Q&A with Hitch Studio: What To Expect When You Hire a Wedding Planner

Hello future bride! I’m sure you’re looking through magazines, Pinterest boards, and even wedding planner binders by now. Have you seen the sections in those planners called “What to ask before you book a vendor”? Well, Hitch Studio took the liberty of answering those questions for you! We’d love to chat with you face-to-face and hear any more questions you may have, but here is a list to get you started!

We’ve already post this list of basic Q&A’s on our website. But, for in-depth questions answered, drumroll please….
Here you go!

Q: Why hire a wedding planner in the first place? I have a tight budget and it seems like a “want” not a “need” for my wedding.
A: Well, first of  all, a wedding planner knows the ins and outs of the industry, including which vendors will fit your price range (and which vendors to avoid). We save you stress, save you time researching options, and can even save you money when we negotiate contracts with you and your vendors. For example I (Renee Halgerson of Hitch Studio in Brooking, SD) am only as involved as you need me to be, so hiring me and our staff is actually, quite affordable when you pick and choose what you’d like us to help with. Need me to help your entire day run smoothly? Great! Need me to set up and take down your decorations at the reception? Great! Need me to help keep you on budget, help with wedding invitation wording, help you with a timeline of your day AND your entire to-do list during your engagement? Yes and yes. Sign us up. Plus, we know bonus things like how to cure static, how to fix a dress stain, how to navigate the lost DJ, what you need to remember for an outdoor wedding, and more. To quote Mike, a recent groom: “Fantastic. We worked with Renee for an outdoor wedding on our farm. We wanted low-key but elegant and needed someone to iron out all the details. She’s fantastic. If you are considering using Hitch, just write the check. Best money spent on our wedding (and yes I’m Dutch)! Easy.”

Q: Have you done other weddings at our site?
A: If your venue is in Brookings, SD, then chances are YES!

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Q: Are you willing to make decisions for us if we don’t feel up to the task?
A: Absolutely. If it’s booking a vendor, I will always check with you first before I make a payment. If it’s a smaller detail, and I know you’re pre-occupied with wedding day bliss, I will make the best decision I can until I can check with you. After working with you for 6-12 months planning your wedding, I’ll have a good idea for when I need to check with you and when it’s okay to tell the catering van where to park without asking you first.  😉

Q: Will you be working on other weddings the same time as mine?
A: For the 6-12 months of planning we’ll be doing, yes. I’ll be coordinating multiple weddings during those months! But the day-of, if you booked Level 3, then no. I’m all yours!!

Q: Are there specific wedding professionals you recommend or like to use?
A: Yes, I can usually recommend about 5-10 vendors in each category that land at different price points for you. The more refined price point, the more refined list. Plus, your style makes a difference! Black tie wedding? Outdoor mingling? Each couple has a different taste.

Q: What is the most unique wedding you’ve ever planned?
A: Oooohhhh….they all have a place in my heart, of course! Some of my favorites have been outdoor weddings. Barns, back yards, tents…they’re great. I also loved that this couple got engaged in a hot air balloon, so we tied huge 3-foot balloons to baskets of oreos (they’re favorite snack) as wedding favors for people to take. They were the sweetest little hot air balloons I’ve ever seen. My favorite invitation was probably printing labels for an actual record, slid it into a case and sent them out in black envelopes with reply options like (Sorry, I can’t attend. I’m busy working on my solo album. Rock on! I’d love to be your groupie!”

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Q: What do we do with all of our decorations after the reception?
A: When you hire Hitch Studio to take down your decor, we collect all of your items (toasting flutes, cake cutters, decorations, picture frames, the top tier of your cake, etc.) and box them up for you to take that night, or on Monday morning. All the rest of the decor provided by Hitch, gets packed up and comes home with us! So you’re stress-free and hands off, ready for your honeymoon!

Q: Do you have liability insurance?
A: Yes, it’s all spelled out in our contract. We’re covered!

Q: Is there a deposit due and when?
A: A 50% deposit is due at the time of signing — and that’s what holds your date in our calendars! The remaining 50% is broken down into two remaining payments — one at 90 days before your wedding and the final payment not due until 15 after your wedding. Go enjoy that honeymoon and then come back to worry about paperwork!  🙂

Q: Do you accept credit cards?
A: Yes.

Q: What is the cancellation policy?
A: It’s all in our contract. Just email or meet with me and I’ll send you a copy! My heart goes out to a cancelled wedding, though.  <3

Q: Do you have a backup plan if something goes wrong on our wedding day.
A: Absolutely. That’s what you hired us for. We’re pros at thinking on our feet, improvising, and keeping our cool. We’ll make it happen or figure it out.

Q: Do you have a portfolio of the weddings you’ve planned?
A: Yes, right here and here!

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Q: How long have you been in business?
A: Hitch Studio has been open since February, 2014. Renee has been planning weddings for years before that, though! Between wedding invitations and wedding planning, she’s worked with over 175 brides and counting…

Q: Can we hire to help with just some of the event? Can we hire to help with our entire wedding day?
A: Yes and yes. We’ll help wherever you’d like! Email for a copy of the planning worksheets and you’ll see all of our a la carte options!

Q: How expensive are you?
A: Our invitation pricing sheet is located under step 2 of “Getting Started” and our wedding coordinating costs start at $1250. Let’s set up a meeting and we can talk deeper into the details of what you may be needing the most help with! We’ll try to meet most budgets and price points.

Q: Do you like to take complete control? Or are you open to our ideas and suggestions?
A: Very open! I want this to be a 100% collaboration. I’ll help when you need me to, but this is YOUR wedding! I truly want it to be a reflection of you. Does your grandma want to make the favors? Wonderful! Does your personal attendant want to help us decorate? Great! Do you have a collection of vases started that you’d like to use at the church or centerpieces at the reception? Definitely. We want this to be the perfect day for you — including all of your favorite people.

Q: Will you be on-hand the day of the wedding?
A: Of course! At the Level 1 stage, we’re very involved. At Level 2, we’re putting in more hours with you to make your day perfect. At Level 3, we are with you from beginning to end (or whatever you’re comfortable with!) Again, ask for a copy of the wedding planning worksheets, and I’ll help walk you through the options!

Q: How will your staff be dressed at my wedding?
A: I ask that each Hitch employee wear a sensible black dress or black outfit. Nothing too risqué and nothing we can’t climb a ladder in — or reach into a truck in. Cute and professional, but sensible. After all, even though we’re not a guest at your wedding, we want to look like we are.   🙂

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Q: Will you travel if necessary? Are there extra fees for that?
A: Yes, we’ve travelled well into South Dakota and Minnesota for weddings! If it’s 90 miles or further, we ask that you cover our hotel fees. If not, we just charge a standard mileage rate plus our time.

Q: Do you have references I could ask?
A: Certainly! Read any of our reviews on WeddingWire.com from brides — or ask the Brookings venues in person (Days Inn, McCrory Gardens, Swiftel Center, Old Sanctuary, and any of the barns would be a good place to start!) 

Q: Do you require meals?
A: Only if you book us for the entire day with you (Level 3). You have your choice of allowing us to eat dinner with your wedding guests, or allowing a 2-hour break when your dance starts to grab a bite. We don’t require lunch. We’re easy to please.  🙂

Q: How early should I meet with you for wedding invitations and wedding planning?
A: Well, we just helped plan a wedding in 6 weeks, so we can help you just about any time! But ideally, we’d like 6-12 months to help you plan. For invitations, they should be mailed out at the 6-8 week mark, so meeting with us between 3-6 months before your wedding is best. 

 

There you have it! Comment below if you have other questions for Hitch Studio to answer. Otherwise, call to make an appointment and ask me anything you’d like about your wedding/timeline/budget/vendors, etc!

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