When it comes to a wedding planner consultation, there is a long list of things to ask. After all, you want to understand precisely what your couple wants for their big day. They are putting their wedding day in your hands, so you need all the information you can get.wedding planner consultation
The number of questions can seem overwhelming, so it’s best to take it in stages. Focus on the who, when, what, and how of the wedding. It will make it more manageable for both you and the client.
Questions to Ask During a Wedding Planner Consultation
When it comes to the consultation, a lot of questions are going to be asked. You want to find out everything you possibly can about the couple and what they want for their wedding.
This will allow you to feel them out as clients as well as to see what their expectations are. Then you can manage them once you know their budget and expectations.
1. Who is getting married?
Who are your clients? Is it a LGBTQIA2S+ couple? Are they older? Are they fresh out of school? Understanding who your couple is sets the stage for everything that follows.
2. What is your overall budget for the wedding?
No one likes to talk about money, but weddings are expensive. Breaking down a budget with clients is very important. But for the consultation, try to just get a number from them that is realistic for what they want.
3. How large is the bridal party?
Do they want 17 bridesmaids and groomsmen, or is it just a handful?
4. Who else will be attending the wedding?
What is their guest list looking like? A small intimate wedding will have only the most important people in their life in attendance. Or do they come from large families, and there’s going to be a few hundred at the wedding?
5. Who is officiating, or is this a non-secular wedding?
Not all weddings are religious, but knowing if your couple will be needing a priest, pastor, or just their best friend can help you with your to-do list.
6. Is this a micro wedding, a pop-up wedding, or a more traditional wedding?
Given everything that was 2020, there are lots of smaller weddings happening these days (like pop up weddings). If the couple isn’t looking to elope, what kind of wedding do they want? It’s a big question and an important one.
7. What kind of wedding are you looking for? Simple? Elegant? Themed?
A key question for your first wedding planner consultation: style. The style of someone’s wedding can mean a higher or lower budget, more flowers or fewer. What type of look are they going for?
8. In what month do you want the wedding to take place?
May is crowded, and maybe January will be too cold. Keep this in mind when they’re saying when they want the special event to happen.
9. Is there a specific day on which the wedding needs to be held?
Is the day of the week vital to them? Do they have to have a Halloween wedding?
10. Would you prefer a weekday or a weekend?
Weekends get booked out months in advance, if not years, at some venues. A weekday wedding may give them more options.
11. At what time of day or night do you want the wedding to be?
Do they want their reception to go late into the evening, or are they looking for a midday celebration?
12. Is it a one-day event or multiple days?
When it comes to weddings, nothing is too outrageous. Sometimes people have days-long weddings, especially when it comes to destination weddings.
13. What is your ideal schedule for the day of the wedding?
A short ceremony? An extended cocktail hour? How do they want the day structured?
14. Getting married nearby or far away?
If they get married far from home, there are more logistics involved for both the couple and their guests.
15. What venue do you want?
The venue is one of the most important aspects of someone’s wedding. Where do they want to get married and celebrate?
16. What kind of ceremony do you want?
Do they want something serious or something more playful and fun? This can affect services, floral, and other aspects of planning.
17. Are you getting married abroad?
Destination weddings are dreamy but require a lot of extra planning. Is that what they want?
18. For anyone having a destination wedding, are you paying for flights and lodging for the wedding party and guests?
If they’re not, that’s on the guests and may affect the guest list. So, if they are covering these costs, that needs to be factored into the budget.
19. How long will the wedding last?
Some ceremonies can last for hours. Others are over within 15 minutes.
Wedding Planner Questions to Ask a Bride
While it is certainly not always the case, the bride tends to have a more dominant role in planning the wedding. Also, some of the most significant expenses will be concerning the bride. As such, you want to take the time to ask specific questions just to her.
There are so many types of brides, and understanding which kind yours is will make the entire process a lot smoother. Here are some questions to ask the bride-to-be during a wedding consultation.
20. What is the budget for your dress?
This is one of the big-ticket items. Are they doing vintage thrift stores or couture?
21. What kind of bouquet are you interested in having?
Bouquets have trends just like anything else. Chances are, your bride will have a variety of requests, from dried flowers to traditional circular bouquets. Make sure you know the style they want first, and then you can get even more specific.
22. Will the bridesmaids be responsible for buying their own dresses?
Are they providing a budget for the wedding party, or is that up to the bridesmaids and groomsmen? Is there a dress code? A color theme?
23. Will you need a make-up artist?
Some brides will want to do their own make-up. Others want a professional service.
24. Will you need a hairstylist?
Likewise, they may want to style their own hair. Some salons specialize in wedding hair.
Questions About Services
Your first wedding planner consultation should also include general questions about the logistics needed to get guests to your wedding and pull the event together. Even if your clients don’t know the answers yet, they can start thinking about them for future meetings.
25. How will the wedding party get to and from venues?
Will there be limos? A bus? A horse-drawn carriage, perhaps? Is everyone driving themself?
26. Will guests be chartered?
If the reception venue is far from the wedding venue, how are people getting there?
27. What kind of invitations do you want?
Invitations and save-the-dates are crucial for the guests. What kind of style do they want? What type of paper?
28. What kind of photographer are you looking for?
Photographs capture special memories. Does the couple want traditional photos, or do they want the wedding party running from a photoshopped T-rex?
29. Do you want to have a videographer as well?
Not everyone is a fan of a camera recording everything, but some may want a wedding video.
30. What kind of flowers do you want?
Flowers are traditionally a huge part of weddings. What kind and style does your couple want? Wildflowers cost less than roses, after all.
31. What music will be accompanying the bride?
Will an orchestra be accompanying the bride or their favorite ‘90s track over the loudspeakers?
32. What are things you want to go over during the rehearsal?
Maybe there are specific elements the couple wants to practice more than others—their first dance, for instance.
The Main Social Event: Reception Questions
What does their dream reception look like? How can you fit this within their more realistic budget? Start painting a picture about the reception details, based on your clients answers.
33. How do you plan to accommodate guests?
Do any guests have handicaps or wheelchairs? Make sure everyone is taken care of.
34. Will there be food, snacks, or beverages?
Not all receptions have a meal, maybe just appetizers.
35. Do you want a sit-down dinner or a buffet-style meal?
If food is being served, what style of service fits their wedding best?
36. Are you interested in a cocktail hour?
Convenient for when wedding photos are being taken, and guests can relax.
37. Do you want an open bar or a cash bar or no bar?
Alcohol and the price is a big-budget concern.
38. What kind of amenities are you interested in having?
There are lots of fun choices these days like photo booths. What extra things do your clients want?
39. Do you want a live band or a DJ?
This is the ever-important question about music.
40. Do you want a separate MC for the reception?
While the DJ usually takes this role, there are people who MC weddings for a living.
Wrapping Up Your First Client Meeting
End the consultation with the following questions that will get the last bits of information you need. This will also let the client know you’re wrapping up if they have any last-minute queries.
41. Will you require my services on the day of the wedding?
Sometimes you won’t need to be there if everything is already set up. However, couples may want you there in case of any issues.
42. On the big day, what can I do to help?
If you are there, your job is to make their wedding day as stress-free as possible. Maybe that means doing something specific. Ask what they need. You may be surprised at the answer.
43. What else do you need from me?
You want to instill confidence in your work but also in you as a person. It lets them know that you are here for them every step of the way.
Wrapping Up a Wedding Planner Consultation
(…And the Red Flags to Watch Out For)
As you ask your clients questions about their big day, there are certain behaviors and answers you’ll want to pay special attention to. Some of these red flags can indicate how difficult these clients are going to be.
Examples of this are one partner not being involved in the planning process or the two being on totally different levels when it comes to the budget.
Disrespect or lack of communication is another red flag. If the couple can’t communicate what they actually want for the wedding, it will make your job harder and indicate potential issues in their relationship. Try not to get caught in the middle.
Ultimately, there are endless questions you can ask your clients during a wedding planner consultation. That’s your job, after all! Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand key questions to which you’ll need answers.