You are finally engaged!
The wedding date has been set. You have started shopping for your wedding trousseau. Your parents have already started preparing a list of guests they want to invite for the marriage functions. Everyone’s really kicked at the moment. Everyone’s happy!
But soon the stress steps in. Tensions arise among the family members even for the tiniest of wedding planning details. There is an array of checklists and decisions regarding venue, caterers and decor arrangements to be taken care of. But neither the couple nor the families can afford to look haggard and tensed during the 3-day affair. Seriously, can you? No!
So what do you do in such a situation? You bring a wedding planner on board! Here are 5 things you must keep in mind before selecting one:
Get to know the planner
“What made you take up wedding planning?”
“For how long have you been in the industry?”
“Is it a full time job for you, or is it something you do on a part-time basis?”
“What are the challenges you normally face with the clients?”
“When was the last wedding you planned?”
“Which is your biggest wedding project till date?”
These are some of the questions that you should definitely ask right in the beginning of the meeting. You will get a fair idea about the wedding planner and how good (s)he is at the job. After all, you don’t want a novice to coordinate your wedding activities, isn’t it?
Is the planner a people’s person?
An Indian wedding is not a one-man show but is a joint effort of several close family member. This means that the planner will have to focus on coordinating with them and how. It can get a little taxing but that’s what it is.
Try to understand if the planner is really a people’s person. You can ask him or her about the large-scale weddings handled before. There is a chance (s)he might not be comfortable at consulting or following up with so many people. If that’s the case, then please get a clarity from the planner then and there.
Vendors, venue and scope of work
Most of the time, weddings planners do have their own set of vendors they make use of during preparations. Get some information on the kind of vendors they closely work with. If you get their names, do a background research yourself.
You must know everything possible about the people or businesses your potential wedding planner is associated with. Additionally, get the planner’s opinion on the prospective venues you have listed down. You will get a good understanding about his or her logistical thinking.
Be very clear about the kind of wedding you want to have: Is it on a large scale? How many people do you plan to invite? What about complimentary gifts and sweets? Have you thought about wedding decor yet? What kinds of cuisines do you want to offer to the guests?
It is better to convey the clear scope of work to the planner at the start.
Talk money with the planner
If you are happy with whatever the wedding planner has told you, the next step is to understand whether or not (s)he can offer all the services within the budget you have aside aside. Ask questions around the planner’s charging methods – hourly, flat rate or X % of the wedding cost.
What is the payment policy? Does (s)he accept credit cards? What is the advance payment you will have to make before the planner begins work? Is there any other expense or fee that you should be aware of? What is the planner’s refund or cancellation policy?
Once the interview is over, get together with your spouse-to-be and family members for a round of discussion. You have all the basic information about the wedding planner. Now all you have to do is decide whether or not to go ahead with him or her.
- Did you feel heard?
- Did the planner understand your vision? How receptive was (s)he towards your thoughts?
- Did you get a strong sense that (s)he will work with your budget?
- Was there a good connection between both parties?
- Are you comfortable working with your planner?
- Do you get a good feeling about this arrangement? What does your instinct say?
Think before you take a decision. Good luck!