wedding planner

Questions To Ask When Hiring A Wedding Planner

Image Courtesy of  Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

When looking for a wedding planner, you need to ask more in-depth questions than the cost of services. Far too often, I’ll get an email inquiry asking about services and pricing, just to get a response that I’m out of budget. Even if that’s the case, you should do a little more inquiring to know and understand what you’re getting for the price. There are a lot more questions to ask when hiring a wedding planner and I’m going to share my top 7 with you so that you can be better prepared when interviewing wedding planners for your big day!

Is the planner certified? I have gone to school to become a Certified Wedding & Event Planner and continue mastering my craft with wedding conferences, seminars, and webinars. The industry is constantly changing and one of the first things we learn is to never become complacent.

Is the planner insured? I carry two policies, one being a general liability and the other a professional liability. Just like I protect my home and car, I protect myself against anything that could potentially happen on your wedding day. If something were to happen to something that you had to rent for your wedding day, I’m able to cover it under my policy and I’ve been able to add venue and larger items such as venues and Cadillac car bars as riders on my policy.

Image Courtesy of  Inije Photography

Image Courtesy of Inije Photography

Does the planner have a full-time job while planning full time? I used to be a planner that held down a full-time job while building my business. While I was good at jugging both full-time responsibilities seamlessly, not everyone can handle the stress of both worlds so easily. If your planner has a full-time job, ensure that he or she can devote adequate time to planning your wedding and the stressors of their career. After all, you’re hiring a wedding planner because you’re too busy and your job is too stressful. Right?

Image Courtesy of  Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

How much experience does he or she have? Are you meeting with someone that has just planned their own wedding and now wants to plan yours? Will they be learning on your dime? Becoming a skilled wedding planner takes time; a lot of time. I worked with my mentor almost four years before launching Enraptured Events. I learned to master the art of logistics, work with a well-choreographed staff and team of vendors, all while honing my creativity.

Are they using someone else pictures on their website or social media outlet? If they haven’t had their company or been in the industry long enough, it’s not uncommon for a new planner to “borrow” a more established planner’s images as use as their own. You want to make sure that they have a proven track record that they can easily produce via reviews or references.

What happens when Plan A becomes Plan B? Inevitably, something will not go according to plan, regardless of how well and thought out the plans are. We can’t predict the weather, people, and things go wrong from time to time. An experienced planner takes control of the situation and deals with it. If you choose to enlist a family member or hire someone with not as much experience, you could be adding more stress to your wedding day.

Image Courtesy of  Made You Look Photography

Image Courtesy of Made You Look Photography

Do they have vendor relationships to help realize the wedding of your dreams? Being an experienced wedding planner comes with the adding benefit of building and cultivating relationships with some of the best people in the industry. Often times we can call upon at the last minute, late at night, and get things done in a manner that may be a bit for difficult without having that relationship.

Cost is important but should not be in the top three consideration of whether you want to work with a particular planner or not. You want to make sure you’re able to mesh well with the planner, find one that will go to bat for you when it’s time to stand up for you in your absence, one that will be responsive, and one whose creative vision is in line with your own and the services that they provide. These questions to ask when hiring a wedding planner will help get you started on the right path to choosing the best wedding planner for your big day!

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Wedding Planner

Today's Tuesday's Topic is all about hiring a wedding planner. This is the time of year where many people got engaged over the holiday season and you just might be one of them. And...I bet you’re wondering if it’s really necessary to hire a wedding planner and if you do, if there’s an actual benefit to doing so. Well, there is! There are many benefits to hiring a wedding planner, but I’ve narrowed them to my top 5. Trust me, the right wedding planner is an asset to your wedding day; not a liability!

Image Courtesy of  Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of  Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

1.   Directly, in the form of discounts! Everybody want to save a buck or two. That's the nature of the beast. I, like many other planners, know tons of other wedding vendors and worked hard to build and cultivate my relationships with ALL of them. Often times, we're able to get things just because of our long-time friendships or because the overall design concept is so beautiful that they just want to throw “a little something extra” in. More often than not, this is the case. However, the right wedding planner works with you to select the vendors that are perfect for you and within your specified budget. Haggling over prices or seeking vendor kickbacks isn't always good either.

2.  Indirectly, in the form of long-time experience! I’ve been there and I’ve done that. I can save you money be asking questions that you may not know to ask. For example, a current bride of mine just lost her $2,500 deposit on a venue because she didn’t know that she had to pay $35 per car for each of her guests to park. This cost was not factored into her budget, nor was it a part of the food and beverage minimum that she had to meet. It helps to know venues, logistics, and the right questions to ask. It can save you lots of money in the long run.

Image Courtesy of  Leslie Marie Photography

Image Courtesy of Leslie Marie Photography

Image Courtesy of  Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

3.  Incidentally, in the form of the all-inclusive venue! If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times “the venue comes with tables and chairs”. Just because the venue comes with table and chairs does NOT mean that they are the right chairs for your wedding. Another former bride of mine booked her venue before hiring me and her venue had 50 chocolate brown chairs and 50 tan chairs. Her wedding colors were black and green, which meant she had to rent 100 black and green chairs! In the end, she didn’t save money.  

4.  Logistically, in the form of time! Well, time is money, right? More often than not, a bride wants to DIY  a good part of her wedding because she feels that she can handle it all, plus her full-time job, her family, friends, and her fiancé! Well, once the wedding draws near, she realizes that she can’t handle it all and things start to fall through the cracks! This is when your wedding planner has to step in and find an amazing vendor that's going to pull off an even bigger miracle to complete the project that you've run out of time to do, yet still needs to get done before your wedding.

Image Courtesy of  Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of  Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

5.  Medically, in the form of pre-marital and family counseling! Planning a wedding should be stress free, but sometimes there are petty fights over colors, guest lists, and of course money. I’m certainly happy that I’m able to be a friend, counselor, and confidant to my brides and grooms. I definitely have been able to save them a lot in insurance co-payments. If I had to charge for all the times that I’ve had to be a psychiatrist, a counselor, and a mediator, there may not be much left in the budget for me as the wedding planner!

Image Courtesy of  Leslie Marie Photography

Image Courtesy of Leslie Marie Photography

The moral of the story: Hire a wedding planner first! If you have a stressful job, are having a wedding out of town, or simply just want it to run smoothly, hire a professional. Happy planning!