We are, obviously, major advocates of hiring a party planner for your next big event. From weddings to Mitzvahs, it’s great to have someone by your side handling every last detail. One of the best things about hiring a planner is using their expertise and working with vendors that they recommend. There is an endless supply of “photographers”, “DJs”, “bands”, “caterers”, etc….but a solid planner will be able to hire talented vendors and the best people for your party. So, step one: hire a planner and not a “planner”; because, oh, did we mention…everyone is a “planner” now.
It seems that once someone plans their party, or especially, their wedding, without hiring a planner, they suddenly feel qualified to become a planner. They don’t work for anyone else, they just start their own company, charge ridiculously low prices and ruin what otherwise would be an amazing event. They start their instagram pages with inspiration pictures from pinterest, and come to facebook groups asking basic questions that experienced planners would already know. They charge their clients almost nothing, and frankly, that is more than they are worth.
Recently, a “planner” asked in an open forum for venue recommendations. She didn’t mention that she was a planner and many people assumed she was a bride. I, and plenty of other experienced professionals, handed over to her multiple suggestions before she had to admit that she was the planner. She also mentioned that “cost isn’t an issue” for the bride. Let’s look at this from the bride’s point of view: she is paying a “planner” for her advice and experience, yet this planner cannot even offer a venue recommendation without coming to facebook for assistance. This “planner” then takes all of these suggestions (that came from experienced professionals) and brought them back to her bride, and the bride assumes that this “planner” did actual research. How happy would this bride be to find out that her “planner” also said that cost “isn’t an issue”? It doesn’t matter the budget or lack thereof, you want to find the best option for your client. But this “planner” doesn’t know that because she has no experience.
I have also stumbled across a “planner’s” website that states her “years” of experience but she has no portfolio to show for it. In fact, all of the pictures on her instagram account are pulled straight from pinterest. Years of experience and yet not one picture to prove it? That’s very strange.
The bottom line is this: you get what you pay for and not all planners are created equal. When shopping for a planner, you want to make sure they have a solid portfolio, references, reviews and can back up their work. While a planner won’t give up their ideas during a consultation, they should be able to give you enough information to prove that they know what they are doing. No matter if they meet you in their office or Starbucks, they should always be able to prove that they have a solid background. Why pay for someone that goes to facebook for venue recommendations? It just doesn’t make any sense. A planner should be responsible for all of the decisions you are hiring them for, and if they are seeking advice elsewhere, how is that going to be possible?
I really didn’t want to have to write this blog. I am not seeking to tear down people that want to become planners either. There are a good amount of talented planners out there, you just have to make sure that you’re hiring one of them. Ask for the portfolio and the references/reviews. You have every right to know whom you are hiring.
Do you have a bad experience with a planner? Did someone ever lie to you about their resume and you found out? We’d love to hear your story! Please feel free to leave your comments here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d also like to thank the real planners out there. The ones that work hard to put together the best event for their clients and have the experience to back it up. You know who you are, and we do too. Cheers to you all and best wishes for the future!
Rothweiler Event Design