Getting the Most Out of Your Wedding Planner

Expert Mindy Home gives sage advice for working with an events coordinator.

When you hire a wedding planner, you know you’ve got someone on your side. This point person is your go-to gal (or guy) for all things big day, from calling the caterer about your must-have app choices, to finding the perfect jazz or funk band, to the finishing touches on your lace-covered reception tables.

Mindy Home, senior events manager at AE Events, gives us a few tips on how to get the most out of your wedding planner.

  1. Try to organize your thoughts in advance of any meetings with your planner. “As much as I make you feel like you are my only client, I do have others I am assisting. Their events are equally important to me,” Home says. “I would love to see two or three emails with multiple questions over one email per thought that you have that day.” Your face-to-face is also not the place to hash out the gory details with your beloved. Instead, talk with your spouse-to-be before you meet with your wedding planner so that you’re on the same page going in. “Everyone disagrees, but please try not to argue in front of me,” she adds. “My time and your time are valuable, and [arguing] brings all of our planning to an abrupt halt and can often be hard to move past in that meeting.”
  2. Be candid about family issues. If your divorced parents are in a tug-of-war over you and the wedding, tell your planner. Don’t like your sister? Tell your planner. “I learn a lot about you and your family and your future in-laws during the planning process,” says Home. “If I ask you what ‘family issues’ there may be, it’s so we can be ready to process any concerns or issues as they arise. Your thoughts, concerns, and ideas are important to me. I won’t let someone else dictate your wedding when it’s your wedding! Tell me if you don’t get along with someone… or if their style is not your style… or if you want your sister to handle one specific thing only.”
  3. Keep in mind that not every Pinterest wedding photo will fit into your budget. “Realize that some of the things you may see online, on blogs, or elsewhere may not fall into your budget,” she says. “I always do my best to help you realize your vision, and I’d like to say I can work a miracle or two, but sometimes you need to be ready to compromise to stay within the budget that we’ve outlined together.”  For instance, if lobster atop filet mignon atop something out of season and sprinkled with gold dust is your top wedding reception wish, then you might need to edit things elsewhere to make it work (e.g., no favors, less expensive linen, or losing an appetizer). “When I suggest these things, don’t pout,” she adds. “There’s a budget for a reason, and it keeps us all in check.”

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