Planning a wedding can be a lot of fun, but make no mistake... it's hard work. It can also be incredibly stressful to take all of the planning on yourself. There are plenty of couples who have come close to breaking up during the planning process. Hiring a wedding planner to assist you with the wedding planning process is one of the best ways to de-stress the whole situation.
When you hire a wedding planner, especially a full-service planner/event designer, they'll be there with you every step of the way, acting as the planner, designer and coordinator to make sure you have the perfect wedding. Whether you're having a destination wedding or a backyard wedding, a wedding planner will help you prepare for all major wedding events, from the day you start your engagement to the rehearsal dinner and even answering any post-wedding questions you may have.
Finding a great wedding planner starts with asking the right questions. Chances are, you'll talk to a few different people before you find the right fit. As you search, these are the most important questions to ask a wedding planner.
1. Are You Available on My Wedding Date?
It might sound obvious, but it's worth remembering that not much else matters if a wedding planner isn't available on your wedding day. It's a good question to ask them at the very beginning so you can both avoid wasting each other's time.
2. Can You Work Within Our Budget?
You will, of course, want to talk dollars and cents before you get too deep into discussing other topics. Some wedding planners charge a flat fee, while others charge an hourly rate. Some are flexible, and others are not. Be sure to have a discussion about your budget with your potential planner early on.
3. How Many Clients Do You Like to Take On?
You might get an answer in clients per month or per year, but what you really want to know is how many clients a wedding planner likes to work with at a time. Some like to focus on a single client, while others are more comfortable juggling the needs of multiple clients. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you should still know how much time and attention your wedding planner will be able to give you.
4. What's Your Craziest Wedding Story?
An experienced wedding planner will have more than a few wild wedding tales to tell. Asking a question like this is a great way to break the ice, but can also tell you about your wedding planner's personality, wedding planning style, and how they relate to their clients -- especially in a crisis.
5. What Are Our Options If We Need to Postpone Our Wedding?
Flexibility is important, now more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced countless couples to postpone and change their wedding plans, and it's important to know that your wedding planner will be able to work with you, if necessary.
6. How Many Weddings Have You Planned?
You will want to know if your style and budget for your big day is something they have handled before or if it is outside of their normal experience. What you really want to know is, "How many weddings have you planned in my size and budget?"
Ask them for some references or examples of past weddings that they have planned. It might feel like a rude question to ask your wedding planner, but it is a helpful one.
7. How Do You Communicate with Clients?
You and your wedding planner are going to talk a lot between now and your wedding, so it's good to understand their preferred method and style of communication. Are they easy to reach? Is there a good time of day to call them, or for them to call you? Do they prefer talking by phone, texting or emailing? Get on the same page for clear and open communication.
8. Who Are Your Favorite Vendors?
A wedding planner should be able to recommend wedding venues, caterers, bakers and other vendors. If they’ve been doing it long enough, they will have good relationships with many different wedding professionals in different fields related to weddings. With these connections, they may even be able to get you a great deal with other vendors.
9. What Are the Financial Implications of Canceling/Postponing?
Many wedding planners will be flexible if you need to cancel or postpone your wedding due to coronavirus-related concerns. Just make sure you know what happens to all your hard-earned money in that event. Be sure to ask about your wedding planner's refund policy, and ask the same of all your other vendors. This will likely come up when you go over your contract with them.
10. What Was Your Favorite Wedding You've Planned in the Last Year?
This question will give you a sense of your wedding planner's work, and what kinds of weddings they like to plan. Pay attention to the various wedding details your wedding planner gets excited about, and consider if they mesh with the type of wedding you want to have. It will be a much more enjoyable experience for you and your wedding planner if your styles match up. They’ll be happy you asked them to be your planner.
11. What Happens If...?
Go ahead and ask about contingency plans for all your fears and worst-case scenarios. What if the caterer cancels? What if something goes wrong with the venue? What if we disagree on a detail for our wedding? What if our hotel can't accommodate everyone? How do you handle family drama during the wedding and rehearsal? Ask the planner if there are other potential issues you should be aware of and how they would handle those with you. A great wedding planner will always be ready with a backup plan in a tough spot and will take the time to answer your questions and alleviate your fears.
While these are just some of the questions you might want to ask your wedding planner, you might still be asking yourself, "What style of wedding will we have?" Take our wedding style quiz to find out!