6 Important Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner
“Y’know, ‘those who can’t do, teach’? Well those who can’t wed, plan.” -Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner
Whether you decide to hire a wedding planner or not will depend on your budget, the type of event you are hosting and the amount of help you need. Some couples prefer to save money on a wedding coordinator and take the DIY approach. Others think it’s worth the investment to hire a professional to handle all the arrangements and details for a stress-free wedding day.
If you do decide to use a professional wedding planner, do your homework to make sure you find the right person for the job. A great wedding planner will do everything he or she can to make your wedding run smoothly so you can enjoy your celebration – whether that’s by getting the best deals from vendors or troubleshooting a crisis right before you walk down the aisle to exchange wedding ring sets.
Here are five of the first questions to ask a wedding planner before committing:
1. What wedding planning services do you offer? Do you specialize in any area?
Get an idea of what she offers clients. Does she customize full-service packages to each wedding – offering everything from event design to day-of coordination? Does she offer a la carte services or smaller packages as well? Does she handle coordinating rentals, vendors, contracts and all the details you want her to manage? Ask her to tell you about a few specific examples of different weddings she has managed so you can get an idea of her style.
2. Have you worked with our wedding venue or vendors before?
It’s helpful if he has worked on an event at the location you’ve chosen or has existing relationships with your florist, photographer or other vendors. But if you are still searching for service providers, he can also be a valuable asset in this process. Ask if he has strong contacts in certain industries, and get a feel for how he chooses the right vendors for a wedding.
3. Do you work alone or with a team?
Ask for a breakdown of her wedding planning team – what each person’s expertise is and what he or she is responsible for. Be clear on who you will be working with and who will be there on your wedding day.
4. How do you handle tricky situations or things that don’t go as planned?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a wedding planner, so don’t let him off the hook with a generic response. Weddings can have emotionally charged or challenging moments – guests showing up who haven’t RSVPd, flower arrangements showing up late, wedding ring sets getting temporarily misplaced by the best man. You want to know the wedding planner you hire can keep his cool and fix any problems that arise (preferably without you having to get involved at all). Ask for examples of times he’s successfully managed crises.
5. How does your wedding planning process work?
Ask her to outline how she usually works with her clients, including how often you will meet and the best way to communicate. Be clear about what you are looking for – if you need someone to take a strong lead with all aspects of planning, for example – and see if your two styles will algn.
6. How do you charge? Is there a minimum budget you work with?
Wedding planners charge in different ways – some quote a flat package rate or a percentage of the total wedding budget (often 10 to 20%), others charge hourly. Ask for a detailed quote, including any extra expenses, such as transportation or travel fees.
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