Nov 6, 2007

Ask the Expert: How Do I Choose a Wedding Planner?

10 Important Questions to Ask When Interviewing Your Wedding Planner

Some of you have written in and WOW...the questions you've asked are GREAT! I thank you and appreciate every one of you who have taken the time to write in. Keep them coming and you may win a beautiful, personalized Wedding Planner from Exclusively Weddings. Read about contest details here.

I've listed some of the questions you've asked below:

1. What is your experience level?

This is equally as important as asking “how many weddings have you done?” The planner may not have done any weddings officially but have helped friends or their church with coordination. This is good experience. What you want to avoid is the consultant who tells you she did her own wedding and decided to start the business. Too many times, this consultant is still full of the romantic and fun part of the process and has no clue about the brick and mortar it takes to build a wedding to accommodate someone else’s taste.

2. How do you charge for your services?

Some wedding planners charge by the hour, some do an estimate of time your wedding will require and some charge a flat fee and still others work on a percentage of your wedding budget basis. Make sure you know what wedding planner services are included in that fee.

3. Do you receive commissions or referral fees from vendors?

Ethics dictate that the consultant is paid only by the bride, thereby devoting loyalty to the bride. Consultants who accept referral fees from vendors will often pressure you to use the vendor they get the best fee from rather than the vendor who will do the best job.

4. What is your procedure on the day of the wedding?

Some consultants get you through the ceremony and appear at the reception just long enough to see the set up and then they are gone. You want to make sure the consultant will be there throughout the reception to coordinate your special dances, cake cutting, etc. If your consultant gives you an hour block on the day of the wedding, be sure you and the consultant discuss when to start that time and when to stop. You can then plan your events within that time block.

5. What is the procedure for a replacement should you not be able to perform?

A well connected consultant will have a good working relationship with other consultants in your area. If she is unable to perform her duties, she should be able to help you find a qualified replacement.

6. How many weddings do you do per day?

You can do better with a consultant who has only one event per day. Their attention will be on your wedding not on the next one.

7. Can you provide References?

Ask the consultant to provide at least 3 references. It is also a good idea to ask for at least one vendor reference.

8. What is your record keeping system?

You need to know that your wedding coordinator uses some written form of record of your wedding details and vendors details.

9. What other services can you offer?

Many offer invitations and accessories which makes it easy to take care of multiple details with one contact. However, beware of the consultant who is also a caterer, DJ, photographer, etc. If they are doing that job, how can they be there for you as your wedding coordinator too?

10. How will the wedding coordinator be dressed for your wedding?

You'll want the consultant to blend in with your guests and be in proper attire to exude authority and expertise.

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