FAQ & 818 Responses
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions and how we've responded to them. Most questions/responses are relative to wedding planning, however, any inquires you may have with regards to any type of event planning that aren't covered below, please inquire within.
- What is a wedding planner? A wedding planner is a hired professional who is experienced in wedding coordination and has an advanced awareness of what is required when planning a wedding. They can provide insight and resources, as well as creative input in terms of how to design the wedding scheme. They will be your backbone throughout the planning process and offer moral support as needed. They allow a couple to feel as though a professional can take care of everything for them.
- Why do I need a planner? Event planning is not an easy task and wedding planning specifically is stressful enough as is. The average wedding can take over 250 hours to fully plan. A planner is like the shortcut to getting the job done. Their job is event coordination. Hiring a planner to coordinate a wedding allows a couple to enjoy their engagement period instead of drowning in details and allows a client to be guest at their own event. You'll have someone by your side that is experienced and professional, has access to vendors and resources, and is knowledgeable and can provide insight to make the planning process run more smoothly and effectively. Furthermore, a planner can help ensure that you don't blow your budget or plan unrealistically. A planner helps clients preserve their time, get more bang for their buck and cut out needless costs.
- What's the difference between full wedding coordination and month/day-of coordination? Full coordination wedding planners are hired to assist in the planning process from start to finish. They are usually hired the year before the wedding date and will assist in all aspects of the planning such as venue selection, vendor selections, and then executing all the prep work and the final event. Month/Day-of Coordinators are hired to jump into the planning process about a month near its completion to assist in organizing the timeline of the event by preparing a schedule, ensuring all aspects are covered leading up to the date, and executing all aspects of the wedding on the day of. There’s also Consultation Services offered by planners, that can help a couple who has hit a road block, or doesn’t even know where to begin. This service is usually based on an hourly rate.
- What should I look for when hiring my wedding or event planner? Hire someone who you relate well to and are comfortable with, and who you believe understands your vision. You need to have a connection with your hired planner, because an event, especially a wedding, is very personal, intimate and often stressful, and you want to know that the person planning it has a feel for who you are and what you want. If you aren't comfortable with the person planning your event, it’s likely not a good fit. As previously mentioned, also be sure to hire someone with experience and knowledge of wedding planning. You want to work with someone who is flexible and offers a wide range of services. Don't just hire Social Suzy because she seems to be fun and like parties; and don't hire someone who promises you the world because it sounds appealing. Ask for a portfolio and references. If you're putting your special occasion into someone else's hands, you want it to be handled with care and competence. Don’t try and penny pinch where it matters most, or you’ll regret it.
- When should I engage a wedding planner? Ideally, a wedding planner should be hired immediately after the engagement so you can begin working with them right away. Usually 9-months to a year away from the wedding date is the best timeline for getting a planner involved. Some event companies offer customized wedding packages that allow them to get involved in the planning process at any point up to the last month before the wedding date.
- What happens at a consultation? Most planners offer clients a one-hour free initial consultation so that the client and planner can meet, get acquainted, and see if they are a good fit to work together. The planner usually provides an overview of the company, their portfolio of work, and advises the client of what they can bring to the table, which includes presenting their package options and pricing. The client will tell the planner about themselves, the plan for the event, what they're looking for in a planner and their expectations. The aim is for an initial consultation to be very interactive in order to ensure that the client and planner get properly acquainted. The consultation is for the clients' benefit and under no circumstances should you feel pressured to book a planner on the spot. A consultation should provide the client the opportunity to gauge their comfort and confidence levels with the planner, as well as gain more information about their services. The idea is for the planner to provide the client with a favourable impression of their company and skills.
- What information should I provide to the planner initially? Once you initiate a relationship with a planner, you should inform them of the event budget, the expected number of guests, the anticipated date/month/season, and a general idea of the event concept/style. Be sure to include details about quirky or unique aspect of your event so your planner is aware of what's expected and can be prepared.
- My wedding venue has a wedding planner, do I still need to hire someone? The venue provides a planner to help execute the wedding as it pertains to their venue. Utilizing this individual as your wedding planner will not provide you with the handholding process that hiring an external wedding planner would provide you with. The venue's planner's role is to best assist you in coordinating anything relative to the venue, not the overall wedding planning process. Their loyalty is to the venue. A wedding coordinator, however, is involved from the beginning stages of the planning process, or the month prior to the wedding date. You are their priority. You want someone to work alongside of you that is aware of the vision you have for the wedding, and who can help you execute that vision the day of. You want to be sure that all details are taken care of for you, not just some.
- Why can't my friend or family member plan my wedding? Planning any event is stressful. Mixing family and friends into the planning process can become very emotional. For an event such as a wedding, emotions are already running high and the couple expects for everything to be perfect, however when things are not perfect often friends and family are the target of the blame, which can create conflict, drama and hurt feelings. This often happens when you least expect it to. Even though family and friends often have the best intentions taking on the role of wedding planner, they deserve and want to enjoy the event with you. A wedding planner is a non-biased partner who takes the weight off the shoulders of family and friends, and handles the stress and worry associated with executing an event. It's best to leave the event planning to a third party that offers a high level of service to its clients and keep your personal relationships in tact.
- If I need a wedding planner, should I hire someone who is specifically a wedding planner only? While full service event coordination companies are capable of helping anyone plan any event, you’d benefit most to hire a planner (and assistants) who are fully certified by The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada. This way you have a trained, regulated, and certified professional planning the wedding and handling the details with care from start to finish. If you hire an overall event planning company, please ensure that they have training and a background in wedding coordination, as weddings are a specialized event unlike any other event.
- Should my wedding planner be WPIC certified? While it's likely that there are many wedding planners who are not WPIC certified and who are great at their work, I recommend that you hire a WPIC certified planner for your wedding coordination as this ensures they are educated in all aspects of wedding coordination. WPIC offers the most comprehensive, respected and modern wedding planner course available in Canada.