Questions to Ask Your Wedding Planner (Before You Book!)

hudson valley wedding planners looking at wedding magazines

Whether the idea of interviewing and hiring a wedding planner makes you excited or nervous, it’s going to be one of the first things you do as you start to plan your wedding day! Today, we have put together a list of questions to ask your wedding planner BEFORE you book and we promise: a little extra effort to choose the right wedding planner will go a long way. It’s why we always start with a complimentary consultation before we ever ask you to hire us!

Whether you are recently engaged or just finally ready to put your pen to paper and start planning, you can learn more about us here at Elite Wedding and Event Planning here. The short version is: we are a small team of passionate women who love to plan memorable and unique weddings at untraditional wedding venues. If you are ready to start interviewing wedding planners, you can contact us here or learn more about ways to work with us here.

Now, let’s jump to the questions you should ask your wedding planner (before you book them!). 

What’s the wedding planning process like?

This is a big one, and too often couple’s find out just how important it is when it’s already too late. Have you ever been to a restaurant where the food was fantastic but the service was horrible? Hiring a wedding planner and being stressed out about the process the entire time will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, even if the wedding day is flawless.

When interviewing planners you should ask what that process is like so you know what to anticipate in working with them. Do you want to be really hands on? Or do you want someone to take care of everything? How do YOU work best? Do you love email/organized systems or do you want someone you can text at 2am? 

Here at Elite Wedding and Event Planning, we have created a signature 4 phase planning process which we walk through with our clients during the consultation so they can fully understand all the things that go into planning and designing a wedding. Here’s just a sneak peak:

Do you help with design, planning or both?

At Elite wedding and event planning, we offer full service wedding design and planning. However, not every wedding planner has design skills or enjoys design so it’s an important question to ask before you hire someone. Design is much more than creating a mood board and choosing a wedding color palette. Personally, we love being a part of the design process and it’s actually the most fun part of planning weddings. We love finding creative touches we can add to each couple’s event, and we thrive off breaking that typical cookie-cutter wedding mold.

If unique wedding design is important to you, you should understand your planners capabilities and what added services you might need to secure through another vendor. If you love a wedding planner who doesn’t offer design, you can always hire a designer separately!

questions to ask your wedding planner and designer - sample design creation

What types of weddings do you have experience planning?

This question is MUCH more telling than the typical “have you worked at my wedding venue before”. After all, an experienced wedding planner should be able to work almost anywhere. After all, at Elite Wedding and Event Planning, we can literally create our own wedding venues in your own backyard. What IS more important, in our humble opinion, is the types of wedding venues your wedding planner typically works in. A wedding planner that plans 20 ballroom weddings every year won’t have the same type of experience as someone who frequently plans home weddings, for example. Whether you are dreaming of an outdoor tented wedding, barn wedding, ballroom wedding, or more, there are some wedding styles that are more involved and require more experience with logistical planning than others.

outdoor tented wedding in New York

Photography Credit: Joshua Brown Photography

How many weddings do you plan in a weekend? Or in a year? 

Each of our planners will only take on one wedding per weekend (even if you “just” book for day of coordination). We want our focus for the entire weekend to be on you. In the same way, it might be worth asking how many weddings your wedding planner typically books each year. 2021 aside, most experienced wedding planners will have a maximum number they are comfortable working with. For high touch luxury wedding planners, the service will typically be greater BECAUSE they work with less couples per year.  Although there is no “right” number, be weary of any wedding planner who tells you they take on 100’s of weddings each year alone! 

Hutton Brickyards wedding with luxury wedding planner

Photography Credit: Vik M Photo

Should you hire a wedding planner, or choose your wedding venue first?

As soon as you are ready to start planning and have a general idea of where and when you want to get married, you can start reaching out with these questions to ask your wedding planner. You don’t need to have all of the details figured out – we will help with that! We generally recommend booking a wedding planner even BEFORE you’ve found your venue but if you’ve already booked your wedding venue, hiring a wedding planner is definitely the next step.

If you aren’t quite ready to jump into wedding planning but you do want to secure a wedding venue sooner rather than later (they are booking fast!), we do offer an exclusive Hudson Valley venue scouting service. That means, you get professional guidance when making arguably one of the most important decisions of the whole planning process. This is NOT a decision you want to make lightly, but you also shouldn’t stress about it either. For more details on what we include, click here.

after you book your wedding planner

Lastly, how soon should you book your wedding planner?

In case we haven’t been clear enough, you can never start looking for a wedding planner soon enough. We have already opened our books for next year, as this year is fully booked. The pandemic has caused a very high demand for planners and we are definitely in a wedding boom right now. In a normal year, we are booking out 12 to 18 months in advance for full service and about 6-9 months in advance for wedding coordination.

We are always ready and excited to start the conversation so it is never too early to contact us and get started! If you aren’t quite ready to start planning yet, make sure to follow us on Instagram for regular Hudson Valley wedding inspiration.