Elizabeth Fogarty

Hiring an amazing wedding planner will do more than just give you a spectacular wedding day. The right pro will bring peace of mind, creativity, and some much-needed budget know-how to your planning process, making those months so much easier. There are so many questions to ask a wedding planner as you browse portfolios and chatting about their services, all to help you find the wedding planner who is right for you.

These are the 10 questions to ask a wedding planner before you sign a contract.

What is the overall experience of working with you like?

“All planners work differently and it is so important to find a planner who will provide the services you need,” says Danielle Pasternak of DPNAK Weddings in Pennsylvania. “Sometimes, you just don’t know what you need, but discussing how a planner works will help you work together to dig in and figure it out. Not all planners are the same. Some offer design, some focus on logistics, some do a bit of both. Some planners include a bunch of in-person meetings, others focus on communicating via email. Neither are more right or wrong. It all depends on what YOU need and what works best with your personal and professional life. If there is something specific you need, just ask. But never assume one way or the other and feel free to let them show you how they operate.”

How involved will I get to be in the planning process?

“This is a great way to learn more about a planner’s style,” says Melissa Reinke of Sweet Blossom Weddings in Encinitas, California. “Personally, I love working one-on-one with my clients and really want them to feel involved in the process. They make the final decisions, no matter if they hire me for month-of or full service planning.”

What is NOT included in your packages?

“When you are trying to find the perfect wedding planner for you, often a better approach is to ask what is NOT included in their package,” advises Alexandra Moreau of xo moreau weddings & events in Austin, Texas. “You will receive lists of what all is included, and often these lists can be pages long! By asking what isn’t included, it may help you compare and narrow down your options a little bit easier.”

Will planning our wedding be fun?

“I love this. It means they’re not looking at it from a business standpoint,” says Josh Spiegel of Birch Event Design in New York City. “We have passion behind everything we do, and that is what drives us. This question means they want to be involved with us in the project, and makes it more enjoyable to work with them and have them work with us.”

How many weddings do you take on per year?

“When it comes to this question to ask a wedding planner, less is better!” says Christina Baxter of Christina Baxter Weddings and Events in Washington, D.C. “You want your planner to have plenty of time to commit to planning YOUR wedding and customizing every detail. You are looking for quality, not quantity.”

Did you hire a planner for your own wedding?

“I would love if every client asked about my own wedding planning process and if we hired a planner (which we did!),” says Nicole Fauls of Urban Allure Events in Costa Mesa, California. “I am a real person, too, and have been through what my clients are experiencing both professionally and personally. Even though I am a wedding planner myself, I still turned to another pro to help make sure my own wedding day went off without a hitch.”

What lengths have you gone to ensure client satisfaction on the wedding day?

This question to ask a wedding planner will allow the pro you’re interviewing an opportunity to tell you how she or he will make sure you have an amazing experience. “I take great pride in my ability to go above and beyond for my clients on their wedding day. I know how hard I work to ensure a flawless day, so being asked this question gives me time to talk about it!” says Moreau. “If you ask a prospective wedding planner what lengths they have gone and you get silence or a long pause, you may want to keep looking at other options. Especially if your wedding has a lot of moving parts and the possibility of unforeseen circumstances.”

We really want to do X, Y or Z. What do you think?

With this question to ask a wedding planner, sharing some of your ideas will give you a chance to get your planner’s opinion and see if she or he is on-board, as well as give your planner a chance to determine whether your styles will mesh well. “"Something that clients don't realize is that we are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing us in that first meeting. We are asking them questions to see if they are the right fit, as well,” says Reinke. “There have been times when I knew that we were not a good fit right away. For example, if they say they are not going to hire a professional DJ or florist (while I value the experience and know-how that a pro will bring to your wedding day), I know we may not be the right fit."

What was your favorite wedding you planned this past year?

“This will give you another opportunity to take a look at your potential planner’s work, and to hear about the details and ideas that got them really excited,” says Nicola Wilson of Simply Brilliant Events in Detroit, Michigan. “You’ll get an insight into what is really interesting to the planner, as well as some of the creative ideas they may be able to bring to the table for your own wedding.”

Would our wedding budget allow for a wedding that would reflect the type of work you have featured on your portfolio?

“Every budget is different, and understanding how far your budget can go is an important part of the planning process,” says Baxter. “Asking how your budget compares to a planner’s past work will help you grasp what is - and isn’t - achievable, and will open up a realistic conversation about what your planner will be able to do with your budget.”