Planning a wedding from start to finish is a time-consuming, stressful process that can leave couples feeling exhausted. But the good news is that you don’t have to do all it yourself, as a professional wedding planner will take this burden off your shoulders. However, you’ll want to find the right wedding planner by asking prospects the following questions.

How Much Do You Charge?

You should also find out how much the wedding planner charges for his or her services. According to the Association of Bridal Consultants, the average cost of hiring a wedding planner in the United States is $3,262. Of course, this is just the national average, so the actual cost for your wedding may vary. Some wedding planners charge a flat fee, while others charge by the hour, by the day, or even a percentage of the total wedding cost.

How Many Weddings Have You Planned?

There’s no better way to size up a wedding planner’s abilities than by asking to see how many wedding he or she has planned. Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that the more weddings they’ve planned, the better suited they are for the job. If the wedding planner only has a couple weddings under his or her belt, you may want to choose a different provider.

Are You a Member of any Wedding Planning Associations?

In addition to past experience, couples should also ask prospective wedding planners whether or nor they are a member of any major wedding planning associations or organizations. Some of the different associations for this occupation include the Association of Bridal Consultants, the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants (ACPW), and the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners (AACWP). Hiring a wedding planner who’s a member of any of these organizations is a huge plus.

Do You Work Alone?

If your wedding is small with less than 100 guests, a single wedding planner should suffice. For larger weddings of 300 plus guests, however, you’ll probably need a team of planners to pull the strings and orchestrate the ceremony. Find out whether the wedding planner works alone or with a team, and if the latter, how many others does he or she work with.

Will You Attend the Rehearsal?

Some wedding planners may try to cut corners by only attending the ceremony and reception. By skipping the rehearsal, they won’t be able to help guide the wedding parties and family members into their respective positions. So, ask beforehand to make sure the wedding planner will attend both your wedding and the rehearsal.

Photo credit: Natasha Mileshina