Deciding who to hire to plan your wedding is a huge decision–this person will be by your side for nearly every wedding choice you make before you walk down the aisle. You’ll want to ensure you have as much information possible before moving forward with your final choice.
In order to make the most out of your interviews with potential planners, go in with a game plan so that you can learn as much about them as possible. These tips and questions will help you steer the meeting in the right direction, so that you can walk out feeling confident in your knowledge of what the planner can bring to the table.
Before going into these meetings, you need to have an idea of:
- Your budget.
- How hands on you need the planner to be.
- Your wedding date (or at least come in with a few dates in mind.).
- Approximately how many guests you’re inviting.
- Any visions or ideasyou have for the wedding–this doesn’t need to be completely sorted out (that’s what a planner is for!), but coming in with some ideas will help your potential coordinator get a feel of your aesthetic, and will also help you determine if they are capable of executing it.
As you head out for your meeting, make sure to bring a notebook or laptop and a list of these questions, as well as any questions that are unique to you and your wedding needs. This will help you decide whether a specific planner is the right fit for you–and will keep all of the information you collect in organized!
The Questions You Need to Ask Potential Wedding Planners
- Do you focus on logistics of wedding planning, event design, or both? What services do you offer?
Some planners lead towards one specialty, so decide what you need (or want) based on your strengths, and see if the planner will complement that. If they lean towards logistics, see if they have an event designer they like to work with; if they lean towards event design, see if they have someone to fit into the coordinator role. Since the types of services offered can differ from planner to planner, get specifics on exactly what they offer, such as full service event design, day-of coordination, or àla carte planning.
- What is your rate? What is included in this rate? Do you offer different planning packages?
Of course, it is essential that the planner fits into your budget. Check if they offer certain tiers or packages.
- Does your rate (or do any of your packages) include the rehearsal dinner and/or day-after celebration?
- What is the cost of the average wedding you work on?
This will help you get an idea of whether they have experience with weddings in your budget, and if they will be able to stay within your financial limits.
- Do you require a deposit? How much is it?
- Have you worked with our wedding venue before?
It’s helpful if your planner has experience with your venue, as they will already have an idea of the policies you need to follow and the layout of the space–as well as any potential complications you may run into.
- What was the most challenging wedding or event you’ve planned? How were you able to work through the issues that came up?
- Are you a certified wedding planner? What is your educational background?
- How long have you worked in the industry? How many weddings have you coordinated as the head wedding planner?
You’ll ideally want someone who has a lot of experience under their belt as the head planner, but keep in mind that they’ve likely gained invaluable experience on the assistant level as well.
- How many clients do you typically take on at a time? How many weddings will you be coordinating around our wedding date?
Of course, you want as much as your planner’s attention as reasonable, and will need them to be fully available on your big day. However, it is important to also be realistic–they likely will have other wedding clients at the same time as you. Having an idea of their average workload will ease your mind if they are working with other clients, as you’ll see how much they are able to manage at a time.
- Do you have any initial ideas to help execute our vision?
They won’t offer fully-fleshed ideas immediately at the first meeting, but hopefully the planner will have some suggestions based on what you initially tell them about your style and vision. This will help you better see if they can execute what you have in mind.
- Do you have vendors you refer your clients to? Are we required to book through your recommended vendors, or are you willing to work with others? Do any of the vendors you work with offer discounts to your clients?
The benefit of working with a planner is that they will have relationships with vendors, who will often offer discounts. Some planners have vendors with whom they work exclusively. If flexibility in vendor choice is important to you, you’ll want to know upfront if that is possible with this planner.
- Will you attend vendor meetings with us? Will you be responsible for reviewing contracts and making sure everything is in order?
This will help you get a better idea of what exactly is included in their rate. If avoiding having to deal with contracts and the nitty gritty details is important to you, you’ll want to make sure your planner takes care of it!
- Do you have a team you work with? Will they be present the day of the wedding?
- What part of the wedding will we be responsible for planning?
This will differ depending on the package or service you get, but it’s a good idea to have a clear vision of the work the planner takes on versus the work you will have to do.
- Do you stay on site after the wedding to ensure everything is packed up at the venue? How long before the wedding do you typically arrive?
- How often should we expect to meet with you leading up to the wedding?
- What is the best way to get in contact with you?
- Do you have a list of references you can provide? Do you have a portfolio you can share?
Planners will often have portfolios in the form of photos or videos. This will help you see how they’ve brought other couples’ visions to life.
After the meeting, it’s likely that you’ll have a gut feeling whether this planner is the right choice for you. As you are reviewing your options and nearing decision time, reflect on these questions before making the final hire:
- Can we trust them to stick with our budget?
- Do we feel like they can execute our vision?
- Do they seem to genuinely care about our ideas and concerns?
- Will we work well together as a team?
If you are looking to meet with wedding planners from all around Georgia, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You’ll be able to meet with a variety of wedding professionals, and will find the planner who is perfectly equipped to bring your wedding vision to life!