Ask yourself some key
questions in deciding whether or not you need a planner. Are you getting married close to home? Are you having a huge bash that could run over a weekend, or a small, intimate gathering that lasts an evening? Do you have family and friends flying in from overseas? Do you and your partner have demanding jobs and work long hours? Will your family, bridesmaids and groomsmen be able to help with logistics? And, most importantly, do you have a strong idea of your desired look and feel for the celebration itself? The answer to these questions will give you a good idea of whether a dedicated professional’s expertise could make the whole process run more smoothly.
Word of mouth is the best advertisement. Speak to friends whose weddings you have enjoyed to find out who they used and chat to industry insiders about who they’d recommend. Before setting on a specific planner, ask them for three resent referees and see what they have to say.
A good planner will have a proven track record (not just a good-looking gallery of pictures) in negotiating supplier prices and contacts, good relationships with venues and caterers in a variety of price ranges, advice and insight into logistics of the day and create solutions to problems. Most importantly, they should be someone with whom you have a good rapport, who will listen to your ideas, helping you to hone and implement them rather than pressurising you into their concept of what your wedding should be. You will need to agree on what can be achieved while sticking to your budget.
Be clear with a prospective wedding planner as to what level of involvement you desire, whether it is simply the securing of caterers and handling of logistics on the day, or the whole deal, from booking accommodation and flights to helping choose a dress.