As you begin to envision your wedding in Tamarindo, you also begin to realize how much work goes into the planning: An ocean away and often in another language, Costa Rica wedding planning is an exciting, complicated, and challenging beast.
Somewhere along the line, you decided you needed a little help. Whether you’re in search of a full-service Tamarindo wedding planner or an à la carte wedding coordinator, you seek peace of mind. You want a perfect day. You hope that every detail will be exactly as you imagine.
You just don’t to be the one to worry about every one of those perfect details. And so, the below questions will help you narrow the field to the planner who best complements your vision.
How long have you been working as a Tamarindo wedding planner?
Why you should ask: We know that Costa Rica seems like a small country, but in reality it’s wildly diverse and logistics change greatly from town to town. So, not only do we recommend hiring a wedding planner with experience in Costa Rica, but we strongly suggest you hire a Tamarindo wedding planner. As in, someone who knows all the ins-and-outs of our region and its many venues, caterers, florists and other vendors.
Ideally, we recommend working with someone who has at least a few years’ experience in Costa Rica and, again preferably, Tamarindo. Anything less, and you run the risk of hiring someone without the necessary know-how, connections, and experience. And, while we’re on the topic, we also suggest working with a planner who has maintains a full-time business, to ensure they’ll still be in business on your wedding day.
What’s a typical budget range for the weddings you plan? What is your fee?
Why you should ask: Of all your very practical concerns, budget is likely the biggest. You have a bottom line and you’re sticking to it. It’s important your wedding planner does, too.
That’s why you need to ask. Money-talk should not be not taboo, especially not when it comes to your wedding. So, talk. Because, most wedding planners have a sweet spot – and you need that to align with your sweet spot.
What’s more, budget talk opens the door for other financial considerations: What fees may be involved? How does your planner’s contract work? What kind of a deposit will you be required to make – not just to reserve your venue and vendors, but how much and on what schedule?
Do you offer wedding packages or are your events completely custom-planned?
Why you should ask: Some wedding planners offer pre-packaged elopements and smaller weddings – $X for your officiant venue, flowers, and cake – and some venues offer a prix fixe, per-guest rate. Either way, it’s worth it to ask.
That said, there’s a more-than-good chance that your Tamarindo wedding planner builds custom weddings à la carte: you choose every, single detail. In that case, the question evolves from bottom-line into more comprehensive considerations: Catering and venue costs, photographers and floral arrangements. Now is also the time to feel out your planner for cost-saving tips, such as planning your event for shoulder season or hosting your wedding at one of Tamarindo’s luxury vacation homes.
Do you have experience at my chosen venue?
Why you should ask: When it comes to choosing your Tamarindo wedding planner, there’s one full-stop, go-no-further consideration: Has your planner ever planned a wedding at your chosen venue?
Here’s why: The details matter. And, you don’t want your wedding to be the guinea-pig event. You want someone with experience – or someone who can get experienced between today and your wedding. Someone who has experience at your venue will know which closet houses the photogenic umbrellas in case of a chance rain shower, or where to find last-minute groomsmen gifts, should yours be sacrificed to the ghosts of lost luggage.
They’ll be able to problem-solve on the fly. They’ll know who to ask, no matter the question. And that experience could make all the difference.
How many weddings do you coordinate in the same weekend? (And, are you available for our dates?)
Why you should ask: Most Tamarindo wedding planners are small business owners; they don’t employ dozens of underlings. And that’s a wonderful thing, when it comes to your tailor-made wedding. That said, a small business doesn’t lend itself to stretching. Make sure your wedding planner has the resources to cover his or her schedule.
Ideally, the answer to this question is: “Only yours.” However, depending on the size of your wedding, that may not be realistic. What is realistic, is ensuring that you’ll have your point person’s full attention on your wedding day (and that your wedding day is not the first day you’ll meet said point person).
This is also the right time to ask if your wedding planner has availability on your dates.
Do you work with a team?
Why you should ask: Thankfully, most wedding planners run more than a one-person show; their team is on-hand to help with planning, payments, questions, and logistics.
Because, the hard truth is, even the most wonderful, most personable one-person show is still a one-person show: It’s easy for that show to get overwhelmed and overworked, especially if you’re getting married during high season (December through April). So, hire a wedding planner with a team (or an assistant), period.
And then, get to know your point person. Build trust and rapport. This is the person who will be with you on your big day; your big day should not be the first time you meet. Make sure to have this guarantee written into your contract.
Can I see some of your work?
Why you should ask: The answer to this question should be an immediate, resounding, and untroubled yes. Every excellent Tamarindo wedding planner has a filled-to-the-brim portfolio to back up their work.
Photos also help ensure that you and your planner are on the same page, style-wise. Remember, even “barefoot elegance” can have more than one interpretation.
Could you provide me with some client referrals, preferably for my venue or wedding type?
Why you should ask: A planner should be excited about their references as they are about their portfolio. They should encourage you to get in touch with past clients. They should be delighted (and excited) for you to discuss past (successful) events.
Photos may speak a thousand words, but clients say even more. They’ll either give a glowing recommendation, or they’ll provide the kind of inside scoop you’ll ultimately appreciate. Because, at the end of the day, it’s all about finding (and connecting) with the Tamarindo wedding planner who understands you and your vision.
And, there you have it: eight must-ask questions and plenty of food for thought before you hire your Tamarindo wedding planner. Congratulations on your engagement and enjoy the planning!