Event planning : Ten rules of choosing a wedding planner In Nigeria

Just before you decide on the wedding planner you want to choose for your wedding, an expert in handling weddings and who will be instrumental in making sure goes according to your expectations and dreams .

Ten rules of choosing a wedding planner  In  Nigeria

This list informs you in detail, the  ten characteristics to look out for in your wedding planner before you choose her ;

1. Easy to contact and  readily accessible: 

She must be able to  return calls/reply messages/send mails promptly , responsive to your needs and have  contact details  that she can be easily reached in case she is not available. It does not make sense for an event planner to be responding to message weeks after an  inquiry has been sent.
A professional wedding planner should have Active phone number/email address/ social media pages and a website .

2. Well organised  and detailed : 
She must be  coordinated, have well laid out plans, alternate or backup plans in case the first option plans fails. She must be capable of paying attention to details, budgets, designs, costs, images, styles, color codes, . The little details make up the most important parts of the events . So every tiny,little point counts including the color of the serviettes.
Forget an event planner who is prone to distractions, loses focus easily, can not keep track of orders, unable to control or handle difficult situations, not calm or seem to have  a control of her emotions.

3. She Can Multitask:  
She should be creative, innovative, be flexible and can take on different roles as deemed appropriate.
Different situations calls for different approaches, various problems require various pragmatic solutions, Surprisingly there are wedding planners who have been known to act as usher/waiter/caterer/makeup artists/ Personal assistant/shopper/ hair stylist/ photographer/ gift wrapper/Dj/social media manager as the occasion demands for it.
Not necessarily that a wedding planner should have all these skills or be professionally trained in them. However she must be ready and willing to learn  to become equipped for roles she must take on in order for the event to go on smoothly and avoid disappointments.

4. Has good taste and style : 
A good wedding planner should have acquired  taste and style for  good things, she is a refection of what your wedding will be like. Although the wedding is about you, but your wedding planner should be up to date on the latest trends in wedding themes, styles, designs, decorations, know the most compatible types of weddings suited to her clients' purposes.
It is a common belief that wedding planners are perfectionists, however a wedding planner should also have a fun side , weddings are meant to be funny, classy, lovely and exquisite with each guest and the couple having good memories of the day.
A good wedding planner makes a well planned wedding look flawless, each event seamlessly flowing into another without no one noticing how much is going on behind the scenes in order to achieve such perfection.

5. Has a  great sphere of  Influence: 
A professional wedding planer worth her salt understands  that the wedding /event industry thrives on building a connection of the right contacts, networking with other wedding planers, wedding and reception  venues , wedding suppliers, wedding vendors and event professionals . The need for creating and maintaining relationships with other wedding practitioners is not only for exposure , learning and keeping up with wedding trends but it is also to get better discounts and deals for clients .
It is advisable to beware of wedding planers who insist on their own vendors just because for the kickbacks they will get , you must also be convinced of the vendors they will be recommending and that they are qualified for the job. However , getting a wedding planner to handle the sourcing of vendors is easier and cheaper on the long run , she can help you secure great and better deals, arrange for refunds in case of disappointment, no show up or poor service delivery.

6. Well balanced , Has a listening hear and understanding  : 
She must  not be  imposing or commanding,  she has a listening ear, listens to all sides carefully before  making an informed decision, be attuned to her clients' needs,  she can advice, suggest and also recommend but allows you freedom of choice and a final say in all decisions taken.

7. Good negotiation skills :

 In choosing your wedding planner, choose a person who has good communication skills, can calm frayed nerves, acts as a go between between vendors and clients, parents , family members, friends, negotiate for good prices, get good deals and effectively manage her resources to achieve great results.
Your wedding planner must understand all the legalities involved in getting married in Nigeria, can advise you on getting  a marriage license, prepare contracts  with vendors and wedding suppliers , negotiate agreements , arrange security and plan well ahead  for any eventuality .

8. Financially prudent : 
A  skilled wedding planner should be able to work according to budget , not o be extravagant , get carried away with high dreams, her feet must be firmly planted on the ground, know the prevalent  market prices, service cost . She must be able to prepare budgets, cost analysis for events and stick with it . Her goal should be not to make maximum profit, but to give the best services  to the client without going overboard, give remunerations for workers according to event industry rates and standards , ensure vendors are well paid for their services without anyone feeling shortchanged , cheated or duped.

9 . Comes highly recommended or referred by a trusted source;  
In case you are still confused on which wedding planner to settle for, ask for recommendations from trusted sources , better still ask  the potential wedding planner to show her  previous works (catalogs, social media pages, picture albums, videos ) , give referrals (previous clients or colleagues) that you can call or contact, ask to be  invited  to her  next events /jobs , so you can see how she and her team  handle live events .
Typically , friends and family members can be biased as to which wedding planner they will recommend to you, so ask from those who you will give you a professional opinion.

10. Trust your Instincts : 
Most importantly, trust your heart, wedding planning is a huge responsibility, it comes with the expectation of a high level of trust and working together, so it is of good advantage to hire a wedding planner you feel comfortable working within  relating to and trust to handle your fiances and your special day . There must be a connection and a common purpose of making sure your wedding urns out right and perfect.

Note : 
A wedding planner is not gender specific role, a male or female who are professionally trained are suitable for the position, but for the purpose of this post. I  have  used "She" , it can also be a "He" .

Copyright 2017
Adegbaju Christina 
Nigerian Event planner