There are all sorts of lists out there that talk about what to ask a wedding planner when you’re looking for the perfect one. Of course, once you find out about their availability and experience, you need to genuinely LIKE them as a person, too.
The secret to hiring the perfect planner/coordinator is not just in the answers to those “stock” interview questions, however. Don’t sign anything until you hear the answers to these questions too:
1) Do you get any “kickbacks” from vendors you recommend?
If the planner answers “Yes” to this question, it could be a red flag. Not always, but when a planner recommends only the vendors that offer to give them extra money for the referral, you may be getting the short end of the stick. The coordinator’s pay should be in what you’re paying based on the agreement only.
The planner should be referring vendors to you based on your budget, personality and who they think is most qualified for the job and NOT for extra money. There are exceptions to this rule, though, especially if you are hiring for “Full Service” and not just a flat rate for a basic planning package. Don’t be afraid to ask all of this. Your coordinator should be very transparent about their fees.
2) How do you treat the other vendors hired?
Sounds like a weird question but it’s not. I am amazed by the crazy things vendors tell me about other coordinators they work with. They get bossed around unprofessionally,
treated in a condescending way, and/or unreasonably micromanaged. The thing is, if you choose competent, reputable vendors, then there’s no need for ANY micromanaging, any bossiness, or any rudeness.
We are a team and we all need to work together FOR YOU. It’s the planner/coordinator’s job to oversee that team and make sure that everyone is working well together, but also that everyone has the information they need in order to do their own job superbly and without interference. I make sure they have what they need so they can do that and I only speak up when I foresee a change needed. Then it’s taken care of in a professional and discreet way.
If a potential client were to ask me this question, it would be the perfect opportunity to tell them how invested I become to each and every one of my events. Yes, I lose sleep! Because anything that I can do to make the event or wedding better and even more organized may pop into my head in the middle of the night and I’ll need to write that down immediately.
I’m always thinking of ways to go above and beyond and my mind doesn’t always shut off. To a large degree, your event becomes my event. My name is on it and there are no other options but to make sure that it’s as close to perfection as possible. So yes, my thoughts don’t always stop when my head hits the pillow. If my clients know that I am equally as involved as they are, then I’d rather be the one to lay awake at night.
Find more of Jennifer’s stories and advice here: Wedding Scary Tales: Stories & Advice From A Pro In The Know
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