Hiring a wedding planner is one of the first decisions you have to make when planning your wedding, and also one of the hardest. Why is it one of the hardest? Mostly because no one’s ever sure that they need a wedding planner in the first place.
In the beginning, you don’t realize just how much time and effort planning the wedding will take. The whole process is fun and exciting, and a wedding planner just doesn’t seem to be worth the money. Recently, I wrote a blog post about wedding budget allocation, and on average, a good wedding planner should cost about 3% of your wedding budget. It’s a big commitment.
If you find a quality wedding planner, they’re usually worth their weight in gold.
Some couples operate under the misconception that a wedding planner is meant to save them money by finding them discounts and bargains. This is not necessarily true. A wedding planner is there to make sure you’re matched with the right vendor for your price range, alleviate stress, and help turn your wedding vision into reality—as realistically as possible.
The best way to achieve this is to have a good relationship with your wedding planner. To have the best possible relationship with your wedding planner, you need to hire the right one. Below are some questions you should ask any prospective wedding planner before hiring. Good luck!
- How do you collaborate with couples?
This is important. You want to make sure you’re kept in the loop, and that you have a say in all of the important decisions. Yes, your wedding planner is meant to alleviate stress and make decisions for you—but not all of them! It’s meant to be a collaboration, not a one-man-show. Ask if they prefer to be called, emailed, or texted.
- Do you have preferred vendors?
Preferred vendors are a great way to find your vendors with a seal of approval already in place. However, if you already have different vendors in mind, make sure your planner is willing to use these other vendors.
- How many clients do you have in a year, and in my wedding month?
This will give you a good idea as to how much time the wedding planner will be able to devote to planning your wedding. Planning a wedding requires a lot of attention to detail, and you will need someone with time to spare. If your wedding planner has too many weddings booked around yours, your wedding could suffer. According to Huffington post, “High-end planners should book no more than 1-2 weddings per month, whereas day-of coordinators can get away with 3-4 weddings per month.”
- How do your weddings differ? How are they the same?
Odds are you’re going to be able see some similarities between weddings planned by the same person, but you still want yours to be unique. Ask to see photos of other weddings planned by any prospective planner, just to be sure you’re not paying to get a carbon copy of someone else’s wedding.
- What happens in case of an emergency?
Let’s face it, it’s very rare for any big event to go off without a hitch. There’s too many things going on at once for that to happen. Since the wedding planner will be coordinating all of it, it’s their job to have a Plan B.
- Can you help us stay on budget?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a wedding planner, and it should always be answered with a firm “yes.” This shouldn’t be one of those home improvement shows where a $5,000 problem is found every 15-minutes. Yes, you should allocate a small “emergency” budget, just in case something goes wrong. But having a nice wedding, on-budget is half the point of hiring a wedding planner. If they can’t answer this question affirmatively immediately, they’re not the wedding planner for you.
- Are there additional fees we need to know about?
You should always ask this before agreeing to anything in order to avoid any unexpected costs. Wedding Wire suggests you look at the contract before committing to anything. This document “should explain all of their pre-wedding day services, wedding day services and other fees which may be added to the balance, like travel fees, parking and other expenses.” If everything looks to be in order, feel free to sign on the dotted line!