wedding planner faq's
I thought it would be useful to give you some honest answers to frequently asked questions we receive here at Studio Sorores.
Why is a wedding planner important?
The truth is that it's entirely possible to plan and design a wedding without a planner on your team, but it's an infinitely more relaxing, fun and enjoyable process with one! We are invaluable in making sure everything runs smoothly, that you are delivered value for money throughout, and remove a great deal of stress at all times.
We are, in short, a PA, a logistical manager, a designer, a stylist, a mediator, a negotiator.... and yes sometimes we become your friend along the way. It's such a personal life event to share with us, and you should be treated with utmost care and respect throughout.
On average our team at Studio Sorores puts in well over 1000 hours for every wedding we plan in full. We can plan multi day events in less than 6 months, and we work on all of the details so that you can focus on work, life, family and friends.
There is also no such thing as a "on the day" wedding planner. At the very latest we would start 8 weeks before your wedding day to ensure it's properly managed.
What makes Studio Sorores different to other wedding planners?
We bring over a decade of expertise together with a highly skilled team, but have retained a personal boutique like feel, offering a bespoke approach to all of our clients. Whilst all of our weddings and events are unique and personal, we do very much have a signature style - we like to call it "laid back luxury" - with a focus on timeless, modern and classical design, always using the very best artists and ingredients to deliver the highest quality throughout.
We were one of the first independent planning companies to also offer design and styling as a standalone service in the UK, enabling us to deliver exceptionally beautiful celebrations alongside our meticulous planning and management services.
Our team is calm, adaptable, flexible, experienced and committed. We solve problems and are comfortable communicating with high net worth and VIP clients at all levels. Our clients feel looked after at every stage of the planning journey, we make things happen whilst maintaining integrity and absolute honestly at all times. We are planners and designers you can trust, driven and dedicated to delivering the very best.
Do you charge for consultations?
It depends! We always used to offer a free initial telephone or online consultation, but increasingly have found it difficult to deliver with so many enquiries and not everyone being able to afford our level of service.
If you are looking at full planning and have a budget over £100,000 then we will happily offer an initial consultation for free. Typically we charge 20% of you overall event spend, with a minimum fee of £20,000 + VAT.
Otherwise you can book a session online with us here for £250, where we can offer upfront assistance and quote for bespoke services thereafter. Our bespoke services start at £4000 + VAT.
How long do I need to plan a wedding?
We find with many of our high net-worth clients that planning timelines are much shorter. For full planning and design we would recommend not starting with less than 4 months to go (though we have done it in less!) as you'll otherwise restrict your options and choices, with more stressful and quick decision making required. Similarly, we really don't start a huge amount of planning work until 1 year before a booked date, and you should expect a much slower pace of communications if booking far out.
Do you only work with your own suppliers and vendors?
We are very happy to work with your own chosen vendors. Of course, most of our clients will book us for full service planning & design where we recommend the very best suppliers for the brief, budget and style presented through our design plans and proposals. We work with teams of artists and event professionals across the world every year and we know who we can trust to deliver above expectations.
You can always trust our recommendations as we never ask for commission or referral fees, and pass any discounts directly to our clients.
We spend a great deal of time every year reviewing supplier submissions to our company, looking at the quality, level of experience and other credentials (like sustainability, or corporate responsibility) to ensure they are a high enough standard.
We do always advise you get our feedback on vendors before booking or paying a deposit, and would actively encourage you from using friends or family unless they also run a professional insured business.
Is an independent wedding planner really needed if our venue has a wedding co-ordinator or in house event manager?
100% Yes. I have so often had people come to me far too late in the planning process in a bit of a muddle once they realised their in house manager offered absolutely nothing close to our services. A professional independent wedding planner is not the same as an in house venue event co-ordinator. The latter is only responsible for management of the venue and services offered within, their responsibilities are limited, and whilst sometimes marketed as a "wedding planner" within a package, they just don't offer the same experience. There are of course some overlap of duties, and we work incredibly closely with them too - after all they are truly the experts on the property itself, any limitations, and have in depth knowledge about facilities available.
With an independent planner, our responsibility is to ensure you are our priority from start to finish, and we will support you through every step of the process. We cover budget management, venue search & selection, vendor recommendations and briefings, design planning and style guides, stationery design, timeline planning, logistics and final production.
Do you design it for us and take over, or can we be involved?
Yikes, no never! Our clients are at the heart of everything we do - we excel in taking your personal story, background, heritage and history, and using it all to create an in depth design proposal that covers all of the senses throughout the wedding celebrations. Storytelling is what we are best known for, and we can't do it without you!
We also never pick vendors without shortlisting and giving you time to review and select your favourites. We encourage you to attend meetings in person, because we know how important it is to have a team you feel really understands your vision and style. You are always in control of the selection process, the budget tracker is updated live for you to review regularly, and we will listen to all of your ideas and requirements closely.
We do have some clients who prefer us to take more control of planning decisions, which is of course fine too!
Should I book someone local to my venue?
It helps, but it isn't necessary. We travel all over the world and have international contacts, but we are also based in the beautiful Cotswolds in England, and know we are absolutely the most experienced and trusted wedding planner in the area.
Should my planner ever do more than one wedding a day?
No, we always have a dedicated senior manager in charge of your wedding from start to finish.
Can I afford a wedding planner?
I would recommend you set aside 10-20% of your overall budget for planning support. Book the very best you can afford. At Studio Sorores our fees start at £4000 + VAT for bespoke services, and a minimum fee of £20,000 + VAT for full planning and design services.
Should we be asking for past client referrals?
We have lots of testimonials, but we really do prefer not to ask past couples for referrals as we don't like disturbing them if we can avoid it. I would actually recommend you get referrals from a few experienced and longstanding vendors - they see everything behind the scenes more than anyone else! You planner should be willing yo let you contact them directly and they will likely be quick to respond as it'a chance for them to impress you too.
What should we look for when choosing a wedding planner?
First and foremost - experience. Look past the portfolio and find out how much time your shortlist of companies have actually spent perfecting and practicing their skills. We launched in 2010 and have learnt a huge amount since then, adapting and growing in confidence with every wedding we do. There used to be a time we did more than 20 weddings a year, but now we dedicate ourselves to just 5-10 maximum depending on the scale.
Following on from that - personality. It's so key. It's more important than pretty imagery or impressive brand associations. Do you like your planner? Are they friendly and approachable? Are they confident and able to navigate sensitive situations or difficult problems? Can you trust them to negotiate and lead a very large team of different companies? There are a lot of emotions and moving parts in a wedding - be sure you find someone who can handle it all with ease and grace.
Latterly, find someone whose style resonates with you - and through conversation you can tell will be able to create something completely bespoke and personal.