If you thought choosing that someone special to spend the rest of your life with was hard, just wait until you start planning the wedding. The nuptials are a flurry of choices ranging from extremely important (should I send out wedding invitation boxes?) to the small details (napkins folded into swans?) and everything in between. Hiring a wedding planner should ease the stress of having to face all those questions, and let you enjoy the spotlight as a bride to be.

Before hiring someone on to take over the wedding planning, there are a few things they need to know if you still want the wedding of your dreams without the work.

This is Still Your Day – An excellent wedding planner will recognize their role as being the person in charge of making YOUR dreams come true. While you want them to be able to bring fresh ideas for your wedding, it is ultimately you who gets the last word on everything. Make sure that they understand what your vision of the perfect wedding is, and that you expect them to fulfill it. They go to dozens of weddings every year, but this is your only one, so you have every right to bring your fantasy to life.

You Do Have a Budget – A wedding coordinator will have to be able to work within the constraints of your budget, no matter what that is. While it is your responsibility to set the limits, it’s theirs to stick to it. To make it easier, try and work out separate budgets for each piece of the wedding, such as X amount of dollars for the reception, X for the flowers, etc. You don’t want the whole budget blown on your ceremony and dress, with no money left over for the cake.

You Need Them to Be Passionate All the Time – Not only should your wedding planner have experience, they need to be passionate about their role. You want to feel like your wedding is their number one priority all of the time, with them excited about every aspect, no matter how many times they have picked out flower arrangements before.

They Need to Know Your Guests – While you steal the show at your wedding, there are supporting players whose role is also important. Your wedding planner should be interested in who your bridal party is and take their needs into consideration just as much as yours. Your guests are also important, and a wedding planner should have the foresight to make sure that all of your guests are comfortable and well taken care of, both at the ceremony and reception.

Time is of the Essence – Timing is very important during the last few days before your wedding. Last fittings, parties and dinners all have to be managed, while at the same time checking in with everyone else involved with the wedding to make sure everything is all in place. A wedding planner needs to have impeccable skills at time management, as well as knowing how to prioritize all the details so that everyone and everything is in place exactly when they need to be.

The months leading up to your wedding are fraught with choices and decisions. Having a wedding planner who understands your dreams will be invaluable at helping keep your cool and enjoy your last moments of single-dom.