When you first get engaged, the idea of planning your wedding will likely fill you with complete joy and plenty of excitement. But, once you start to dive a little deeper, you will likely start to learn more about all of the details – big and small – that come together to create a flawless event. There are pieces to source, vendors to find, and styles to finalize, plus so much more.

Even though it truly is meant to be fun, planning a wedding can feel like a full-time job. But, it shouldn’t. In order to help you to enjoy the process (and your engagement!), one of the best things you can do for yourself, your guests, and your soiree is to work with a wedding planner.

Below, I’m diving into where to start when looking for a wedding planner, the things you will want to keep in mind during your search, how to know when you’ve found the right planner for your day, and more. Keep reading!

Ask for Recommendations + Search Online:

Referrals from friends and family are one of the best ways to find and work with great professionals, no matter the service you need. So, talk to those you love! At least one of your friends likely worked with a planner he or she loved. Another route to take is to ask for recommendations from vendors you have hired. Whether it’s a florist, photographer, or venue, everyone in the wedding industry has people they are happy to recommend.

If you still feel uncertain based on recommendations that have been provided to you, read reviews online and turn to social media. The geo tag feature on Instagram allows wedding professionals (and everyone else!) to tag their photos with a specific location. If you have chosen your venue, look up the geo tag and scroll through the tagged photos. You will likely land on a photo that a planner has tagged from a past wedding they planned in the space.

Look at the Planner’s Style:

Every wedding professional has a style they gravitate toward, and wedding planners definitely fall into that group! Spend time looking through the planner’s social media pages to see glimpses of the work they have done. You can also visit their website to take a closer look at their portfolio. Perusing a planner’s work is key, especially if you have a vision in mind for your event. You will want to make sure that planner’s style can work well with what you have in mind!

Schedule a Phone Call or Meeting:

Before you officially sign a contract and likely shortly after sending an initial email, the planner you’re considering will likely ask you to either talk on the phone, schedule a video chat or meet in person. Jump at this opportunity! And, if it’s not suggested, make sure to ask to speak further.

The reason why chatting on the phone, having a video chat or meeting in person is so important is because we can all edit our writing before we press send on an email or even a text. But, a phone call will give you the chance to consider whether you feel the planner’s style matches your own, if their communication style can mesh with your preferences, and if the planner can quickly and easily answer the questions you pose without hesitation. Kindness is key, and you will want to make sure this trait is coming through loud and clear during your call or meeting!

Assess Their Personality:

Similar to the importance of scheduling a call or in-person meeting, another don’t miss moment is to assess the planner’s personality. There definitely isn’t an official test for this piece, which is okay because the best way to decide if you and the planner can work well together is to listen as they speak.

Do you stay on the same page? Can the planner clearly answer your questions and calm your nerves? Does the planner work well with families? How do you think your family and wedding party will react to the planner (and vice versa!)? Does the planner seem calm and reassuring? The questions go on, but the idea is clear and simple: Do you like the person you’re speaking with? If the answer is yes, proceed! If you hesitate at all, continue your search until you can offer a resounding yes.

Decide on a Service Level:

Most often, wedding planners offer a variety of service levels. You will most often see full service wedding planning (I refer to it as Premiere Wedding Planning), partial wedding planning, and wedding management or month of wedding planning (both essentially mean the same thing).

Full service works best for couples who want their planner to guide them throughout their entire wedding planning process. Partial is wonderful for couples who want to plan some of the details, like their venue and caterer, but would like help deciding on the details, like style and florals. Month of refers to a planner who will start working with you either one month or several months before your wedding day to tie up all of the details.

All planners are present on your wedding day because the whole idea is to allow you to be present and enjoy your wedding day.

Now that you know how to find a wedding planner that’s right for you and your day, send me a note to see if we’re the right fit for each other and your event in Arlington, VA and beyond!

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