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Questions to Ask Your Wedding Planner

May 15, 2017 by The Marquardt Ranch

Managing all of the minute details of a wedding can be incredibly stressful. Suddenly, you and your future spouse are supposed to plan out an enormous array of details, from the date to the budget to the venue and more in the first two months alone—and that’s on top of your normal day jobs! Rather than let the stress build up, a simple solution is to hire a wedding planner. After all, planning weddings is their actual job—they know what they’re doing, and it’ll take a huge load off your shoulders. That being said, there are a few things you should ask a potential wedding planner before you book them.

How many clients do you have in a given year? What about a given month?

The number of clients a wedding planner serves at one time dictates how available they’ll be during the planning process. If they’re very booked around the month of your wedding date and you’re reliant on them to make sure your event goes perfectly smoothly, you might be disappointed. The more clients they balance the month-of, the less they can focus on your wedding.

How many weddings of my size and budget have you planned? Can you provide examples?

Do your homework! Find out how long the planner has been in business, their range of skills and comfort, and any relevant degrees or certifications they have. It’s a major red flag if they’re unable to provide these references.

Do you work alone or with a team?

If you’re planning on hosting a large number of guests, a single person may not be enough to manage everything. The bigger your guest list, the more beneficial it may be to have a team of assistants working in tandem with the lead planner.

Have you worked with my venue or vendors before?

Many wedding planners have a list of preferred vendors, which can often grant them (and you) access to certain discounts not otherwise available. If you have your heart set on a particular venue or vendor, see if there’s a wedding planner associated with them. On the other hand, if you find your heart set on a particular wedding planner, they might have access to wonderful vendors that you wouldn’t otherwise have considered!

What’s the cost for your services?

Some wedding planners charge flat fees, others charge an hourly rate, and a la carte services might be available for an extra charge. When asking this, make sure it’s clear what services you’re paying for, as well. You don’t want to be surprised by thinking that your wedding planner will handle all the details throughout the planning process, only to find that you hired them just for day-of assistance.

Will you be with us on our big day (or big weekend)?

Let your wedding planner know if you’d like them to attend the rehearsal dinner, wedding, or Sunday brunch. If the wedding planner works with a team, they may assign one of their assistants to run part of the event.

How do you communicate with clients?

Make sure you find out when—and how—you should expect to communicate with your wedding planner. Once a week? Once every two weeks? By phone, or by email?

Can you help us stay on budget?

Let your wedding planner know your budget immediately. That way, they can help you stay on track and get the most for your money!

What happens in case of emergency?

It’s vital to have a plan B—after all, even the best laid plans can go awry, no matter how much planning you do. Do they have a backup if they get sick the morning of your big day?

Can I see a contract?

If you like everything you’ve seen and heard in your conversation, it’s time to ask for a contract. Make sure all the terms are understood and agreeable, and then sign!

Congratulations, and happy planning!

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