You already have - me! ...... All joking aside, it can be difficult to know which wedding planner will work best for you and you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the thought finding someone. Not to fear – here’s a guide on finding the perfect wedding planner for you!
Before we start, you should have an idea of your wedding budget, likely guest numbers, ideal wedding date, and any must-haves / must-not-haves for your wedding. This will guide your discussions with any wedding planners and other suppliers.
Done that. Now, where do I start?
The best places to look are online or ask friends, family, and other suppliers for recommendations. You can look through wedding directories such as Hitched, Bride, Confetti, and Bridebook to find planners near you. Plenty of wedding blogs also list recommended suppliers lists. You should note, though, that many of these websites require a subscription fee for the company to be listed, so not every amazing vendor can be found this way! It’s always a good idea to do a standard Google search of your area as well.
How do I choose a wedding planner?
When you come across a wedding planner that piques your interest, check if they have any reviews, and check out their social media to get a feel for their style. I would recommend looking at several planners’ websites and checking their credentials, before making a shortlist of your top people to contact. It’s important that your wedding planner’s vibe generally suits what you envisage for your special day, and that they work well with you and your other suppliers!
What should I ask a wedding planner?
When you have your initial consultations with various wedding planners, it’s important to get clear what their experience is, what they’re like to work with, and what you're getting for your money. This is the only way you can compare like-for-like between planners. Here’s a list of good questions to ask your shortlist:
Are you available on my wedding date?
Do you work in my location?
Can you work within our budget?
Before you get into the nitty-gritty details, you have to find out if the wedding planner can actually do your wedding in the first place!
How many weddings have you planned?
How long have you been in business?
Do you have insurance?
Just because someone has been doing something for decades doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll do the best job. We all have to start somewhere, so just because a planner has a handful of weddings under their belt doesn’t mean that they won’t serve you well! Make sure your planner is open and honest with you about what you’re getting for your money. Check for reviews or ask for references to be sure. One of the most important things is that you have a good connections with the planner, listen to your gut feelings.
Are you a wedding planner full-time?
How many people work for your company?
How many weddings do you take on per month/year?
This will give you an idea about how busy your planner will be in the lead-up to your wedding, and indicate how much attention you will be getting from your planner. If you’re after an extravagant affair, then you may wish to hire someone who focuses on fewer weddings per month.
What services do you offer? What is included and what isn’t included?
How many meetings will we have?
How will we be involved in the wedding planning? What would our responsibilities be?
Which of your packages or services do you recommend for my situation and budget?
How much do these services cost?
Are there any additional costs to be aware of e.g. food, travel and accommodation fees?
How and when will you charge me? How do payments work?
Do you accept commission? (Read more about this important point here)
Do make sure you’ve had a look at your planner’s website to see which package YOU think you need. Make sure you find out whether the planner charges an hourly rate or a flat fee, and ask about any initial upfront payments that would be required. If you need help planning other wedding-related events such as hen-dos or the honeymoon, then mention these to the planner – these do not come as standard in wedding planning packages. If you’d like help with RSVPs, hotel bookings and transportation for your guests, then you should mention these also – they are added extras. The more specific you can make your requirements, the better you’ll get to know what various planners offer.
Can you help us with our wedding budget? Can you keep us on track?
How do you communicate with your clients?
Any good wedding planner will be able to help you manage your wedding budget and give you money-saving advice. And it’s always best to know the preferred way to get hold of your planner, after all, you’ll be getting in touch with them fairly frequently!
How do you stay calm under pressure?
How would you handle any issues on-the-day?
What happens in case of an emergency?
Usually a wedding planner will have a backup plan in case they are unable to attend your wedding day; they will have a network of trusted planner friends who can step in should the worst happen. For any on-the-day issues, most planners will have an emergency kit on-site, plus their professional and communication skills to handle anything that comes their way!
When should I hire a wedding planner?
There is no right of wrong time to hire a wedding planner, and it depends on what type of wedding planning support you need! If you’re wanting supporting straight from the get go, then the sooner you get a planner the better. If you’re happy to plan your wedding for now but think you might need support later on in the process, then get in touch with a planner when you need the help! For on-the-day services, you can get in touch with planners as late as around three months before your actual wedding day. At any stage of your wedding planning, we will want to help!