(& One Bonus Question you Should Seriously Consider)
You found your one-and-only, got engaged, and started wedding planning. Now, you’re looking for another perfect match – your wedding planner. Finding your ideal match (a.k.a. your wedding planner and designer) is kind of like dating. You might find yourself swiping through Instagram, getting all heart-eyed over tablescapes and floral designs. And maybe you’ll visit a few websites to get more detailed information. But where do you go from there?
LIKE DATING, ONE OF THE BEST THINGS YOU CAN DO IS ASK QUESTIONS.
Not the surface-level questions you’ll find listed on every major wedding website. I’m talking about digging a little deeper – and going beyond the cost and pricing questions every couple asks. Yes, pricing is vital information to have (and you’ll receive it at some point). But asking a variety of questions can give you insight into a wedding designer’s values, personality, and approach. Because as the age-old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” And that’s why we encourage you to look beyond the least expensive option and instead, look for the right one.
Only then will you be able to see if sparks fly.
What is your process?
Not all planners are created equal; not all planners are designers, and not all designers are planners. Everyone has a different way of doing things.
That’s why this question is so important. Because understanding the process allows you to peek into the proverbial window and figure out if the person you’re talking to ACTUALLY designs. It might be that they put together a team of creatives and let them design and it might be that they have a keen editorial eye. You don’t know until you dive deeper.
At Kate + Company, we do both. One of the things we excel most at is pulling together the cream of the crop event partners, providing the creative direction and big ideas, and leaning on their expertise. We’re also your filter, finding the balance between not enough and too much and the bad guy when an idea just isn’t quite right.
So, instead of sitting down with your wedding designer at the first meeting and asking, “When do we get our mood board?”, ask about their process. It’ll help you understand what to expect.
Couples like to start asking mood board questions from the get-go, and we get that. It’s fun to talk about that kind of stuff (and we will!). But when you’re trying to see if you mesh with a wedding designer, that kind of question isn’t going to tell you anything.
There are some things that most designers do, like coordinate with vendors, come up with designs, create a wedding timeline, etc.
But Q. #1 is more about how they do those things. And how the next few months will play out. You’ll want to know things like how the planner communicates (phone, email, carrier pigeon), how they conduct meetings (in-person, Zoom, etc.), what’s involved in the planning process during each phase, and what the planner’s priorities are.
The answers will give you an idea of whether or not the wedding planner’s process will work for you. And since you’ll be working with this person for an extended period of time, you’ll definitely want someone you actually like planning with.
What is the coolest thing you’ve done at an event?
Want to know a potential planner’s style and vision? Yes, you could look at their portfolio and scroll through their social media feeds for hours on end. But you still won’t see everything.
And you won’t get a personal peek into their brain unless you ask them more specific questions. For example, “What were your favorite designs from past events and why?”, “Was there anything you loved about a certain wedding?” and “What are some unique things that have stood out to you?”.
Have them describe the details and show you photos, if possible so that you can get an even better sense of their aesthetic. Does it match your own? How does your wedding theme/style/vision fit with theirs?
You can also ask them what kind of wedding they dream about designing one day. The answer to this question will give you an idea of how they think, stylistically. It will also give you a sneak peek of what you might expect for your own wedding day.
What happens if you’re sick and can’t be there?
These days, you would think this would be one of the top common questions asked on bridal sites. And rightly so! But it’s definitely not something most people think about or ask until they’ve already signed on the dotted line. Or, for some, until it’s too late. Eek!
And that’s precisely why we work in teams. Because we know that life stuff happens! And we won’t take a chance with your day or your guests’ happiness.
In fact, I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: our timelines are so detailed that if everyone on our team fell off the face of the earth, the wedding would still go on. Seriously. That’s how prepared we are. We have plans, backup plans, and backups to the backups in everything we do.
You shouldn’t have to worry about taking the reigns should someone on your vendor team not make it to the wedding. You’re there to get married and celebrate – not coordinate! Asking this question before booking a wedding designer should give you more security. And should help you make the best decision.
What are your expectations of me?
You probably expect honesty, transparency, respect, and participation from your wedding designer. And guess what? Your designer probably expects that from you too! But you should definitely ask. I know it may sound like a strange question since you’re the client, but wouldn’t it help to know that everyone is on the same page?
You should also ask your planner if they have any questions for you. I believe a good planner should have just as many for you as you have for them. Questions like, “What’s your communication style?” “What caught your eye about our work?” and “What qualities do you value most in your wedding vendors?”.
These kinds of inquiries get to the heart of things. They make people think differently and realistically about the roles they play. And they set expectations and boundaries. It will also give you some insight into how rigid or flexible they are.
You’ll be working with your wedding designer for a good year, so it has to be a match on both ends.
Can Kate + Co. design my wedding?
Bonus question! And the answer is, we would love to talk to you about the possibilities. Just send us an email with your information, and we’ll schedule a time to chat. From there, ask us these questions and any others you may have.
And here’s to sparks flying!