What should you ask a planner is one thing. Why hire a wedding planner is another, right? Well, in simple words, hiring a wedding planner is crucial because you need someone who can handle your entire event + logistics + ideas and pull all of the functions, vendors and themes together to make your wedding a grand success.
And not just that, you need a wedding BFF, not your cousin who’s busy, not your uncle who’s clearly here to have a drink and chill out and certainly not your parents, ones who are already busy with the finer details of your wedding that they might just not be ready to deal with monies and vendors. No, none of them.
Because a wedding is a beautiful time to really enjoy the moment and revel in it, not run behind someone to get the tents done according to your colour theme. Well, now that the reason you hire a planner is out of the way, it’s time to focus on how to work with their services effectively.
A planner literally pulls together your entire wedding and makes all the various bits work seamlessly together. That’s why you need to know if the planner you hire is indeed right for you. We cut the line to make sure you get the correct advice and so we made a list of 10 questions you need to ask. The answers will probably make you hire or fire the planner because these do determine the course of your wedding planner. So gear up and fire away!
How do they charge?
Okay, economics come first and why not? The planner needs to fit your budget. But that doesn’t mean that a planner who only does destination weddings might not be ready for a budget one. So, first ask their budget details first. Some take a fee, some a percentage - so be sure! I, for one prefer to take a fee and charge the rest as per actuals- that keeps things simpler and works much better.
Do they take commissions?
This one is super important, cos it will define your budget. What percentage or commissions are they looking at. Firstly, are you comfortable around money calculated this way. It’s good to know how their professional services, contracts and payment processing works. Some will request full amount including all services and they do all the hiring etc. Others will ask you to cut the checks yourself.
Will they be physically present throughout the wedding?
Don’t want the person you have been dealing with throughout the planning process to suddenly send an intern into the picture at the venue. Assistants, trainees, relatives and friends - whoever they might be to the planner, that’s not your concern. What you need to know is that, no matter what - a planner who brought together everything must be present. Cos that is when you will need them the most.
What all do their services entail? Areas of help?
We overlook certain things and expect that they will get done, instead of asking what they do. That’s why, it’s always good to be clear. Make a list of things that your planner needs to pay close attention to. Ask what they don’t do too, so that you can account for it. For example, some do take care of invitations, some don’t. Some will get you a mehendi artist, some don’t. Your wedding designer will not run your event, you need to be sure of what you need. Your planner will account for all.
Do all their weddings look the same as they have the same vendor list?
Hmm, this one is super important. You might like your planer but you might not like the fact that they often work with the same vendor. If you have these reservations, best to ask before-hand. Because a planner might or might not use the same vendor list - that is a call they will take. Unless you want something different. I like to work with the vendors I am comfortable with.
Do they also design or would you be okay with them hiring someone else to do the design?
Some planners design, but all designers don’t plan. So remember that when you ask a planner to step in. The best planners also have their own design workshop. But some, outsource it out and that means, extra costs.
What is their general philosophy on weddings?
If the company’s main focus is creating elaborate floral displays, or renting you the very hippest chairs, that will be obvious. Make sure their philosophy matches yours in terms of creating an overall picture, a grand plan. You may want an intimate fun wedding, but they may specialise in creating OTT weddings. You want a boho one but they will insist on a glam one with a filmy touch. For best results, it pays to know what their philosophy is to get an idea.
Will they answer your calls at night? Are they willing to work on weekends if the need arises?
There are unsaid rules and planning weddings can be a full-time job. But as long as you know their timings and get an idea of how you work together, it’s great. If you are an NRI bride then it makes more sense to know the earliest you’ll get a response. Personally, I love whatsapp groups. A lot of my brides are in different time zones and some think early in the morning and some late at night- so I make Whatsapp groups with them where they can post whatever ideas they have - it becomes a log of notes basically. No detail gets lost!
In a line, what is their speciality? Their one big USP?
This question can show you the lengths a planner will go to make your wedding successful. By asking the top things they have done at their previous weddings, you’ll have a fair idea as to who they are and what they can achieve. Nice to know.
How many people from the planner’s side will be at the wedding?
Ok so accounting for them is crucial so know how many assistants or help your planner will have with her. Knowing her strength is important both from a stay + flight bookings point of view.