Congratulations, you’re getting married! Right, so you’ll need to find a venue, a caterer, a photographer, videographer, DJ, florist and plenty more suppliers as well as work out all of your timings, logistics and manage the all important guest list. Does this sound like a full time job? Well ladies and gents, it really is. Do you know the average wedding takes in excess of 250 hours to plan? This is why you absolutely MUST hire a wedding planner.
Your wedding planner will be a major contributing factor to the success of your event (if you pick the right one). He or she will manage EVERY aspect of your day from start to finish including managing your budget and negotiating special discounts, working out the timings and also helping you to effectively style and theme your event, because honestly, it’s not as easy as creating a board on Pinterest.
If you’re wondering how you go about finding the right planner, then here are five important questions you always need to ask:
1. Who is a part of your team?
It is important to meet everyone who is going to be present on your wedding day so make sure you clarify who will be attending. If for example you’re having in excess of 100 people, there should be at least two people present – so someone can help manage the guests and suppliers while other tasks are being handled. Also, always ensure that the wedding planner you have been liaising with all along will be present on the day, because there’s nothing worse than being stuck with a completely different person who you don’t feel comfortable with.
At Carriages, we have two experienced wedding coordinators present at all events to ensure everything runs smoothly. We also have a professional team of event assistants who come along to events with larger guest lists to ensure every last detail is managed.
2. Do you have a contingency plan?
You can plan right down to the T but what happens if your wedding planner can’t make it on the day for some reason? You might think this is a silly question to ask, but you definitely need to know. If the wedding planner does not have a backup in place and your wedding is in peak season, then chances are you will struggle to find a replacement.
Quality service is a big factor for us at Carriages and therefore we will only ever take on one event a day, which means we will always have two qualified wedding planners available. If for any reason one of them were unable to attend, there will always be another who is on site and fully briefed about your event. We also make it a point to introduce all our clients to both coordinators ahead of the big day so they are comfortable with them. So you can rest assured that there will always be someone around to oversee and run your event.
3. How do you communicate with your clients?
It’s important before you book someone to know how you can get hold of them and if you can get hold of them in the first place! If for example your wedding planner will only discuss things via face-to-face appointments, then you have to factor in additional travel time to go and see him or her. If your wedding planner only communicates via phone or email on the other hand, is this something you’re comfortable with?
At Carriages we’re fairly flexible and are happy to work around the bride and groom. All of our packages include unlimited contact time via phone and email and come with a number of face-to-face appointments. We’re also happy to schedule in appointments for clients at our offices during the evening and weekends (when we’re not on events). We’ve had clients who are literally on our doorstep and some from as far as Australia; so we’re used to dealing with different people across different time zones through different communication methods.
4. Are there any additional costs?
This is an important one. Budgeting is a big part of wedding planning and you need to know where you stand at all times. There shouldn’t be any hidden costs that crop up from any of your suppliers, including your wedding planner, as these should be discussed prior to signing any one on.
We are clear about any costings from the start and also go through any supplier contracts for our clients to ensure that everything is clear before the couple sign anything. We are very conscious of client budgets from the moment we start working with them, and due to our great relationship with suppliers, have often managed to save them a lot of money, sometimes enough to cover our fees alone plus more.
5. Any further questions?
Your wedding planner should be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, as well as show you any previous supplier testimonials. They should be patient and excited about your wedding as you are. If you feel this is not the case, then don’t hire him or her as you will potentially be liaising with this person for the next year and it’s important that you like them.
To arrange a free bridal consultation with our expert team of planners simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 268 8804