July 29, 2017

Over the last couple months, we talked about the value of working with a wedding planner and the first steps in choosing one that fits YOU. However, we want to go just one step further in this final article – we want to give you a few of the most significant questions you can ask your potential wedding planner and why in the world you should! So here we go:

1) Are you available on my wedding date?

Why you should know: This may seem like common sense, but it is so important that this be your first question. Especially if you are hoping for a wedding planner who is customized to you and will be personally walking through this process with you, you don’t want to waste your time if they’re not free on your date. If the planner is the first thing you book before your venue (which in many cases, it well may be), then take some time to ask what available dates might be an option and if he or she can be flexible to help book your venue dates around this as well. If it’s someone you really love, it will be worth being flexible on the date!

2) What are the services you offer (full service planning and design, month of coordination, partial planning and design, consultations, destination weddings, or a la carte items)? Do you help create the vision or simply execute the details? Do you handle event styling?

Why you should know: It can be difficult at times to tell what the services of a planner actually include. Every planner has their niche and way of setting the vision, making it happen, and putting it all together. Depending on what you most need and hope for, knowing more of what the next weeks or months will entail and how they’ll unfold is absolutely key. Don’t be afraid to ask what words like “styling”, “full service” or “consultation” mean because it is always better to confirm. Be aware that the specifics of their services will include: how many meetings you will have, if they will attend meetings with you, how and how often you will communicate, and if they handle contracts and payment processing, the invitation process, rentals, timeline development, and vendor/bridal party communication. I guarantee you will both be happier for it.

3) What is the cost of the average wedding you plan?

Why you should know: In order to gauge whether a planner is within your price range or in order to get an idea of what your budget should be, check the range of price for each of their services. Do they have a minimum wedding budget they’ll work with or fee they will charge? Normally wedding planning services will be about 15 percent of your overall budget. If their baseline is way above what you are aiming for, you may want to consider someone else or see how your budget might accommodate accordingly to a smaller “package” or service. Be open with the planner on what you are thinking so that they may know best how to accommodate their services to best fit you but also fit within what you both expect on pricing and payment options.

4) How many weddings will you be working on at the same time throughout the process?

Why you should know: Throughout the process and on your wedding day, it is SO important to have your planner’s full attention. Make sure your planner isn’t trying to juggle too many weddings at once. This is a great aspect of a smaller, customized wedding planning company that only takes on so many weddings each year in order to be more specifically fit and accountable to those they do work with. How many weddings a planner can handle is dependent on the size of their team and whether the weddings are local or afar. The larger the team, the more unlikely you may be working specifically with the planner you meet with. Make sure you clarify who will be working with you through the process and the day of, as well how many staff will be needed for your event (assistant coordinators or stylists).

5) How will you help us stay within our budget, vision and timeline throughout the process and on the day of? Can you give us an example of how you handled mishaps or pressure during the process?

Why you should know: It is incredibly vital to hear a bit of how a planner stays on course and keeps everyone accountable (including your vendors and family) as the planning process and wedding day unfold. Knowing more about how they handle change, pressure, day-of disasters or mishaps that are bound to happen, gives you an idea of whether or not you want to share this journey together. An amazing wedding planner should be a problem solver and handle situations in a way that respects all and brings a positive and life-giving atmosphere no matter the situation.