Choosing your planner

Daunting isn't it, your man has finally proposed and so the search begins.  Bit of a minefield isn't it?  So many planners offering you the perfect wedding, but who do you put your faith in?  Well let us give you some honest advice.

In 2012 my son got married at La Maltese Estate in Santorini, the venue was stunning, the staff were amazing, the 'in resort' coordinator was  superb.  Behind the scenes, the wedding planner my son and his wife chose to use quite simply painted a picture based on lies.  So, to avoid the financial mistakes my son made, we have listed below a few tips and tricks for you to ensure your planner is doing all they can for you.  If they don't tick the boxes, they simply aren't for you.

The key questions to ask your wedding coordinator

Your wedding planner has a lot of questions for you too, as it is necessary for them to understand your wishes and dreams to be able to make them true! A good way to stay focused and understand if this person is the right choice, is to keep in mind that you also need to learn more details about the wedding planner.

Here are some important points and questions you should consider and ask a potential wedding planner:

Whats your Budget?

If a stranger walked up to you in the street and asked you how much money you had in your wallet or purse, would you tell them?  If a  car salesman or real estate agent asked you what your budget was, would you tell them?  You would no doubt give them a rough idea to aid them in their quest to sell you the ideal product.  Well wedding planners are no different.  Personally, as a company we do not believe it is any of our business to know your financial business, but you need to be realistic with what your budget is and will it cover what you want?  There are always extras you need to consider, his you may not have thought about. 

  • Transporting your guests from their hotels to your wedding venue always catches people out.  
  • The Legal documentation can be quite costly.
  • Venue Hire Fees.
  • Venue service charges.
  • The time of year, is it low, medium or peak season?
  • How much will a wedding planner cost me, and what other services are included in your fee?

Remember, some planners only offer packages, lookout for tailor-made, this is positive as it means you can add or remove whatever you want.  Some planners have packages as a guide to what you can have, but remember you can be as involved with the organising as you's your wedding and your money!

ATOL, ABTA and Wedding Insurance - whats the difference?

ATOL - In simple terms is protection against your flight costs

ABTA -  your hotels and accommodation.

Just to be clear, we are not ABTA or ATOL registered because we don't sell flights or accommodation. This is why we strongly recommend Wedding Insurance which is more specific to your needs.  That said, when selecting your holiday destination, we strongly recommend that you book your holiday with an ATOL/ABTA registered operator for your flights and accommodation.

Wedding Insurance - this is usually an independent company whom will cover the cost of your wedding if there is upset along the way.  Here's an example; you've booked your flight, hotel and venue. No problems with your flight, your hotel is perfect, but you wedding venue goes bust....This is where your wedding insurance comes in.  A good planner will always advise you to take out wedding insurance. 

7 day support - 

If a company tells you they offer 7 day support, do what my son did and offered to make payment to them directly on a Saturday or Sunday. If they tell you they are closed Sunday's then where does their statement of 7 days come from? This includes bank holidays, you may be abroad on your big day, it may be a bank holiday here in the UK, but over there in your chosen island destination may not be a bank holiday.

  • Can you contact your planner by phone, email or Skype?
  • When I am at my holiday destination will my wedding planner be there? If not who will be support us?
  • How can we contact our wedding planner if we are abroad?
  • What if there is an emergency whilst I am abroad?
  • Will you stay with us after our wedding to make sure everything flows perfectly?

Legal documentation

Different countries have different legal requirements to get married.  It can all be confusing, and some planners will do their best to make this sound like a complex process, and in some isolated cases it can be.  However, some planners will want to relieve you of this headache, and complex process, we are after all, here to remove the stress!  Ask your planner the cost of the legal process, i.e. - how much for an Apostille stamp? How much is translation per document?  Once they have given you the price, check the government websites for the actual pricing of these services, you may find that your planner has significantly inflated the price.  Remember, always ask for a receipt.  Simply Mediterranean Weddings Guarantee that we will only charge you what we have been charged for this service.  If you would like a copy of our Legal guide please contact us.

Double check with the venue

If your planner tells you that your reception can party on into the small hours, check with the venue?  My son was promised a 2am finish, he paid for a 2am finish, but when he arrived at the resort venue, during the pre wedding consultation it became clear that the reception was only until 1am.  Your venue has useful information on their website, always check!

Your planner should be open, honest and as transparent as possible, catering towards your needs and requirements offering realistic suggestions.