The Social Connection

What to Look for in choosing a Wedding Planner/Coordinator

Wedding Planners and Wedding Coordinators are a great help in relieving the busy bride and groom of the stress and tension, as well as save them time and cost, in planning and preparing for the special day in their lives. Not only are they the advisers and guides in the planning process, they are also the organizers and implementers at the most crucial time - the wedding day.

While hiring a wedding planner is a great idea, you might find yourself at a loss as to how to start looking. In Metro Manila alone, there are over a hundred planners/coordinators listed in the wedding directories. To help out in your search for a good and suitable planner/coordinator for you, here are a few tips on what to look for before hiring one.

1. Check on their Experience. It is said that experience is the best teacher. You will definitely want to hire someone who has been planning wedding and events for years, and has done many various styles. For example, if you are planning a sophisticated wedding style, you may not want to consider a wedding planner that has only arranged small, less glamorous events. You also will want someone who has a wide network of different wedding suppliers, and who knows various venues for ceremony and reception.

2. Check on their Professionalism. You will want a full time wedding planner, one whose time won't be in conflict with an 8 to 5 job, and who can control his/her own time especially for appointments. It is best to check if the planner is registered with the Department of Trade & Industry or the Securities and Exchange Commission; has a business permit; and is associated with an organization that operates under specified code of ethics. Someone who has undergone training in a wedding seminar is a bonus.

3. Check the Contract. A good wedding planner provides a contract that should include necessary information such as the services to be provided based on your given requirements, duties and responsibilities; the fees and payment terms, the liabilities and accountabilities of each party, etc…While a quality wedding planner may be expensive, you should not pay more than necessary, so be sure that there are no hidden fees in the Contract that you may end up paying later.

4. Check out their References. Ask your prospective planner for references of previous couples assisted and follow up on them. These couples are the best persons to tell you how the planner performed from the planning stage and the preparation process until their wedding day.

5. Check out their Attitude and Personality. The most important thing is that you get along well with your planner. You will be working with them for months before your nuptials, and they will be at your side the whole day during the wedding. Be sure to choose someone you have a good rapport with. You can only find this out if you meet with them before hiring them. Interview at least three to four wedding planners, and ask questions that will give you an idea if he/she can see your own vision of your wedding.

Aside from the above, you may ask some detailed questions so you will know how they operate:
1. How many events do you coordinate in a month?
2. Will you allow us to choose our own suppliers, or do you work only with your preferred suppliers?
3. How many are in the team on the wedding day?
4. How will you communicate during the planning and preparation process? Do you have internet access? Do you have telephone/fax machines?
5. Does your team communicate by radio sets while working during the wedding? We would not like the staff running around?
6. What attire will you and your staff wear on the wedding day?

Once you have chosen your wedding planner or wedding coordinator, you can relax and enjoy the months ahead preparing for your dream wedding. Give your wedding planner your TRUST, even while you discuss and brainstorm on the plans, and surely you will come out with the best ideas in a pleasant atmosphere. You can now join the ranks of many happy brides and grooms who discovered that money was well spent when they hired a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator.

This article came out in "The Wedding Directory" of DPC Yellow Pages, 2007-2008 issue.
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