outdoor wedding at a dairy farm
If you're engaged, once the initial glow of excitement settles down, you probably started a wedding to-do list. Have you noticed how quickly that list grows? That epic list of wedding-related tasks in one of the reasons I always, always recommend that my clients hire a wedding planner! And in all my years as a wedding photographer, I've NEVER spoken with a couple who regretted hiring a wedding planner ... but I have heard from several who realized too late that they should have hired one!

I've spoken before about why engaged couples need a wedding planner, but once you're convinced, you still need to actually hire one. So how do you find the wedding planner who is right for you? Here are a few tips:

1. Understand what you want your planner to accomplish for you.
Some wedding planners are visionary designers, while others are incredible organizers, and some combine both traits. Sit down with your fiancé and discuss what you need most from a wedding planner, so that you can direct your attention to planners who meet that need best.

2. Ask for recommendations.
If you have recently married friends, they're a great resource! When you ask them for recommendations, dig a little deeper to find out what that planner was like to work with. Wedding vendors also love to connect their clients with other amazing vendors! Ask the vendors you have already connected with to suggest planners that they respect and enjoy working with. Vendors who work closely with planners (your venue, your photographer, your florist) are especially good sources. I get questions like this so frequently that I made a vendor guide to share my suggestions more easily.

3. Get clear on what’s included in a planner's packages.
Most wedding planners are independent small business owners who have designed their service packages based on their own and their clients’ preferences. That can sometimes make hiring a planner a little confusing, because there isn't really a “standard, basic package” that ALL wedding planners will offer. Instead, there are an array of options, from design consultations, to day-of coordinating, to full-service planning. Take a close look at the service packages your potential planner offers, so that you know for sure what is included.

4. Make sure you like them as a person.
Whoever you pick to be your wedding planner is going to be a HUGE part of your lives in the months leading up to your wedding. Not only that, but you're putting a great deal of faith into them and their work. So it's crucial that you feel comfortable with your planner and most of all, that you're able to TRUST them. If possible, meet with your planner face-to-face and spend some time getting to know them. If face-to-face isn't an option, try to meet via Skype or FaceTime.

If you make your choice for a planner based on the above criteria, you greatly increase your chances of being thrilled with the result of this once-in-a-lifetime decision. You and your fiancé deserve to have an amazing, low-stress wedding, and I truly believe that hiring an experienced wedding planner is the best way to get that. Good luck on your search!

-------->If you're engaged and planning a wedding, I would LOVE to help you connect with some of my favorite wedding planners and the vendors. Click here to download a FREE guide to vendors I trust, admire, and adore working with!
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