Before entrusting your big day to a virtual stranger, make sure he or she has experience. Find out how long the planner has been in business and whether he or she works alone or with a larger company. Have the planner describe some of his or her previous weddings, particularly those that are similar to yours in terms of size, theme or location.
Ask for referrals or testimonials from previous clients, and steer clear of candidates who can't provide these references. You can even ask to speak to some of the planner's favorite wedding vendors. These vendors can often provide good insight into a specific planner, especially in how he or she compares to other wedding planners in the area. It also helps to request copies of any certificates or degrees the candidate has received that relate to wedding or event planning.