Hire a wedding planner? Here are some questions to consider.

Mr. Rhee noted that partial planners start working four to six months before a wedding. They do all of the above, while also referring suppliers, advising on floor plans, seating, tastings, and making final decisions. Full-service planners, especially those with a design background, “typically work for a year and produce your wedding from start to finish,” Mr. Rhee said. Last on the list are the on-site wedding coordinators. These planners serve the needs of the place rather than the couple. “They focus on everything having to do with the venue instead of the services or logistics that happen outside of that space,” he said, “like the invitation process, managing the list of guests and guest accommodation “.

“No two planners operate the same or offer the same services,” said Jacin Fitzgerald, owner of Jacin Fitzgerald Events in Atlanta. “Knowing what you are getting is just as important as knowing what is not included. Couples assume everything is, especially if they pay for the concierge level. To avoid anxiety and disappointment, Ms. Fitzgerald suggested asking to see the full list of a planner’s services. “Most professionals have these bullets pointed to in a document or spelled out in their contract,” she said.

She also advised creating your own list of services that you expect to include. “If you want something that isn’t on their list, feel free to ask or negotiate,” she said. “If there is no wiggle room or if they cannot recommend a salesperson or specialist to do what you are asking for, such as creating a wedding website or filling wedding bags, then this ‘is a flag. “

Money and contract matters should be a crucial part of the conversation. “Some organizers work on a flat rate to produce the wedding, others work on commission, charging 10-30% of the subtotal of the final cost of the wedding,” said Ryan Hill, owner of Apothersis Events in Manhattan. “Others are working on a hybrid of the two.” Some planners may also receive money from vendors they have suggested for the job. “My contracts say I don’t, so that assures clients that I’m presenting the best suppliers for the job rather than something I’m going to get downstream,” said Mr. Hill, who presents supplier invoices to the couple for direct payment.

“You also want to ask how my fees are structured, what is the payment schedule and what my fees don’t include,” said Mr. Hill, which for him is hotel rooms, meals and travel. Because the pandemic has been particularly disruptive to the wedding industry, couples should ask planners what financial penalties are incurred for postponement or cancellation. “Couples should also ask if the planner has personal liability and professional indemnity as a business, and have a full understanding of force majeure,” Mr. Hill said. “Because it dictates the terms and conditions of both parties’ liability when major events beyond the control of both parties occur. “

Covid demanded planners learn new skills, like an increased ability to pivot, backup plans for their backup plan, and a more proactive role in guiding couples. “We’ve learned to encourage guests to book a multi-faceted venue that offers multiple alternatives, like indoor and outdoor spaces with tent options, so if we need to pivot at the last moment, we don’t need to find one. other space, ”said Guerdy Abraira, owner of Guerdy Design in Miami and Brooklyn. “In case we revert to the size restrictions, invitations to A-List invitees are sent out two months early so they can respond first, or we overlay the invitation distribution process.”

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