Receive LOVE in your mailbox

Try our weekly newsletter with amazing tips to bring and retain love in your life

15 Questions To Ask A Wedding Planner Before Hiring Them

Weddings cost a bomb. Add to it the stress of PLANNING it all, and admit it, you find yourself – even if it’s for a teeny tiny second – wishing you had just lived in! But there is one species on the planet that make it all easy on the harried brides-to-be and the trying-to-be-supportive grooms-to-be – the WEDDING PLANNERS. Yes, wedding planners are the ones who come in as a blessing in flesh and blood when all soon-to-be brides find that their husbands-to-be aren’t exactly their go-to person for wedding planning! Of course, the anti-anxiety pills these planners have don’t come cheap – but hey, they can snag you discounts you’d otherwise not get, connect you to the best vendors, and even save you some money while breathing life into your wedding vision.

wedding photography

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

But wait right here. If you thought that getting to the stage when you can hand over your D-day to wedding planners and breathe easy is going to come as easy – pop! Sorry, honey, bubble burst! We told you all you needed to know before hiring a wedding planner before, and this time, we will tell you exactly the homework we said you’d need to do when you ask for an in-person meet.

Suggested read: Things you MUST know before hiring a wedding planner

You see, when you are choosing photographers, you can pretty much be confident with portfolios. With officiants, any ceremony they perform is the best testimony. But picking a wedding planner isn’t as easy. Not only do you need to do the basic vetting, scour through their websites, testimonies, portfolios, and call references but also assess their personality. For here’s the person who you’d work intimately with to set up the most special day of your life.

So once you have about two to three top picks ready, you must know exactly the test you’d need to administer, so you can see if a planner comes out on the other side with flying colors or … uh well, flunks! And what makes those tests – questions to ask a wedding planner. You need to know which questions to ask a wedding planner before hiring them – so you are more than 100% sure you aren’t signing a check for half-a-vision or partial promises. And if you did not know how to set the question paper for this one – worry not – we have just the right list of questions for you. Check out the NLT-compiled list of all the important questions you must ask a wedding planner before hiring them:

1. Are you available? And what does your schedule look like for the day, entire span of planning?


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Your first question should be regarding the availability of your prospective wedding planner. You don’t waste time if they can’t make the date. Also, if they say they are available, you may want to know just how many weddings they are working on for the same date or during the weeks that’d cover the planning period for your wedding. This may give you a sense of their schedule, a fair idea about whether or not that schedule may do justice to your wedding vision, and if you’d like to take the discussion forward. Asking for the links to the weddings that they had planned together for a single day or an overlapping span may give you valuable insight too. If your dates are still flexible or the planner is still in talks with other clients, you may have a window for negotiation.

2. What sort of services do you offer?

couple working

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Asking your prospective wedding planner about the kind of service packages they offer is the first step where you start the discussion of the wedding. Whether your wedding planner offers day-of coordination, full service planning or a la carte planning is crucial to your decision. Depending on the amount of planning you are willing to put in the hands of the planner, the information about their service packages will come in handy in making an informed decision. If you have the time to follow up with pros yourself, you may want to opt for someone who’d just handle coordination for you. However, if you want someone who’d take over every step of the process, you may want to opt for a full-service package.

3. What does the aforementioned service package include?


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Once you are clear which package you’d want to avail, it’d hold you in good stead to ask the planner to draw up a detailed list of every service that is included in the said package. If you are going for a full-service package, there shouldn’t be a gap in your assessment of what it entails and the planner’s outlined package. Thus, clarifying the nitty-gritty will go a long way in making the planning smooth and hassle-free. Discussing if handling the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing, along with guest list coordination, RSVPs, handling of rentals, coordinating delivery, set-up, and arrival times with photographer, florist, musicians, and caterers are all part of the package, is best known NOW so the later stage doesn’t call for a rushed stringing-together of wedding elements.

4. What is the cost of the average wedding you plan?


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Asking for a range they work with or the minimum budget to avail their services can help you gauge if you can afford their services. Also, wedding planning (full service) is usually 15% of the wedding expense – so if their baseline exceeds your budget but you love their work, you can always ask if they’d be willing to deliver a part-time blueprint planning or a tailored package for a smaller fee.

5. How do payments work?

woman handling money

Image source: Shutterstock

Whether it is a percentage of the budget, a flat fee or if there are additional expenses over and above the base fee is always best known at the start. You need to be in-the-know of the breakup of their quoted fee, what goes and doesn’t go into it, how they have calculated it, and whether or not it includes commissions from vendors. You may not want to be charged double. You may also be able to negotiate these types of fees and the payment schedule before you sign the contract.

6. What is your main specialty/area of expertise?

wedding decor

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Knowing what your prospective wedding planner is best at helps you decide if you can put their expertise/skill to best use in bringing your wedding vision alive. For example, if event styling or design is their main specialty, you’d like to put the skill to maximum use and design the best possible wedding elements that sync in with your idea of your D-day. Of course, a balance in design and coordination is always required.

7. How do you go about professional services, payment processing, and contracts?

wedding photography

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Asking if they take a lump sum and handle hiring and paying pros for you or will ask you to cut checks for them is a good thing to know about. While direct payment is always recommended, you may need to find out if their method involves this option.

Suggested read: Stunning ideas for a summer wedding

8. How does the whole selection, hiring, and handling of other professional services work? Would they be coordinating the process from scratch until the end?

wedding ceremony1

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

It is great if they can help you bag a discount or two that you may not have availed of had you hired pros on your own, but you also need to ensure that they are only sending the best your way. So asking them names and doing a li’l research of your own is a good idea. You may also want to know if they’d be your advocate and coordinate everything with pros to ensure everyone is sticking to your vision.

9. Have you planned a wedding at our chosen venue?

checklist with a ticked box and a pen

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

If they have, it’s a major bonus – they’re likely more familiar with the event staff, layout, and logistics, which can help things go more smoothly. They may also have specific suggestions or design ideas they’ve learned from working in the space before. You can always ask to see photos so you can start envisioning your wedding there too.

10. What are your ideas about bringing our wedding vision to life?

couple cutting giant wedding cake

Image source: Pinterest

It is okay if they don’t have a detailed vision yet, you can iron out those later. But if your idea of a rustic wedding is constantly being overridden by suggestions of a ballroom venue or something way-off – it is a red flag. This shows that they may not have been listening or you may end up having difference of opinions always. And that isn’t the ‘right fit’ you wanted.

11. What would our frequency of communication be like? And which is the most preferred mode of communication?

woman texting

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

This is where you can gauge their work model closely. While some planners prefer to email you sketches and follow up on the phone, others would create inspiration boards online but walk you through the swatches and samples in person. Some will let information trickle slowly as per a plan while others will fill you in all at once. Getting this clear at the outset can help you see if their organizational and planning strategies are compatible with your ability to process and handle them.

12. How are meeting schedules with you and other pros going to work?

woman working on her laptop1

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

There should be a schedule planned to handle all meetings and this should be delivered, followed-up, and coordinated well to relay any changes as per schedules of the people involved.

13. What is the backup plan for any unforeseen circumstance(s)?

woman looking at her watch

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Backup plans are an absolute must. If your planner is sick or unable to attend the wedding, is there a seasoned assistant who can take over? Will there be no goof-ups and panic and can all run smoothly even if an unforeseen circumstance hits the boat? Asking for the backup plans and ensuring they are in place is a wise idea.

Suggested read: How to find the perfect wedding venue

14. What is your strategy for handling wedding mishaps? And what their biggest wedding goof up has been like and how it was handled?

guests singing at wedding

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Asking how they handle emergencies and relating any accounts of the same evince their problem-solving abilities and whether or not they can take care of any situation.

15. Do you carry personal liability and professional indemnity insurance?

woman working (2)


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

You always need to know if they have insurance and what scenarios it covers. For example, if the equipment used to lay the dance floor damages the venue, their insurance should pay for these damages. Almost all venues require that all of your professionals have liability insurance as well.

Of course, these may vary depending on your wedding vision and there will be times you may want to know if they do destination weddings or are willing to venture outside of their vendor list if you aren’t quite comfortable with their pick – but those are all specific or circumstantial questions that you’d know best about. For all practical purposes, this definitive list of the most important questions to ask a wedding planner before hiring them, is your go-to guide.

Happy wedding planning!

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
15 Questions To Ask A Wedding Planner Before Hiring Them
How do you decide if a prospective wedding planner is the one? Here are the questions to ask a wedding planner before you sign them on.
Sarah Ruiz

Sarah Ruiz

Pursuing a Master's degree in making Mistakes- I sincerely string the lessons into actionable advice- for myself and YOU! You can blame me for LONG sentences, though! ;) :)