Interviewing planners is a mix between hiring a professional and a best friend. Let's face it: You're going to be making some major (but fun!) decisions with this person, and you'll want to make sure your ideas and philosophy jive, to say the least.
To help pair you with the perfect pro, we've enlisted the help of Danielle Bobish, owner of Curtain Up Events, one of New York City's top wedding planning firms. As a professional actor turned celebrated event planner, Danielle knows that personality fits are ever-so-important with her clients.
Here are the top questions Danielle suggests you ask when interviewing prospective planners to make sure you both have found a fit!
1. What services do you handle?
Make sure you pick the right person for your specific needs! "This is a very important question. So many people don't know exactly what the role of a planner is. There is a big difference between a planner and a designer. Some people do both. In that case, find out which one they consider their specialty," suggests Danielle. "You may already have a designer and really be in need of a planner. A planner handles logistics It's our job to help you find the best vendor for your event, make sense of contracts, create (and stick to) timelines and make sure everything runs seamlessly so that you can enjoy your day and the process leading up to it."
2. Who will be there on the actual day of my wedding?
It sounds silly, but their answer may surprise you! "Will the person you're meeting at your consultation be the person you're working with?," suggests Danielle. "If so, you want to make sure you feel comfortable with this person. You will spend a lot of time emailing, calling and meeting with your planner. You should like them! They should also make you feel at ease and confident they can handle anything and everything to make your wedding day fabulous!"
3. How do payments work?
Get this information right away, so you know what you're committing to! "Do they charge a percentage, a flat fee, hourly? Are there any expenses that might come up that aren't included in their fee? What about travel? Lodging? Food? Parking? When are payments due? How is the fee broken up? These are really great questions to ask ALL of your vendors," says Danielle.
4. What was a wedding catastrophe you ever faced and how did you solve it?
Nothing is every going to be totally perfect. And when unexpected stuff goes down, it's important to know how they were resolved under pressure! "Listen, things happen," says Danielle. "Most telling isn't the situation, but knowing how your planner stays cool under pressure and avoids disaster in even the most trying circumstances."
"For example, I've watched a wedding guest set a napkin on fire. Did I panic? No! I grabbed the vase off the table, pulled the flowers out and dumped the water on the fire. Then I stuck the flowers back in the vase and went to find someone to clean up the ash."
"No matter how well you plan things, something can happen," she adds. "The planner is there to handle it so that you don't have to!"
5. How long have you been doing this?
Hiring a professional with years of experience is the best thing you can do to ensure a seamless event. Someone with years of experience has formed valuable industry connections and has spent time refining their skills.
About Curtain Up Events: Since 2005, Danielle Bobish has helped clients create unforgettably dramatic events — without all the drama. The professional actor turned celebrated planner has staged and produced a decade's worth of stunning events by drawing obvious parallels between theatrical productions and large affairs. Both areas of expertise involve costumes, lighting, set design, precision timing, and a multitude of details to coordinate. Danielle adores bringing the excitement and precision of professional theater to the world of event planning.