Odd title - I know. But this post has a lot to do with what I'll call the "saturation" of wedding planners in the marketplace. Not just in my neck of the woods - but everywhere.
Somewhere along the way - folks got the groovy idea that being a wedding planner must be the THING to do. Gee - on television it looks like fun, you get to go to parties (for free), you get to look at pretty flowers, eat great food, walk around with a clipboard and look important - yada, yada. So now, I can take off one of my Manolo's and throw it - and guarantee that I'll "hit" a "wedding planner/coordinator/producer/designer" in passing. The hardcore truth of the matter is this - it ain't like it is on television or in print. I wish it were - but it's not. I've reiterated this theory to many folks in the past - so humor me if you've heard it previously...it is something that definitely bears repeating.
1) It's a job..it's a profession. IT IS NOT A HOBBY
My hobbies are reading trashy romance novels and watching television. Planning a wedding for someone does not qualify as a "little something for me to do". Weddings are investments, both financially and emotionally - so the planner's mindset has to concur and understand that statement. This is how I earn my living, pay for tuition, drive my car, pay for the outrageous gas that goes into my car...you get the drift. Which leads me to number 2..
2) I charge for my services
And you are not going to get them for free - or for cheap. The price I quote you for service covers a myriad of facets and as such, they have to be taken care of. And that 3 pounds of grey matter residing in my head is worth a lot...it's a little piece of anatomy which causes me to think and create an event that is unlike any other - and that event will belong to you and your beloved. Nope - I'm not the most expensive game in town , but I'm not the cheapest either. I can never say this enough - in the wedding business, you DO get what you pay for. Like the kids say (mine especially) - "Don't get it twisted".
3) Experience matters
Yep - it sure does. I've got almost 16 years under my belt as a planner and trust me, I have been baptized by fire, brimstone and a few other things to get me where I am now. The road has not been easy...but I honestly wouldn't trade a thing for what I've learned along the way. Those 15+ years? They make a difference between being able to assertively think on your feet - or stand there looking like a deer caught in the headlights....
4) Cheap...is cheap.
It's nothing else. Not even remotely. Yes..there are many, many, many "wedding planners" out there who will quote you a fee of $250 to provide "day of" coordination services (actually, there is no such thing as "day of" - any true planner worth their salt will be happy to give you more details on that), but please......don't expect a lot of work for $250. If you really sit down and do a few computations, for the amount of work a coordinator does prior to the wedding (yes - we must work before the event, because we CANNOT just come in the day before and make things happen!) as well as on the day of.....let's just say for $250 - you'd be better off working in a retail store or a fast food joint..and let your employee discount be the "perk".
5) Think About It
When you make the decision to hire a wedding planner - it's a pretty big one. This is the ONE person who will know everything about your event, all of it's machinations, quirks, complexities...the planner has the eagle eye on it all. So you want to mesh with someone who can see eye to eye with you AND beyond the realm of what most people think about. Your wedding is YOUR wedding and as such, should reflect who you are as a couple. Your relationship, your "love style" are all things which should be ever present on this day...the planner is the person who takes it all and makes it happen in wonderful, glorious form.
It's okay to interview a few planners - after all, next to the photographer, this is the person you'll be spending the most time with. Ask hard questions, see how the planner's overall persona and personality is - and does it vibe with yours? Don't let price be your only criteria for selection - 'cause honestly, that WILL be your undoing. Ask me how I know........
Seriously, everybody and their mama is jumping on the wedding planning bandwagon. Make sure that whomever you select is not a follower...but a leader. This is a decision that if made correctly and with thought - will net you a day that you've only dreamed of.....