Wedding planners will be your point of contact at every step of the tedious planning process, you will want to work with someone who is not only professional and organized, but also have your best interest at heart.
Before you make the final decision on who to help with your wedding planning, there will often be series of meetings and discussions to understand the wedding planner better.
The initial meeting with your wedding planner should give you answers to the 12 most common questions asked:
1. Is your wedding planner available on your wedding date?
This is the first and foremost most important question. If they are not free, you probably shouldn’t engage them. No matter how well things are planned, things could go wrong on the wedding day. You need an experienced professional who will be there to handle unforeseen circumstances.
Find out what are their strengths, is it more on design or coordination or both? Some are better at Wedding Day coordination, handling invitations and RSVPs. Some are good with the overall vision, being a producer who brings in the event manager and designer. Ask yourself what type of planner would work best for you. For example, if you are very good in organizing and have the time to follow up yourself, you may want someone to do the coordination role.
3. What is the most unique wedding they ever planned?
Ask for specific details or photos so that you will be able to gauge how creative they are and have an idea of their style.
4. What challenges do they see when looking at your wedding plans and ideas? What venues would they recommend?
With the vision you have in mind for your wedding, ask them to share their ideas. This can give you an idea on whether you can really ‘click’ with them. For example: If you have always imagined a ocean view wedding in a chapel but they suggested ballroom venues, it’s a red flag – they are not listening to you.
5. How many weddings have they done? What type of events have they done before?
He/she should have done a fair number of weddings in the country/place where you want to hold your wedding.
6. What are their experiences with the particular wedding venue (that you picked)?
It’s a major bonus if they have planned a wedding before at the wedding venue you are interested in, because they will be more familiar with the layout, logistics and event staff, which can ease the process.
However, not having had any previous experience with the venue does not necessarily mean they will not do an excellent job. They may see it as a new exciting challenge and new experience to recommend to other couples too.
7. What are the costs of the wedding?
Price estimations of the wedding package, the possibility of renting equipment for the wedding or delivery coordination can be discussed as well.
8. What is the cost involved in hiring her/him and what can you expect from their end?
Ask for a ballpark figure and if they have a minimum budget they’ll work with. From these, you will be able to estimate if their fees fall within your budget, or if you haven’t set a budget yet, you will have a better idea of how much you should budget for.
As a rule of thumb, wedding planning services cost about 15 percent of your overall budget, anything more than that you might want to find out what is the additional/unique services they offer and if it justifies the extra cost. The fee should be transparent and clearly outlined right from the beginning.
9. How many years of experience does your event manager have?
Some event managers come with a pure wedding planning background, some have previously been working in the music and sports events industry, others come with a hotel or MICE (stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) background. You should find out what are their strengths and if they would be suitable for your wedding.
10. How many weddings will you be handling at the same time on the day itself and throughout the planning process?
You might not want a wedding planner who is juggling several weddings on the day of your wedding because you won’t have their full attention. However, it’s realistic that they will be working with several other couples at the same time during the planning process. The key is to find out what is the size of their team and if they are able to handle. You do not want a planner who will miss your emails and do not reply for weeks.
11. Are there any major wedding setbacks you have encountered before?
From their sharing, you will be able to know how they handle unforeseen circumstances, get a glimpse of their backup plans, and how they stay calm and organized to resolve problems.
12. Do you have any client and vendor references? Would you mind if I call a few of them?
You can have a better idea of the wedding planner’s work when you have their clients’ feedback. Vendor feedback is equally important as well because they can provide insights about how organized and efficient they are.
There will be subsequent meetings and hence more questions will arise. But don’t worry, just go with your gut feeling. If after several meetings, he/she often gives you unconstructive criticism, has no references to back their experiences, is inflexible or unresponsive, do yourself a favour, find another one.
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