Wedding Day Advice | Wedding Planning

Advice on using a Wedding Planner

Hiring a wedding planner can help save you time and reduce your stress levels. But before signing on the dotted line, here are some questions you should put to your wedding co-ordinator…

Question 1: Can you give me some references?

Your wedding planner should be able to provide you with a few names of satisfied clients. Don’t be shy to give them a call and talk about the levels of service they received, whether their wedding proceeded smoothly and if they would give him or her an unqualified recommendation. It’s also worth keeping in mind that word of mouth referrals are often the best.

Image courtesy of Green Wedding Shoes | Photo courtesy of Austin Gros

Question 2: Do you have a portfolio to show me?
Ask whether your wedding planner has a website or portfolio showcasing their work.

Question 3: What is your personal style?
Often, co-ordinators have a specific, or signature, style. Does this style reflect your own personal style and tastes? Does s/he prefer classical or contemporary looks? There needs to be some synergy between what they do and your own vision.

Question 4: How many weddings have you handled in your career?
The more weddings your wedding planner has organized, the more experience s/he has, which generally means less room for error.

Question 5: What specific services do you provide?
Do you want help with every single detail of your wedding, or just certain key aspects. Some planners provide a turnkey service – from choosing the dress to organizing the transport – while some focus on issues like décor and setting up the venue. S/he may even provide a consultancy service where they conceptualise the event, source service providers and quotes and manage the budget.

Question 6: How are your fees structured?
Some consultants charge an hourly rate, some charge a per project co-ordination fee and others require a percentage of the total wedding budget.

Question 7: Am I obligated to use the service providers you suggest?
Some consultants make money from suppliers’ commissions and so have a vested interest to use certain service providers. On the other hand, they could also negotiate discounts based on the amount of business they bring certain suppliers. Whichever way, you need to know that your planner has your best interests at heart.

Question 8: How many weddings do you work at one time?
Many full-service consultants will work on two to three weddings per month. If a coordinator takes on more than that, you may find it difficult to get personalized assistance. Ask whether they employ assistants to help them. While you have hired your planner based on experience and style, you may find yourself working with their assistant, instead. Insist on meet the assistants before entering into a contract.

Always draft a contract…
A contract protects your interests as well as those of the wedding co-ordinator. It serves as a written reference for all agreements that the two of you have made. It will also act as your guarantee of the services and fees that you have agreed to.

The coordinator may have a standard contract – ensure that you read through it carefully. You are perfectly within your rights to negotiate any points. Briefly, your contract with the wedding coordinator should include:

  • The time and date of the wedding
  • Service specifics
  • All billing details
  • A payment schedule
  • Details of any special requests or agreements
  • Guarantees and liabilities
  • The name(s) of any assistants
  • The wedding coordinator's name, contact information and signature.

Look for ideas here:
Gauteng | Johannesburg Wedding Planners
KZN | Durban Wedding Planners
Western Cape | Cape Town Wedding Planners
Eastern Cape | Wedding Planners

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