How to Pick The Perfect Planner

by: Bruce Russell

You know when you’ve met ‘the one’ – there will be a spark, that chemistry that makes you click and in that moment you realize you need look no further. And, no, I’m not talking about your fiancée, but rather when you’ve paired yourself with the perfect wedding planner! And it isn’t an easy decision to make – there are a number of elements to consider, from likeability to logistics, budget to responding to the brief and it’s ultimately an immensely personal choice.

My advice would be to take your time choosing and ladies, please don’t forget your groom – involve him in the decision making process and ensure you’re both happy with the final decision.

To make the process a little easier, here are some top tips on how to pick the perfect planner:

1. Chemistry: There’s nothing like meeting someone face-to-face. Whittle-down a shortlist and take the time to meet a handful of potential planners so you can really get to know them. It’s all about whether your personalities ‘mesh’ – if there isn’t a spark or you aren’t ideologically aligned then the next few weeks or months could be trying. You may not be marrying your planner, but you will be spending almost as much time with them as with your fiancé in the run-up to your wedding!

2. Do your homework: Ask around – word of mouth is invaluable, research online, get references (if you can) and take a look at the past weddings they have produced. Don’t get hung up on the stylistic details as a good planner can adapt around your specific needs, but do make sure you feel confident in their professionalism and ability to do the job – they have an important task ahead…

3. Check the date: The last thing you need is to embark on the planning process only to find that your potential planner is already booked up with another wedding on your special day

4. Money Money Money: Nobody’s preferred topic of conversation, but it is so important to be transparent about your budgets from day one. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what your planner does and doesn’t include in their services and whether they will be on hand throughout the full planning process as well as on the day itself – it’s important to discuss the nitty-gritty in the early stages to avoid any problems down the track.

5. Don’t get lost in translation: You may or may not have decided where you want to tie the knot before you’ve met your planner but linguistics are a crucial consideration if you’re planning a destination wedding. If you’re heading for sunnier climes, ideally have in mind roughly where you’d like to marry and choose a planner who can speak the local language and with good contacts ‘on the ground’ – this is invaluable when it comes to liaising with suppliers and venues.

6. Stay true to yourselves: Make sure your wedding planner remembers whose wedding it is! As a planner, it’s all too easy to get carried away with creative enthusiasm but I always take a step back and remember that my role is to create a day that is a real reflection of the couple. I simply guide and advise along the way. Don’t let a planner force their ideas on you!

7. Take time to trust: Invest time and effort in your relationship with your wedding planner and gain one another’s trust. Inevitably not everything will go 110% according to plan but, as the bride and groom, you luckily won’t be any the wiser! A good planner is calm, efficient and - above all - professional. If, on the day, there are any little mishaps, they alone should deal with these, safe in the knowledge they have your full trust and confidence.

And if you decide on me, well that’s wonderful!

During Brides The Show, Bruce will be hosting his popular Bridal Promenades: a series of private 45-minutes tours of the show to visit a selection of hand-picked exhibitors. Your experience will begin at The Bridal Bar, with a short consultation as you enjoy a glass of Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine. For more information please contact: