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We have all seen the millions of posts on finding wedding planners, how to find the perfect one for your wedding, how to become one… But did anyone ever tell you how to spot the wrong wedding planner to work with when planning your wedding?
How to spot the WRONG wedding planner!
Things to look out for when hiring a wedding planner
We have worked hard to think of ways you can determine the wedding planner you’ve chosen really is the one for you. You will have to do a little digging from your side to establish these things. However, in the long run, it might save you lots of time, money and drama…
Portfolio + past weddings
Be sure to check out a wedding planner’s past work, if they have made it available. If you’re not sure where to look at their portfolio or past weddings that they have done, ask them to show you. This way, you can also have a rough idea of the type of weddings they have done and their level of professionalism – wedding planners’ styles differ: some have a young, quirky style, others have a more elegant, timeless approach, and so forth.
Many wedding planners have a website or Facebook page nowadays, so search online to see if you can find it.
Did someone refer you to this specific wedding planner? Is it a trusted or well known person who referred you? Also, if you have been to that person’s wedding, you will also have an idea of the wedding planner’s level of expertise.
Check out the wedding planner’s testimonials from past clients. Some of them will leave reviews on social media to let others know how much of a success their wedding was with this specific wedding planner. Also, if the wedding planner has a website, they will most likely post their testimonials on there as well. If they didn’t, you should wonder why…
This is more of a factor for the both of you. When can you meet each other on a regular basis? How will you communicate and when? If you cannot agree on times that suit the both of you, it’s better to move on to the next wedding planner.
You know what they say: First impressions stick. And the best way to establish a wedding planner’s level of professionalism is at your first initial meeting. A professional wedding planner will dress, talk, and act professionally.
Watch how they dress: did they actually take the time to look well groomed? Will they make the same effort and take the same time to make sure your wedding is perfect?
Listen to the way they speak: do they speak in a charismatic way, clearly and to the point? Or do they constantly interrupt you? Do they throw in a few swear words along the way? This reflects a lot about a person.
How does this wedding planner act? Are they super emotional and can’t seem to have their ducks in a row? Or are they well organised? Do you feel assured that your wedding is in good hands with them?
This is one of the most important things that you should observe. A late wedding planner will most likely be late at your wedding, too! A wedding planner should be at your place of meeting before you arrive there. That means that they are prepared and ready to help you plan the wedding of your dreams.
Even if a wedding planner had, what seems like a legit excuse about being late (traffic, illness, etc.), you have to make sure that this really is the one who you trust to work with. Prepared wedding planners are punctual as well.
Like we mentioned before, check out their Facebook page if they have one. This might seem a bit stalker-y, but you’ll be glad you did it: check out their personal social media profile, too. A wedding planner should be portrayed by someone who is professional. Their face/body/attitude is their advertisement. If it seems like their (public) profile contains a lot of crude images, statuses full of swearing and bad mouthing, or worse, you should probably steer clear of such a planner.
We have heard horror stories of planners that go AWOL at their clients’ weddings – such as raiding the open bar, flirting with the groom, etc.
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If your wedding planner has no contract, you should wonder why. A contract is not only to protect them, but you as well. It makes the agreement between you legal and binding. In other words, you, or they, cannot back out if you just feel like it. The wedding planner agrees in the contract to provide you with the services as discussed and requested in your initial meeting.
The contract also makes sure that you don’t end the agreement on illegal terms. So it saves you from lawyers and court expenses, as well.
Side note: Read the contract VERY carefully before signing it – as you should with all contracts in your life.
not making contact
This one happens quite often: The wedding planner is constantly out of reach. You cannot seem to make contact with them by phoning, e-mailing, using Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, or any other available channel.
What if you have an urgent crisis? Or a change of heart about your wedding cake or DJ? How will they know? How do you know if they actually get your messages? Steer clear…
This falls under professionalism. A sloppy appearance will resemble how their work quality is. It means they were to lazy to make the effort to look professional to meet you: their client!
Will they also be lazy in planning the most amazing day of your life? Probably. Need we say more on this?
You cannot always go on bad reviews on social media, especially if most of the reviews are good. And also, anyone can leave a review, so you will notice quite a few bad reviews from random people who probably never even worked with this wedding planner!
However, if most people take the time to leave a reason for their bad review, then you know something is up…
bad social media behavior
As we’ve mentioned previously: you need to stalk your wedding planner a bit here. Bad social media behavior says a lot about someone’s level of professionalism. It’s okay to let loose sometimes, but having multiple censor-worthy images on their social media account should make you wonder if they will treat your wedding the same way…
level of punctuality
To be punctual means to be there when you should. So if your planner constantly shows up late for important meetings, like the ones with your suppliers, or to discuss your wedding in detail, etc. then maybe you should find a new one.
putting you / your planning off
The delaying of your wedding plans for their personal stuff should flash some serious red lights! Does this also mean that they will put your wedding off when the day comes?
This falls in with the nasty habit of putting your actual wedding planning off. Failing to make appointments in time with suppliers, failing to find a venue in time, failing to work out your wedding details, etc. This is a great recipe for a magnitude of issues on, what is supposed to be, your perfect day…
A wedding planner should appear professional when they handle anything regarding your wedding. That means physically and emotionally. If it comes across that this wedding planner isn’t professional in any way, then you need to ask if this is the perfect match for you…
Even worse is the wedding planner who doesn’t make any effort to plan the wedding of your dreams. Everything this wedding planner does is done half heartedly or lazily.
They also need plenty of guidance from… you. They seem to forget or “misplace” notes on your wedding or about meetings with suppliers. They constantly have to ask you the same details over and over again and they just don’t seem to care about your wedding.
Time to move on…
Being negative about anything regarding your wedding is also not going to work. You need a wedding planner who is positive and ambitious about what they do.
Think about it this way: Maybe you get cold feet a few days before your wedding day, what help will it be if your wedding planner is negative, in stead of giving you a pep-talk? Your planner should also be able to handle your emotions, and it wouldn’t go down very well if he/she is also in an emotional state of negativity.
How important is a wedding planner contract?
The importance of having a contract in place
We though it is super important to throw this in here: the contract – just to remind you. And yes, the contract between you and the wedding planner is SUPER important. Below are the benefits of the contract. You should always read the contract carefully and then sign it if it seems legitimate.
Pro tip: Have your lawyer check it out for you, if you have one.
The benefits of the contract
Some benefits if having an official agreement such as the contract with your wedding planner, includes the following:
It forces the wedding planner to stick to important deadlines. The wedding planner knows that a successful wedding is planned way in advance. Thus, being professional, the planner will ensure that they reach all of the important deadlines in planning your special day. These deadlines may include things like contact with suppliers, handling of payments on time (if permitted), booking the venue or important appointments for you.
The contract helps you, the bride, to understand what services you are actually receiving upon booking this wedding planner. The contract outlines all of the important details of services provided by your wedding planner, as well as the limitations.
It secures the agreement of contact hours between you and the wedding planner. Contact hours may include physical meetings, meetings with suppliers, e-mail times, telephonic meeting times, WhatsApp messages or other methods of instant messaging. The terms of the contact between you and the wedding planner are normally set out to suit both your needs. This also includes Skype or Hangouts for international wedding planners.
In the contract, the wedding planner also agrees to the services provided as stipulated in the package chosen by you. This means that after the contract is signed, the planner cannot suddenly decide to not offer you a certain service anymore. Let’s say “venue scouting” is included in the package. The planner has to find you a venue. They must, otherwise it can be seen as breaching of the contract.
There are many other benefits of the contract, but you get the idea. And just like it protects you, the bride, it also protects the wedding planner. A contract works both ways…
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What to expect from a professional wedding planner
If you haven’t done your research yet, here is what you can normally expect from a wedding planner. This is a general guideline and should not be applied to all wedding planners. Some planners provide different services than most and others only work with a certain client. Some planners are an entire team or company that plan weddings.
You will also have to do more research from your side to find specific info about wedding planners for your special wedding day. Why not contact a few of them and find out what they are about?
The wedding planner’s pricing depends on many factors. This may include the location, experience and different services provided by the planner.
When looking at a planner’s location, you might notice that it can be lower pricing for a wedding planner in a small town than in a big city. They know which prices to ask to get the clients they want and need to keep their business running. You won’t expect to pay the prices for a royal wedding planner to plan your small, intimate barn wedding, would you?
And, in all fairness, most wedding planners consider your budget before they go ahead with the planning of your wedding.
Most wedding planners have a set of standard packages to offer brides, along with a few add-ons. These packages include a full wedding planning package, a tailored package (to suit your specific needs), and a day coordination package.
A full wedding planning package includes every aspect of planning for your wedding day from A-Z. From setting up of appointments, to meeting vendors, planning of decor and flowers, and everything in between. Depending on the wedding planner, the contact terms for this package is mostly unlimited e-mails or phone calls.
The tailored package is designed specifically for you. Normally this means either to suit your budget or your specific needs. For example, some services in the full planning package are not required by you or you have a smaller budget.
You may find that some wedding planners are more in demand than others. This can all be because of the reputation, experience and client base. These wedding planners are normally more expensive, and rightly so. There’s a reason why they have such a stunning reputation!
You have to enquire with multiple wedding planners at once, because some of them may not be available on the date you have chosen. Be prepared when you enquire and make sure you do this well in advance of your wedding date. If you haven’t set out a date yet, then the wedding planner will help you to do this.
And finally, on the topic of availability, you get your celebrity wedding planners. Grab a number and get in line (with your wallet) because they are almost always fully booked and super expensive!
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