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Wedding planners, while now one of the #1 vendors booked by couples across the nation, is still relatively new to the event planning scene as opposed to 10-20 years ago. Questions are warranted. What is it like to hire a wedding planner, really?

So, we compiled a list of frequently asked questions, and answered them here for your planning convenience.

So, first things first, what do you guys do anyway?

Wedding planners can be many things, but above all else, we are the ones that help you hold everything together. Lots of wedding planners wear many hats - we can offer other services like floral, rentals, music bands, and so forth - but the very definition of being a planner is to help you plan and execute the logistics of the event. Help you navigate the ins and outs of the events industry. Give you advice on pricing, etiquette, requirements, rules and relationships. Physically assist in making sure all the elements of the wedding comes to fruition - which means communicating with vendors and putting together timelines, comparison charts, checklists and critical paths - and being there on the day for any crisis management. And yes, there are crises. They aren't all big, but they're there and they can always happen. And that's where we step in, fix and make sure the ball keeps rolling.

When is a good time to reach out to and hire a wedding planner?​

As soon as you feel like assistance is needed (usually at the point you feel overwhelmed). Wedding planners, like many other popular services, get booked up up to a year in advance. For some, it may be at the time of finding a venue, which is the most crucial part of the wedding planning process. Or for others, they are happy with just having a coordinator come 1-2 months prior to the wedding to finalize everything. And it could be anywhere in between. Check out 1-2 Month Management and Full/Partial Planning services to see what might be better for you.

What happens after we book with you? Like, how does it work?

This is dependent on the type of package you book with us. If you booked a 1-2 month management package, we will first have a timeline appointment with you. This is where we discuss everything you've done in the past year. Who did you book, for how long, what services are you expecting, which venue did you choose, what requirements/restrictions do they have, and how did you plan out the timing of the day. We tweak, we discuss, and we put together something that works for everyone. And then we go off, talk with your vendors and venue, and make sure they know that we will be the point people on that special day. And then, we execute. Simple as that.

For full / partial planning, we start with setting up your budget, your checklist and critical path and the tools we will use to help communicate with you. Whether you're a serial texter or phone communication is your jam, we will adapt to how you work, your style and your schedule. And then we begin the process of building your wedding team. All full and partial planning packages also includes our management packages - so you don't have to worry about us planning the whole day and not being there to oversee it!

Your packages are great, but there may be things on there we don't need. Can we customize the package?

All of our partial/full planning packages are customized to each and every client - so yes, this is possible! However, the 1-2 management packages are designed according to our decade-worth of experience, having executed over 100 weddings and seeing what goes down at events. We provide a blanket service and package price so that when things come up, we don't feel the need to have to charge extra for crisis management and additional labour. Still, we're happy to hear about your plans for the wedding and see how we can help!

We don't have an exact vision in mind when it comes to venue, design, or overall theme. Can you help with this?

Absolutely. We pride ourselves in being wedding designers as well as planners. Designers look at the overall event and create something that combines all elements of the event - not just logistics, but look, feel, palette, and theme. All of our partial and full planning packages include an element of design where we discuss inspiration, likes and dislikes and put together something that reflects only you. 

Do you do destination weddings? I'm kind of done with Toronto and we want to get away.

We love Toronto, but we also love to travel. Check out our signature destination packages here

We have out-of-town guests - can you help with entertaining them?

Your guests are part of the client experience. When you book a full or partial planning package, pre and post-wedding events are part of the deal. We help you make sure your guests from out-of-town also have an unforgettable experience, from hotel selection, to booking tickets and attractions to treating them to a morning-after brunch.

Do you have insurance? What is "wedding insurance"?

We have $2M in liability insurance, but it essentially covers our staff and the work we do for you. If you would like to have coverage for your wedding, that includes vendor protection, alcohol liability, physical protection for your guests etc., we suggest you to purchase a separate wedding insurance plan that would cover this and comes at a minimal cost to you. We strongly advise in investing in this, as anything could happen on a wedding day and we want to ensure you are covered. Feel free to ask one of us for further details.

What happens if our lead coordinator gets sick? Do you have a back-up plan?

Envision Weddings is one of the few companies in the GTA that can offer a back-up coordinator if a dire emergency takes places where you lead needs to take leave on your wedding day. Usually, this is a member of our team; otherwise, we have developed amazing relationships with other planners in the industry that would be happy to step in. However, rest assure that out of the 9 years we have been in business, we have only had an emergency situation happen once where we had to find a replacement. Our motto is: come hell or high water, the show will go on!

My venue has a coordinator. Do I still need a wedding planner or external coordinator?

This varies from venue to venue, but the general answer is yes. Venue coordinators are responsible for the ins and outs of the actual venue - generally meaning the catering, the set up of tables and chairs in the room according to the floor plan, dietary restrictions, where the receiving table will be placed, and so forth. Some venues offer an additional service to set up your reception elements like favours, menus, table cards, and so forth - with or without an extra charge. Almost all venue coordinators are not responsible the set up of your florals, overseeing the timing of your vendors and naturally, the flow of the day prior to getting to your reception. Crisis management is not generally part of the venue coordinator's duties as well (i.e. if a vendor doesn't show up). This is where an external wedding coordinator comes in - we are more "holistic" where we oversee the whole day, the timing of the morning to the evening, and work with your venue coordinator to ensure a flawless execution. 

Do you have a preferred supplier list and do I have to use yours?

Yes, we provide a preferred suppliers list and referrals to any outstanding vendors you may need to book. But no, we don't require anyone on the list to be mandatory and we will work with whoever you end up hiring, whether we have met them before or not.

Do you charge for an initial consultation?

We certainly do not charge for the first initial, "get to know you" meeting! Subsequent meetings that delve deeper into the planning may conjure a fee, but this is a case-by-case basis. 

Do you receive kickbacks or commissions?

We are a kickback-free company! All of our vendor referrals are purely based on our previous experiences in working with them and wanting to extend the same good experiences to you - and for no other reason. We hold the WPIC rules and mandate in high regard. 

I need to have my coordinator / planner be very quick with communication. How much access will I have to my planner? 

We have a fairly strict 12-hr response rate for everyone on the team - that being said, we generally respond to emails and calls within a couple hours of receiving them. We don't like outstanding voicemails or emails piled up in our inboxes either! Many of our clients also have access to our personal numbers and communicate with us through Whatsapp or text for a more immediate response. However, we ask all clients to respect our usual working hours, which ends at 10 pm every night and resumes the next morning. 

Why should we hire you guys over other planners who are cheaper / newer to the industry?

We don't claim to be the most inexpensive planning company and we know there are a lot of competitors out there. But bottom line is that we have went to astronomical lengths to perfect our craft, to understand our clients and what they truly need, and to identify where we need improve to service them better. And plus, we bring the experience of the industry and have built many relationships that can ultimately help your planning and possibly have you save a couple bucks. But ultimately, we are personable, level-headed, down-to-earth, honest and dependable, with no added fluff or sugarcoating - and THOSE are the types of people you should have on your team. If you don't believe us - come meet us! :) 

Don't see a question here and would like that answered? Feel free to reach out to us and we will get back to you with lightning speed! 

"Kimberly and her team are amazing! She really takes the time to get to know her clients and understand what it is that they want. Through her work ethic and professionalism, you can tell she has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this industry. For all the brides out there who want a worry-free wedding day, invest in a wedding planner - Kimberly is worth every penny!"

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