Are you getting married and need to know if you need to hire a wedding planner? Maybe you have already made the decision and need to know the type of qualifications you should be looking for in a wedding planner. If either of those is your situation then you are in the right place. We will first talk about when you might need to hire a wedding planner and then tell you a few questions to ask your prospective coordinators.
When should I hire a wedding planner?
Hiring a wedding planner can be an expensive addition to your day but depending on your situation it could be an invaluable and life-saving measure. Ask your self a few questions and see how your answers stack up!
1.) Do you work a full-time job?
2.) Do you have budget concerns?
3.) Are you on a time crunch?
4.) Are you having a destination wedding outside your normal area?
5.) Does looking at vendor contracts scare you?
6.) You’re not sure what you want your wedding day to look like?
If you answered yes to more than 3 of those questions then you should probably look at hiring a wedding planner. A good planner will help take the stress away from having to focus on all the little details. Most event planners have their own roster of qualified designers, dj’s, florist, and caterers that they are used to working with. This usually makes finding qualified vendors easier and guarantee your planner will be able to spend more time focusing on you and less time on dealing with other vendors you have hired. They also can usually negotiate lower rates because they give their vendors tons and tons of work every year. If you are on a time crunch finding a venue, securing vendors, and all the other things you have to do become more stressful because you don’t have a year to plan. Additionally, if both you and your spouse have full-time jobs finding time together to do things like food tastings and flower designing can be difficult. A planner will take your inspiration and design a look to your day based on that.
What should I look for when hiring a wedding planner?
If you are getting married and have made the decision to hire a wedding planner for your special event then you are on the right track! Getting married can be stressful and hiring a qualified event coordinator is one of the best decisions you could make. However, there are a lot of “wedding planners” or “day of coordinators” that have no education and barely any experience. Making sure you hire a qualified wedding professional is not difficult if you know what to look for. Below is a few questions we recommend you ask your prospective planner before hiring them. This will help keep from wasting both your time and theirs.
What type of qualifications should a wedding planner have?
While it is not necessary to have a “certification” or degree in wedding planning the American Association Of Certified Wedding Planners founded in 2007 offers wedding planners training and education as well as a “certification” status that reflects that person education. A wedding planner should also have done at least 4-5 weddings. If they are new or starting out that is fine but make sure you are comfortable with their experience and confidence level to coordinate your day. Ask the planner if they have some photos from previous events and look at their work
What is the minimum budget they will work with? How do wedding planners charge their fees?
A lot of wedding planners have either a coordination cost or flat rate or they will have a percentage of your overall budget. Knowing what the lowest budget they will work with will tell you if you can even work with them before going into anything else.
What is their skillset?
When you sit down with a wedding planner you can ask them a few questions about their skillset. Knowing what they have experience doing and what they are comfortable with is important to getting to know how they will perform on your wedding day. Here are a few of our recommended questions.
- What made you decide to be a wedding planner?
- How long have you been in business?
- Is wedding planning your full-time job?
- Do you have any other decorating or designing experience?
How do they handle booking vendors?
- Are we required to book only vendors you recommend or can we hire someone even if you haven’t worked with them before?
- Will you represent us at all the vendor meetings and assist in reviewing vendor contracts?
- Are we responsible for paying each vendor individually or do we pay you directly?
- If we have any issues with the vendors are you able to handle them or do we need to deal with any issues that may arise?
These questions are by no means a full list of questions to ask a wedding planner but it will give you a firm foundation for understanding what it is you are getting from them. The most important part of hiring a wedding planner is knowing what their level of service is and making sure that it is clearly defined in the contract you sign for them.