Do Your Homework!

Every wedding vendor in the world knows that every bride in the world is on a budget.  Even if it's $100,000 or $1,000,000, it's still a budget.  But the worst thing any bride or groom can do is hire a wedding "professional" solely one the basis of price. Recently, Baltimore-based bridal consultant Linnyette Richardson-Hall posted a great article in her blog, Confessions of The Wedding Diva:

"...I'm going to need ALL of the non-professional, 'wannabe', think-you-are wedding planners/coordinators/producers/directors (take your pick here!) to step aside and let the true blue pros handle all of this matrimonial/wedding planning/coordination stuff. If you don't know what you're doing - just step away from the bouquet!

This is a topic that has come up before, not only for me, but for my colleagues also. Honestly, I'm sick and tired (and I'm sure that I speak for my 'professional' brethren also) of these shenanigans. What part of 'there are no do-overs' don't you get? What part of 'you need a business plan' don't you understand? What part of 'you need to know what the heck you are doing before you open up shop and say "I am a wedding planner"' do you need me to explain to you?

Folks - cheap is what it says it is. Cheap. Really. So don't just base this important decision on price alone. ASK for references, ASK to see previous work, ASK about payment plans/policies, ASK what their wedding planning philosophy is, ASK how much EXPERIENCE they have under the belt!!"

This is just a little snippet of the post, so be sure to click here to read the entire thing.  For anyone who hasn't hired a wedding planner (or really any vendor, for that matter), please take Linnyette's advice seriously:  do your homework, check references, look at samples from past weddings.

I live in the real world, and I know that our prices or style at First Coast Weddings may not fit every bride's needs.  But I am also more than happy to help you find the right coordinator for you - one of the major benefits of membership in the Association of Bridal Consultants is having a network of professionals at my fingertips.  We are lucky here in North Florida to be very friendly with our "competition" and we all want what is best for the bride and groom - if we aren't the right fit, we'd love to help find someone who is.  In fact, I just spent an entire weekend with three of my so-called-competitors traveling to an ABC State Meeting, and we had a blast together.

So please ask us questions!  Even if you aren't our client, we are more than happy to provide references for any of the vendors we have worked with on a regular basis.