Choosing a Wedding Planner & Photographer

As you should know by now, I’m getting married in a couple months. As much help a planner is, there is still a lot for us (mainly me) to decide on. With Nick being in Canada he’s not really able to see everything to approve it so he’s basically trusting me to choose right (the pressure is real). I try as much as possible to summarize all meetings and to whittle down the choices of things to make things easier for him. So far this has worked really well. When we changed the venue he wasn’t even here when I chose the new one so getting his approval when he saw it was a great relief. Other major things we’ve done without him are choosing a wedding planner and a photographer. Even though he was here to help shop around for the photographer, when the decision was actually made, he wasn’t here.

So to choose our wedding planner it was really a no brainer but I wanted to be wooed and impressed with ideas. We only met up with two planners before the decision was made but meeting with the planner we didn’t go with actually gave us our venue which I am extremely grateful for. The major things I kept in mind to make my decision though were these five things:

1. How Comfortable are You With them

That initial meeting is really important. It may sound weird but if your energies don’t match then the planning process is going to be a difficult one. If you’re a laid back person, let them know so that they don’t continuously annoy you with updates. You may prefer to meet once a month up to a point and then once a week coming closer to the big day. Let them know how you want it all to go and if that matches with how they usually plan a wedding then that’s golden. The planner we chose actually worked with my Mum already for a couple things so we got to skip some of the awkward introductions. It made it a bit more personal rather than so formal.

2. How Quickly Do They Grasp The Feeling You Want

I say feeling rather than look because any good planner and decorator can put on a great wedding. The difference I think is how the wedding makes the guests feel. I find myself continuously saying I want my wedding to feel warm. I really want that intimate feeling and for it all to be a warm day, regardless of the weather. I think this also goes back to the look and theme of the wedding, whether it’s rustic, modern, or fairy themed. Whatever the look you’re going for, your planner should be able to get that vision and even give suggestions to make it better. If they don’t get the look you’re going for at the beginning, you may find yourself continuously explaining it which can get tiresome.

3. What Is Their Previous Work Like

Getting to know a planner’s previous work is important. This tells you how they’re likely going to plan and coordinate your wedding so if you’re hearing bad things or things you don’t like so much, that planner may not be for you. For planners that come with a decorator as well, this is also important, especially if they’ve done a wedding with a similar theme to what you want, they may not have to buy a lot of new things for yours which will keep your bill low.

4. What is Their Billing Style

Billing style is something I didn’t think about until I’d met with planners. Some planners bill you a percentage of the entire cost of the wedding. Whatever costs go into bringing your dream wedding to life, they will charge a percentage of that. Other planners may charge you a fixed fee with a schedule of tasks that they’re responsible for and if you want then to do anything more, there would be an additional charge. For me, I prefer the second style. If you’re a hands on type of bride and have done a lot of planning already, such as invitations and contacting vendors, paying a planner a percentage of what the wedding costs may include tasks that you’ve already taken care of. If your planner charges you a percentage of the cost of the wedding, just make sure they’re doing everything you’re going to be paying them for.

5. Who’s The Boss

It may be obvious and not even really a factor in choosing a planner, but it’s always reassuring when your planner makes sure that in all the chaos of a wedding, they turn to you for the final say on everything. Its inevitable for there to be multiple opinions for how a wedding should be but once your planner knows who’s boss, you don’t have to worry about there being included that you don’t like. This part comes after you’ve chosen your planner but it’s still very important.

For a photographer we didn’t really take too long to make our decision so here are some factors that we found helped the one we chose win out over all the others.

1. What does Their Previous Work Look Like

Previous work is always an important factor. Does your prospective photographer like to do candid photos or posed? Have they done weddings at the time of day that you’re having your wedding? Do they prefer to shoot in the morning or in the afternoon? Does their shooting style match how you want your pictures to look?

2. How Comfortable Are You With Them

I can’t imagine how weird a would be to have your pictures continuously taken by someone you find creepy or who you’re just not comfortable with. Meeting them before you book may sound like a no-brainer but that initial meeting is very telling. Make sure you like them.

3. What Shooting Style do They Have For Your Wedding

Based on how you’ve described the look of your wedding, how do they see your pictures looking? Are your pictures going to be playful or demure? Once they get a grasp on what kind of couple you are, it should be reflected in your pictures.

4. What Can They Add To Your Day

Some photographers may offer a photo-booth with props which can add to the fun of your day. It may be something you haven’t thought about and a fun addition for guests to have their own souvenirs from your day.

5. Does The Price Match The Service

Make sure that the price you’re paying matches the service you’re getting. Some photographers may charge by the hour while others charge by the day. If they charge by the hour, how do you choose which hours you want to be captured and if something extraordinary happens outside those hours, what are you going to do?

For more help with your own wedding planning, you can check out my Pinterest board  for some lists and pictures for inspiration I’m using.

Happy Planning! 🙂

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