In the excitement (and stresses) of wedding planning, we can understand your eagerness to cross everything off the to-do list as soon as possible. However, before you sign up for potentially a year or more partnership with a vendor, make sure you check off these questions to ask your wedding planner before you sign a contract.
Likely working with you the longest and the closest, wedding planners are your rock. It's important they're properly vetted. This goes beyond how pretty their Instagram feed looks and whether or not their style matches your vibe (which is truly important, too). It's important to cover some not-as-glamorous logistical questions as well.
For instance, what's their communication style? Is there transparency in their pricing (particularly when it comes to incidentals)? Will you be working directly with them, or with an associate planner? Ensuring that your own expectations are set up from the start will leave no surprises throughout the planning process and on the wedding day.
So, on your next potential vendor meet and greet, bring these 10 questions to ask your wedding planner…
What's included – and not included – in the package?
“The most important conversation you can have with your planner is a discussion about investment. Inquire what you can expect to be included within the planner's fee and what will incur an additional cost. So often, it is assumed that the planner fee is all-encompassing. In reality, you could face charges for travel, additional day labor, vendor meals, etc.
It is important to know all of this information from the start so you can take it into consideration when making your decision. No one likes to be surprised with additional line items on a bill. These investment questions to ask your wedding planner will save you (and your planner!) a ton of headache if you are aware of what is coming from the start.” – Haydon Dillon, Haydon Dillon Events
What will communication with you look like?
“When hiring a wedding planner, you want to understand their scope of services in terms of communication. A few questions to ask your wedding planner would be: How many meetings do we receive for our package? What style of communication is preferred (email, text, calls, etc.)? Are there set hours we have to communicate within? You want to hire a planner who will complement your schedule and type of communication style. So, asking these questions will pair you with the best planner for you!” – Casey Stamouli, Owner & Lead Planner, Casey & Co. Events
Is there a plan B if you’re unable to make it to our wedding?
“There are so many questions to ask your wedding planner before making the big decision. An important one is: what happens if you are unable to make it to our wedding? Emergencies happen. So, you want to feel confident that your planner has a network or a Plan B that they can call on if the unexpected happens. Do they have a team? Or, other trusted planners they work with?” – Nora Sheils, Founder Bridal Bliss + Co-Founder Rock Paper Coin
Are extra costs charged by the hour or flat fees?
“Always ask candidates how they determine their fees. Do they charge by the hour for planning services? Do they charge by the event? No couple wants to find out too late that specific services come with additional planning fees.” – Mandy Connor, Owner, Hummingbird Events & Design
Do you have a preferred vendor list?
“Hiring a wedding planner is one of the most important steps of your planning journey. That's because they are the vendor you'll be spending most of your time with! Of the top questions to ask your wedding planner, I recommend asking about their background, specifically in regard to any requests you have. And, inquire if they have a preferred vendor list. When booking a planner, you will want to make sure they work well with your other vendors and a successful history of partnership is a great sign.” – Melanie Levin, Owner of LuckEleven Events
Will I be working with you or an associate?
“Will your planner work with you personally throughout the process? Or, will you be working with their teammates or associates? It's vital to form a strong connection with your planner – most couples work with their planners for 12-18 months. Therefore, it's ideal to have one planner (one point of contact) throughout the planning process and the wedding day.” – Mandy Connor, Owner, Hummingbird Events & Design
What are your credentials?
“Just because someone has planned their own wedding doesn't mean they are qualified to serve as a planner for others. Ask the planner you are considering hiring what their credentials are. Find out about their years of experience, client testimonials, vendor references and education. Then, ask them to explain the process they will use to organize and manage your wedding plans and weekend coordination.” – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design
What digital tools will we be using?
“You will also want to ask your planner what platforms and technologies they use for their company. Is onboarding easy with virtual contracts and invoices? Or, is everything manual? Do they use technology to elevate the overall experience? You will want to find a planner that fits your expectations, and most couples today expect a digital experience!” – Nora Sheils, Founder Bridal Bliss + Co-Founder Rock Paper Coin
Will you be there the whole wedding day?
“Will your planner stay for the duration of the wedding day? Some planners only provide day-of services through dinner. For many couples, the ideal scenario is that your planner will be with you first thing in the morning as you get styled for the day. Then, they'll stay through the end of the night to ensure that your decor and valuables are returned to you. This ensures that the additional vendors follow the venue's breakdown protocol properly.” – Mandy Connor, Owner, Hummingbird Events & Design
Ask yourself: can I see myself getting along with this planner’s personality?
“I tell my clients that price shopping will bite you every time. So, it's important to not only hire someone that feels like a good fit for you stylistically but also on a personal level. Can you see yourself venting to this person? Do they seem excited to join you in a season of planning? Does being around them or talking to them drain your energy level? You have to trust your own intuition on hiring your planner (and any vendor) to steer you in the right direction.” – Ashley Lachney, Owner of Alston Mayger Events
These tips were gathered by Be Inspired PR, a PR + Social Media Agency for wedding, wellness & lifestyle clients. With over 10+ years of experience, we’re here to take our clients to the next level! Find oodles of stylish wedding inspiration on their Instagram & Pinterest.