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Certified or Non-Certified Wedding Planner?


Wedding planners can transform weddings into something extremely imaginative as they bring to life all kinds of themes! Dependable and trustworthy, wedding planners are essential help to any wedding and proved to be a constant strength for any bride-to-be. As wedding planning gets more popular these days, wedding planners are also trying to gain more experience and recognition by getting certified by well-established wedding planner associations.

Leave it to the girls. Photo by Tinydot Photography. Wedding of Mildred and Michael.

So what are the pros and cons on choosing between a certified and non-certified wedding planner? We discuss and tap on the skilled expertise of Kim Tay from Wedding Concierge, Hannah Chong from Heaven’s Gift and Jonathan from Wedding Acts to help you sieve through this tough cookie!

Does hiring a certified wedding planner really make a big difference to the perfect wedding?
Our experts agree on the above statement to a certain extent, noting that a certification would definitely open more doors of opportunities. “Being certified would gather newcomers a head start in the industry as they are already familiar with the industry standards and practices, instead of going head on and learning through trial and error.” Kim shares with us how a proper start would allow wedding planners to get acquainted with proper techniques of this established trade.

A certification also garners individuals an advantage over others because of its recognition and formality. Hannah explains that with any certified qualification, comprehensive education and training is involved and those aspects alone offer clients a sense of trusted surety. “The combination of knowledge, skills and working experiences makes one successful,” Hannah also goes on to say that clients should also consider practised planners who have at least 10-15 weddings already in the portfolio.

On the other hand, formal training without natural charisma won’t necessary do the job. As an advocate of understanding both sides of the coin, Jonathan simply says, “Being a certified wedding planner ensures that they are well trained; but it also relies on their ability to connect with their clients. Their meticulousness, orientation to detail and high EQ are among the many factors that will make them a success.” Jonathan confirms that even though a wedding planner may be knowledgeable, that does not immediately determine that he/she has the relevant real wedding experiences. Hence, he emphasises that experience itself, is an essential ingredient to the successful wedding planner’s recipe.

So without a proper certification, is a wedding planner considered less professional?
This question might daunt most, but all three professionals stand against that statement with a strong, reliable conviction. Whether or not a wedding planner is able to display professionalism, Jonathan sticks by his opinions and highlights that there are naturally other factors to consider such as his/her personal motivation and integrities. Kim also expresses that professionalism is a basic work ethic and being professional is a trait is either valued or practiced daily.

Going on to further elaborate this standpoint, Hannah concurs that while getting certified would officially allow these planners to provide professional advice to couples, they should also strive to learn and be trained as much as possible if they want to excel in this industry. “Being a wedding planner is a recognised and highly regarded profession,” she adds that the eagerness to constantly learn from experiences will eventually lead them to high acclamation.

What are the 3 most important criteria to note when choosing a wedding planner?
Now, it all boils down to that simple, but thought provoking question that undoubtedly lingers in each bride’s mind. All three experts identify that having a good experience is vital, especially if they have done a wedding similar to the one you already have in mind. “Credibility and reputation in the industry,” Kim adds as the first pointer.

Secondly, forming an honest bond, filled with trust and chemistry also serves as an important note. As Hannah shares knowingly, “Trusting someone whom you’ve just met is a magical and intuitive decision! Brides have to ask themselves whether this is someone whom they can believe in and trust to make the wedding a memorable event for them.”

And thirdly, the wedding planner’s moral values such as integrity and honesty, among many others, should be considered as well. Jonathan accentuates that although it is difficult to assume personal values by the first meeting with the wedding planner, it will inevitably decide how the relationship will work out. Who knows, friendship could entail thereafter!

Aside from those points, a word of helpful advice from Hannah is that brides should also decide on the exact tasks that the wedding planner is required to perform. “Some planners major in resourcing and connecting the right players to a job while others are more than a logistics planner as they design and conceptualise wedding concepts, and are involved even in the final deliverables.” Hannah describes that different wedding planners may have different areas of expertise. Hence, she goes on to say that this factor will eventually determine the final wedding planner selection as well as the final pricing.

So there you have it, wise words from unique individuals who have the same ardent passion for weddings, and who have had different experiences in becoming the professionals that they are today. Hence whatever decisions that you make for your special day, remember to base your choices on what you really need, and what you feel is important.

As explained by Kim, Hannah and Jonathan, having certified wedding planners run your show is always advantageous because of the training they’ve received. But at the same time, creativity, trust and a faithful bond between both parties are important in order to fashion your dream wedding. So once you’ve found the perfect planner, and like in any relationship, never let her go!

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Keywords: Wedding Planning

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