Once you hire a wedding planner, the planning process can pick up speed very quickly. Before you know it, you’ve already invited your wedding planner to 3 Pinterest boards, booked your band, and shared the name of your maid of honor’s cat because it came up in conversation. It’s easy to become so wrapped up in the excitement of the planning process that you overlook small but important conversations to have with your planner. Which is why I’ve composed this list of the most important things to communicate, in order to prevent these key discussions from getting lost in the shuffle. Keep reading to reveal 20 things to share with your wedding planner, and if you’re not engaged yet, bookmark this blog post for later!
All About the Two of You!
Describe who you are as a couple. Share your values, where you met, your favorite foods, drinks, colors, activities, and what your lifestyle together looks like. It’s so important to paint a picture of your relationship, to help your wedding planner find ways to include personal touches that tell your story as a couple.
The Type of Experience You Want on Your Wedding Day
Consider how you want to feel. Think about the amount of people around you while you’re getting ready in the morning… The pace at which milestone moments happen… If you want one-on-one time with your partner… Or if you want to let loose and party!
Play out the motions of the day in your head, and communicate with your wedding planner about your ideal scenario.
Your Schedule and Availability
Give your planner an overview of your work schedule and weekday commitments. Talk about how involved you want to be in the wedding planning process, and when you’ll have availability to review emails or take phone calls.
This will help your wedding planner to manage the entire planning process much more efficiently.
Your Communication Preferences
Wedding planning is very personal, because your event manager works closely with you, your fiancé and often your family to plan one of the most memorable days of your life. Couples may feel comfortable enough to text their planner and chat about wedding details, ask questions, or share guest list changes. But trust me when I say those texts can get lost in translation very easily, and important details can slip through the cracks!
Ask your planner about their communicate style. Decide if you want to set aside scheduled time for routine meetings or calls to help streamline the planning process.
A Realistic Guest Count
Your guest count dictates absolutely everything; the venue capacity, the floor plan, furniture rentals, catering proposals, stationery quotes… the list goes on! Spend some time with your partner, and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to determine a realistic number.
An Approximate Percentage of Out-of-Town Guests
If these folks aren’t staying with friends or family, they will likely require lodging accommodations. Your wedding planner can arrange hotel blocks, which may save your guests money on their hotel rooms, and also make wedding day transportation and welcome gift distribution a whole lot easier!
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than being presented with venues, vendors, or wedding day materials that you love but exceed your budget. You’ll constantly compare new options against the higher cost items that you were originally shown.
To avoid this situation, have an open and honest conversation with your fiancé, or your parents (if they’re financially involved) and set expectations surrounding a comfortable budget. Share those numbers with your wedding planner, so that he or she can research viable options that make your heart soar without breaking the bank.
Aspects of the Wedding You Care About the Most
Your top priorities will influence the percentage of your budget that your planner allocates to certain categories. If you and your fiancé are foodies, you may want to focus your dollars and cents on creating an incredible culinary experience. If you value photography and know that you’ll be looking at your wedding photos day in and day out, you may want to splurge on a top tier photographer.
I know it’s a balancing act, so think about what you and your fiancé will find the most memorable, and prioritize those elements! Use a site like BRIDES to peruse a full list of wedding categories.
What You Like and What You Don’t Like
Your favorite flowers are JUST as important to your wedding planner as your least favorite flowers. If your planner knows both, he or she can communicate to the florist which flowers to use heavily, and which flowers to avoid!
The same rule of thumb applies for selecting your band, photographer, videographer, stationer, baker… you get the picture.
Your Expectations for Who Assembles Wedding Materials
Think: stationery, welcome gifts, programs, or favors. Not every wedding planner includes assembly in their scope of services, because it requires extra time and labor. If this is important to you, be sure to ask about assembly before hiring your planner, to understand any additional costs associated with these services.
Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions
It’s extremely important for your wedding planner to be aware of any ingredients to stay away from, in order to relay this to caterers as they compose food and beverage proposals.
Also inform your wedding planner of bridal party members, family, and guests that have food allergies or dietary restrictions. The wedding planner will need to notify the caterer if certain guests require a specific kind of meal, especially if it’s not already included on your menu.
This doesn’t need to be an uncomfortable or intimidating conversation, and you should never feel the need to give an explanation for any nuances of your family dynamic (after all, we all experience them!).
However, it is helpful for your planner to know if typical wedding day traditions don’t apply. This conversation can happen pretty organically, especially as you’re chatting about the ceremony processional, or the timeline for speeches or special dances.
If You Plan on Doing a First Look
This will change your timeline, photo list, and the general flow of the day. Many couples choose to do a first look in order to enjoy cocktail hour with their guests, rather than spend that time taking formal photos.
Your Photo List
Keep it straightforward! Think: formal photos with the bridal party, best friends, and other family members. Separate out which photos will include just you, just your fiancé, and the two of you. Note any specific detail shots that you want of the dress, rings or vow books, and be sure to chat with the photographer about any important photos a couple weeks before the wedding day.
If You Want to Keep Your Wedding Photos Private
Your planner, venue, and vendors may want to share photos of your wedding on social media, post your photos on their website, or include them in their portfolios. If you’re uncomfortable with this, let your wedding planner know in advance, and they can help communicate your preferences to all event partners.
Who’s Getting Ready With You in the Morning
Your wedding planner will want to ensure you have an adequate amount of space and the supplies you need to get ready comfortably.
The people that are with you before you depart for the ceremony will also impact the photo and transportation schedules.
Your Breakfast and Lunch Plans
SO many brides and grooms overlook this VERY IMPORTANT part of the wedding day, because it’s not generally included in the wedding festivities. Organize your breakfast and lunch orders about a week before the wedding, and ask your planner to help arrange food delivery on the wedding day.
This can be as simple as a call down to room service in your hotel, or a Seamless delivery to your home. You’ll be more energized, less grumpy and better equipped to handle the day with food and water in your system!
If You’re Providing Hair and Makeup for Your Bridesmaids
Your wedding planner will want to compose a grooming schedule to keep hair and makeup running smoothly and on time! If you’re on the hunt for some hair and makeup inspiration, trends and advice from a bridal beauty expert, click here.
Where You Want Gifts to Go at the End of the Night.
While online registries have significantly reduced physical gifts at weddings, a portion of your guests will still arrive with gifts in hand.
Ask your wedding planner if they handle gift management. Some won’t offer this service to avoid the responsibility of lost/stolen/misplaced gifts of monetary value, and will instead defer to you, a bridesmaid or family member to pack them up and take them out of the venue.
Have this conversation in advance to avoid stressing when the wedding concludes!
Post-Wedding Transportation Plans
Chat with your planner and decide how you, your bridal party, and any other important guests (like immediate family members) will get home or back to the hotel after the wedding.
Remember that if you’re in a more remote location, and your guests all plan to take Ubers or Lyfts home, the options will be spread thin, and the wait time will be long.
Work with your planner to arrange end of night transportation at least a few months before the wedding date!
Have a question about something specific? Ask it on my Q&A page!
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