25 tips for working with a wedding planner
Advice from some of the best wedding planners in Toronto
Hiring a wedding planner for part or all of the planning can streamline your focus and help reduce your overall costs. We asked some of the best wedding planners in Toronto how couples can most effectively work with a wedding planner. Here’s what they had to say:
“The best way to utilize a wedding planner is to collaborate with the wedding planner. You have someone to bounce ideas off of; you have someone that is excited to talk about your plans, someone that is genuinely interested and not sort of tired of talking about your wedding. I think when people have support like that, they can enjoy the process but when they don’t, that’s when the ‘bridezilla’ or ‘groomzilla’ sort of rears their head, when they’re feeling stressed and alone and without support. Trust and communication are essential to have when working with a wedding planner.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Tara from BLISS
“My advice to a couple considering a wedding planner is to choose someone who you feel comfortable with and trust to have your best interests at heart. After all, this is your wedding and you want to be able to look back on the planning process and your wedding day as a very positive experience that led to a wonderful day in your life. A wedding planner should be someone you trust to represent you and your interests as well as whose experience and know-how you can and should tap into throughout the process.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Melissa & Gabi from Spectacular Spectacular
“Hire a planner or book a session with a planner at the very start – before you book a venue – before you book a date. Even if it’s for a pre-planning session (which I offer for $400) – it will arm you with a list of resources and a plan for getting your own planning done (whether or not you decide you need full planning in the end or just day of, or nothing at all). Most people pick a venue and a date or other venues before they have drafted a proper guest list or budget – a planner will walk them through all the things they should consider before jumping in head first. If you NEED peonies – a planner will tell you which months they are available and which weeks they are even cheap! (3 weeks in June by the way… that’s your take-away for today kids)”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Karina from Karina Lemke Weddings & Events
“There are so many different styles of planners. Some planners act as consultants and point you in the right direction. Some planners track your budget and manage the logistics. We focus on creating really whimsical and creatively designed party experiences that really are undeniably beautiful while ensuring the planning process and the actual event are flawless. You have to find the right planner for you! Our couples certainly benefit from our unmatched design concepts and the ability to execute a flawless party.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Melissa from Melissa Andre Events
“The most advantageous position is to hire a consultant in advance of booking a reception venue. Such a significant amount of money is spent on the venue, food & beverage, resulting in a planner’s ability to pre-negotiate the venue contract in advance of the couple committing. There are also many hidden gems in the city that a planner can propose to couples – ideas and venues that would not have otherwise been considered. For the duration of the planning process, the services of a planner are best utilized as a support system, resource of information, and as a critical path to follow, to ensure nothing is forgotten, and reputable vendors are contracted every step of the way.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Leena from Let’s Party Consultants Inc.
“Couples need to trust their wedding planner, particularly in the case of destination weddings, as we are looking out for their best interests and know the local vendors. Destination Wedding planners make suggestions on creative ideas, best vendors and realistic expectations for the destination.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Tara from LUXE Destination Weddings
“I’m never in the business of trying to “sell” more, however, the full wedding planning package is by far the best for value and effectiveness. Sometimes couples think they may save by doing some legwork and booking Aunt Kaye for the flowers, best friend Beatrice for the cake but it never amounts to the savings they hoped for. Kaye and Beatrice can still contribute because personal friends and family touches are irreplaceable. Rarely are they the big-budget savers.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Liz from Great Events
“Having someone take charge of all the aspect of their wedding day gives couples a great sense of relief. Most clients find the entire process pretty overwhelming and feel that with so many details something is bound to go wrong or be missed. And the truth in most cases something does go not-according to plan but that’s a wedding planner’s job – to fix it without the bride and the groom knowing it ever event took place.
I also find that most clients who come to us really seek our professional help leading up to their big day. They are busy professionals who do not have the time to spend endless hours of research looking for vendors. They also come to us to create an event that is done much more effectively than one they could plan themselves. After all, if they could do it themselves they would most likely not seek our expertise. Our job is to take the couples ideas and elevate them, creating an unparalleled event. Just as our motto states: Unparalleled Events. Happy Brides.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Roxy from Art of Celebrations
“Know WHO you are hiring. Do your research. Love their work. Make sure they “get” you. Investing in a Planner who gets you is an effective use of budget as they will be intimately involved in every detail of your big day. They need to be part Expert, best friend, therapist, and a million other roles. You MUST be on the same page with your Planner.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Crystal from Distinct Occasions
“A good wedding planner will save a couple time. Time is one thing we can’t ever get back. As a planner I take the stress out of making decisions, deal with the million little details so the day of the wedding the couple can enjoy every minute of the day.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Melissa from One Fine Day
“A wedding planner’s role is determined by how involved a couple wants to be in the planning process. Some couples benefit from a hands-on planner and they bring me on board from start to finish, and I walk with them through to selecting the perfect venue to sourcing out all their vendors. Other couples love to do the planning themselves and don’t mind the grunt work involved, and bring me on closer to the wedding day to take care of details. It all depends on the couple.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Rebecca from Rebecca Chan Weddings & Events
“Listen to their advice, planners have years of experience, and sometimes experience in different fields of the wedding industry; they generally know what they are talking about. It’s always nice to have someone else to bounce ideas off of as well!”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Melissa from Gurley Events
#1 – They need to trust their planner. If a planner says she will do something or take care of an aspect – going ahead and trying to source that vendor without her guidance or just sharing the intention is counter-productive and creates an unsettling environment.
#2 – On the flip side, couples need to be active decision makers. When I ask or strongly encourage my clients to make a decision about something and they aren’t able to (indecision, procrastination, uncertainty) it loosens a cog in the wheel. Indecision can be paralyzing and will affect almost all other aspects.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Kate from Kate MacKenzie Weddings
“Couples can most effectively utilize a wedding planner by communicating all their wedding vision needs and relinquishing the responsibility of communicating, organizing, planning and dealing one on one with vendors to us. At Truly Yours Planning, our role will be that of advisor and coordinator. Our couples will make the actual selections of service providers and we will implement those selections. Let your wedding planner do the research, book your appointments, organize your wedding paperwork, prep the checklist and timelines so you can go ahead and make the most important decisions, you get the final say, on everything!”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Diana from Truly Yours Planning
“The reasons for hiring a planner are simple – they will save you time and money. They will take the stress off your shoulders when it comes to wondering who will take care of all the little details on the wedding day. They will hold your hand throughout the process and give you access to the contacts, knowledge, rates, and ideas that they have spent years accumulating.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Lynzie from Love By Lynzie Weddings & Events
“It is always nice to have the ability to have a full-service wedding planner, but if that isn’t possible, use the referrals. We know who is going to be the best in the industry for the type of wedding you are having. If anything, a couple can do the work contacting the vendors, but to just start an Internet search on ‘cake designers’, they will have hundreds of options. We can narrow that list significantly for you in a single email or phone call.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Whitney from W Events
“There are so many benefits to hiring a wedding planner. Whether it be, to use us as a resource for finding other vendors, negotiating contracts, budget planning, day-of coordination or carrying out behind-the scenes duties, the overall relief of stress on the couple is our end result, always.
Every couple is different so their needs will vary. It is our job to make their experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible, so I would encourage them to be open and honest about their expectations of a wedding planner.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Carla from Trade Sensation
“If you’re not a great cook you eat out at a restaurant. If you’re not the best at keeping a clean home you hire a cleaning service. It’s the same with your wedding. If you don’t have the time or don’t know how to plan a wedding then hiring a wedding planner is the best investment you can do to make the planning process a lot easier. You have to know what your strengths and weaknesses are to determine what you need the most help with. It could be that you’re not good at budgeting, researching vendors, designing an overall decor scheme or it could just be that you don’t know how to manage your time. A wedding planner will help you focus on the areas you need the most help with.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Laura from Tula Events
“When working with a wedding planning company like Event/Narrative Management Group, couples first need to be comfortable with our team, choose this company carefully and make sure we can deliver your vision. Be clear with us about your realistic budget, what your likes and dislikes are, so we can read you and understand your wishes. When I pitch an idea to a client, the answers I like the most are “I love it” or “I hate it.” Either of these two answers we like because they don’t beat around the bush.
One of the biggest challenges being a ‘party’ planning professional is that many people think they know how to throw a good party – some do, many don’t, we have all been to those events. What works for a dinner party in your home, doesn’t necessarily translate into 100+ people at your wedding. I know a little bit about urban planning, but that doesn’t make me an urban planner. Chances are the reason the professional knows something isn’t going to work is that we’ve tried it. You are hiring your planner’s expertise, use it.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet David from Event/Narrative Management Group
“Let your wedding planner take the lead. Trust them and let them do their job. The wedding planning process ebbs and flows. There are times of great busyness and there are also down times. Make sure you do your due diligence when hiring a planner. Check reviews and references. Be 100% confident in the planner, then hire and let them do their jobs. You won’t be disappointed.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet ArthurK from Fusion Events
“Our advice to couples is: have at least some idea of how you envision your wedding to be. It doesn’t matter how much or how little detail it is, because it is your wedding and it represents you. No one knows this better than you. The wedding planner is there to help conceptualize, plan, and execute your wedding based on this, and they can work wonders. However, if you do not start with some idea, you may end up running in circles and spending a lot of your own precious time as you filter through large quantities of ideas the planner suggests to you.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Carmen from Devoted To You
“Work with a planner from the beginning. Some of those initial decisions you will be making surrounding the style, location, and cost of your venue dictate a lot of your decisions moving forward. A planner may have a concept or location in mind for your wedding you may not have considered which can result in easier logistics and less stress on your budget. Trust your planner, you hired them because of their experience and ability to look forward to any possible problem that could arise on your special day.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Melissa from Lustre Events
- “Get your wedding planner to look through the contracts with vendors before they are signed. Some contracts might be tricky and wedding planners usually know those tricky parts and will help you avoid any disappointments at the end.
- A good wedding planner has the industry connections to get lower, ‘insider’ pricing that isn’t available to the average consumer.
- A good wedding planner will keep you on track with your budget and will also provide you with a clear timelines.
- Wedding planners have a list of trusted vendors, that will help you to save your time.
- Of course the most fun part is to design and to style your wedding together with your wedding planner. She or he will give you options to choose from and will help you to put all pieces together.
- And finally, you have a professional “to-go person” if you have any questions, need advice or suggestion or just want to chat with someone about your big day and get opinion.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Fidan from Designed Dream Wedding Planning
“Use the wedding planner’s extensive knowledge and resources! Wedding planners have a ton of connections to many vendors and know what works and what doesn’t. As well, many wedding planners attend professional development courses and do a lot of research online to learn about the newest trends and most effective way to plan a wedding.”
Toronto Wedding Planners – meet Michelle from Fab Fête Event Planning Boutique
“It isn’t until someone plans a wedding, or any event for that matter, will they realize the amount of hard work and organization it takes to execute an event seamlessly. Organization is key in with any event planner! Both types of couples can benefit from a planner: those who either know what they want and need help putting it all together, or couples who aren’t sure where to start. Wedding planners know the ins and outs of the event as a whole. I think people think planning is all about the creative aspect; while that is definitely a major element to it, a lot of it is about logistics – budgets, seating charts, timelines, etc., to have it flow impeccably.”