So you’ve said yes, now what? First thing first: hire a planner. Even if you are going to use someone for event management services (what most people call a day/month of coordinator), book them first. This will allow everyone to start on the same page, create goals, budgets, timelines, visions and they can even recommend vendors they prefer to work with.
Your venue may come with a site manager or even an event coordinator but make sure someone will be present the entire duration of your event rental time. (It works best if it is the same person for the entire duration of the time.) That person should be able to work behind the scenes with your vendors and make sure you and your family are in the right place at the right time. Make sure they will know how to handle your centerpieces, DIY projects, and any decorating props/items you’ve brought or rented for set up, comfortable about stepping in if there are catering/bar issues, show you how to cut the cake and assist with any clean up at the end of the night.
Here are a few questions you should ask when interviewing a planner and/or coordinator:
- Ask them why should you hire a planner throughout the process vs an event manager?
- What is your level of experience? (years or number of weddings)
- Does their company have insurance?
- Are they a part of any local or national associations or groups?
- Have they been certified or did have they attending any classes for coordination (how long ago)?
- How many staff members do they have on hand during a typical wedding/event?
- Are they included in the pricing or an additional cost?
- Will they personally be onsite for the duration of the event (from open to close of the rental time)?
- We all know events will never go 100% to plan, has anything ever happened where a plan went astray and how did they handle it?
- Best memory from a wedding?
- How many events does their company handle in a day, week, and year?
- Are there extra fees or hidden costs that could arise during the planning process?
- Do they have any personal touches or details that make them stand out from other companies and planners in the area? Why should you hire them? What makes them unique?
- Ask them what does their typical schedule of a wedding look like? (Every planner has their own style)
Do they have any referrals that you can speak with or follow up with before making your final decision?
- And after last year, what are their policies on changing dates, locations and vendors? Even more scary…cancelation policies.
By asking these few questions you will see firsthand who are the professionals that are making dreams come true and will treat you both like a client and a best friend. There are some amazing qualified event planners throughout North Carolina, just be wise in choosing who is right for you and your special day. Your planner and event manager should be an extension of you. They should be able to take your vision and create magic. They should provide you and your vendors with a sound schedule and assist you in staying within your budget. A planner can truly save you time, money and most of all stress!
For more information or advice for wedding planning please contact Jennifer Ball w/ Knot Your Average Events. She offers free advice, ideas and tips of the day on her Facebook Knot Your Average Events Page.
Photo Cred- Michelle & Sara Photography & Yasmin Leonard Photography