Real Weddings

Real Weddings Planning Guide 2014

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realadvice Wedding P THE QUESTION'S BEEN POPPED, the date's been picked — and now you're feeling overwhelmed by all the decisions that lie ahead. Planning and executing a wedding is a daunting task for even the most confident of us. But hiring a wedding planner can ease the process and transform it from Goliath-size proportions into a manageable, exciting and inspiring event. That's assuming you hire well, though. So the first question becomes this: How exactly do you screen and hire a wedding planner? FIND AN EXPERT "Ask about their credentials," suggests Tanya Peters, owner of Milestone Events, a wedding planning company with offices in Surrey, Vancouver and Kelowna. A variety of educational programs in wedding planning are offered today, so it's prudent to find out if your planner has, for example, a hospitality management degree, or merely planned their own wedding and set up a shingle. That being said, credentials are not necessarily a reflection of a planner's expertise, cautions Erin Bishop, owner of Filosophi Events in Vancouver. "I come from a time when there weren't many courses around, like there are now," she says. "Sure, it's helpful to have some schooling, but not absolutely necessary. It's what you learn by experience that makes you a good planner." If your prospective planner has a background in food and beverage and worked for a venue in the past, that's a good sign, says Peters. "It means they understand about kitchens, timing and all that stuff," she explains. "A lot of planners have an interior design degree and they can make a space pretty, but a background in food and beverage is really good." A TEST OF SKILL A lot of skill is involved in being a wedding planner. A good planner can handle crisis management, difficult personalities and a wide range of unforeseen circumstances, so their ability to plan well and be super-organized is crucial. "Ask about the most difficult problem they've ever had to resolve and how they resolved it," suggests Peters. Recently, Peters planned a wedding where, two hours before the event, one of the bridesmaids learned her dress was covered with brie cheese. Peters was unruffled. She called a concierge friend in Vancouver and between the two of them, they started calling every dry cleaner in town. "Swan Laundry on Burrard had the dress cleaned in 45 minutes, and at no charge," she says. "They just told us to pay it forward. But crises like that happen all the time. There's always something we have to rush in and take care of." It's important to learn about a wedding planner's experience before you hire them, says Bishop. "Ask them to describe how their planning process works, and how they 20 real weddings planning guide 2014 p20-23_Choosing Wedding Planner.indd 20 13-11-26 11:55 AM

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