As always the web is a good source of knowledge, but before hiring a wedding planner, be sure to interview prospective planners thoroughly. Find out how many weddings they have handled in the past and ask for references. Contact vendors to check on the wedding planners reputation, establish a price in advance and, above all, get everything in writing. You’ll probably want to interview several planners to be sure you find the one best suiting your needs.
When choosing your wedding planner there are a few things to consider in respect to costs. There are three ways that planners are paid:
1. Some planners offer “free” service and are paid by vendors with “kick backs”. This occurs when the vendor provides a percentage of the service fee to the planner for bringing them the business. A word of caution: this may inhibit the planner’s desire to send you to the best person in the business if the best person in the business is not giving them the highest “kick back”.
2. Another form of payment is a percentage fee. Planners using this method generally charge anywhere from 15 – 20% of the total budget for their services. This method is primarily used when a planner is orchestrating an elaborate, large wedding and reception and typically when the event has a cost of more than $30k.
3. Other planners offer flat rate fee services. These types of package include a specific amount of hours dedicated to specific activities. Some consider this a better way to go because they feel that the wedding planner will be less inclined to find the most expensive vendors; however a good planner makes it his or her job to keep the bride within her budget. Period. No planner wants to get a reputation of taking a bride outside of her budget on her special day and a good one will work very hard to stay under budget and provide the bride with savings if at all possible without compromising quality and style.
While there are many different methods planners use for fees, you will find that most planners offer packages that include both flat fee and percentage based packages with a variation of services that will suit your bridal needs.
Generally speaking, if you are planning a large wedding with a budget exceeding $30k you will do better on a percentage fee based package. With flat fee packages there are usually limitations as to how many hours will be dedicated to a wedding with that rate and any hours over that amount are charged at an hourly rate. With percentage based packages there is usually an unlimited number of hours dedicated to this type of wedding and believe me, if it is a large wedding, it will be needed. There are many details to tend to.
Smaller weddings should go with a flat fee service. There are not as many hours that are needed and a couple could save some money by going this route.
New Zealand Wedding Planning
Choosing a planner – Wedding Planning
Planning and organising your wedding day.
New Zealand wedding planning, organising wedding services and the wedding day events