Many engaged couples walk into the wedding planning process knowing a lot about what they want in a wedding – colors, venues, destination location, and bridal party attire included. Some have no idea, and are shopping around for ideas to inspire their event. Whichever category you fit into, booking a planner can be a positive and productive experience – and you may learn something new, or realize what you want, in the process!
Here are five things to never leave at home for a planner consultation:
1. Your Support System – whether its your fiancé, your sister, your mom, or your best friend, your support system is there to give you emotional encouragement, and share in the planning process with you. Make sure you bring along the person that you trust, who makes you feel empowered to share your ideas and vision with your prospective planner. As we know, these meetings are a lot of fun with the right attendees!
2. Your budget – many times, engaged couples will have worked out a prospective budget before beginning to look for a planner. Some couples may not have an idea of how much the wedding of their dreams will cost, and are looking to their planner for guidance. The wedding budget provides a blue print for the planning and vendor selection process, and also keeps everyone on the same page. If you’re working with a particular budget, be it tight or extravagant, be sure to share that with your planner, so that they can provide guidance around how to make the best use of that investment. We will review your priorities and needs to provide insight on how to best allocate the budget.
3. Any vendors you have already booked – if you’ve already booked the band, the lighting company, the cake baker, and the venue, that’s great! If you haven’t, that’s also okay. Just be sure your planner has a clear picture of the contracts that are already set in stone, so that they can help you fill in the gaps, as well as watch out for potential pitfalls. Since typically your planner will take over contract management at some point in the process, you want them well aware of all participants on the vendor side.
4. Your vision – be it a mood board (why yes, we like Pinterest), paint chips, fabric swatches, or a binder titled ‘The Great Big Book of Everything’, bring it with you! Not only do we LOVE looking at pretty pictures, colors, and ideas, but it will also help you to convey your expectations to your planner in a really visual and clear manner. If you already know what you want your floral arrangements to look like but have yet to select your florist, bring a series of images to your planner – not only can she make recommendations, she can also help you manage cost and other intangibles that you might not think of (for instance, peonies in December would need to be imported, and that would likely provide you with an additional cost).
5. Questions – prepare a list of questions about items you’d like to cover, from the planning process in general to the planner’s particular work style and services. This is the time to discuss any uncertainties you have regarding the planning process and any special needs or requirement you have for your big day. Your planner is there as a major supporter, coach, cheerleader, and organizational maven for your big day – no question is too small or unimportant!
6. A notebook – write EVERYTHING down! You want to be sure you leave your prospective planner meeting with a clear idea of what was discussed, next steps, and whether or not you think a partnership with the planner would be a good fit – and you simply cannot do that unless you keep detailed notes. We love our laptops at KLE, and take vigorous notes on both web apps (like Evernote), as well as in cute notebooks. Whatever your style, make sure you’re keeping a record of your meeting – it’s always great to refer back to your notes as you move forward in the planning process.