Important Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Planner

The day of one’s wedding is supposed to be one of the most significant events in one’s life.  No matter how big, lavish, quaint, or quiet you envision your wedding to be, “perfect” is what you and your fiancé strive for.  Months upon Months can be spent planning, budgeting, and balancing.  Patience, time management and control are necessary requirements, but as one can imagine that can prove to be quite difficult to say the least.  To avoid the dreaded Murphy’s Law, anything that can go wrong will go wrong, many couples decide to hire a wedding planner to ensure their wedding goes off without a hitch.  Or at least believe it will.

In addition to the obvious questions, here are some additional questions of equal importance to ask when interviewing your planners and ensuring that they are the best fit for developing your wedding vision, and making your day unforgettable, and not in the way that makes you cringe.

First things first. . . Before interviewing there are a few things you and your fiancé must have an idea of:

  • Budget- How much are you willing to spend on the whole event.  Remember you must be reasonable.  You can’t expect to be given the world for next to nothing, so familiarize yourself with the costs of a wedding.
  • Number of Guests- You do not have to have the exact amount, just a ballpark at least.
  • Preferred Wedding Date- I suggest having a few fallback dates as well, in case you run into conflicts with vendors, churches, or venues.
  • Finally. . . Your Vision for Your Wedding- Now I’m not saying you have to know everything from the choice of venue, all the way down to the color of the napkin.  Just know the basics.  I want a small, private beach wedding with a close family reception, maybe a nautical theme.  Just an example of how in depth your description needs to be.

Now that you have answered your questions, it’s time for theirs.

1.)    How much experience do you have?  Not just anyone can plan and coordinate a “Great Wedding”.  It takes a lot of meticulous planning, and extreme attention to detail to be a good wedding planner.  Experience can play a key role in how smoothly your wedding experience goes, and can prove to be very beneficial when dealing with vendors, and their contracts.  It’s important to ask to see their portfolio of previous weddings and any referrals from previous clients.  Make sure that their experience in the field is equivalent to your wedding vision. If you want a big wedding and all they have done are small wedding, you may be out of their league.  Keep in mind that a lot of people take this as a second job to bring in extra cash and it may not be their first priority, or worse you may be their first client.  With that being said, hiring your best friend or cousin with no experience to cut cost may not be the best idea.

2.)    Is this your full time job?-  Wedding planning takes a lot of time and crucial coordination so time management is key to making this day run smoothly.  It is important for you to know how much time your planner is willing to commit.  If this is a part time thing for them, how demanding is their other job and to what degree of interference will it create when planning? Not saying that they could not take on the challenge and be successful, but make sure you follow up with such questions as: How will you communicate with me, to make sure you’re available when I need to contact you?  How involved will you be in the planning and coordinating, as far as services you provide?

If your planner is full-time make sure to inquire on how many clients they have in a year, especially during your wedding month.  If you’re a bride who requires a lot of attention this will give you an idea of how much of a commitment they can afford to give.

3.)    How extensive is your scope of work (services offered)? – Many planners have different services they offer which are important to be aware of before hiring, to avoid hearing the ever so popular statement “Well, that isn’t my job”.  How far are they actually going to be committed to assisting you? Will they read over contracts with you? Meet with the vendors? etc.  Many planners may not even stay for the reception, which can be potentially risky depending on how extravagant your reception is.  Ensuring you and your planner are on the same page and quite clear on what they will and won’t be doing is crucial.  Make sure they clearly lay out everything they offer their brides and the things that you will be responsible for.

4.)    Will you devise a master plan, and execution?– This plays a part in how extensive their scope of work is and experience.  Make sure they will be responsible for coordinating the delivery, arrival, and set-up times with the photographer, florist, musicians/DJ, caterer/banquet manager, et al.  How will they ensure that all goes as planned?  What have they done with prior clients that will ensure that all will be taken care of that day so you won’t have to worry? Will they create a timeline that tells everyone involved in the planning process what to do and when to do it?  Since it is impossible to guarantee that nothing will go wrong, that leads to the next question. . .

5.)    What is Plan C to our Plan B?- Heaven forbid something was to go wrong during your special day, but let’s just say for now you can expect it. So what are they going to do to make it all better?  If something was to happen a good wedding planner would be prepared and adapt to the changing situations as quickly as possible, making it as easy as possible for the wedding party and guests.

And finally. . .

6.)    What type of wedding do you envision for me?-This question should be presented at the end after questions on details about the wedding are answered.  Remember a planner should have questions for you as well.  So by the end of the consultation she/he should have a pretty good idea of what you expect and picture your wedding to be like.  It will also demonstrate their commitment to your budget and whether or not they will push you in a direction of what they want not you.  This can be very important to make sure that you and your planner are on the same page in terms of the look and feel of your wedding, without breaking the bank.

Whenever you enlist a planner, if anything else to keep in mind, just follow these simple rules.  Do not hire a consultant who doesn’t want to listen, is bossy, tries to convince you of what’s best for you, critiques your ideas, has no references, and won’t sign a written agreement.

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