Image Via Sidey Clark Photo
The Importance of the Discovery Call
Think of the Discovery Call as a first date with someone who needs to be your person. It will be the perfect opportunity for you to gauge their personality, communication style, expertise, experience and niche.
A good match
Choosing the right wedding planner is super important. You will be working closely with this person, so it's vital to form a good connection from the start. Do they seem easy to work with and are they professional? Do they make you feel comfortable sharing your ideas and pain points?
The Wedding Planner's Expertise
The Discovery Call is your chance to find out about the planner's experience, qualifications, and past weddings. Ask them about their approach to wedding planning and design, their industry connections and their niche. I would say that the aligned aesthetic is vital to achieving your vision. There is no point talking to a wedding planner who's images don't speak to you at all - they will not be the right planner for you.
Understanding the Wedding Planners Services and Packages
Not all wedding planner work the same way. There will be similarities in packages, but ultimately, they all have a certain way of working. This is your chance to find out about the services they are offering, whats included, how they work, and your opportunity to discuss your options. The package prices you might find on their websites are often the starting price or minimum spend of a certain package, so it is important for you to find out how the size and logistics of your wedding will influence the final figure.
The Discovery Call is your chance to share your wedding vision and your expectations, your preferences, ideas, and any specific must-haves and dislikes. This will help the planner understand your vision, do their proposal accordingly and delivery the desired results. The planner will have the opportunity to share their suggestions and ideas, often highlighting the pros and cons to your plan and how to execute it best within your budget.
Budget and Logistics
Your overall wedding budget will play a huge role in determining if a wedding planner is the right move for you. Weddings are expensive and we get that 20-30K is an absolute fortune for loads of people. It is important that you know that no judgement will be passed onto you for not being able to afford a wedding in your prefered venue or a planner for that matter, but it's vital that you have a realistic budget in mind. This is your chance to discuss your wedding budget and find out if what you want is possible, and if the planner has handled similar weddings to yours. Find out if and how they can save you money, if they can connect you with the right suppliers that fit your budget range, have cost-saving strategies, and build a bulletproof logistical plan.
Tips on How to prepare for your Discovery Call
Research the Wedding Planner
Before your call, research everything you need to know about that planner by visiting their social media platforms and their website. Don't skip pages - read everything! Chances are that you will find loads of important answers to your questions, especially on pricing and design. This will help you find out so much about who they are, how they work, their niche, expertise, and past weddings.
Prepare Questions for the Wedding Planner
Having specific questions prapared will ensure that you cover all important aspects in your fist call. Have a clear vision about what you want from a planner. What are you pain points? What are your must-haves? What can you do without? Ask about their packages and how they are calculated according to the size and complexities of a wedding. How they approach planning and logistics. What is their past experience. How many team members are needed for your wedding. What the planning and design process looks like. Payment methods.
Consider topics such as:
Previous weddings they have planned
Their approach to design and coordination
Their availability on your wedding date
How they handle challenges that may arise during the planning process
What wedding planning tools will be available to you (we have an amazing one!)
Share your vision board (if you have one) of your preferred aesthetics, theme, etc
Have a Budget in mind (not just for the planner but an overall budget)
Take notes (to compare with other planners you are talking to)
The more information you provide during the Discovery Call, the better the planner will understand your expectations, can offer advice and suggestions, and prepare your bespoke proposal quote more accurately.
What Not to Expect in the Discovery Call
Remember that planners currency is their knowledge, experience, and industry connections. You can not expect them to start sharing information about suppliers or venues at this point. This is reserved for the kick-off call, after you secured your bookig.
Another thing to understand is how the proposal process works. The planners initial proposal is of their costs only. It will not include a breakdown of all supplier costs at this stage. A good planner will work within your wedding budget and will recomend suppliers that can deliver according to your budget range. The way we work here at Whole Lotta Love Weddings is that we connect our couples with the right supplier, brief the suppliers with the mood board created for you, let them talk to you directly about pricing, and send you their proposal and booking invoice.
To avoid charging our clients finders fee (that can cost you somewhere in the region of 8-10% of the suppliers final figure), we let our clients book and pay the suppliers directly. That way you have total control of your budget and there will not be any surprises later down the road.
Here at Whole Lotta Love Weddings, we don't accept booking commissions from suppliers. If this is offered, we transfer this saving onto our clients.
You will get everything you need from the Discovery Call and make the right decision if you do your research and prepare for your Discovery Call. Compare notes and go with your gut. Not all planners are the same, so choosing the right one for you is key. This is not the time to go with the cheaper option for no other reason than that one is cheaper than the other. The right suited planner will be able to deliver to your brief better. Working with the right planner will set the foundation for a successful and enjoyable wedding planning journey.