Choosing a Wedding Planner
I’ve worked to come up with some great tips on choosing a wedding planner! Keep reading for all the knowledge!
1. I know, you’ve heard it before! But I’m going to keep going there! Budget budget budget!!!! If you can’t afford a $4500 wedding planner, then it is just not something you can afford. I’m sorry. So find someone who is in your price range or can offer discounts to put them in your price range!
Note! Watch out for vendors who aren’t upfront about their prices. If they’re asking you what you can afford, before offering their normal rate, then they’re probably going to say there price is a little higher than your maximum but then say something along the lines of “but we can give you a special deal!”, just to make the same. When in all reality they’re probably trying to either charge you more or they’re so desperate for business, they’re not running an effective business!
If you’ve checked out my website, you can see, unlike most wedding photographers, I list my prices openly. I do this for two reasons 1. Honesty. You’re going to be charged the same price as the next customer that comes along. You get to see through the BS and know you’re not getting scammed. 2. Budget. J I know! But there will be situations, where a client can’t afford my prices, we try to make it easier, with payment plans, but it does happen, to every vendor. Without listing my prices openly, a vendor is wasting your time.
2. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with this person. So you had better like them! Pick someone who you can get along with and who has a similar personality to you.
3. Once you’ve tackled the first two items, find out if your planner has your wedding date available! There is nothing worse than getting your heart set on the perfect vendor and then finding out they aren’t available.
4. Okay! We’re making progress. This planner fits your budget, you two are great together and your date is available!!! Have a sit down with them, to chat!
In case you’re not sure what to ask prior to booking their services, I’ve listed a bunch of great questions! You can ask as few or as many as you need, to get a feel for your wedding planner!
Describe the most challenging wedding you’ve planned and how you handled it.
How would you rate your problem solving skills?
Are you certified?! And where did you get your education?
Are you a licensed business?
When was the last wedding you planned?
If wedding planning isn’t your full time job, how do you balance the two?
Are we required to book vendors from your preferred list or do we have the freedom to book with others?
Do you take a commission from vendors you refer?
Will you be present at all vendor meetings? Will you assist with reviewing contracts?
For vendors who will require payment, day of, will you be distributing payments on our behalf?
If an issue arises with the vendor day of or before, will you try to resolve on our behalf?
Are we able to plan the things we want and leave everything else up to you?
In case of an emergency, which prevents you from being there the day of the wedding, who will be your backup?
What time will you arrive and leave on wedding day?
Will you able to wait for vendors to clear away their things, after the reception?
Will you provide us with a time line of the wedding day?
Is there a limit on phone calls, texts or meetings we can have?
Is the rehearsal included?
Do you offer honeymoon planning?
After booking with you, how soon can we have a contract?
Can you provide a breakdown of our budget? What we should be spending our money on?
What is your payment policy? Do you accept credit cards?
What is our deposit? When will the balance be due?
What is your refund policy?
5. So they passed your test! What next? Tell them you want to book! Review the contract and makes sure everything you discussed is there and sign on the dotted line!
Congratulations, you’ve just booked your wedding planner!!!!!
The price of weddings these days, have gotten WAY out of control. A thousand dollars for this, a thousand dollars for that, ten thousand for your venue!
I definitely agree with making your wedding day special, but moving into the poor house over it, is not a great way to start off one of the happiest times of your time. Here at T.Lynn Photography, we’ll do our best to help you arrange the wedding of your dreams, on a meager budget!
1. Pick a budget
Sure, you’re thinking this sounds easy! But, that’s not always the case. Wedding’s cost more than you think, these days. So the best place to start in planning your budget, is to get an idea of what things cost in your area.
Once you’ve picked a budget, set it in stone! Don’t budget on it, unless you absolutely have to. If you step over that line once, what says you won’t do it again for those pretty centerpiece or that chocolate fountain? Draw a line in the sand, make it official and avoid adding more money to the budget.
The next part of picking a budget, is to determine where the money is coming from? Are you and future hubby paying? Are his parents? You’re parents? Rich relatives? Are you taking out a loan? Determine where the money is coming from and this could help with picking your budget. If it’s not your money, then sit down with the giver and ask them what the limit is. Find out if they’re comfortable with you spending $5,000 on a dress, when you could get the same dress used for $500.
2. Think it through, don’t impulse buy
I know! I know what you’re thinking! But the lady at the dress store said if I don’t purchase it now, it may be gone, when I come back! And that’s okay. If you’re not 100% sold on the dress, it’s pretty likely you’ll find something you like better. Too often I meet with brides who have purchased two or three or even four dresses, because they liked it and didn’t want to miss the opportunity. Problem is, reselling those dresses is WAY harder than you thought. Some girl’s try to sell them for years, before the item gets donated to a charity or thrift shop.
It’s the same with décor, even though this is a little easier to offload. Work with your wedding planner or Pinterest, to decide exactly what it is you want for your centerpiece. Maybe purchase one table setting worth of items and do a mock-up, before committing.
One other thing to think about is avoiding things that other people want for your wedding. Unless they’re paying for it, this is you and your future hubby’s special day and they’re just tagging along. Do only what makes the two of you happy!
This one hits home for me. My wedding menu was completely out of control, by the day of the wedding. As my husband and I are both chefs, on top of my photography, we made our own food, with the help of some family. On top of that, I had Rubbermaid containers full of decorations that weren’t needed, as I didn’t plan ahead. I didn’t count the tables or plan a seating arrangement, I didn’t check with the venue, to see if I could hang things on the walls. So plan ahead, don’t impulse buy.
3. Narrow down your invite list
Again, I know! This one is difficult! You’ll be bound to step one someone’s toes. But is that $10 toaster from your great aunt Better (who divorced your uncle!) worth the cost of her dinner, the table decorations, for adding another table, the drinks she’ll have?
To make it easy, pick the absolutely must have people first. Our moms and dads, Hubby’s brother, your sister brother and their babies, grandma and grandpa. Who are the people you really want there, to share the magic of your day with?
And then, only then if it’s in your budget slowly work through those “it’d be nice if they were there, but it’s not like my mom being there!” people. Stop at your limit! Again, see tip number one! Budget, Budget, Budget! If it’s not in the budget to have 300 people, you better stop inviting people at your 100 person max!
Trust me, those people who don’t get invited, will get over it. If they have such a big problem with it, remind them that they aren’t paying for this day and if they don’t want to contribute a couple hundred dollars to cover their meal, drinks, table décor, and ect, apologize and tell them, you’ve reached max capacity and there is just no way to squeeze in any more guests.
4. Think differently
Not everything is as it seems. A place you didn’t expect to be a wedding venue, could be a beautiful wedding venue! I attended a phenomenal wedding at a local aquarium, a few years back. They had the ceremony in a dimly lit area, with the tank as the alter. It was unique and somehow screamed the couple’s name. It was something that could have not been so magical, had they had a church wedding, or an outdoor wedding.
There are plenty of places that offer this kind of service, which may not be what you’d initially think as a wedding venue. So think outside the box and get a little crazy, if it suits your personality.
It’s the same with décor! Get creative and crafty (if you’re that kind of person!) and come up with something amazing. Table décor doesn’t have to cost $100 or more a table!
Look at it this way, you and your future hubby love to read! You’ve got more books then you know what to do with! You’re a lover of tea, he loves coffee. And you’re in love with vintage everything! Well you just planned your dream wedding, without knowing it. Think outside the box. It sounds like you’d enjoy a “garden party” wedding. You can always pull the dust cover off some of those books you’ve already got and bam, they “look” old. Stack them on the table, with some flowers (real or fake, depending on your budget!), put some candles down and you’ve got an inexpensive table set up. Set up a little coffee and tea bar in the corner or under a tea and you’re in business!
This isn’t the 80’s weddings can be anything you want them to be!
Thanks for stopping by! We’re glad you found us! And keep checking in, for more tips on planning your big day! Next week, we’ll be talking about hiring a wedding vendor!
Thank you so much for stopping by, to check out T.Lynn photography's blog. Here you'll find awesome tips for your special day!
Don't worry, we'll also be sure to share suggestions on some of the best Michigan vendors!
Some posts to come:
"Picking the Right Vendor"
"To Buy or To Rent Linens"
"Saying Yes to the Dress"
"Suit vs Tux"
"Hiring a wedding planner"
So be sure to check back, for tips and tricks for the perfect wedding!