10 Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner

Posted by Caitlin on Oct 22, 2013


 Photo: Marlon Taylor Photography

After getting engaged, most brides turn to blogs (like this one!) and magazines for inspiration, only to quickly feel overwhelmed with all the steps in planning a wedding. All of a sudden, your WeddingWire checklist informs you to set a budget, determine a date, find a ceremony and reception venue, start the guest list, and book a photographer all in just the first two months. Sounds like a lot, right? Our solution — hire a wedding planner! After reading dozens of WeddingWire vendor reviews and narrowing your candidates down, you’re finally ready to sit down for an in-person or phone interview. Have them answer the following questions:

1. How many clients do you have in a year? And the month-of? The answer to this question will tell you how available your wedding planner will be during the planning process. The success of your event relies on their ability to juggle it all, and if they’re booked up around the same time as yours, then it could suffer.

2. How many weddings of my size and budget have you planned? Examples! Find out how long he/she has been in business, the different sizes of weddings he/she has executed, and if he/she has any certifications or degrees that are applicable. Steer clear from those who can’t provide these references.

3. Have you worked with my venue before? Or vendors? Most wedding planners have a list of preferred vendors. Not only will they be able to provide feedback on their services but also scout out discounts too.

4. What’s the costs for your services? Whether it’s full planning, partial planning, month-of or day-of coordination, it can be a simple flat fee or hourly rate. A la carte services can be additional. Be sure to understand what each package includes and exactly what services you need.

5. Do you work alone or with a team? Depending on your guest list, one wedding planner might not be enough. He/she may need help from assistants. Therefore, find out who you would be in contact with.

6. Will you be with us on our big day (or weekend)? Clarify if you want your wedding planner to be attending the rehearsal dinner, wedding, or Sunday brunch. At times, wedding planners can assign someone else from his/her team to run the show. Refer to #5.

7. Can you help us stay on budget? From the beginning, inform your wedding planner of your budget, so they can help keep you on track and stretch it even further. Every penny counts!

8. How do you communicate with clients? Find out how often you should be expecting to communicate with your wedding planner via phone or email.

9. What happens in case of an emergency? No matter how prepared you are, everything happens for a reason, including a postponement or cancellation. A Plan B is a must-have.

10. Can I see a contract? If you’re about to say yes, ask for a contract. Read it carefully and follow-up with any questions you may have. Then, sign, seal, and deliver!


Top 6 Couple Photos To Take On Your Wedding Day

Posted by Caitlin on Aug 21, 2013

Photographers will most likely concentrate on documenting the traditional milestones of your wedding day (i.e. getting-ready, walking down the aisle, first dance, and cake cutting), but be sure to add some fun with these creative shots you won’t want to miss:

1. First Look


Photo: Marlon Taylor Photography

3 Alternative Altar and Arch Decor Ideas

Posted by Caitlin on Nov 20, 2012

There are many possibilities when it comes to choosing your ceremony decor, especially when you can pick something unexpected and creative. Whether you like romantic, floral archways or ornate, personalized altars, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite alternative decor ideas for any wedding.

1. Chalkboard Altar Backdrop: Instead of having programs, display your family names and the names of your bridal party front and center on your altar for all your guests to see.

Photo: Jenny Jimenez Photography

2. Floral Arch: Hang test tubes from your archway, let your guests pick a flower (with a pre-tied tag on it) and write words of wisdom on it. Make sure your guests place their flower in a test tube that way their encouragement and support will be with you when you say, “I do.”

Photo: Marlon Taylor Photography

3. Doorway Arch: This metaphor reflects how a couple is opening up a new chapter of their life together.

Photo: Stephanie Williams Photography 

For more inspiration, check out our altar and arch decor photo gallery.

Twinkling, Candlelit Ranch Wedding in California

Posted by Caitlin on Nov 13, 2012

Melissa & Derek 

September 22

Upper Las Virgenes Canyon, California


Q & A with the Bride:

1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know that it was the one?

The privacy! The fact that it was quiet, peaceful, rustic and within it contained a million opportunities to personalize it to our hearts desire. Later, we discovered this world of opportunities also served to complicate since it was abounding with possibilities! Along with the generous help and endless creativity of our day-of-coordinator, (although she was truly so much more to us–rather our heart, our hope, our ever present help!) we were able to narrow down how everything would be set up and flow, thus creating the intimate and close family feeling that we desired from the bottom of our hearts.

2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?

1. Our “U” shaped table with 100 of our closest family and friends.

2. Our escort card display that had one perfect photo for each and every guest. 

3. Our “backdrop” for where we said “I do.” Our “out-of-this-world” florist once again created a “structure,” which contained strings of test tubes hanging down, where our guests could place flowers. When our guests arrived, they came to a table where they could pick a flower, which had a tag pre-tied on it, and write a note, prayer, advice or anything they wished on it. They were able to stand where Derek and I were about to stand and place their flower.

3. Give us the one moment from your wedding day that you cannot stop thinking about.

Our “first look”–it was heavenly; it was the closest thing to perfection I have ever experienced; it was utter bliss. I actually had not been feeling well that day, so seeing Derek and being under HIS protection, care and comfort was better than any medicine or vitamin I could have ever consumed. Looking forward to that moment, while getting ready, was the only thing that helped me to overcome the sickness I felt, and it definitely did not disappoint. Those moments of calmness and peace. Well really, there are no words loud or big enough to capture the emotion, the joy and the excellence of the moment. As Jessi had told us the night before, “You built this rollercoaster, now is the time to get on and enjoy the ride.” It was the best ride of our lives, and it is only just the beginning.