Post # 1
My head is absolutely swirling with planning now that I am officially engaged but I’m overwhelmed and need your help!
The first places we’re starting are venue and wedding planner. Venue I have a good idea about, but have noooo clue what to look for in a wedding planner other than making sure we get along —
Questions for bees:
1) What is a reasonable price for partial planning? For full planning? (we’re in DC metro)
2) What services should a planner be expected to do? Under partial planning? Under full planning?
3) What characteristics did you look for in your planner?
4) Some of the planners have info on their sites about being “no conflicts of interest” meaning they don’t take commissions from certain vendors. Is this appropriate to ask about of all potential?
5) How did you end up selecting your planner?
Anything I missed or should be thinking about?
Post # 4
No one utilized a wedding planner??
Post # 5
Hi! Ok I have a venue and a wedding planner so far and think I chose a good one, so I’ll try to help!
1) I’m not in DC but my wedding is in San Diego which is probably fairly close in price. I interviewed 5 wedding planners for full service ranging from $3,000-$4,200 in price, but contacted a few that ended up being $7,000 and $12,500 which I think is ridiculous! Most planners will offer a few tiers of service and sometimes will even just customize a package for you. I’m doing almost full service and my favorite ended up being the cheapest one and she seems great.
2) It really depends on their package. Mine is doing a lot, but not “full service” where I say “hi I’m engaged, plan my wedding.” I found the venue and the band before I hired her, and plan to be involved but I’m in a different state and finishing my PhD so don’t have the time to do it all. I sent her a budget proposal and she is going over it and changing things and we will have a meeting about it. I’ll tell her what I’m looking for in a photographer and she will set up some meetings and come with me to interview them. I’ll say I want these chairs and she will get them, I’ll email her asking where to try on dresses and she’ll tell me, etc. When it gets closer to the wedding she will do a lot, and on the day-of she and her assistants will do everything.
3) I looked for someone warm. A few of them were really sweet, asked about my proposal story, asked to see my ring, etc. I asked for references and made sure they were good. I was looking for someone with good communication and a great portfolio. The one I chose has amazing taste and a great reputation. I really liked another one’s personality, but she had only done a few weddings and they were just so-so.
4) Yes!! Definitely ask if you get the discount. They all get discounts from vendors, and most will give you the discount but some will keep it. Definitely ask. I had one tell me that she gives me the discount, but said she does all the ordering/payments so I wouldn’t even see the receipts unless I asked for them,which sounded fishy.
5) All of the above!
Post # 6
1) What is a reasonable price for partial planning? For full planning? (we’re in DC metro) I have no idea, mine is $1200 for what she calls “month of coordinating.” Another person I looked at did $3k+ for full planning. I live in the mountains of NC so I know prices are way higher in DC metro, I grew up there.
2) What services should a planner be expected to do? Under partial planning? Under full planning? The differences of those confuse me, and I didn’t utilize them.
3) What characteristics did you look for in your planner? I actually had planners booked, and then met my current planner so I ended the contract with the first. PM me if you want more details on that *gigantic* wedding headache.
But, what made me make that decision to switch came down to chemistry! Who did I want telling me what to do on my wedding day? Certainly not the first people we booked; the person I switched to, I loved her the second I met her, we had an instant connection! I definitely wanted her happily telling me what to do and when on my wedding day!
4) Some of the planners have info on their sites about being “no conflicts of interest” meaning they don’t take commissions from certain vendors. Is this appropriate to ask about of all potential? I think so… though I’m kind of confused. The planner we switched to gets us 10% discounts which we split with her for her managing that vendor.
5) How did you end up selecting your planner? As I said above, it came down to chemistry as all planning services we encountered were almost equal in price.
ETA: Check references!!! My second planner had glowing references that I talked to on the phone and emailed. They all raved about her.
Post # 7
Um – definitely interview around. We kind of took the first one available (as there aren’t that many in that area) and she’ ok, but not great. But then again, we’re not paying her that much either. Speak to references if possible and make sure you understand absolutely what’s included in the package. We’re pretty big planners ourselves, so we have a light package. Still, I sometimes wonder about her abilities – she hasn’t been able to save us much money despite her intiial claims.