10 Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner

Posted by Caitlin on Oct 22, 2013

questions-to-ask-your-wedding-planner

 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!

 

How-To: Choose the Right Kind of Wedding Planner

Posted by mallen on Oct 20, 2009

coordinator.boutWe’ve all seen the movies and the TV shows that showcase or spotlight wedding planners.  But what type is the right type for you?  Depending on the needs of the wedding day and the needs during the planning process, one type of professional may be more well-suited (in services or price) than another.

  • The Wedding Producer is just that – a Producer.  This professional is an all around go-to for every aspect of the wedding day.  They will work with the couple in creating the entire event design and decor elements, arranging for all the necessary elements (rentals, linens, decor, flowers, etc.) often incorporating their go-to team of event professionals to deliver a top notch event.  Essentially, this producer or production company takes the bride & groom’s vision and makes it happen.  This is for the bride that has no time to focus on the wedding details and trusts the Producer to make the magic happen.  (This service is your most expensive option.  Then again, when time is money, it may be the better option when your time is scarce.)

  • Full Service Planner acts as organizer, resource guide, etiquette expert, and all round right hand.  This professional is perfect for the bride and groom who wish to be active in their planning, but want the expertise of a seasoned pro along the way.  Expect vendor recommendations, design meetings, meetings with vendors, site walk throughs, attendance at the catering tasting — the full service coordinator will be there at every stop.  (Because more time is involved in this service, expect this option to be the higher price point of most coordinator’s packages.  This option would be ideal for planning a wedding at a private estate or location that will require rentals, tenting, or other elements that are well served under a professional’s attention.)