A wedding is a big event and, for some, organising the flowers, wedding venue, caterers and entertainment is a lifelong dream, while others might find it somewhat daunting. If you find yourself in the latter category, then your best option is to hire the services of a wedding planner. Tasking someone with this immensely important role does require a thorough screening process, but it’s certainly worthwhile considering the amount of time (not to mention the stress) it will save you.
To ensure you select the best possible candidate, here are a few questions to ask during the interview.
1. What’s your availability?
Before anything is decided on, make sure your potential wedding planner is actually available for your wedding day and ask how many weddings he/she takes on per month. Is he/she capable of handling another wedding?
2. What are your rates?
Understandably rates will differ depending on wedding size, travel, etc. but it’s worth getting a rough estimate of rates from your potential wedding planner, as well as a breakdown of the charges. You don’t want to receive the bill, only to find a number of ‘hidden costs’ that weren’t budgeted for.
3. How much experience do you have?
Any person taking on the monumental role of a wedding planner will have to have experience in the industry. Even if this is the planner’s first solo, she will have been working in the industry, with like-minded professionals. If not, don’t hire the person! Ask to see a portfolio of previous weddings for some indication as to the level of quality you can expect. You can also request references or testimonials for assurance.
4. What services do you offer?
Rates will most certainly be determined by what services the wedding planner actually offers. Does she/he offer on-day co-ordination of the wedding; create the vision of the wedding; and follow up with all service providers, or do you also play a role? Find out, exactly what services are covered, and what you will need to do from your side.
Download our handy wedding planning checklist here.
5. How many meetings are needed?
There is no set number for this answer, but it will give you an idea of the input that’s needed from your side and what you will need to work into your schedule. These days, most interaction can happen via video calls and messaging services, but there will be some face-to-face interaction required.
6. Do you handle payments and contracts of service providers?
This will probably come into the ‘services’ query but it’s important to find out if the potential wedding planner will deal with all the paperwork and payments of service providers. You don’t want to be in a situation where you assume it was all covered, only to find that there is no caterer present on your Big Day.
7. Do you charge commission?
Some wedding planners will charge commission on the sourcing of items or services to cover their costs. Check whether this is an extra cost or not.
8. Have you worked at the wedding venue?
It’s in no way essential that the wedding planner has organised a wedding at your preferred wedding venue before, and it’s unrealistic to expect that, but it obviously will be very helpful. This means that the relationship between venue and event planner has already been established and that the process may run a lot smoother.
9. Do you do destination weddings?
This is obviously only relevant if you are planning a destination wedding, but be sure to find out where your wedding planner is based and whether a destination wedding is possible.
10. Do you have preferred suppliers?
Any wedding planner with experience will know which suppliers are the best and will have a good working relationship with these suppliers. Find out who his/her preferred suppliers are and whether they offer any discounts for their services.
11. What happens if the weather turns?
You can plan everything to a T except the weather, so make sure your wedding planner has a backup plan for bad weather conditions, and ask about any added costs.
12. What happens if you are unable to complete your duties?
A wedding planner might fall ill, suffer a loss in the family or experience any number of other roadblocks rendering him/her unable to fulfil obligations which can be a major problem if there is no one else to assist. Find out who will take over those duties, and make sure to meet with this person as well. You don’t want to end up working with someone incompetent.
Once you’ve gone through these questions and chosen your preferred wedding planner, you should feel a lot more at ease with the upcoming wedding day. Remember, your wedding planner is there to lighten the load and bring to life your vision so make sure to share as much information and detail as possible from the start.
For an elegant and picturesque wedding venue set on the slopes of a mountain and overlooking the ocean, choose Waterkloof Wine Estate. Waterkloof Estate hosts many weddings per year and is an awe-inspiring Cape Winelands Wedding Venue to celebrate your dream wedding at. Professionalism, style, elegance and sophistication are all synonymous with Waterkloof Wine Estate.
Photo Courtesy of LVStar at the wedding of Warren and Danielle at Waterkloof Wines