Wedding Planning: Traditional VS. Modern
There are so many issues to deal with when planning your wedding, that I can’t think of a better investment than a wedding planner! There is so much pressure and stress involved with coordinating all of the details of a wedding, that I am always amazed, how not only the bride and her family, but the engagement itself survives the process! (watching too much ‘Bridezilla’)
It is very, very important that your wedding planner not only be well-qualified, be very experienced, and have verifiable references (and that you do verify them), but you also will want to ensure that he or she has the type of personality that you can get along well with. Keep in mind that this relationship will require lots of interaction and that the atmosphere will be very intense at times!
It may be a good idea to invest the time to meet with potential wedding planners as many as two or three times, and note the dynamics between your two personalities. You should also call them a few times to see how easy it is to reach them, and how they react to you when you are calling without an appointment to do so. Manufacture a reason to call if necessary.
When you interview wedding planners you want to be sure this person or group has the right degree of assertiveness. You want them to ‘take charge’ in negotiations on your behalf and to be able to compel vendors and other 3rd parties to give you what you need; at the same time, they should remember that ultimately YOU are in charge, not her/him. No prima donnas need apply!
This means, for instance, that (within reason) you reserve the right to change your mind on any issue that has not been written in stone (e.g., reservations, or fees paid); so you will want the wedding planner to compile a list of options or bids and to consult with you before making any commitments on your behalf.
This also means that you can disagree with their assessment of a particular 3rd party vendor, venue, design, or whatever, and they will cordially defer to your wishes. Of course you will be respectful to your wedding planner, and hopefully you will be able to let them have enough freedom to do their job for you.
You also want to make sure that your wedding planner is readily accessible to you. This does not just mean they have a cell phone, which can have answering services, but they should have a pager, as well; maybe even a couple of different ways for you to reach them, during normal business hours, at a moment’s notice (this can be critical in the last few days before the wedding).
All of these issues should be agreed to in writing, before you sign any contracts with your wedding planner. As well, you want to be sure your wedding planner understands that you require that all agreements made on your behalf be legally binding. Documentation should allow clauses that include what legal recourse you would have if either the wedding planner, or any of the 3rd parties that they contract with on your behalf, do not perform to agreed specifications.