide a wedding coordinator to work with you at no additional cost. While you may be a bit more limited in terms of the specific vendors you can book through them, this can save you some money and you should inquire about this service when you sign the rental contract for your venue. Your ceremony venue (if separate) may provide some type of coordinator as well.