Today I would like to share with you some smart questions to ask during your first meetings with Destination Wedding Planners. This will help you understand how professional they are in order to choose wisely.
The most common questions you can find anywhere else are always related to the number of weddings they have planned and their costs. Here is the thing: this doesn't help you understand if they are professional destination wedding planners. It certainly gives you the idea of how many weddings they do and if their costs meet your budget, but they don't tell you anything about the way they work and plan.
REMEMBER TO ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AND YOU WILL HAVE A BETTER IDEA OF THE PROFESSIONAL YOU ARE MEETING:
1.WILL YOU BE THERE TO COORDINATE MY WEDDING?
If the wedding planner is based in your own country, one of the most important things to ask is if she/he will be in Italy or in any other destination with you to coordinate your wedding day. Many destination wedding planners don't offer this service, so make sure to know it before hiring them if this is an important aspect for you.
2. HAVE YOU EVER VISITED THIS VENUE BEFORE?
If they don't offer this service, it is likely that they had never been in that specific destination to coordinate any other wedding or to visit the venue. Therefore, the second question to ask is if they have ever been in that specific location (not if they have ever worked there before). They might have worked with that wedding venue before, without having ever been there! As a destination wedding planner, I can tell you that visiting wedding locations before offering them to our clients is extremely important since we can see what we don't see in pictures and we are able to understand if the venue has any issue we have to consider for the Big Day. As an example, a destination wedding in the Amalfi Coast or in Venice requires a strategic logistic planning. Sometimes streets are so narrow that you can not reach the venue with a car or florists can not use a van to transport flowers or any other decoration. This is something a destination wedding planner needs to verify in advance for a perfect planning.
3. IS THERE A REASON WHY YOU DIDN'T KNOW/CONSIDER THIS VENDOR?
Nowadays, it is pretty common that you see a vendor you like browsing on social media, but he/she is someone your planner doesn't have in her/his trusted vendor list. This can be due to the fact that the planner you are meeting didn't know about this vendor or that she/he specifically excluded that supplier. Wedding Planners select some trusted vendors they have been successfully working with and exclude some others because they haven't had good experiences with them. My tip is to listen to your Wedding Planner and to trust her/him when you are told the venue, photographer, florist or any other vendor is not for you. Tell your planner what you like about them and try to find a professional solution that meets your desires. If the wedding planner didn't know about the vendors you have in mind, propose her/him to visit them to see if they are trustworthy and how they work.
4. ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE AMERICAN TRADITIONS AND ETIQUETTE?
If you decide to hire a wedding planner based directly in the country you want to get married in, I suggest you to ask you potential planners if they are familiar with destination weddings and with your traditions and etiquette. Please, don't take this for granted! A destination bride has different needs than a local bride!!! This is an important aspect planners need to consider.
Brides, choose wisely and enjoy your planning...
Silvia La Perla