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Questions to ask your wedding planner

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Wedding planners are an additional cost to your wedding budget, but when you choose the right person, your wedding will be a breeze. Most of your success depends on how capable the candidate is and also on how well you gel with your wedding planner.

A wedding planner may be professional and experienced, but you will not be satisfied if they do not get your ideas. After all, it is your wedding, and not theirs. So first off, remember this. Don’t hire anyone who

  • is bossy or busy
  • dismisses your ideas or is skeptical about implementing them
  • doesn’t agree to signing a contract and
  • just doesn’t understand you

Before hiring a wedding planner, you should conduct an interview with her. This may be face-to-face or over-the-phone. Here is what you should ask at this interview, and the answers will determine whether you have the right candidate for the job.

Are you available on my wedding day?

There is no point in pursuing the discussion if the planner has another wedding lined up on your wedding day. If your wedding date is not yet confirmed and you really like the person you are talking to, consider fixing your wedding on a day when she is available.

What services do you offer?

Does she work only with a recommended list of vendors, or is she open to interviewing and assisting you with other vendors? Can she design your wedding, plan the ideas and be in charge of everything from sending out invitations to decorating the venue, or will she only assist you while you find and book vendors? Will she handle any booking issues herself? How often will you communicate, and how many meetings can you expect?

If the scope of her services are limited, consider whether you can tackle what is left yourself. If so, this shouldn’t be a problem. Also ask about the team. How many staff members will be on-site on day and how many other weddings they will be working on simultaneously.

How many weddings have you planned already?

The last thing you want to do is to entrust the task to an inexperienced planner. Ask her how long she’s been in business, and obtain references. A good wedding planner will direct you to a number of satisfied clients.

Share your vision for the wedding with her and ask what she can contribute to make it better.

What if there is an emergency?

Ask her how the team tackles emergencies like bad weather or other wedding disasters. If you anticipate a likely problem, ask her how she would prepare. Another big challenge is adhering to budget, how can she ensure this? You should also ask for backup plans, should something unforeseen occur and she cannot personally handle your wedding.

And finally, the fees

Don’t feel shy to ask what her charges are, including all overheads and extras. This will confirm whether the charges are within your means. If your planner will handle vendor payments, ask how this will be done. Will you be paying your planner a lumpsum, or will you have to write out checks to each vendor as and when required?

Once you have all this information, you should have a fair idea of whether this wedding planner is right for your wedding. If not, keep looking.

For more wedding advice and tips, as well as your wedding shopping needs, visit us at Best for Bride.

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5 Things to remember when signing Vendor contracts for your wedding

You will have to work with a number of people for your wedding– your photographer, venue agent, caterers, florist, dress makers, band or DJ etc. It is necessary that you back up your arrangement with all these vendors with a solid contract that outlines the details of their services.

The benefits of having a written contract are many, the most important being that

  • a contract controls your expectations on what you get
  • it allows you to take legal action, should the products or services not be delivered as per description

Remember the following 5 points when signing your vendor contracts, and you can avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Write it all down

The easiest way to avoid or solve any dispute, is to have every relevant thing written and signed. Never settle for a verbal understanding; have it written into your contract and you can enforce it. If there are changes to plan after you have signed the initial contract, make sure these are also incorporated into the contract, so there is no confusion later.

Spare no detail

Rather than just signing a contract that outlines the arrangement, make sure that you put all the specific details in writing. This will clearly let both parties know what exactly was agreed upon, and you will not have to entertain any mix-ups.

For example, if you want your band to be formed of the specific musicians you heard on the tape, make sure it is included in the contract. If your floral centerpieces are to be designed in a specific manner, write that down in your contract. Should there be an issue at a later point, an outsider who looks at your contract should clearly understand why you weren’t satisfied.

Take time to read and understand every word

Make sure that you clearly understand your vendor contract. So, read it thoroughly. Go through the clauses on emergency situations, cancellations and additional fees, in detail. If you do not understand anything, ASK!

Don’t assume that a vendor’s contract is standard—if their terms are not acceptable, you can always negotiate. If they refuse to make changes, or add the precise terms of your agreement to the form, you may have to reconsider whether you want to work with that vendor.

Specify the payment schedule and details

Make sure the contract contains details on when the amount will be settled and by whom If the amount will be paid in parts, make sure this is specified in the contract and you are aware of it. If your parents or your in-laws are bearing the expenses, make sure the contract is drawn up in their name and they sign it.

Get a contract copy and obtain receipts for everything

For your contract to be valid, you need to have a copy with you. Make sure you save a copy of every contract you sign, and that your vendor counter-signs every additional change you make. Also, obtain receipts for any deposit you make on the final amount, or any payment you complete.

Contracts may seem like a huge headache, but they are a necessary evil. To keep your wedding going just as you planned, a simple contract is certainly better than none at all.

For more wedding tips and planning advice, visit us at Best for Bride.

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5 last things to do on the day before your wedding

Your wedding day is finally here!

In the hectic pace of planning and arranging everything, you are likely to overlook some detail or the other. To avoid any last minute snags, here is a checklist of things to do the day before the wedding. Follow this and the last few hours leading up to your wedding will be relaxed with everything under control.

Put out your wedding dress and accessories

Not only should you lay out your wedding dress, you should also inspect every detail one last time. The last thing you want is to find a missing button on the morning of your wedding and panic over it. Do it the day before and you have plenty of time to fix any likely problems.

Also arrange all the things you need in the morning—your make-up, inner-wear, perfume and accessories in one place, so you needn’t run around searching for anything once you start dressing. Make sure that everything is arranged in a location, that nobody has access to, so nothing is tampered with.

Call your vendors for last-minute confirmations

Although you are certain that everything will go perfectly, you can still call up all the vendors and ensure everything is as per plan. If anything, it will put your mind at ease to know that everything is progressing smoothly, and not be worried of likely issues.

Hand over your emergency bridal kit to your MoH and run the plans by her

Every bride has to have an emergency bridal kit for any likely mishap on the wedding day. Put your kit together with all the essential fixes, and hand it over to your MoH the day-before, so she can carry it with her to the venue. Also, spend some time sharing notes over the duties of the bridesmaids and ensure that you and your MoH are on the same page. She can then see to it that the bridal party handles their responsibilities as per your expectations. Get your MoH to check that the bridesmaids are all set for your wedding day, their dresses are in order and they are aware of all other necessary details.

Prep your house and check with out-of-town guests

Photos will be taken from the moment you wake up on your wedding day. So, get your house looking great and neat on the day before, and you needn’t worry about it in the morning. Put out a few baskets to corral any strewn items and just tuck them into corners to sort out later. Also, co-ordinate with out-of-town guests and make sure they are where they ought to be. A good idea would be to entrust this responsibility to family or friends, and just check to see that everything is as per plan.

Spend some time relaxing on your own

You have a stressful day ahead, so make sure you get some “me” time the day before to relax and unwind. Indulge in a scented bath or home facial, listen to some calming music or take a nap. Imagine a perfect wedding day and it will be just that. Rejuvenate yourself and you will be ready for the long day ahead of you.

For more valuable wedding tips and advice, as well as to pick out the perfect wedding dress, visit us on Best for Bride.