A good wedding planner will make putting your dream day together a breeze – so what questions should you ask to make sure you’ve chosen the right planner for you? Our friend Charli Burnage from Collection 26 answers the most common questions she gets asked by excited new couples.
Will I still feel in control if I have a wedding planner? I am worried that the planner will completely take over.
Couples will put a great deal of emotion, time and money into creating the wedding that they have always dreamed of. A wedding that is stylish, a reflection of your personality and a day that people will remember for years to come. A wedding planner will listen to all of your ideas and desires, work alongside you, advise you, and help turn your dreams into a reality – while still being very open and upfront about their opinion on when things won’t work or are not possible.
Part of the reason you work with a wedding planner, is after planning many weddings, you become much more able to foresee issues that arise, and help prevent them from the start. While a good wedding planner will always be honest, it’s always with your best interests at heart. Ultimately, the day is about you and what you want, a wedding planner is there to help make it happen and ensure you enjoy the process along the way.
How will I know who the right wedding planner is for me and my wedding?
When you first meet with your wedding planner, you should come away feeling confident that they have listened to your ideas and desires and understood what your dream wedding will be. Your wedding planner is likely to spend the next few months (or even years) talking to you on a regular basis, therefore it is important that you feel understood.
It’s also important that you choose a planner with the right experience level for you. If you have a larger budget, require more creative and design input, or are planning on a marquee wedding, then planners like us who have a larger team, and in-house designers always are more appropriate. We also have experience with media management for our higher profile clients. For a much smaller wedding with a lower budget, consider a freelance planner who may be more cost effective but will not have the same level of skills or knowledge as a more experienced planner.
How many weddings do you plan per year?
The amount of weddings a planner will organise can vary from year to year, depending on the complexity of the weddings they design, the service they offer and the size of their team. Some of the smaller planners can only take on a handful of weddings each year, while larger planners are able to take on more weddings due to the additional resources available to them.
In the long run it shouldn’t matter how many weddings a planner takes on in one year, as different planners cater for different types of weddings. We are ideally placed to assist couples with more complex or larger weddings as we have an entire team who come from professional events background and are used to handling weddings which have complicated marquee designs or creative installations etc. We are also one of the only planners registered as a travel agency, which gives us an edge when looking at destination weddings.
Can you get discounts through using a wedding planner?
This is a question we are often asked, but can be quite hard to answer. Wedding planners should ensure that they get good value for couples with everything they supply, however lowest cost options are rarely the best in our experience. We help people look at their budgets, and provide the best value options to fit within the budget. Often the better companies don’t discount, as they are priced reasonably to what they are worth. The things that we look at when we determine value is consistency, quality, price, experience – and of course their reputation!
I am creative and l have quite strong ideas about how I want my wedding to look – will a planner be beneficial to me?
We thrive off inspirational creativity, so we love it when we meet someone who has a clear vision of what they would like to create on their wedding day.
Wedding planners have the ability to take your imaginative ideas and work alongside you to ensure that everything not only looks gorgeous, but works together seamlessly. We are there to help advise you on what elements will go together perfectly, adding in new, fresh ideas of our own – and then making it all happen for you!
I’m not creative, so how will I know what style I want my wedding to be?
One of the most common worries couples have is that they have no idea where to start when it comes to the style for their wedding. Always remember, the day should be about embracing your personalities, tastes, styles, and surrounding your guests in a profusion of your character.
Start by looking around your home – what colours are you drawn to? How is your living room styled? What style of clothing is in your wardrobe? If you find yourself gravitating towards big bold colours over delicate floral patterns you may be more suited to a vibrant and contemporary style.
After rummaging around your home, if you are still stuck for ideas why not take a look at what you love to do? Whether this is a hobby you and your fiancé share or the place where you got engaged, inspirations can and often find you in the most unlikely of places!
Take your newfound knowledge and look online. With many websites such as Pinterest oozing inspiration images, you will be able to start finding your own unique style, picking up hints and tips along the way. Why not start with the Wedding Ideas Pinterest boards?
We are looking to get married abroad. What do I need to consider?
More and more couples are choosing to get married abroad, but whether it’s in an Italian castle, on a glittering snow-topped mountain in Aspen or on the white sandy beaches of the Bahamas, there are some considerations you will need to take into account.
Firstly, take a look into any documentation or limitations that your chosen country may have for getting married there. Some countries will have marriage requirements such as a permanent residency – be sure to check with your venue co-ordinator what your options are.
Many venues abroad have English-speaking staff, but it is always useful to get to grips with the language. For any contracts or legal documents, we would advise having them professionally translated before signing, just to be on the safe side.
Planning a wedding abroad can be more expensive than one in the UK, as good suppliers are often few and far between. Before you sign any agreements, make sure you’ve taken a look at your overall budget to ensure you can create the wedding of your dreams!
Finally, be sure to give your guests enough time and information to help them plan their trip. Send invitations around 6 months in advance to allow everyone the chance to book time off work, and plan their year with your wedding in mind.
If I get married abroad, but use a British wedding planning company, will this mean that you won’t know as many suppliers?
A good destination wedding planner will have an extensive list of international contacts – we are able to find and provide the same standard of high-end service anywhere in the world. At Collection 26, we are one of the only wedding planners in the world which is an IATA registered travel agent, so we take destination weddings very seriously. We have a link with a global concierge service to give us access to services internationally, and use telephone translation to remove language barriers. We also have staff in some of the most common wedding destinations to work on the ground on the planning.
Where the required quality isn’t available locally, we are able to advise you on other options for those items, like bringing them from neighbouring countries or even from the UK (which is common, especially with entertainment).
Where do I begin when searching for my venue?
Choosing a wedding venue is one of the most important areas of your wedding. With so many unique and distinctive venues out there, it can be difficult to know where to start looking for your ideal venue.
Start your venue hunt by deciding on a location and getting a good idea on guest numbers. There are many UK venues that now hold licenses for civil ceremonies, but if you would prefer a religious ceremony, choose a reception venue close by. This means that your guests will have a shorter travelling time, and more time to enjoy your special day.
Once you have narrowed down your search to a location and size, make a list of all the important elements to you. Would you like a grand and formal wedding, or a small and intimate one? This will help you to decide on the look and feel of your venue.
Most venues have full details of their spaces online, from maximum capacities to local suppliers – however, be sure to call them check the availability of your potential dates, as well as arranging a time for you to take a look around the venue.
Is it possible to use the same venue for the ceremony, reception and evening party?
Yes! There are a number of different ways you can do this depending on the size and style of the venue you choose.
There are many stunning wedding locations which will offer a number of different rooms that allow guests to flow easily through each space as the day progresses. Our design team love creating a sense of excitement amongst guests by ensuring each area is more impressive and awe-inspiring than the last. This also helps to create a bit of mystery and keep the party spirits high so that no one wants to risk missing out by leaving too soon.
Venues with an abundance of different rooms such as this can be very hard to source! However, there are a few other ways you can create additional texture. For example, one of our clients wanted to hold the ceremony at their beautiful country house which only one suitable room but plenty of space in the garden. We made this work by setting up a marquee in the back garden where the dinner could be held. This gave our design team some time to turn the ceremony room into an evening party space where guests could enjoy plenty of dancing, drinks and energetic live entertainment.