Most engaged couples spend months or even years planning their wedding, and many turn to a professional event planner for help, whether they want a formal black-tie occasion or a star wars– themed eruption.
A wedding planner does all the work behind the scenes, making sure the venue, food, flowers, and photos match the bride and groom’s vision, dealing with vendors who provide those services, and coordinating the big day itself. same.
Below, the wedding planners reveal the questions they are asked most often by the couples who hire them and how they answer them.
What COVID-19 protocols should we have at our wedding?
Andrew Roby, an event planner in Washington, DC, said Newsweek the main question for couples in 2022 is what COVID-19 measures they should adopt for their marriage.
His response is: “Although many states have lowered their COVID restrictions, we still advise our customers to ensure that all supplier contracts include a COVID-19 clause and that all guests are vaccinated and/or undergo a COVID PCR test within 72 hours of attending the wedding.”
How much will the wedding cost?
Miami wedding planner Chris Weinberg said guests were, unsurprisingly, eager to know what the final bill for the wedding would be. This will of course depend on the place, location, date and number of guests, as well as the providers chosen.
She said Newsweek“We provide our couples with a full cost estimate – AKA budget range to approve – before we begin our planning process and before suggesting vendors to consider.”
Once the couple have narrowed down the options, “we hold meetings with each vendor to directly sell their creative services and prepare proposals.”
Shane McMurray, founder of research firm Wedding Report, told CBS in February that the average cost of a wedding in the United States in 2022 would be over $27,000, up from around $24,000 before the COVID pandemic. .
And how much does the wedding planner cost? Weinberg explained that most full-service planners charge a flat fee. “Generally, the fee is 10% of the total cost of wedding expenses of the venue and vendors the planner is working with,” she said.
Some event planners offer different packages: full planning, on-the-day coordination service, and something in between.
Los Angeles wedding planner Alexa Farese says on her website that full planning starts at $6,500 for a celebration of up to 50 guests. Partial planning starts at $3,500 and coordination at $1,450.
What is the design process for our wedding?
Weinberg recommends the bride and groom create a Pinterest inspiration board to share their vision with the planning team.
“Once a design team is selected and a deposit is paid, they will create a floor plan,” she said. “Several months before your wedding, you will see an in-person sample of your decor and make some final selections for table decor and rental items such as chairs, napkins, table linens and presentation plates.”
What is the wedding timeline?
Farese said Newsweek that clients often ask for advice on when “every aspect of the wedding planning” should be completed. “I create a calendar for my couples that takes the overall task of ‘wedding planning’ and breaks it down into month-by-month to-do lists.”
According to Weinberg, after the COVID lull, “everyone, everywhere is booked at full capacity.” She recommends “booking early to ensure a couple’s vision and budget can match venue and vendor selection.”
For the venue and the dress, that means at least 12-18 months in advance to get what they really want. For florists, it’s 12-15 months to hold the date with a small down payment.
She added: “We can recommend a variety of available venues. We pre-check with venues and often put a ‘wait’ on a date until we can show a client around the venue and the venue has the time to prepare an agreement, and their price.”
What should we splurge on?
Roby said clients often ask which wedding items they should spend the budget on and which not.
“I always recommend splurging on things that will have guests dancing in their seats or whipping out their phones to take a photo or video. Good food can never go out of style. Although you don’t have to serve wagyu beef to your guests during the reception, consider splurging on some fine champagne or oysters for an appetizer.”
He added, “If something is considered standard in the wedding industry, think about how you can improve it. Compared to a regular photo booth, create a 3D photo experience.”
As for the details not worth worrying about, he suggested “wedding favors and useless vendors that are bound to fail.”
…And what would wedding planners want clients to know?
“The sooner you hire us, the better we can plan your wedding,” Weinberg said. She also suggested interviewing several planners and doing some research so you end up with the right solution for you and your budget.
According to Roby, you need a vision for your big day before booking the planner. “A wedding planner or wedding designer cannot create their own concepts, they need a vision to guide them.”
Couples should also make sure to set aside time for planning. “There are a lot of things your wedding planner just can’t do for you and it’s essential that you set aside time to focus on wedding planning,” he said.
For Farese, the most important thing is to know your budget and what you hope to gain by hiring a wedding planner. “Make sure you can fit a wedding planner into your budget before you commit.”