Although the majority of wedding planners are experienced and extremely talented in their chosen profession, the fact remains that anyone can claim to be part of the planning elite. There are no requirements or licenses necessary to become a wedding planner, so it's vital for brides to check multiple references and review work samples and photos before signing on the dotted line.
The most reliable way to find a knockout planner is to obtain a reference from someone you know personally. This way, you can be sure it's not someone's second cousin posing as a satisfied customer. Certified wedding planners are also recommended by a number of professional organizations, including the Association of Bridal Consultants and the International Special Events Society, so it doesn't hurt to check any optional certifications he or she may claim.