Important Questions To Ask Your Potential Wedding Planner
Questions To Ask Your Potential Wedding Planner
Planning a wedding should fill you with excitement and not be a stressful affair. However, it can easily turn into the latter if all of the factors involved are not considered carefully and well ahead of time. A wedding planner can help you to achieve your perfect wedding vision by working closely with you to ensure that every aspect is covered for your big day. So with this in mind, Clare Ebbs, Managing Partner at Aghareed (the full-service wedding concierge) talks us through some important questions that will help you get the most from your wedding planner.
How many meetings will we have? Do you come with us to all of our relevant meetings? How often and when will we communicate?
Low low down: Many wedding and event planners have their own process, so it’s important to establish exactly how they will manage the wedding planning for you. When you first meet a wedding planner, you should take with you a prepared list of questions that address the planning process. Ask them if they have a ‘tick’ list of tasks that need to be completed and a timeframe or an action plan that you can complete – either on your own or with them – so that nothing is left out. Find out what they consider to be the most important elements, what should be booked early on and what can be left to a later stage. It’s also essential to agree on how many meetings you will have during the planning process and if they will attend any outside meetings with you.
How can you help me set a budget and stick to it?
Low low down: During the initial brainstorming sessions, sit with your wedding planner to discuss all of the details, including costs. Ask for a list that highlights the price for each detail involved. Do some of your own research to find out what the average prices are for each component (be aware that there are seasonal price variations), and ask the planner for advice on how to allocate your budget. Make sure that they outline their service fees and structure for all expenses so that you are not hit with hidden costs. Some planners charge a percentage of the total cost of the wedding, others charge set fees, and some combine both.
Will the wedding planner be there on the wedding day?
Low low down: Ensure that you establish exactly what you are getting under the package proposal and check whether your planner will be attending meetings with you or just sharing supplier contacts. All wedding packages differ in terms of costs and services, so it’s essential to ask your planner whether they will be present on the day. If the answer is ‘yes,’ find out what hours they are going to be available and what assistance they will be providing. It’s worth bearing in mind that the wedding day itself can be extremely stressful and someone with the experience to manage all of the logistics can take away the pressure and allow you to enjoy what should be the best day of your life.
What is the difference between ‘a wedding planner’ and an ‘on the day coordinator’?
Low low down: Wedding planners will have a variety of package options and the services offered will take into account the budget you have and the level of involvement you require. Many brides-to-be may feel that they want to undertake their own pre-planning but would like someone to manage the activities on the wedding day itself. For these people, an ‘on the day coordinator’ package is the perfect solution. If you are considering this form of support, you should again make sure that you know what you are getting. Will they be meeting with you prior to the wedding day? If so, how many times? How long will they be available for on the day? Make sure you have a real understanding of what it is you’re paying for in terms of the service.
What kind of services do wedding planners offer?
Low low down: You need to contact planners directly to find out the range of services they offer, as they will all vary in terms of what they undertake and the prices they charge. It is certainly worth phoning around to make comparisons. Meeting a number of planners face-to-face is also helpful as you may find that you ‘click’ with someone, which can be the basis of a great partnership. Voice your questions and concerns to the planners – just because they promote the full wedding planner service doesn’t mean that they won’t put you in touch with suppliers directly if you wish to take care of your own pre-planning.
Who will be assisting me during the planning process and on the day of the wedding?
Low low down: During the planning process, establish with your wedding planner who will be managing the logistics on the wedding day. Will it be them, or will they be delegating the responsibility to someone else? This is a common occurrence during the busy wedding season. In itself this is not an issue if you have a dedicated person that is competent in their role, but if it is the case that someone else will be there on the day, ask to have a meeting with them prior to the wedding so you can get to know each other and feel comfortable with them being in charge of what is after all, your special day.
How do we choose our venue? Do you have partnerships with certain venues in the UAE?
Low low down: Wedding planners may not get preferential rates at venues but they will have good connections and can assist with the contract negotiations. We would suggest that you describe to the wedding planner the type of wedding that you would like, perhaps sharing images of the style you are aiming for taken from wedding articles and bridal magazines. Ask the planner to provide you with more information on suggested venues and their respective pros and cons. Find out from them what weddings they have already conducted in these venues and what their honest opinion was on factors such as service, location and traffic to the venue, furniture and catering. A great resource for finding wedding venues is Bride Club ME. Click here to check out their hotels and venues listing.
Do you work with specific vendors? What are the benefits of working with your preferred vendor list?
Low low down: Wedding planners typically form relationships with certain vendors so it is essential to know which ones they usually work with and how you would benefit from choosing them in terms of cost and special deals. No couple should be bound to the planner’s preferred list, but do bear in mind that planners often work with the best in the industry.
Who will write the running order for the wedding?
Low low down: The wedding planner should put an action plan or event sheet and running order together for you, but it is vital to find out at the beginning if this is part of their service. The running order is very important, but is also something that you as a bride do not want to have to deal with on the wedding day. Ask to see a sample of what the running order will look like from the wedding planner. Get guidance from them as to what needs to be included in the order so that you can work together on finishing it.
Do you have a bad weather plan B? (This applies to couples having outdoor weddings)
Low low down: It happens – and you never know when it will! Rain can be expected at any time in the cooler months, with sandstorms occurring throughout the year. You need to be prepared for such an eventuality. Your wedding planner should liaise with the venue during the early stages of negotiations to discuss a wet weather plan. Some venues don’t have an indoor space and if that is the case, make sure your planner has some options ready for you, such as pashminas, umbrellas or a canopy or tent that can be brought in. Find out from the wedding planner their thoughts on ‘what ifs’ and ask for their experiences from the past and how these issues were resolved.
Looking for more wedding planning tips? Click here.