Planning a wedding seems can be a lot of fun, but sometimes it can turn out to be stressful.
This is where a wedding planner who can come to your rescue. A wedding planner can help take responsibilities off of your shoulders. These can include setting up decorations and communicating with your vendors.
It is important to make sure you are hiring the right person for the job, because they will be handling so many important details. So, how can you choose the right wedding planner? You need to know the best questions to ask a wedding planner. That way you can gage if that person can help execute your dream wedding.
Let’s check it out.
All the Questions You Need to Ask a Wedding Planner Before Signing the Contract
Handing over the reins of wedding planning is not simple. To make it a smooth transition, make sure you hire the right planner for you. Listed below are all the relevant questions to ask a wedding planner before you decide to hire them.
· Will you be available on [insert your wedding date]?
It seems obvious, but this one of the most important questions to ask a wedding planner. The wedding planner should be present the day of the wedding. There might be some minor glitches or last minute changes, and these will have to be addressed. As the bride, you want to be stress-free, so make sure your wedding planner is available that day.
· How long have you been planning weddings?
You'll likely want a well seasoned professional. Find out more about the experience of your wedding planner. Know that someone who is more experienced is likely to have higher fees. Don't discount someone new to the profession - the quality of their work is more important than the quantity.
· How many weddings do you typically plan a year?
It is important to know about your wedding planner's schedule is. If you know how many weddings they organize in a year, you will have an idea about how efficient your wedding planner is. Too many weddings, and they might not have enough time for you. Not enough weddings might indicate their level of expertise.
· Have you ever worked with [insert your venue]?
Out of all the top questions to ask a wedding planner, this is one of the most forgotten. It is likely your wedding planner is up to the job if they work with popular venues frequently.
· What are your package options?
Many wedding planners offer a variety of package deals. Did you find a planner you like but their fee is out of your budget? They may have a package that still offers main services at a lower cost. Make sure to ask about price and service differences between each package.
· (If your event is outdoors) What would be your backup plan if there’s bad weather?
The forecast for your big day says clear skies and sunshine - fantastic! Even so, it is wise to have a plan for rain or wind. Your wedding planner should have a complete backup plan for making alternate arrangements.
· Are there any vendors that we would have to book if we hire you?
Some wedding planners have contracts with vendors. These can include florists, decorators, stationery dealers, or even caterers. If they do, you may be required to book those vendors, too. If you do not have any other vendors in mind, you can go along with this arrangement. Otherwise, you will want to choose another wedding planner.
· Would we get a discount with any of the vendors that you recommend?
Regardless of who is footing the bill, weddings are expensive. It's always a smart idea to ask about any discounts you can get. It might feel a little awkward, but it is important to ask. (The worst they can say is no!) Again, there may be a package deal if you book a planner and specific vendors together.
· Do you send an invoice of all the vendor fees or do we have to pay each one of them individually?
It is easier to deal with one receipt than to take care of separate invoices for all vendors. For stress free invoicing, have your planner send you one bill. They will take care of paying the vendors.
· Are you willing to distribute checks to the vendors that will be on-site?
There will be a lot of vendors present on the day of the wedding and you will have to pay them on that day itself. While you will want to write the checks ahead of time, someone needs to distribute them (And, let's be honest, you're going to be a bit busy to tackle that yourself). Ask your wedding planner if they are willing to take that responsibility.
· What kind of planning do you offer?
There are many different styles of planning, so this is one of the top questions to ask a wedding planner. Wedding planners organize different kinds of services. Some wedding planners only deal with logistics, such as preparing a floor plan. Others offer design services, where they decorate the venue and customize designs.
There are also other wedding planners who offer a combination of the two styles.
· What tasks are we ultimately responsible for after we hire you?
"I thought you were booking a musician!" is not the conversation you want to have with your wedding planner at your rehearsal. Make sure you are aware of exactly what services your planner provides, and be clear on what you will be responsible for. Some planners will truly do it all - hire your officiant, book your musicians, order the flowers and so much more. You just need to be clear on what you each are taking care of so you aren't left without an important part of your big day.
· Will you be the only planner on-site on the day of the wedding?
This is a top question to ask a wedding planner if you're having a large wedding. A wedding planner may have a team of people working for them, or at least have a partner. It is necessary for you to get to know the team, have contact information for each team member, and know who exactly will be present on the day of the wedding.
· If you aren’t able to attend our wedding, who will be the backup planner?
If your wedding planner is not able to stay during the wedding, then he or she should arrange for a backup planner who will be able to take care of everything. Just know there may be an additional fee for another planner to be present.
· Will you stay on-site after our wedding and make sure everything is cleaned up, put away, and gifts are delivered to the correct location?
It's a small detail to think about, but someone needs to do something with the gifts after the reception. If you created your own decorations, someone needs to gather those at the end of the evening. You'll be too tired from your busy day, so ask your wedding planner if they will be involved until the very end.
· Will you be there during our wedding rehearsal?
The wedding rehearsal is important, because every wedding ceremony is different! Even with the most experienced bridal crew, it's necessary that everyone is on the same page about the details. That includes your planner! It will help both parties to have a clear idea about how things will proceed on your big day.
· How much would the deposit be?
You will have to make an initial deposit to your planner before they start working (this is likely necessary for all of your vendors!) Ask how much the deposit is so that you are able to calculate your overall expenses beforehand.
· How do you charge for your services? Hourly? Flat fee?
Different wedding planners have different types of fees. Know how your wedding planner is charging you, and decide if it's in the budget for you.
· Do you have a complete list of what’s included in your fee?
Your wedding planner should have this. If they don't, you shouldn't hire them. You need to know all of the services you are paying for - especially if each service has a different fee. It is much easier to organize your expenses once you know what your wedding planner is offering.
· When is the final payment due?
The final payment is usually made after the wedding. Some wedding planners require you to pay after they have finished with the organizing. Decide which is a better option and hire your wedding planner accordingly.
· What is your refund and cancellation policy?
This is one of the top questions to ask a wedding planner. You may decide you want to change planners after you've signed the contract - that's okay! If you do that, you need to know the process for terminating the contract.
· Do you have a list of references that we can contact?
Do not hesitate to ask this question! It will help you understand the quality of work that your wedding planner does. Have questions prepared for each reference.
· Do you have a portfolio of weddings you’ve done?
A portfolio will allow you to see the level of work your wedding planner does. It may also give you some inspiration for your wedding!
· Can we make changes to the contract throughout the wedding planning process?
Changes in wedding planning happens! You may realize you have enough time or assistance (hello bridesmaids!) to take care of responsibilities originally given to your planner. If that's the case, you may want to alter the contract for the services they are providing. If they do have a flexible contract, you'll want to know the process for how to change the contract.
The Wrap Up
Talk to your wedding planner and get all the information you need before you make a decision. Hire the person only if you are completely satisfied with the answers to all these questions. Your wedding is important, and it needs to be planned with care.
To further get rid of the stress related to wedding shopping, explore the exclusive collection of Kennedy Blue and have fun!