FIVE QUESTIONS TO ASK A WEDDING PLANNER
Whenever I meet a new couple it's always quite surprising how few questions they have, or specific requests for information on my services. I tend to start by chatting through initial plans and ideas to date, running through how I work with clients and the support I can offer throughout.
Often couples will speak to multiple planners before making a decision, which is absolutely right. You'll be spending a substantial amount of time together before and during the wedding so you need to ensure you have the right fit. But how?
I decided to pull together some key questions on what I think you should be asking (them and yourself!).
1. How experienced are you with the type of wedding I am hoping for?
This is so critical. We have over 10 years of experience across all styles, scale and type of wedding here at Studio Sorores. Our expertise is in marquees and private homes, so large production is a big part of our core work every year. Ask to see a portfolio of real weddings, and dig deeper into the work required in ones you are drawn towards. Beware of those who seem particularly heavy on "styled shoots" and "editorials" which are essentially faux weddings. Why? It's easy to create something beautiful without scale, time pressures, budget restraints or an army of guests arriving! Much less so in reality. Small venue focused events are a completely different project to a large wedding with multiple days/venues or complete build of tents and marquees. Experience is critical.
2. How do your prices compare to other planners, and what value can you offer?
The answers to this will be very revealing. Our services at Studio Sorores are reassuringly expensive. Why? Because we know our worth, are extremely confident in our value offered due to expert levels and experience, and have built up a reputation for being the best in the industry. If someone's pricing seems too good to be true, it probably is. Invest wisely, and get the very best you can afford. I always suggest a couple spend 10-20% of their budget on a wedding planner.
3. Do you take commission from vendors shortlisted?
There are lots of ways to look at this, but ultimately at Studio Sorores we do not request a referral fee from independent artists and suppliers contributing to an event. Our fee is entirely separate, there are no hidden charges, it's fully transparent and you can be confident we only ever recommend the very best people for your particular project and requirements. Many planners will add on as much as 20% to supplier quotes which is often hidden and built in to the costs so you can't see. Effectively that means you may be paying twice, which isn't so much of a problem if your base planning fee is lower and they are being fully open about their pricing structures.
4. Do you have full insurance?
I know it's not pretty, but it's critical. All planners should have substantial public liability and professional indemnity insurance to ensure you and your guests are protected.
5. Are you a planner or a designer, or both?
Careful on this one! Many planners claim to be stylists and designers these days, but in my direct experience they very rarely are. You should be given far more than a one page moodboard or collection of images on pinterest. We create and curate detailed visual plans for all of our clients, taking you through the flow of an event (or multiple days), and it's an incredibly important part of our service.
That said, you can absolutely book a wedding planner separately, and can choose to design yourself or hire in expertise for that element in particular. I know some wonderful logistical event planners that definitely don't market themselves as designers, but will work with other creatives to achieve something outstanding. It goes back to the discussion on fees and value - make sure you are getting what you are paying for!
Do you have any other questions or would you like to get some initial advice on our services and support offered? You can now book a one hour consultation with our head planner and designer Jessie Westwood here.