Forty Questions to Ask Potential Wedding Planners
Looking through bridal magazines and browsing wedding websites are a lot of fun, but planning a wedding takes real work. The sheer number of things you have to do and the decisions you have to make can be overwhelming, especially since you have to do many of them long before the actual ceremony. This is why many couples who simply don’t want the stress choose to hire a wedding planner.
Many event planners recommend hiring a wedding planner if you have the budget for it. Plus, what’s great is that, these days, you usually have some options whatever your budget is. A full-service planner will be more expensive, but he or she will arrange and work out every little detail of your wedding so you don’t have to. If your budget is a little tight, you can hire a planner who will assist you only in choosing your vendors and wedding location. You can also opt to hire a day-of coordinator, whose services you’ll use only on the day itself of the wedding.
Wedding planners may seem like an unnecessary expense, but they can actually end up helping you save money. And you can’t really put a price on all the stress a wedding planner will save you from. Before you go out and start looking for the perfect planner though, here are some questions you and your future spouse should ask yourselves:
- How much can we spend on the wedding planner’s services?
- How many guests are we planning to invite?
- When is our wedding date?
- What would we like our wedding’s theme look and feel to be?
Once you have a good idea of your answers to these questions, you can start looking for wedding planners to hire. To make the interview process a little easier, take your pick from the following forty questions.
Getting to know a planner
- What made you want to be a wedding planner? Do you do it full-time?
- Are you a certified wedding planner? Where did you get your certification? Are you a member of any wedding associations?
- Can you give us a list of references?
Learning more about a planner’s experience
- How long have you been professionally planning weddings?
- Tell us more about the kind of planning you offer. Do you take care of design only, logistics only, or both?
- How many weddings have you fully planned? When was the last one?
- Do you have a portfolio and/or videos of weddings you’ve previously planned?
- How many clients do you expect to have during the month of our wedding?
- Tell us about the most challenging wedding you planned and how you handled it.
- How would you rate your problem-solving and communication skills?
- Are you available for our wedding date? If so, do you think there are any issues with the date we chose (e.g. weather, availability of a venue)?
- Will you plan the entire wedding on your own or are we responsible for some of the planning, too?
- Will you be there on the day of the wedding or will another planner be there? Do you have a backup planner for emergencies?
- Are you planning to stay after the wedding to ensure that the vendors take everything down and that the venue is taken care of?
- Do you offer services for planning rehearsal dinners or post-wedding brunch, or the honeymoon? What would be the extra cost to add any or all of those in our contract?
- Do you have experience working at the venue we’ve chosen?
- If we choose to have our wedding outdoors, what would be your contingency plan for bad weather? Have you had similar experiences with weddings you’ve previously planned?
- Can we choose our own vendors, even if you haven’t worked with them before? Or do we have to book the vendors you recommend?
- Do you take a commission or discount from the vendors you recommend to us?
- Are you going to be present when we meet the vendors and provide assistance as we review vendor contracts?
- If we encounter a problem with the vendors before, during, or after the wedding, will you handle it for us?
Getting down to business
- Are you going to invoice us for vendor fees or will we have to handle the payments ourselves? Can I provide you with final payment checks to distribute to the vendors who will be on-site on our wedding day?
- Once we hire your services, how quickly can you give us our contract?
- How do you charge for your services? By the hour, a percentage of the wedding cost, or flat rate?
- Can we see a detailed list of all the items and services included in your fee?
- How do we pay you? Do you accept cash, credit cards, or checks?
- Do we need to make a deposit to officially book your services? When do we need to make the final payment?
- Can you give us a detailed breakdown of how our wedding budget is going to be spent?
- Is our contract going to be updated, with a revised estimate, each time we make changes to our plans?
- What is your refund or cancellation policy?
To make sure you get the best wedding planner, event planning experts recommend asking yourself the following questions:
- Does the planner understand our vision?
- Did we feel that our ideas and opinions were heard?
- Did we get along well and was there a good connection?
In the end, what matters is that you listen to your instincts. If the interview feels fishy, the planner probably isn’t the best fit for you and your future spouse. It’s important that you go with a planner who you and your partner can get along with, since the planner is the vendor you’ll be seeing most in the months leading up to your wedding.