Ask a Wedding Expert: How Do I Choose the Right Wedding Planner?

Janie Haas knows how to find your perfect match.

Welcome to Ask a Wedding Expert, a series where local pros answer your most pressing wedding-planning questions. Have one of your own? Email

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If there’s one person you’ll be leaning on most leading up to the big day (aside from your fiancé, that is), it’s your wedding planner. For this week’s “Ask a Wedding Expert,” we looked to Janie Haas, founder and president of Janie Haas Events. With four decades of planning experience under her belt, Haas certainly knows a thing or two about working with brides and grooms. Read on for her tips for finding your planning soulmate.

The Question:

How do I choose the right wedding planner?

Haas’s Answer:

Looking for the right wedding planner is like looking for the perfect life partner: Many may have the same credentials, but only some will mesh with your personality in a way that gives you the confidence that they’d be able to deliver the goods and make this uncharted process both fun and stress-free.

I recommend that every couple starts by asking the following of any potential planner:

    • How long have you been in business?
    • What are the services that you provide?
    • How do you charge for those services? Is it a flat fee, a percentage, or an hourly fee? (If it sounds complicated, beware!)
    • Are there limitations on the number of meetings with us, the vendors, or the venue?
    • Do you have a network of preferred vendors, or are you open and willing to work with others?
    • How many other jobs do you have booked for that same weekend?

You should also visit the planner’s website to see if it “wows” you, and if the photos resonate with your personal taste and style. Remember that a good planner should, budget permitting, design the wedding that the two of you envision.

Lastly, ask around! People who are referred by the planner are, of course, going to give that planner a glowing report, so start with people who are going to tell you the truth, such as venues and vendors who have worked with the planner often. The planner not only needs to work well with the couple, but also with the team that he or she has created. If the planner is well experienced, well organized and relaxed under any and all circumstances, the whole team will function well.

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