There are many types of planners to choose from when you decide you want to hire one for your Big Day. No, I'm not talking about "Day of" Coordinator or Full Planner, but rather the kind of planner you and your fiancé will match with best.
Below is a list of the types of planners that are out there, and it's up to you to decide which one is a match for you! Kind of like picking out a pair or shoes, or your favorite vodka. Whatever.
The Overenthusiastic Newbie
Ok, I know this isn't about experience versus no experience, but the newbie has their own category. This planner knows nothing and no one -- but really wants to plan your wedding at a cost of three gold stars and a reference letter. She will have no contacts to contact, and will have trouble negotiating contracts on your behalf. However, she is ready to go and will probably answer your emails within 30 seconds of you sending them. You can save money here, but if you're high maintenance and want your ducks in a row, you might want to steer clear of this one. Otherwise your ducks will be dead and in orange sauce. That went sour.
The Queen Bee
This planner knows everyone, but not everyone wants to know her. She's there for you and only you, and doesn't care if she upsets venues or vendors. You are her client and she will die for you. Ridiculous requests? No problem, she will handle them. If she can't handle them, she will never tell you that your requests are difficult, but rather that everyone else is incompetent. She's on your side 100 percent, even when you're wrong, and you'll find her in the kitchen at the venue when your salmon comes out over-cooked. If you want someone like this, great. Be warned though: While she's on your side always, she's probably not making many friends in the industry. That translates to no favors for you when your requests become even more difficult.
The Olivia Pope
First and foremost, if you don't know who that is, walk away from this blog, go watch all four seasons of Scandal on Netflix, and then come back. I'll wait. Anyway, this type of planner that emulates Ms. Pope has it all handled. She's not afraid of a fight and wants to get your day done perfectly for you. Sure, she might be intimidating, but you know that she'll get the job done, even if she has to lose her temper. Of course, this also means telling you when you're out of line, and scolding you when you miss appointments, make ridiculous demands or don't get back to her when you need to. The plus side is that you'll never know when there's an issue with your planning, because she will handle everything. As long as you can handle her being as direct with you as she is with those working on your wedding, you'll be fine.
A planner can't do everything because not everything is possible. While a good planner won't tell you that things are impossible, they will make it clear when things are difficult. The pleaser only knows how to say "yes" and "can do" and refuses to learn the words "no" and "not happening." While this is reassuring, sometimes this planner will make promises that she can't keep, and while there usually is a way out of a jam, when there isn't, she (and you both) are screwed.
Depending on what you want, a designer planner might be exactly what you need. This planner is all about your color, theme, and total decor. Logistics aren't really where her head is at. She can tell you every flower that is in season, what draping to hang from the walls, and has more Pinterest boards than you can imagine. If you are clueless when it comes to what linens pair with what what china, this is the planner that would be perfect for you. But, if you need help with your budget and negotiating contracts, or putting together a timeline, then the artist might not be in your best interest.
The Old Timer
These are planners that have been around forever. They know the owners of every venue hall, and the new owners as well. If you ask them "have you ever worked with" and the answer isn't a quick "yes," that means that vendor or venue hasn't been around for that long. It's great to have this planner in your back pocket because they are going to have a rolodex worth paying for. Of course, people don't really change and as much as they may evolve over time, this planner might be a little old fashioned. Sometimes they won't be all about the email as you will be, and will prefer to talk on the phone. Texting them? Probably not going to happen. And before anyone sends me nasty notes that established planners know how to use email, trust me, I know... but I do know plenty that don't, and it's enough to mention.
The Can't Wed, Can Plan
You've all seen the movie, The Wedding Planner -- the story of a planner that isn't married, but can plan a wedding to rival anything in the top magazines. She's well put together, got a keen sense of style, a huge contact list and is a master negotiator. But she's not married and really has no intention to be. This is not the same as the planner who wants to be married, this is a planner who chooses not to be. While she might be great at her job, if she's never experienced a wedding firsthand, how can she possibly understand the stress you are under as you plan your Big Day? The passion might be there, and she might be a wizard, but she's never *been there*. Seeing it, is different than doing it. Your wedding can be flawless with this planner, but if you need someone who can empathize with your stress, you should look for the one with the ring on her finger.
Those are the top seven types of planners out there. Sometimes there is a crossover of personalities, and sometimes a planner is just one type. Matching you and your fiancé to the right type is essential to having a happy planning process. Trust me: You'll be able to tell during the consultation just what category your planner falls into.
And in case you're wondering -- I'm the Olivia Pope type!