Hiring an event planner can be a little confusing, especially if its you’re first time doing so. You could be questioning how early you need to hire an event planner, how involved you should be, and what information you need to be giving them. I’ve compiled a list of things to keep in mind when hiring an event planner, to help put your mind at ease and ensure that everything runs smoothly. The tips below are for any kind of event however in the case of “day of coordination” it mostly refers to weddings.

Hire your event planner as early in the planning process as possible. A sizeable amount of weddings that event planners work are last minute hires from brides who thought that they could handle planning a wedding on their own, and realize they can’t or realize they need a day of coordinator. This makes our job extremely difficult because we spend a lot of time catching up with what is already planned and cleaning up the mistakes the clients have already made. The earlier you hire an event planner, for any event, the more relaxing the planning process will be for everyone involved, and the more successful your event will be.

Communicate with your event planner. Be sure to know what your goals and objectives are for your event. If you are planning a corporate event be sure the goals match those of the owner, board or planning committee. Communication is key in making sure that your event runs smoothly. Respond to emails, texts, and phone calls promptly. If any new information comes up or plans change, make sure to inform your event planner ASAP. We can only do our jobs properly if we are in the loop and know all the details of your event. We can not have part of the puzzle pieces or the event will not fit together properly. Which takes us to the next point…

Communicate with all of your vendors. You should inform the event planner of any guidelines or requests that you give your vendors, and vice versa. In regards to weddings “day of coordination” can be a nightmare for event planners if everyone is not on the same page.

Provide an inspiration/mood board for your event and diagrams of décor that need to be set up a specific way. Inspiration/mood boards help an event planner understand the overall feeling you’re going for with your event and facilitates our creative thinking. Pinterest is a great tool to use to gather your initial ideas onto boards however it can be a nightmare when you think you can pull all the logistics together by yourself without an event planner. Make your party or event boards private to share only with key players to always include the event planner.

Read your contract thoroughly and respect any deadlines and requests. Ask questions about anything that is unclear and make note of the deadlines. The longer an event planner has worked in the business, the more they have perfected their contracts. Odds are, any requests or deadlines they have included in the contract were added out of experience. Which leads us to one of the most important points…

Pay your event planner on time. Most event planners require that you pay them a week or more in advance of your event. Always pay them by your agreed upon date or you risk not getting all the services that you originally hired them for.

Written by Willie Ripple and Savannah Nichols