I personally think planning is one of the most important jobs in our business. The sooner all of our clients understand the importance of having a planner, the sooner their events will run smoothly.
For myself, I get so frustrated when clients look at me and say, “Preston, I already did it all myself. Do I really need a planner?” My answer is always the same; you only need a planner if you truly want to enjoy your event.
A note to all of you brides out there: I promise you that there is a lot that you think you know that you really don’t. With that said, I completely understand your frustration in questioning the role of a planner. I have been around long enough to see the invaluable business of planning come to life. It is for this reason that I’m going to use today’s blog post to describe the two different kinds of planners in the hopes that it might make your choice easier.
The New Planner:
This is the planner who has up to two years of experience in the field (we all need to start somewhere). You might pay less for their services, which is fine as long as you do not expect the same quality of service you would from a seasoned planner. Even though there are great planning courses out there, nothing – and I mean nothing – beats experience. These planners most likely have excellent organizational skills (a big plus for you) as well as an amazing desire to learn, which can also be a huge plus. Still, speaking candidly, you are likely going to get what you pay for when it comes to their services. As long as you understand that hiring a newcomer is great, you have managed expectations, saved money and given a newcomer a chance to learn. After all, a lot of clients took a chance on me and some got good results while other results were not so great.
The Seasoned Planner:
These are the folks who have seen it all. I would say they have at least five years of experience navigating through disasters and learning from them. These are the planners who are going to be candid and tell you, “No, that will not work,” to your face (with a smile, of course). These are also the planners who, without question, will charge you more. In the long run, they might also help you save money and frustration. My only advice to you brides is to pay them well and ask them to confirm, in writing, that they are not collecting additional commissions from their vendors. We call that double-dipping.
The Bottom Line: Try not to hire a planner solely based on their fees.
I hope this helps all of you brides-to-be out there.
Now, I do not expect all of you planners to agree with me. What do you think of my advice?
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