THE WEDDING PLANNER
A wedding planner is probably one of the first (and arguably one of the most important) vendors you will hire for your special day and can play an integral role in making it an unforgettable and stress-free day. But with such a personal event, it’s important you find somebody who understands your vision and has the experience to execute a flawless event.
So to help you find the wedding planner that’s right for you, we’ve compiled 10 questions to ask before signing on the dotted line and hiring a professional to plan your wedding.
1. ARE YOU AVAILABLE ON MY WEDDING DATE?
First and foremost, it’s important to establish whether your preferred wedding planner is available on your date. If they’re not, you can either eliminate them as a possibility (and move onto someone else) or consider changing your wedding date if they’re someone you really want to work with. If you haven’t yet locked in a wedding date, ask the planner for a few possible options to consider when making your final decision.
2. ARE YOU WITHIN OUR BUDGET?
If you’ve arrived at the point of meeting with a wedding planner, chances are you have an idea of their fees (and have determined that it fits within your budget). But perhaps you have certain things in mind that may bring additional charges. It’s important to put them on the table early on before you get out of your depth.
Alternatively, you could just ask what’s not included in their package and use that information to compare the wedding planner with others you’re considering. If you can’t afford to hire the wedding planner for their full-time services, you may be able to negotiate a part-time planning arrangement or some level of coordinating in the lead up to your special day.
3. HOW MANY WEDDINGS HAVE YOU PLANNED?
Practice makes perfect, which is also true in the wedding planning world. So don’t be shy about asking how many weddings they’ve planned and whether that was as a lead planner or as an assistant. At the same time, check how many weddings they take on each year. This is one situation where more is not better as you want your wedding planner to have as much time as possible to plan your wedding. If a planner is taking on weddings each and every weekend, chances are they’re cutting corners somewhere.
4. HAVE YOU WORKED AT OUR VENUE BEFORE?
If a wedding planner has previously worked at your venue, they already know the ins and outs of how things work. While this doesn’t have to be a “make or break” question, it’s something to take into consideration. Having experience at a venue means they may have insider knowledge or suggestions that are particular to the space and can help the wedding day run more smoothly. If they have worked at your venue before, be sure to ask for photographic proof so you can see how it all turned out.
5. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS TO BRING OUR VISION TO LIFE?
Even if you’ve nutted out every detail you want beforehand, it’s worth asking the wedding vendor about their ideas. After you’ve explained what you’re envisioning for your special day, ask upfront if they have any suggestions that immediately pop to mind. It will give you a good idea as to whether they’re listening to what you want and if they’re a good fit for your wedding.
6. HOW INVOLVED WILL WE BE IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?
For couples who want to be really hands-on, you want to find a wedding planner who will work with you, rather than letting you know what’s happening right before the big day. So ask exactly what the process of planning your wedding will look like – will they email you designs and talk you through them over the phone or perhaps you’ll meet in person on a regular basis to go through swatches and samples. Some couples are happy for the wedding planner to do their thing (and just fill them in towards the end). There’s no right or wrong way but finding a professional who allows you to be involved as much or as little as you like in planning your wedding is essential.
7. DO YOU MANAGE LOGISTICS WITH OTHER VENDORS?
When you hire a wedding planner, they’ll have a book of trusted vendors within their network that they’ve established a good working relationship with. But it’s worth doing your own research into their preferred vendors to make sure your wedding day is exactly as you envision. If you’re not having individual meetings with the vendors, you should also make sure the wedding planner is going to advocate on your behalf and ensure your visions are conveyed accurately. At the same time, check whether the wedding vendor handles vendor payments – will they cut the checks from a lump sum paid by you or will you pay the vendors directly?
8. HOW MANY PEOPLE FROM YOU TEAM WILL BE AT THE WEDDING?
Wedding planners don’t always work alone but may have a team of assistants, coordinators and event stylists that will bring your special day to life. The size of the team will depend on the logistics of your wedding, not to mention your budget.
It’s also worth checking what the backup plan would be if the lead wedding planner was sick or an emergency arose and who would step into their shoes.
9. WILL YOU HANDLE RENTALS?
Some wedding planners will coordinate the delivery, arrival, and setup of rentals while others work solely to consult with you on ideas and book the relevant vendors. Figure out what exactly is included in your package and whether you need to pay additional fees for these services or find a separate coordinator to work with you on the day.
10. DO YOU CARRY PERSONAL LIABILITY AND PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE?
It’s important that your wedding planner is covered if something goes wrong and that you understand what scenarios you will be covered for based on the decisions they make.
“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!
You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!
Thank you for being part of our special day!”