As a planner based out of Vail, Co there are literally twenty other wedding planners to choose from! Wedding planners are expensive, so it’s important to do your research and ask the right questions. These objective tips will help you narrow down the list, and choose the right planner for you.
HOW TO FIND YOUR POTENTIAL WEDDING PLANNER
Check the First Page of Google
For example, in my area you would search for “Vail wedding planner” or “Beaver Creek wedding planner”. This sounds obvious, but objectively the most popular planners will be listed on the first page. I’m not talking about the paid Ads at the top of the page. You can ignore those because anyone can pay to be on the first page. If you can find a local planner that you like, that’s an advantage because a local planner will know all about the venues and vendors in the area where you’re getting married. If an emergency happens on the wedding day, a local planner will be more likely to have the resources to fix it. After you find the planners on Google, check out their websites and see if you can eliminate or add any to your short list.
Check Wedding Wire and The Knot for Reviews
In Colorado most of the wedding planners I know host their reviews on Wedding Wire and The Knot. Click on the “best of weddings” icon to see who won the awards, and use the filter tool to look up planners in the area where your wedding will be. Otherwise The Knot will show you all the planners in Co, and there are over 300. You’re looking for not only how many reviews the planner has, but how many reviews they have compared to how long they’ve been in business. If a planner that’s been in business for 5 years and already has 50 reviews, but a planner that’s been in business for 10 years only has 60 reviews, I’d consider that a red flag. I’d also look at the reviews and make sure they seem legit. Does it look like the same person wrote them all? You can usually tell if the reviews are genuine. You also want to look for recent reviews. It doesn’t matter if their clients liked them 3 years ago. In the situation you don’t find a specific planner on Wedding Wire or The Knot, ask them where they host their reviews.
Check out their Work on Instagram
Especially if you’re looking for a full service planner, it’s important to hire someone who’s work you like. All the Colorado wedding planners I know are on Instagram. Obviously a planner that’s been in the industry longer, will have more followers, so the follower count isn’t the end all be all, but I’d still take it into consideration. A planner that has been in business for twice as long as another planner should have twice as many followers.
Don’t Use The Venue’s Preferred Vendor List
This isn’t always reliable. I used to work for The Ritz Carlton, and when I was at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, I was in charge of the Vendor List. This was literally the last thing on my priority list. The venues in my area are the same way for the most part. They usually will give out a list, but a lot of times the list is outdated, or it’s full of the current venue coordinators personal friends. It shouldn’t matter who the vendor coordinator likes to work with, it should be about picking the best wedding planner for you. Sometimes their lists are legit, so if you’re seeing the same names of the planners on their list everywhere else, I’d consider it. I do think it’s a big advantage to hire a wedding planner who’s worked at the venue, so when you’re interviewing planners, be sure to ask them if they’ve worked at the venue, and if you can see pictures and reviews from the weddings at the venue that they’ve planned. This is especially important if you’re considering a non local wedding planner.
QUESTIONS TO ASK THE WEDDING PLANNERS
How long has your company been in business, and how long has the wedding planner I’ll be working with been with the company?
If the company has been in business for 10 years, but the lead planner has only been with the company for 3, that should be considered.
How did you get into Wedding Planning?
Most wedding planners I know were doing something completely different before becoming a Wedding Planner. For example, they enjoyed planning their own weddings, so decided to become a wedding planner. There’s nothing wrong with that. I know a lot of fabulous planners that started out that way. However, If your considering a wedding planner that hasn’t been in business very long, but has a lot of industry experience, that should be considered.
Can you walk me through your planning process?
A confident experienced planner will be able to answer this question easily.
What do you charge?
If a planner is charging either way over or way under the going rate, that could be a red flag. I’d also ask the planners why they charge the way they do.
Do you bring assistants of the wedding day?
If they don’t it’s a major red flag. I bring 2-4 assistants with me on the wedding day, and there’s no way a planner that doesn’t bring any help, is providing the same level of service.
How do you stay current?
Some wedding planners are involved in professional organizations, go to conventions, or have certifications. I think this shows legitimacy, and if it were my wedding I’d want a planner that invests in themselves and their business, and stays current.