How Early Should I Hire a Wedding Planner? If you came here for a “one size fits all” answer to the question “how early should I hire a wedding planner?”, I am here to tell you that the “one size fits all” answer does not exist. Just like every person is different, every wedding is different.
Wants, needs, and logistics will play a role in creating your real-world wedding. Before you even ask yourself when you should hire a wedding planner, make sure you have answered ‘yes’ to all of the following questions:
Did you answer yes to the questions above? If so, keep reading.
The popular consensus is that the time to hire a wedding planner is before you need one! It is never a good idea to get overwhelmed by the whole planning process and try to hire a wedding planner at the very last minute to swoop in and save the day.
As a result, you need a basic understanding of your plans before you even think about researching wedding planners. Close your eyes and imagine your dream wedding. What do you see? Are you indoors or outdoors? How many people are there? What details do you notice?
Write down everything that comes to mind within a few minutes. Then check Pinterest and start looking at wedding inspiration boards to help you fill in some details. Take these notes to your partner and see what they think about it.
Now that you have answered the core planning questions, search the internet for local wedding planners to find out what your options are. You may want to consider virtual wedding planners if you find you do not have many local options or that face-to-face planners are out of your budget.
Make a spreadsheet or “old school” paper and pen list of your top 10 options. Weigh the pros and cons: cost, availability, personality, client testimonials, personal connection, etc.
Some planners will only enter a contract that is 18 months or longer, which means you must hire them at least 1.5 years before your wedding day. Others will not enter a contract any earlier than 12 months before your wedding date, which means you can only choose them if you want to get married within a year.
Regardless of the amount of time you wish to wait until you get married (6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months), take some distance from wedding talk for a few days (3-4 days for example) and come back to the discussion with your partner to see if you both still agree on the six core aspects you came up within your first discussion.
If you do, move forward with the 3 best candidates that you discovered during your research (weigh those pros and cons!) and try to set up a free consultation as soon as possible.
Make sure you know their contract guidelines regarding how far in advance they will work with clients. Share your plan with the planner and see what he or she has to say about the timeline for planning the event.
Also, ask whether a shorter or longer timeline will affect the overall cost of hiring them.
While you may find 2 months is plenty of time for your wedding planner to organize a low-key, backyard wedding with only a few friends and family members, you may need to hire your planner 2-3 years in advance if you want an elegant, white-tie soiree with 500 guests.
Many brides hire a wedding planner for about 12 months before their wedding day. The general rule of thumb is that the earlier you hire your planner, the better it will work out.