Finding the perfect wedding planner can be a challenge— how do you know if a potential planner not only connects with you, but also hears what you want and will do anything to make your vision happen? Ann Marlin of Cloud 9 Bliss, Jessica Adler of JA Special Events, Lindsey Dienstbach of Bello and Blue Events, and Nicole Cruse of Ashley Nicole Events offer their expertise about what brides should ask when selecting a planner. The questions they shared can help you to find the perfect wedding planner who sees your vision and will make your bridal dreams come true!
- Determine their knowledge of the field: Good first questions to ask, shared by Ann Marlin, are “How long have you been planning weddings?”and“How many weddings have you planned?” Knowing a planner’s level of experience from the beginning can help determine whether or not they have enough background in the field to plan your wedding, as well as whether or not you think their price is fair given their experience.
- Decipher what their role will be: Having an understanding of the planner will and will not be doing can help you to determine if they are a good fit for you. Jessica Adler shares of JA Special Events shares some questions to ask that will help this process, such as “What is the difference between a wedding planner and the venue manager?”and “What is the planner responsible for during the set up and execution and conclusion of the event?”
- Know how busy they are: Ann Marlin also advises brides to ask their potential planner “How many weddings do you plan in a weekend?” By knowing ahead of time if you are the only bride in a weekend, or one of many, you can decide if they will have enough time to devote to making your day special.
- Understand different packages: Lindsey Dientsbach advises her brides to ask about different packages that planners offer, such as “ Do you offer different package options, or is everything custom tailored based on what we’ re looking for?”If having a more full-service planner will help eliminate bridal stress and keep the event running smoothly through the planning process and on the wedding day, it might be worth it to spend a few extra dollars. Even if you don’t opt for the all-exclusive package, knowing what is included inyours will be helpful for making a decision.
- Ask about discounts: Ann Marlin encourages brides to ask potential planners this question- “What discounts or added incentives do you bring throughout the wedding planning process?”By simply asking, planners may be more likely to work with you on negotiating a discount that they would not have otherwise offered. While this does not always happen, it is certainly worth asking, and it may help determine whether or not this planner is the right fit.
- Know how they work with vendors: “Do you have vendors you recommend and are you willing to work with someone you haven’ t previously worked with?”This question is one that Jessica Adler finds to be helpful. Some planners will not work with certain vendors, or they may be hesitant to work with those that they have never worked withbefore. Knowing both their experience with your vendors, and whether or not they will work comfortably with new people, may play a critical factor into choosing a planner.
- Ask if they will have proper assistance: It’s important to know how much help your planner will receiveon the day of the wedding, as it will affect how smoothly and quickly they can accomplish all the different tasks they have to do. Nicole cruse recommends asking this: “ Will you be the person present on site the day of our wedding, or will it be another planner? How many assistants will you have?” Before you choose a planner, know if they will be present and if they will have effective help.
- Inquire about their availability: Some wedding planners have parameters regarding how often they will talk to their clients about their impending nuptials. If you are a bride who wants to be able to call a planner with questions on a frequent basis, you want to ensure that this is something the planner is comfortable with. Jessica Adler suggests that brides should simply ask “How often are we able to contact you?”This can help to narrow down the decision.
- Make sure they are prepared for anything: Nicole Cruse recommends making sure a planner is prepared to handle any type of situation. She says to ask “Tell me about a time when something didn¹t go according to the plan, and how you resolved it.”This helps brides to see that a planner is ready for a variety of scenarios, because in wedding planning, there will always be something about the big day that doesn’t go according to plan, and having someone who can deal with that will reduce stress.
- Know how they are unique: Lindsey Dienstbach explains that understanding the way a wedding planner sees herself/himself can play into the way that they approach a wedding. By asking them “Do you see yourself as a ‘ Coordinator’ or a ‘ Designer’ ?” brides can see if they are a good fit based on the answer. If a bride is looking for someone to execute the plans she has already made, a coordinator may be a great fit. For a bride seeking a person to create the plans for her, a designer may be a better bet. Allow them to show you why they stand out and will do everything they can to make your day perfect!
**A warm, Spruce Mountain Ranch “thank you” to Jessica Adler and Ann Marlin! To take a closer look at the work they’ve done as wedding planners, check out their websites!
Ann Marlin: http://www.cloud9bliss.com/
Jessica Adler: http://jaspecialevents.com/
Nicole Cruse: http://ashleynicoleevents.com/
Lindsey Dienstbach: http://www.belloandblueevents.com/