Monday, March 19, 2012

more of the usual

Dear East Side Bride,

I finally got up the balls and listened to you (and the other commenters) here. [Editor's Note: Pls command+click or ctrl+click or right click or middle click, or, you know, whatever works for you, TO OPEN LINK IN A NEW TAB]

Thanks to everyone. I think I was just insecure about feeling like I was being a bad guy. But I bad-guy-ed up and kicked her to the curb. (as nicely as I could, of course).

But now I have another problem: How the hell does one choose a wedding day of / month of planner??

We live about 4 hours from where we're having our wedding so it isn't feasible to meet ALL of them. 

Do we choose by who has the nicest website? Who is the fastest email responder? Who has the best price?

None of these factors ensure a good planner. 

Does it not REALLY matter how good they are because they're only "day-of" and as long as they're doing SOMETHING it's good enough? 

What are the sort of questions you ask to narrow down the field of planners other than "are you available?" and "what's your price?" ?

Thanks again,
The Lone Planner (now looking for a sidekick)

P.S. Can I just mention that I'm one of those crazy borderline OCD planning people that makes half a million ranked & prioritized To-Do lists complete with labelled diagrams of tablescapes so I MAY just end up going crazy on the day of and insisting I do most of the work anyways?


please please please: hire whoever makes you feel the most calm.

just reading your email sort of makes me start to hyperventilate.

Image via Katie Rodgers via Jen Gotch via Hakanai (Does anyone know the original source?)


  1. Where are you located Lone Planner? Maybe we can give you some recommendations, which might be better than blindly choosing.

  2. I'll second esb, and add that you should talk to their previous customers. (If you're in the Atlanta area, I've got an awesome one for you.) This was, hands down, the best money that I spent for our wedding, and I was totally the OCD, multiple lists/spreadsheets type of bride.

  3. if you can't meet with them all, then at least give them a call, you'll be able to see right away if you have a repoire and if they are saying the right things/giving off the right vibes.

  4. yeah. at least chat with them on the phone for a bit. you can usually get a good feel for someone from that. combined with general email responsiveness and past references, you should be set.

  5. Skype them or chat on the phone. Let them lead the conversation. They should ask you enough questions to find out about your plans and then they should tell you how they will take those plans and make them happen.

  6. There are sites that give user reviews and recommendations. Don't ask me what they are, but I know they exist. Another option might be to ask the place you're having the event - they could provide you with a list. If you're having your wedding in Southern California, my day-of ladies were amazing. Stephanie Grace in Santa Monica. Finally, sounds like you need a meditation retreat recommendation in addition to a day-of coordinator. Godspeed.

  7. I am in the middle of planning a wedding and I already realized I may have hired the wrong planner. Don't get me wrong, she's fine - very nice, responsive, etc. The day of the wedding will come off without a hitch I'm sure, but here's the thing: I am much like you. I make lists, I organize, I have basically planned this whole wedding and the planner has just been running along behind me.

    In retrospect, I needed a planner who would deal with the stuff I don't like doing, ie budget, contracts, parents, logistics. My wedding planner really likes discussing aesthetics. She likes napkins and gift bags and all of the stuff I could do in my sleep. She doesn't like it when I veer from the "theme" we chose during our first meeting months ago.

    I feel like the wedding planner should be there to do the dirty work (hence the exchange of money), and mine just sort of waxes poetic about food and tablecloths. Figure out what your "dirty work" is and make sure your planner will handle specifically that stuff. I just assumed mine would handle the budget. She doesn't. She gave me a spreadsheet and I handle the budget. She could write you a five paragraph essay about fucking napkin rings though.

    Don't take anything for granted. Start with the stuff you hate and work backward. I hope that helps! And I agree, someone whose personality makes you feel relaxed is a good start!

  8. Ask them if you can contact one of their recent brides for a reference. I loved my planner and she frequently uses me as a reference. Her prospective clients have asked me stuff like: Did you feel she was organized and did she have everything under control the day of?
    Did you feel micromanaged? Or was her involvement just right, too little/lax?
    Any glitches the day-of that you thought she handled well or poorly?
    Did she take over as the primary contact for all your vendors, or did you still have to do some organizing?
    Did you feel her services were worth the money?

    I work in the wedding industry and have really seen the difference many times in how weddings flow with vs without a planner and I really, really recommend hiring a planner for the day of, at the very least.

    Also, you can check stuff like for reviews?