Monday, December 8, 2008

The Rules of Engagement - (Engaging a Wedding Planner, That Is)

As a Wedding Planner it is my job to see to it that you have a flawless wedding. But let's face it, there is no such thing as flawless, at least not in the world of wedding planning. The harsh but true reality is that some things will not go according to plan. However, as a professional planner (and I stress professional), my job is to operate under the assumption that the best plan is plan B and in some cases, C, D and F, so that no one will ever be the wiser that catastrophe prevention is taking place behind the scenes. Therefore it seems to me that when thinking about hiring a wedding planner, the question should not be if you should hire one, but rather what you should be considering in the planner you do choose to hire.

Rule #1 Be Sure To Hire A Planner Whose Personality Compliments Your Own
Simply put, you should like your planner. Generally speaking, your planner will spend hours with you as you go through the planning process together. You want to make sure this time is spent with someone you get along with, someone who understands your vision for your day, and someone you trust, which brings me to rule #2

Rule #2 Trust Your Wedding Planner’s Judgment
Although each wedding is different, yours is not the first wedding your planner has planned. Because she or he is a skilled professional, they will be able to determine what will and will not work to make your wedding day run smoothly. Trust their judgment and suggestions. After all, their expertise in executing beautiful events is one of the benefits of hiring a professional wedding planner.

Rule #3 Communicate Your Vision and Make Sure Your Wedding Planner Is On The Same Page, and Does Not Have Their Own Agenda
You have been dreaming of this day forever, so it's important to be able to articulate the vision you have for the most important day of your life. Your planner should not dismiss your wishes or push her own ideas. Of course, there will be times when your planner will make suggestions that based on her experience will help things to run smoother, but those suggestions should be made to make what you have envisioned better, not different.

Rule #4 Be Realistic In Your Expectations
Although your planner is working for you and on your behalf, you are not her only client. Also remember, your planner has a life outside of planning your wedding. Calling her 50 times a day or at unacceptable hours because you can't make up your mind about where to seat your favorite aunt is not a realistic expectation of what the role of a wedding planner is.

Rule #5: Make Sure You Are Ready, Willing, and Able To Relinquish Some of the Control
By this I mean, let your planner do the job you hired her/him to do. So often brides hire a planner and then proceed to do all the work themselves. If you wish to do the planning, my suggestion would be for you to do it, and bring in a Day-Of -Coordinator to carry out the plans you have made for your wedding day.

To avoid a situation where planning your wedding becomes a nightmare and your wedding planner is featured as Freddy (from "Nightmare on Elm Street"), keep these "rules of engagement" in mind when seeking the assistance of a wedding planner to help make your day an Affair To Remember!