Five Questions to Ask your Wedding Planner Before Booking Them: Expert advice from Mennat Al Hammami
Written by on November 1, 2016.
Tagged under: Cloud Nine Weddings & Events, Five Questions to Ask your Wedding Planner Before Booking Them: Expert advice from Mennat Al Hammami
Five Questions to Ask your Wedding Planner Before Booking Them
This month our BCME expert panel member and founder of Cloud 9 Weddings & Events, Mennat Al Hammami, is here to help those couples who are currently searching for a wedding planner. The UAE certainly has no shortage of people and companies who offer to help organise your wedding for you, and there are ultimately variations in the standard of service and the level of experience of those whom you might employ to bring your vision to life. Thankfully, Mennat has come up with five questions that are essential to ask your potential wedding planner, before you sign on the dotted line…read on to find out what you shouldn’t be afraid to ask!
Engaged couples look forward to planning their wedding and often have a lot of questions to ask in the process. Those of us who have been in the industry for any length of time understand how vital it is to hire the right wedding coordinator or planner and how to go about ensuring the right match has been made.
Needless to say, a couple has to be sure they can trust and rely on the person responsible for putting together one of the most important days of their lives. At the early stages of meetings and picking the right person, begin by interviewing planners who share your same ideals regarding customer service. This will be evident in their mannerisms, response time and methods of communication. Establishing whether or not the planner is an experienced and a trained professional will be a little tricky. Which is why, this month, I am listing the top five questions to ask your planners when interviewing them for the first time.
1} What is your pricing method?
The wedding planning industry has evolved over the last few years from primarily charging a percentage of the total cost of the wedding, to charging a flat or fixed ‘management fee’. The latter will be based on the different types of services offered, the planning involved, and also the client will be charged market prices for any items that are hired. Some planners still go by the traditional percentage-of-wedding-budget method. Usually, they are higher end planners who have made a name in the wedding industry, as they will have a minimum asking price. My advice is to think about the type of wedding you are after and know what you are willing to spend.
2} What kind of planning do you offer? Logistical only (i.e. organisational—handling things like the timeline and floor plan) or Design and Logistical (i.e. bringing a client’s vision to life as well as taking care of all the organisational aspects of the wedding)?
Not everyone needs a full wedding planner. We professionals realise that and for that reason, it has become quite popular to offer clients different services based on their needs. Namely, styling and design conceptualisation, on-the-day coordination or simply consultation to couples.
3} Can you provide a list of references?
Any experienced coordinator and/or planner should be able to give you at least three references.
4} Describe the most challenging wedding you planned and how you handled the problems that came up.
There is one factor that makes wedding planning a risky business and that is emotion. Every planner knows this and as a result, is comfortable in acknowledging that some events do not always play out as perfectly as intended. A good planner will be honest with you and hopefully humble enough to admit where and when things went wrong. Believe me, I would actually be worried if the planner you are interviewing responded with a ‘that has never happened’!
5} Will you be present at all of the vendor meetings and will you assist us in reviewing all of the vendor contracts and making sure everything is in order?
Once a planner is hired, part of their role is to point you in the direction of the vendors that they know, from experience, will best meet your requirements and fit your style. If you are hiring a full wedding planner, being present at meetings will be necessary as he/she are the ones creating the complete wedding vision. Most planners in the UAE will not get into the nitty gritty detail of the contracts you sign with vendors, yet they should be able to advise on which clauses need attention, to avoid any miscommunication or mishaps.
Being a wedding planner ultimately means relieving couples of unnecessary stress. A primary duty of a wedding planner is to satisfy the concerns you have as a couple; therefore, every question above is absolutely acceptable to ask. Believe me, pick the right planner and you will have formed a partnership that will reap benefits for years to come!