Saturday, August 21, 2010

You really should ask these wedding planning questions

This spring & summer I managed to see a few weddings, mostly destination weddings, from an outsider perspective, but one who knows better.  Basically, while I was attending tastings, floral consults, and venue site tours, I also saw wedding chaos.  Some chaos that should have never happened and some that there was no controlling but wasn't being handled.  I felt sick watching some of these things happening.  So here are some questions you can ask your wedding coordinator, planner, day-of director, site manager, florist...WHO EVER it is that says they will take care of "coordinating" for you.  This is especially great to ask venue or site coordinators who are included in your package.
  1. Will you help me set up room blocks at another resort?
  2. Will you help me secure and schedule transportation to these other resorts for my guests staying off property?  How about for wedding events not on your property?
  3. Will you help me plan events off your property?  Like a shopping and luncheon and a golf tourney day?  Not just phone numbers...plan it.
  4. Can you recommend anyone outside your recommended vendor list?  If no, why?
  5. Will you tell me if I'm about to make a big mistake hiring a particular vendor?
  6. Will you review all my contracts for me?
  7. Are the subcontracted companies on your property answering to your company, or is there a financial commitment there?  Or if I have an issue with them are you representing me and my best interest?
  8. Will your A/V company work with my band or DJ to ensure that their lighting doesn't interfere with each others?
    Aren't these not-too-nautical welcome bags cute?
  9. Will you research, purchase, assemble, customize and deliver the welcome bags and guest itineraries?
  10. Will you create wedding party wedding weekend itineraries?  How about the guest guides?
  11. Will you track my RSVP changes and make necessary changes to the escort and place cards?
  12. Do you offer etiquette and stationery advice?
  13. Will you schedule and plan our planning visit with all of our vendors so that we can get everything done in 2 days and still go to the beach for at least 2 hours?
  14. Will you give me room design options to see for my reception?
  15. Will you offer me anything other than standard options for linens, centerpieces, lighting, and china? Do you add any cost to these items, or is it the same cost I would pay if I did it myself?
  16. Will you communicate with all the vendors I have under contract to compile a timeline so that they all know whats going on when?
  17. Will you let the florist, photographer, videographer, and hair and makeup people know where I am and my fiance are?
  18. Will you pin all the boutonnières on the grooms party and dads?
  19. Will you make sure both our parents are in the room and have a view of the cake cutting, 1st dance, and bouquet toss?
  20. Will you be on site for the entire set up for all the vendors, available to me and my wedding party for anything that comes up, and there until the reception is over?
I was going to stop here, but I might as well head on just a bit.  But then I'll stop before 100 completely reasonable questions....
I must say, these are really cool along the perimeter of a tent.
  1. Will you find 17 of these chandeliers for me?
  2. Will you convince my mother that its actually okay not to have a receiving line?
  3. Will you schedule the hair and makeup for me and 7 others in the getting ready room so that my fiancées mother is not there during lunch, and so that my sister can go feed her baby after her blow out but before her makeup, and so that I am done just in time for pictures, with 15 minutes to get dressed, and nobody has to be there before 10am?
  4. Will you help bustle my dress and fix it if and when it breaks?
  5. Do you have a bridal room kit and an ER kit? Whats in it?
  6. Will you make sure the room is completely set on time (ask the photographer what time) and the band isn't loading in when the photographer comes in to take shots of the room because I really want to be on my favorite wedding blog?  Also, will you make sure I get to see if before everyone else?
  7. Will you hand out our final payments and tips to vendors?
Please know that I am not trying to scare anyone.  I am saying however, that there is more to a wedding weekend than meets the "our wedding coordination package includes" when you care as much about your wedding; and that you have a priorities:
1. You get to enjoy your wedding weekend
2. Your guests having a great experience
3. Your wedding is being executed as beautifully as it is aesthetically beautiful.

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons