In the first burst of joy after your engagement, you have probably started browsing wedding websites, social media sites like Pinterest, and magazines. If you are soon feeling buried under a blizzard of checklists and an intimidating array of decisions, you and your fiancé may want to consider hiring a professional wedding planner.
Depending on your budget and your needs, you can contact:
Someone to help you only in the choice of the place and the suppliers of your wedding
A day coordinator (which actually means 30 days before your wedding)
Want to know what questions to ask before hiring a planner? We have what you need.
Featured Wedding Planner | MANDY SCOTT EVENTS
Mandy Scott is the Complete Package: With a wealth of experience as an award-winning floral designer and a personal interest in art, interior design, and world travel, Mandy Scott brings an incredibly creative eye and artistic perspective to planning beautiful and personalized weddings.
Mandy Scott Events serves the Bay Area, Northern and Southern California. Destination weddings are welcome, national and international, by special arrangement.
NOTE: Many sites have internal coordinators, but make sure you know exactly what level of service they are providing. Site coordinators usually only handle the issues of the day and come up with a list of their preferred vendors, so having your own planner can always be a big help.
Even though hiring a wedding planner is an additional cost, they usually end up saving money in the long run for you. And without a doubt, the right wedding planner can save you time and stress (priceless!).
Before interviewing potential wedding planners, you and your fiancé should have some idea of:
•How much money you possess in your budget
•How many guests do you wish to invite
•Your preferred wedding date
•Your vision for your wedding (NOTE: If you are not sure yet, don’t worry, getting help is one of the reasons you hire a wedding planner services provider!)
After each interview is complete, ask yourself:
•Did we feel we heard?
•Does the planner understand our vision?
•Do we have a strong impression that he/she will work within our budget?
•Was there a good connection and did our personalities harmonize well?
Listen to your instincts. If an interview isn’t right for you, then maybe this person just isn’t right for you. Your wedding planner is the provider you spend the most time with, so it’s important to choose someone compatible with you and your fiancé.
Now, here are the questions to ask yourself!
Getting to know a planner
•Do you have our wedding date open? If so, do you anticipate date problems such as the weather, our guests’ movements, difficulties in reserving a place, etc.?
•What made you desire to be a wedding planner?
•Describe the most difficult wedding you have ever planned and how you handled the issues that arose.
•How would you rate your problem-solving skills?
•How would you rate your communication skills?
•Are you a certified wedding planner? If so, where did you get the certification? What is your field of study?
•Are you a member of one or more wedding associations? If so, does your association require you to meet annual educational requirements?
•Do you have a commercial license? How long has it been since you became a part of the industry?
•How many large-scale weddings have you planned? When was your last?
•How many wedding clients do you have in a year? How many do you think you will have during the month of our marriage?
•Is wedding planning your full-time job? If it’s part-time, what’s your other job?
Work with the place
•Have you ever worked in the place we have chosen?
•If our event takes place outdoors, what contingency plan would you have in case of bad weather? (Define an event where you had weather issues and how you solved them.)
Hire other suppliers
•Are we obligated to book only the suppliers you recommend or do we have the freedom to hire someone even if you’ve never worked with them before?
•Do you take a commission or a discount from any of the suppliers you refer us to?
•Will you be present at all supplier meetings and help us review all supplier contracts and make sure everything is in order?
•Will you charge us all of the seller’s fees or will we have to pay each of them ourselves?
•For the vendors who will be there on our wedding day, can I provide final paychecks for you to distribute to them?
•If issues arise with suppliers before, during, or after our wedding, will you deal with them or are we responsible for them?
•What kind of planning do you offer? Logistics only (i.e. organizational – managing things like timeline and floor plan) or Design and Logistics (i.e. bringing a client’s vision to life and taking charge of all the organizational aspects of the wedding)?
•If you are only doing logistics planning, can you refer us to a supplier who can help us with the design of the event? (NOTE: Floral designers often do full event design, as do design vendors.)
•Are you going to handle all aspects of the planning or can we do some things ourselves? In simple words, what parts of the planning will we be in control for?
•Will you be the person on-site on our wedding day or will it be another organizer? How many assistants will you have?
•In an emergency that prevents you from being at our wedding, who will be the backup planner? What are their qualifications?
•What time will you reach and leave on our wedding or event day?
•Will you be staying there after our wedding to make sure everything is broken down and all the vendors have left?
•Will you provide us with a wedding timeline and a floor plan for the wedding venue?
•Do you offer different package options or is everything personalized to what we’re looking for?
•How many phone calls and meetings are included in our package?
•Is the rehearsal of the wedding day included in your services?
•Does any of your packages include planning for the rehearsal dinner and/or brunch after the wedding? If not, would you provide this service, and what would be the additional cost to include it in our contract?
•Do you offer honeymoon planning in any of your packages? If not, would you provide this service, and what would be the additional cost to include it in our contract?
•Do any of your packages include assistance finding my wedding dress and wedding party attire? If not, would you provide this service, and what would be the additional cost to include it in our contract?
Set to work.
•Once we have booked with you, how quickly can we expect to receive the contract?
•Once we have given you our budget, will you provide us with a breakdown of how the money will be allocated?
•As changes are done to our plans, will you update us with an updated contract and revised estimate?
•How do you charge your services? Schedule, percentage of wedding cost, or package?
•Can you provide a detailed list of all the items included in your fees?
•What is your payment policy? Do you accept credit cards?
•What is the deposit amount required to reserve your services? When is the final payment due?
•Are there any fees that will not be included in your proposal that we should be aware of?
•What is your refund or cancellation policy?
•Can you provide a list of references? NOTE: Any experienced coordinator ought to be able to give you a lot of references. For a list of wedding coordinators/planners, you can trust.
•Can you provide us with a portfolio and/or a video of the weddings you have had?