You've decided to hire a wedding planner — but how do you know which person is right for you and your big day? Thanks to a growing industry and what seems like a million different wedding blogs, it's not always easy to sift through the hundreds of event coordinators out there. Not sure where to start? Ask yourself these nine important questions as you search for the perfect wedding planner.

  1. Where is she located? It's smart to find someone who's located in the region where your wedding will take place, if only because she's sure to have plenty of connections. Plus, if your planner is near the venue, chances are she's worked there before and may be familiar with some of the regular vendors.
  2. How many years of experience? Time doesn't say everything, but it certainly speaks to some measure of success. Look for someone with a reputation, not only because it will give you peace of mind, but also because you want to work with someone who's respected within the community.
  3. Who are her frequent collaborators? Most wedding coordinators work with the same vendors over and over again, so do a bit of research to find out who her friends are in the business. You'll get a great sense of her taste and those are most likely the people she'd refer you to in the future.
  4. Would I ask her to grab coffee? You'll be talking to this person very, very often throughout your engagement, so be sure that you genuinely like her. If she seems a bit cold, elitist, or argumentative, just remember that you'll be trusting this person with the most special day of your life — not to mention your dollars and cents.
  5. Is she timely? If she can't respond to an email on time, chances are she won't be too quick to tackle your burning questions, either. Look for a wedding planner who is prompt, organized, and coolheaded.
  6. Am I impressed by her portfolio? The images a wedding planner chooses to place on her website should be the best of the best, so if you aren't blown away by the work she's shared, move on. You should feel inspired by her previous events — go for the one who dazzles you.
  7. Is she on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest? It's 2014, and if your wedding planner doesn't have an Internet presence, that's a red flag. Even if you prefer a more classic, vintage taste, you want someone who's well connected and regularly reinventing her style.
  8. Do I appreciate her sense of design? Look at everything from her website design to her personal fashion sense to recognize whether or not your tastes will mesh well. Weddings are all about presentation, so it's important to find a person who presents herself — and her business — in a way that you respect and admire.
  9. How does she feel about my vision? Most importantly, it's your day. The first time you speak, give her a rundown of the details you've been brainstorming. The right wedding planner will be excited by your ideas and expand on them in a creative, thoughtful way. Otherwise, you may end up with an event that doesn't suit you.

The bottom line: If you're picky about only one thing throughout the planning process, make it your event coordinator. You'll be passing the reins to this person again and again, so it's crucial that you feel confident in your decision.

Photo of Enjoy Events Co. by Cooper Carras Photography