So your engagement was perfect — just like you always imagined. But now reality is starting to set in and like most brides, you’ve probably spent countless hours scrolling on Pinterest and flipping through wedding magazines. Your mounting to-do list includes everything from setting a date, developing a budget, picking a venue, caterer, dress…it seems to grow everyday! Planning a wedding can be daunting for any bride to be, and, like most, you have probably found yourself very overwhelmed. It’s time to enlist the help of a professional.
Enter your wedding planner — the key player for any successful nuptials. A good wedding planner can keep cool under pressure, coordinate logistics, communicate with vendors, assist in selecting a location and more. But with all the planners out there, how do you go about choosing the right one?
We’ve turned to our go-to wedding guru Amy Parman — also known as the director of events at Homestead Manor — for advice on finding the right planner for your big day. She’s shared a list of what to look for (and what to steer clear of) when going through the selection process.
- Understanding— First things first, a wedding planner needs to understand the scope of your needs. There are all kinds of planners in the industry. Some are “day of” assistants, and then there are partial planners for those who need help putting together details. Then there are others who will put together the entire weekend, including coordinating travel plans. There’s a wide range of services and pricing available, so the first step is to determine what you really need and then communicating that to the planner you’re considering hiring.
- Trackable presence-– When talking with different planners, make sure you are speaking with someone you can read review online or talk with past clients about their experiences. Any wedding planner can put all their best moments on their website. You should definitely look for someone who is transparent , either through public reviews on websites like WeddingWire or by providing a list of past clients you can reach out to. Be sure to look at what their standing is in the wedding community. A big part of the wedding planner’s role is to maximize relationships with vendors. The longer they’ve been in the industry, the more they will have to bring to the table.
- Initial feeling— Pay attention to how your first meeting or conversation makes you feel. The wedding process can bring up a lot of stressful emotions and relationships. It’s important you know your planner’s philosophy on handling tough situations while still being effective and make sure that aligns with yours. Put your thoughts and questions out there.
- It’s not about trendiness— Knowing the current trends is important, but there is so much knowledge available to anyone out there. It’s important to find someone you can describe your needs to and speak openly with.
- Availability— You need to understand when your planner is available and when they are not. Your planner needs to let you know when they are available to you. If they are answering your emails at 11 p.m., it could indicate a lack of organization. Know what you are getting into. It will save you a lot of frustration down the road.
- No structure– Whatever their structure is, they need to have a structure.
- Saying yes to everything— Avoid anyone who says yes right away to everything before asking questions, or someone who makes promises without first discussing costs. Say no to someone who never says no.
- Newbies— It doesn’t mean they aren’t talented or committed, but you are definitely taking a risk on someone who is really new to the industry.
Did you know that Homestead Manor boasts a team of talented event and catering professionals who can assist you in planning and executing your wedding day? From a personalized menu and space planning to unique floral design and special lighting, our team will work side-by-side with every bride from the initial consultation through the grand exit.
Weddings at Homestead Manor perfectly blend countryside charm and upscale hospitality in an unrivaled historic setting. Our elegant equestrian style event barn, complete with a dramatic stacked stone fireplace, soaring ceilings and wrought iron chandeliers, offers a spectacular view of the Homestead Manor grounds.
To learn more about hosting your Big Day at Homestead Manor, visit our events page here!