How to Work with a Planner

Say Something- Communication and honesty are a must. Your wedding coordinator should not have to beg you to plan your wedding. Most wedding coordinators will state in their contracts how much or how little communication is required. In some cases, failing to provide the information that they request or being non responsive in general can be considered a breach of contract. You could even get fired by your wedding coordinator with no refund of monies paid! Being busy is no excuse to ignore emails or phone calls. Planning a wedding takes a lot of time. Even with a wedding coordinator, you still are responsible for making some decisions. If you are notoriously indecisive or get easily overwhelmed by having to make a lot of decisions, my advice is to choose an all-inclusive wedding package where most of the decisions are made for you or your options are very narrowed down.

Money Talks- Be transparent about your budget and expectations and expect to receive that same honesty back. In other words, don’t expect caviar on a tuna fish budget. Be open to your coordinators ideas for how to pull off the look that you want. On the other hand, if you don’t have financial constraints, you should know exactly how your money is being spent. Your wedding coordinator should demonstrate how he or she plans on being transparent with you before you sign the contract. If your budget changes midway through the planning process, you shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed to tell your coordinator that you are going to have to nix the farm tables. Wedding Coordinators are resourceful. A good one will have several tricks up their sleeve for helping you achieve the look that you want without making you feel bad for having to make changes due to budget issues.

Contracts- Be specific with what you are looking for before you sign a contract. Sign a contract. An invoice does not cut it. The contract should specify what your responsibilities are as a client and what the coordinator’s responsibilities are. Just because he or she seems sweet, not having a contract is a recipe for miscommunication, unmet expectations by both parties and a host of other problems.
Take the time to get to know your wedding planner before you sign on the dotted line. Keep in mind that you will be working closely with this person for months and in the process, handing them a large sum of money. Every wedding coordinator will deliver their services differently based on their experience and how they have structured their company. Choose a coordinator who’s business structure is one that you feel comfortable with. For example, if you don’t want to read contracts then choose a coordinator that signs all of the vendor contracts. This coordinator likely has a lot of experience and a rock solid team of vendors that have consistently delivered a high level of service. If you want to be more involved and sign all of the contracts then find a coordinator who will do that as well. There is no right or wrong. It’s a matter of preference for you and the potential coordinator you plan to hire.

Make a Decision- Choose the right service based on your needs, not price. If you pay for package “A” but you are continually asking for things not included in your package, don’t be surprised when your wedding coordinator suggests that you move up to a package that offers a higher level of service. They may even present you with some a la carte options to customize your existing wedding package.
Your wedding coordinator is not a magician, a mind reader, fairy God mother or God. Even though a lot of us wish we were, well maybe not God, but you know what I mean. We really do want to please your socks off. After all, we are in the service industry, but no one wants to be taken advantage of. We know that it’s your wedding and your day and all that, but you can catch more flies with honey. Being a bridezilla is never cool and is a sure fire way to have your wedding planner wishing “your day” was over and done with.

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