Last week, we talked about the different kinds of wedding planners in which Charlottesville brides may be interested. But once you decide you are going to hire a planner, how to you pick the right planner for you?
1. Researching Charlottesville Wedding Planners
When we suggest that you do research, we don’t just mean googling “charlottesville wedding planner” and working down the list. These days, someone with fabulous SEO (search engine optimization) tactics might show up high in a google search even if they aren’t doing a significant amount of work in the area. We have three suggestions for doing research on wedding planners before you make your short list of people to contact.
First, consult some online vendor guides (may we suggest our sister site, One Sweet Wedding?). Not only will planners present themselves in these guides, their profiles will often include reviews from real Charlottesville brides.
Second, look at wedding blogs. Some brides get overwhelmed by all the inspiration on wedding blogs, but we think you should look up blog posts that feature Charlottesville weddings. Looking at their past weddings can help you understand which planners are involved with weddings that might be like yours in size and scope. You may also get a sense for how many events a planner takes on during a season (though be careful about this since some blogs feature weddings from several past seasons).
Third, get the word out! Word of mouth can be so helpful when there are many options to consider. Let everyone in your circle know that you are looking for a planner and see what information comes your way. You won’t only hear about the planners your married friends used, you’ll hear about the ones they considered and why they hired their planner.
2. Interviewing Charlottesville Wedding Planners
Once you narrow down the list of Charlottesville Wedding Planners to the handful whose style and reputation interest you, you should set up informational interviews. Some planners may invite you to their office and others will suggest a meeting at a local coffee shop (this is so common that you can sometimes meet multiple planners in the same location in an afternoon!). We think you should go into the meeting with a list of questions about how the planner operates and also assess whether your personalities are a good match.
- Does the planner show interest and enthusiasm for your vision?
- Does this person have experience working with venues and vendors that interest you?
- Can they cite examples of weddings they’ve planned that were similar in size, style, and budget to the one you envision?
- Will this person ensure that your vendor contracts are executed properly so that you can truly enjoy your big day?
- Does the planner have a support team of assistant who will help attend to the details at your wedding?
- Does the idea of spending several months communicating with this person excite you?
You should also inquire about the number of events the planner will be overseeing while you plan your wedding and get a sense for how often your planner will be willing to meet/talk about your wedding. You’ll find that your need to communication will increase dramatically as your approach the big day and you want to make sure your planner will be available to you!
3. Checking Charlottesville Wedding Planner References
Though we already mentioned getting suggestions for planners by word-0f-mouth, once you have whittled your list of potential planners down to two or three, you should asked for several recent references from each. We mention making sure you are contacting recent brides because a planner’s style and work load can change from season to season. You’ll want to here from the previous season’s brides or mothers-of-the-bride see hear the most up-to-date information about the planner.
4. Sign a Contract with your Charlottesville Wedding Planner
Once you select your planner, be sure to sign a contract that outlines the services you require, fees, and a payment schedule.