10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Wedding Planner
words by | Eve Green
For the bride who decides she doesn’t want to take on wedding planning on her own, hiring the right wedding planner is one of the most important first steps to take. You want to find a planner who is educated on the wedding industry, organized, timely, and most importantly, who is a good fit for you and your partner. Before interviewing wedding planners, consider the following questions that may help you make the decision.
1. Do you have our wedding date open?
This is the most important question of all, and should be covered prior to the first meeting. If your wedding date isn’t set in stone, you may opt to work around the wedding planner’s availability.
2. What is your payment policy?
In addition to knowing exactly what is included when you purchase wedding planning services, you should also find out how you will be charged and what type of payments are accepted. Owner of Bee for the Day, Brooke Lauber-Cobb, states, “There are several ways to bill in the wedding planning field. The coordinator can charge a percentage based on the total wedding cost, a one time package price fee, or the coordinator can charge an hourly rate.”
3. Do your services differ from those offered by my venue coordinator?
Many churches and venues offer on-site coordinators to keep things running smoothly at that location. Brooke offered this wise tip to us about distinguishing a venue coordinator from a wedding planner, noting that “The venue’s coordinator is there to handle the issues at the venue.” Wedding planners work alongside venue coordinators and communicate with the other vendors while overseeing every last detail to help create a perfect day for the couple.
4. What type of services do you offer?
Wedding planners offer different specialities - some focus strictly on coordinating services while others also offer design and decorating services. Be sure to find out of the scope of their services and how it can impact your budget. Some brides simply want a day-of coordinator to help their wedding day run smoothly, leaving the bride to handle the planning prior to the big day. Knowing what type of services you seek before you start interviewing wedding planners will help you find a professional who is a good fit for you.
5. What type of experience do you have?
Ask the wedding planner how long they have been in business and how many weddings they have coordinated. It can also be beneficial to know the experience of their staff members as they may be the ones who are in attendance on your wedding day. Is it possible to see reviews and testimonials of former clients?
6. How many coordinators will be at the wedding?
We love this tip from The Knot, suggesting brides should: “Find out how many assistants, coordinators, and event stylists your planner will also bring on the day of, so you can be sure everything's handled and you can relax and enjoy the day. The final size of the day-of team depends on your wedding's specific logistics, but they should tell you the number of staff members needed for the typical wedding they work on.” Some brides may only want one coordinator on hand to assist while others with large weddings may feel more comfortable with a whole team running the show.
7. Do you have insurance?
April Gladieux, owner of Your Perfect Day, offered us this crucial question many couples neglect to ask wedding planners: “You want to make sure you are protected throughout the planning process in case anything was to happen to the planner while working with you by knowing what types of insurance they have and what exactly it covers. Actually, a number of venues will require that all professionals you work with have liability insurance.”
8. What is your management style?
Quiet and unobtrusive or clipboard and whistle wielding? How does the wedding planner work with not just the bride, but with the wedding party, guests, and family members? It’s important to remember that this day, while carefully planned, will have its surprises. Does the planner handle emergencies well? Also, each member of the wedding party and guest is unique and may have special needs.
9. Do you have a refund policy?
Although most weddings come off without a hitch, sometimes life intervenes and ceremonies need to be canceled, postponed, or major changes may be required. Is there a clause in the contract that addresses partial or total refunds, depending on how much time and effort has been expended by the coordinator up to that point?
10. What are your ideas for achieving our vision?
Part of what makes a wedding planner such a great investment is that he or she has the experience, ideas, and connections to make things happen you never dreamed possible! Once you express your dream wedding vision it can be a lot of fun to get a wedding planner’s inspirational ideas of how to make your day unique and special.
When you find the right wedding planner who understands your vision, it is entirely worth the added cost. These experts know how to help you every step of the way while planning your dream wedding day.