The proposal was unforgettable. You just took your first engagement ring selfie. You’ve shared all the details with everyone you know. You’re glowing. And, now, you’ve likely taken to Instagram and Pinterest, like its your job, for wedding inspiration!
Weeks after getting engaged, it all still feels like a whirlwind! There are so many things to think about! So, before you get overwhelmed, hit the pause button, take a breath and consider calling a Wedding Planner and investing in professional help. Here’s my expert rundown of must-ask questions to help you find a Wedding Pro that’s just the right fit.
Before picking up the phone or sending that email, consider the following:
- Make a list of what you think you need or want in a Wedding Pro.
- Outline possible wedding dates and locations, along with a prospective guest count.
Keep this information handy at all times, but do refine your list as needed as you go along.
When you finally connect, a Wedding Pro should:
- Confirm their availability on your wedding date or any target dates.
- Have an organized list of questions for you.
- Demonstrate an interest in and understanding of your overall wedding vision and priorities.
- Explain their area of specialty. Most orchestrate all types of weddings while others ‘specialize’ in certain types of experiences (i.e. destination, tented affairs, etc.).
- Communicate their packages and scope of services. While all plan, some also plan and design. They may also offer other in-house services (invitations, favors, etc).
- Outline Pricing Structure for the package or service that seems the best fit. Do they work on a flat fee? retainer plus hourly? retainer plus percentage? percentage only? hourly?
- Schedule a time for follow up and specify next steps.
Here are some additional questions to ask the Wedding Pro to see if that partnership is right for you!
- Is there a minimum wedding budget you work with?
- What job functions and tasks are generally included in the package I am most interested in? What would be considered outside the scope?
- Who is the point person I will be planning with on a regular basis? You or a member of your team?
- Will this person be on-site and orchestrating the Wedding Day? Do they work solo or with a team?
- What is the pace of the planning process? Do we connect daily? Weekly? As needed?
- Do you attend vendors meetings and who is responsible for scheduling and managing those?
- Do you have an exclusive list of vendors you work with? If so, why?
- Do you create a working budget and manage it throughout the process? If not, why?
- Do you negotiate the venue and vendor agreements? Who signs those agreements?
- Do you pay vendors directly or do I?
- How many weddings have you (or the point person) orchestrated to date?
- Have you (or the point person) planned other weddings in the prospective location(s)?
- How are administrative and travel expenses handled? Can you offer some examples?
If you feel like you might have found THE ONE, tell that Wedding Pro so!! Maybe ask if they would be kind enough to supply a few Client References and sample Client Budget or Wedding Day Timeline. Speaking to references and reviewing paperwork should give you a window into their process and speak volumes about their level of professionalism. If you like what you hear, proceed with confidence!
Note to self: A great Wedding Planner will embrace the many moving parts involved in planning and orchestrating your vision and a seamless wedding day. They will endeavor to protect your most precious commodities: relationships, energy, time and money. And, ultimately, they will masterfully ensure that you and your fiancé can relax, enjoy the entire experience and, most importantly, be guests at your own wedding!!!
Remember: Planning a wedding isn’t just about the one day. It’s about the entire experience. Cherish every moment. It will be a precious memory that lasts a lifetime.
Jennifer Brisman is a Wedding and Event Planner, Chief Planning Officer of jennifer brisman weddings newyork and Founder of VOW, the Premier Wedding Planning Platform with the Human Touch. Based in New York City, Jennifer has been planning and orchestrating extraordinary events for nearly 20 years. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.