Choosing the right wedding planner will make your entire wedding planning process a lot easier. A professional who understands your tastes and preferences, will know what to do to bring your wedding vision alive.
When you start your search for a wedding planner, you will soon realize that you have ample options to choose from. Since you do not have forever to interview all these candidates till you find the best, you should narrow down your list to those you think would be the best for the job. This would depend on your budget, tastes, the feedback and recommendations you receive for potential candidates.
An interview with the final chosen list of candidates is a must, so you get to know who will be the best for your big event. We have discussed about the various questions you should ask your potential candidates in this previous post here. These will allow you to understand each wedding planner’s working style and capability, and also recognize whether your personalities match.
Working with an event-planner is a partnership, and it is necessary for both parties to be comfortable with each other. So, just like you have questions for your planner, expect a good planner to have plenty of questions for you too. You should proceed with signing a contract only when both parties are agreeable to working with each other.
Here is a list of the questions that you can expect to be asked, when you meet your planner for the first time. Time is precious for both of you. So, we suggest you arm yourself with the answers to these likely questions in advance, so you can have a productive discussion.
1.When and where are you getting married?
The date of the event should ideally be discussed during your first correspondence with the planner. There is no point in pursuing the discussion, if the planner is already fully booked on the day of your wedding, and you aren’t flexible with the date. However, if your planner has the resources to handle more than one wedding at the same time, or you are still to finalize your wedding date, this is a question you will have to answer. Remember that you should at least have a general idea of when your wedding will be held, as the cost will vary depending on the month and season in which your wedding is to be held.
The second part of the question is where you will be getting married. Although wedding planners don’t just operate locally, they usually stick within a specific boundary where they can execute their tasks to perfection. So, it is basically up to you to either find a planner who is versatile to work at any location, or go with the best person available at your chosen location. Although you needn’t know your venue just yet, knowing the destination of a wedding is necessary at this point.
2.What is your estimated budget and how many guests do you think you’ll be inviting?
Money drives every detail at a wedding. Unless you know the maximum amount that you can afford, your planner cannot calculate the break-up for each aspect or go into specific details. The other factor is the number of guests you expect at your wedding. For a specific budget, the type of arrangements would be different based on the head count. So, you should have a general idea of how much you are willing to spend, so you planner can think of the options that will work. This will also help your planner determine whether he is able to work with that amount to give you the wedding that you want. If it isn’t, you may have to reconsider your options or go with another planner. Since different planners work with different budgets, and some even offer all-inclusive bulk packages for lower rates, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a wedding planner who meets your expectations, and is affordable.
Now, if you aren’t sure of what your total budget is, or have a good idea of the number of guests that will be attending, you can think in terms of the budget per person, for now. Geoff Beers, event planner tells us why this is important, on this Event planning article on About.com. The “per-person” budget allows your planner to understand how well you have thought your wedding out, and it also gives clarity on the maximum amount you will spend. An experienced wedding planner would know if it is practical to work for this amount. This will avoid overshooting the budget later, or making expensive mistakes that you cannot afford.
3.What must you have at your wedding?
Each couple is unique. While some couples are flexible with their wedding details, others are very specific about them. Your wedding planner will discuss your must-have elements, so she can come up with the blueprint of the plan. Your must-haves will also determine the overall budget, as incorporating certain items can be pretty expensive by itself.
You may intend to ask your wedding planner for ideas and suggestions, and she is the professional to help you too. However, you should know your priorities, as she can only work with what information you provide her. The two of you should spend some time discussing what is most important to you. This could be an elaborate menu, a dream venue, celebrity entertainment or a specific type of décor or theme. When you pick your main priorities, it allows your wedding planner to suggest areas where you can scale back, if your budget cannot cover this cost. Once you have sorted this out, she can plan the rest of the event around it.
4.What will you absolutely NOT have?
Depending on your budget, you may have to settle for substitutes or have to overlook certain wedding ideas that you have. However, if you have strong feelings against certain ideas, your wedding planner may ask you to let her know about this. She can then suggest alternate ideas that are acceptable to you. So, whether you cannot stand carnations, or refuse to serve anything that isn’t organic , your wedding planner will have to know this. This will not only affect the overall expenses, but will also help her determine whether she can cope with the challenges that this preference presents.
At times, it can be something as simple as your choice of wedding music, or a certain flower in the décor. However, what you must have and mustn’t have is different from what you would like to have or wouldn’t like to have. We suggest that you take a look at this previous post on picking your top wedding priorities, for a better idea on this topic.
5.How much do you expect to be involved in the wedding planning process?
Wedding planners have seen all types of clients—those who give them free rein to the extent where they are expected to make most of the decisions, and brides who would prefer to micro-manage and supervise every single detail. So, don’t be surprised if your wedding planner asks you about the extent of work you expect her to do, and what you will be doing yourself. This will also help her figure out the amount of time and extent of interaction expected from her. Wedding planners have to set aside time for each meeting, apart from planning various other details of your wedding. The amount of time she has to spend on your wedding will actually decide whether it is a full-time or part-time commitment for her. So, she may determine her final rate after getting a clear idea of how much time she will be spending on your wedding.
To answer this question, think of how involved you want to be in the wedding planning. Are you prepared to select from the options she thinks are good and will send you, or do you want to make the specific plans and have her search for the various things that will be used in its execution? Do you think you can trust her to make the call for smaller and insignificant details, or would you prefer to approve of every small detail yourself? How often do you think you can meet and discuss the progress? Think of all these factors and you will have the answer to this question.
5.How would you describe your wedding day?
This is a question that you will definitely be asked. Although you may not know the specifics at this point of time, your wedding planner expects you to have a general idea of how your wedding day will be—whether it will be a formal or informal ceremony, held indoors or outdoors, during the day or night, what the general style or venue may be and your décor and dress preferences.
You may also be asked questions about your favorite colors, if there are themes that you are particularly fond of, and whether you have any particular ideas on what you would plan your wedding around. She may also ask questions related to the number of people in the wedding party, and your party décor ideas. If she has already done a wedding on similar lines, she may tell you how that was and what the highlights of the event were. She may even make suggestions for you to consider. When you discuss this question, use this opportunity to analyze whether the candidate you are interviewing shares your taste and understands your vision. Check out this article on the Planner’s lounge for more questions, you can expect to be asked in this regard.
6.Have you researched or finalized any vendors yet?
There are two reasons for this—firstly, this allows your wedding planner to plan the budget break-up, if you have already set your mind on a particular vendor for one task. Secondly, it allows her to make suitable suggestions or prepare to find a suitable vendor, if you haven’t thought of one already.
Your wedding planner will usually have a list of vendors to pick from, depending on your budget. Although she will prefer to work with those on her list, she should also be open to working with someone you have chosen, if that is what you prefer. A true professional will be able to find you an affordable vendor, and will not push their choices on you. However, she will need to know your specific expectations, so she can shortlist the ideal people for the job and you can make your pick from them.
Apart from these typical questions, your wedding planner may also have other questions depending on her working style, how well she understands your idea and also based on your needs. Nonetheless, this crucial first meeting is important to both of you, as this is when you decide whether you can strike a rapport with her or not. Expect this appointment to carry on for at least an hour. If your wedding is a very elaborate affair with more guests, or there are challenges like in the case of a destination wedding, your meeting may take longer than this. We suggest that you first do your research, and also communicate the essential details beforehand, so both of you can arrive well-prepared for the interview. If you have a long list of potential candidates, we suggest you start with the ones that you are most satisfied with on paper, so you have a better chance of finding the right person quickly.
Weddings are special events, and we have everything you need to make your big day extra-special, at Best for Bride. Find your dream wedding dress, shop for dresses for the rest of your bridal party, choose your party favors, wedding invitations, wedding dress accessories and more, when you shop with Best for Bride. With interesting sales and offers all the time, and collections updated on a regular basis, this is your one-stop bridal destination. Tour our website, and enjoy your shopping experience today.