So you're recently engaged and looking for a wedding planner. Ever wonder what you need to ask during your consultations? Here are a few key questions to get you the best information so you can make an informed decision. The answers to these questions shouldn't make or break your choice to move forward with someone, but they do provide food for thought.
How long have you been in business?
More years doesn't always mean better, but it does mean more experience. Fewer years doesn't always mean cheaper, but it does mean less experience.
Do you have referrals from previous clients?
Do they have past clients who can vouch for them? Who have had a pleasant experience? Ask for references, and actually contact them! Don't go by images in a portfolio alone.
Do you have liability insurance/business license?
This is important for a few reasons: first, many venues require that all pros working under their roofs have a minimum amount of insurance in case something goes wrong. Having a business license means that this person takes themselves and their services seriously. Not all localities require licensing for wedding planners and their businesses, but many do.
Is this your full time job? If not, what else do you do?
This is a controversial question - when I first started, I was not a full time planner. Having a planner who isn't full time doesn't mean you'll get worse service, but it does mean that if you contact them at 2pm on a Tuesday, you may not get them.
Tell me about a time something went wrong -What happened and how did you handle it?
You want to look for cool confidence, and an ability to take charge.
What do you love about weddings?
This question gives you a peek into their personality and why they got into this business in the first place! This is key since you'll be working so closely on such an important event.
Have you ever worked at our venue before?
Once again, this shouldn't be a deal breaker if they haven't, but having someone who is familiar with the lay of the land can be very helpful.
What do your services include?
Because you need to know this, obviously! Bonus if they have something to reference or a website to send you to.
Do you take commissions/finders fees from any vendors?
Some planners do use this business model with much success, while some choose to pass any savings on to their clients. The main thing you're looking for here is honesty in any case.
Do we need to work with your vendors or can we choose our own?
Some people have a dream team they recommend, and some have a team that are a requirement. Decide if you want to be able to choose.
As always, I hope this helps and happy hunting (and wedding planning!!)