Choosing your wedding planner is one of the most important decisions you can make during your wedding planning journey. Aside from your gorgeous venue, stunning gown, and photographer, your wedding planner is the one who walks with you through the months of planning AND they’re going to be one of your biggest advocates day-of. So, it’s pretty important you choose some you like, trust, and enjoy interacting with! That said, here’s a handy list of questions you should ask a prospective wedding planner before hiring to become part of your team. And! In case you’re interested in working with us, I’ve answered the question for Marcella Camille Events!
Before you can hire a planner, you need to know how much you can spend overall. Come up with a target number, then hash out the details.
1. Do you charge a flat fee, a percentage of my total budget, an hourly amount, or some combo of all three?
We have a flat fee for each of our service packages. We also have an hourly fee if you just need some consultation.
2. Will you charge for things like mileage and office supplies used for my wedding?
Office supplies-nope! For travel, yes- anything over 50 miles from Reno/Tahoe and the Bay Area requires travel fees.
3. Do you take a commission from any of the vendors you refer us to?
We don’t. We love to refer vendors we’ve personally worked with or who have a reputation of excellent customer service.
4. What amount do you require for a deposit?
We require a 50% non-refundable booking fee. We take payment via check or Venmo!
5. When is the final payment due?
The final payment is due 2 weeks before your event.
6. Do we need to pay our vendors directly, or do we pay you and you handle it?
We ask that you pay your vendors directly. However, if there are checks that need to be distributed day-of, let us know in advance and we can help distribute those!
7. Are there additional fees I should know about?
Sometimes your event will go over the scheduled hours included in each package. If they do, we charge and additional $200 per hour. We also ask that you cover transportation and lodging for destination weddings.
Understand the Scope of Their Services
Not all planners are created equal. After making sure they’re available on your date, find out how much they do (or not do) in the lead-up to your wedding.
1. Will you go with me to dress fittings?
This is a service that we’re happy to offer to our Full Planning Clients.
2. Will you mail out the save-the-date cards and invitations?
This is a service we’re happy to offer to our Full Planning Clients.
3. Do you also plan events surrounding the wedding, like the rehearsal dinner?
We’d love to! These are considered a separate event from the wedding so would be invoiced separately.
4. If our event is outside, will you put a contingency plan in place in case of bad weather?
Absolutely! The best contingency plan is to get tenting. We’re happy to look into the best options for you.
5. Do you work with a team? Will they be on-site at the wedding?
We are absolutely team players.
6. Will you go with us to meet with other vendors?
We love to do this with our our full planning clients!
7. What parts, if any, of the planning process are we solely responsible for?
For Full Planning Clients:
You are solely respsonsible for creating your guest list, gathering their contact information, and your bridal showers, bachelorette + bachelor parties, rehearsal dinner, + morning after brunch unless we are hired to help with those events.
For Partial Planning Clients:
Much of the same for full planning clients except you are also responsible for contract negotiations with vendors though we are happy to help with recommendations!
For Wedding Management Clients:
You are responsible for most aspects of your planning. We offer one complementary consultation at booking, then a detailed planning meeting about a month before hand. We will also help with with the venue layout.
For all of these, will run your event day-of within the contracted time allotted within each service booked.
Get to Know Them
You have to work with a planner you love, so personality is important. If you’re a hands-off type of bride, you may not mind if they check in with you every other week or as necessary. If, however, you want a little bit more hand-holding, you need to know how available they’ll be to you during the planning process.
1. How many times do you typically meet with clients during the planning process?
Full Planning: Up to 18 meetings
Partial Planning: Up to 8 meetings
Wedding Management: Up to 2 meetings
2. Do you prefer to communicate in person, by phone, or e-mail?
The easiest way to communicate is through e-mail but sometimes a phone call or text are better to get a quick response. We like to find a happy medium with each client.
3. Can you provide a list of references that I can contact?
You can find reviews from past clients here:
Nail Down the Nitty-Gritty
These are the “small picture” questions that shouldn’t be overlooked.
1. What time will you arrive the day of the wedding?
For our full planning clients, we like to check in with you in the morning and then will be at the venue when we have access to the venue.
For our Partial + Wedding Management Clients, we are there 2 hours before your ceremony begins. Though sometimes we are there earlier if needed.
2. How long will you stay?
We stay until your decor is packed up!
3. Will you require a meal?
Yes, please! It’s important that vendors who are working during your event are fed + nourished.
4. Have you ever worked at the venues I’m considering?
We’ve worked at several venues across the country. If we haven’t, we always make sure to visit and do a walk through to understand the logistics of the event.
Have questions? Send us an e-mail or leave a comment! We’re happy to help!
- Tara and Aaron’s Romantic Lodge at Tahoe Donner Wedding
- Planning Your Wedding Amidst The Covid-19 Pandemic
- Lessons In Motherhood: A Review of the Last Year
- Wedding Advice From Real Brides: Lizzy + Nick
- Our Birth Story + Journey to Motherhood