Questions to Ask Wedding Planners
Your wedding day is an incredibly important event. It’s about celebrating your partner's love, with loads of family and friends. So it would make sense to hire a wedding planner to help you make sure your wedding goes as smoothly as possible.
We’ve compiled a helpful list when trying to choose a good wedding planner. It’s important to insure that the planner you’ve hired is the right fit for your wedding.
Are you available for my wedding? This is obviously your first and most important question. If they’re not free on your date, and you have some negotiation wiggle room with your partner, you might want to consider scheduling a different day if you really would love to work with that vendor.
Can they work with your budget?
No one LIKES talking about budget, but this should be the next subject to come up. It's very important for the couple and the planner to have a serious discussion of the wedding budget as early as possible. As for specific services that come with that budget, such as set up, organizing, and whether there’s a part time option if the services don't fit your budget. Or perhaps mix and match some options. I know with my videography service, I allow couples to mix and match options to fit their budget.
What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?
Sometimes it could be unclear what exactly the services are that are provided, so it's good to ask for thorough explanations of what they do. This will make it easier to decide what the planner would do , and what would be best for the wedding.
For example, if you’re very organized , and time to follow up with your vendors, then maybe take on the coordination role. If you’re having a destination wedding or a more complex setting, then it may be a good idea to let the planner take on a role such as that.
How many weddings have they planned? How many years experience do they have? I get asked this question all the time as a videographer. Do they have experience with your type of wedding (Jewish, Catholic, Hindu, etc)
Are they working at other weddings at the same time that day? And how many other couples are you working with throughout the process from time of meeting until time of wedding? I think it's a much better idea to have a planner who’s solely concentrating on your wedding that day and takes on only one per day, unless they have other planners working under them to go to the other events. It’s only realistic however, that your planner will be working with other couples throughout the time leading up to your wedding of course.
Do they have references or testimonials? Sometimes vendors have past clients write or video testimonials for them, or sometimes they let you simply contact the past client to ask about them.
How many meetings will we have? How will I be involved? This is where you should get an outline of your planning, and when the planner should draw up logistics or design a good layout to visualize your wedding planning in a relatable way.
Some planners might ask about each and every detail, while others might leave some other things up to you.
Do they handle contracts, payments and other day of services? How will your planner handle these? Well they ask for a lump sum and hire the other vendors themselves? Or will they leave that up to you and help along with the process of payments, calls and meetings with the other vendors. I know that when I shoot a wedding with a planner, I’m usually only in touch with them rather than the bride.
Will they handle the invitation process? Find out if this comes standard with their service or if they even offer it. From my experience, most planners do.
Do you coordinate rentals and delivery? Plus arrival setup times with photographer, florist and other vendors? This goes back to what I was saying earlier about how I usually interact more with the planner more than the bride. Most planners will offer this service, but definitely ask first and make sure before assuming.
How many people are in your staff? Do they have helpers throughout the day, or is it only them? Usually the size of the team depends on the size of your wedding and how many people, vendors, and items have to be handled.
Can the planner create a timeline for the other vendors ? Usually when I work with a planner they already have a pre-made template they use for the bride , sending this out to all of the vendors so they have a good idea on all of the events throughout the day. I’ve gotten some pretty detailed and organized lists of wedding day events.
What if you get sick or can’t make it to the wedding? This goes with ANY vendor, including myself. You want to make sure you have a backup on hand capable of taking on the task if that person gets sick or something happens to them that day. Usually planners do have assistants, so be sure to ask questions like these.
Has the planner planned other weddings at the venue site? This could obviously be a huge plus if they have. They already know the grounds, they already know the staff. I know here on Long Island, if you're a regular vendor chances are, you’ve worked at most of the hot spots such as Crest Hollow, Fox Hollow and Oheka Castle.
What are some ideas that the planner has to pull off their vision? Make sure their ideas of the day align with yours.
How is the planner paid? Will there be extra fees such as traveling? Parking? Food? Or is it just a flat fee?
These are of course questions for every vendor, but with a planner it may be more complex due to the nature of the work. Planning is less black and white and more grey, so definitely ask these questions as early as possible.
Last but not least...Does the planner have liability insurance?