A wedding day is one of the most beautiful days in your life. On this day you gather together with your closest friends and family to celebrate you and your partner’s love. If Paris is the chosen destination for your big day, it is important to hire a French wedding planner who will curate an unforgettable event for you.
Before you choose your wedding planner, we strongly advise asking plenty of questions to make sure they are the right one. In this article, we have compiled the Top 10 Questions to ask your destination wedding planner before booking their services.
Whether you are considering booking our luxury wedding planning & design services. Or perhaps you just need the honest and transparent advice of one of the most reputable French wedding planner agencies in the world: this article is for you!
1. How Much Does a Wedding in Paris, France Cost?
How much you should expect to pay for a wedding in France depends on several factors. Namely, the number of guests, the number of events, the time of the year, the wedding venue and the level of expertise of the supplier you contract.
You have to be realistic with your expectations. The extravagant wedding on your mood board, with puddling flowers all over the place costs a lot more than what you think. If you want a wedding in a location like Vaux le Vicomte for example, you must have a budget accordingly for it.
When we receive an inquiry, we always ask you for an approximate budget. This way we can advise on what you could realistically get. If the budget you have in mind is €50,000 for 100 guests, there is a big chance you might not get the lavish even you have in mind. Investing a minimum of €1,500 per guest, will allow your wedding planner to turn your luxurious destination wedding dreams into reality.
The great thing about planning your dream French wedding is that you can find suppliers that cater to different markets. When you start price shopping, it won’t take you too long to find a planner who will be able to work with your budget.
2. HOW LONG IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO START PLANNING MY WEDDING IN FRANCE?
As experts with many years in the industry, we know that a lot of couples decide to start planning their wedding right after being engaged. Planning a destination wedding can sometimes take between 6 to 12 months.
“The majority of the couple would assume that you need a full year to plan their big day. But unless you have financial reasons, or you know you need to book your dream venue a long time in advance, I wouldn’t recommend planning your event too far ahead.” advises our founder Jean-Charles Vaneck.
“First of all, your taste can evolve and change throughout the year as different wedding trends come into fashion. You also may find the experience a bit too long and energy-consuming. Furthermore, the more time you have, the more you will hesitate. I have noticed when time is short, the couple tends to make quick decisions. We have planned several weddings in a short amount of time. I enjoyed it because we managed to liaise with vendors and book everything in a short amount of time.”
3. HOW MUCH DOES A FRENCH WEDDING PLANNER COST?
Just like with any other wedding vendors, you can get different types of French wedding planners. Since they are in charge of the entire production and execution, chances are, you will spend a lot of time with them for several months. It is therefore fair to value your wedding planner’s time and work above other suppliers. They will after all invest their expertise, time and passion in creating the most beautiful day of your life.
“I believe the level of expertise of your suppliers need to match each other. For instance, you are not going to celebrate your Paris wedding in one of the most exclusive French chateaux, with a junior photographer and DIY floral arrangements.”
A wedding planner’s services range from hourly consultation, half planning and day-of coordination, to full event planning and design. A junior French wedding planner with less experience may ask for a flat fee starting from €4,000 to €7,000.
If a wedding planner has low prices, but they have been in business for a while, they target quantity. This means you may not get a personalised service. When choosing a wedding planner make sure they detail what their services include and try to get a few testimonials before hiring them.
The full-planning fee for the majority of established wedding planners starts from €8,000 to €14,000. They may also ask for a percentage fee of the total budget of your wedding and an additional design fee. This is a common practice as logistically it takes a lot more time and resources to manage 30 to 40 vendors.
A well-renowned luxury wedding planner in France may start their fee around €25-30,000 for their wedding planning services and can go way above, depending on their location. You can find most of the significant industry professionals in vital city hubs such as New York City, London, Miami or of course Paris.
4. Why Are Some Vendors More Expensive?
Once you have booked your luxury destination wedding planner, the next step is to secure your wedding vendors. This includes catering, photography, live music and more. There are many platforms and resources available online. But the wedding sphere is smaller than you think.
While searching for your wedding vendors, you might come across various price points. Which can make you wonder, “Why are some suppliers more affordable than others?”. To put it simply, they have a bigger portfolio and more experience.
WHAT’S THE REAL VALUE OF LUXURY WEDDING VENDORS?
The luxury service provided by a vendor is reflected a lot in their marketing. If a wedding vendor offers unparalleled services and a personal touch, they are often distinguished with publications, reviews and awards. This is a great sign that they are reputable and trustworthy. Their approach is different because they don’t offer a template service. High-end wedding vendors focus on creating one of a kind, luxury experiences. They may book fewer events, and therefore compensate for this by charging a premium fee.
Luxury event vendors are also often more responsive. Since they only deal with a limited number of customers, they can dedicate more of their time to each of them.
5. How can I Pay for a Wedding Planner in France?
You will be asked to pay a deposit to lock a date in your wedding vendors’ calendar. The down payment is often fifty percent of the total fee. For more significant fees, you sometimes have the possibility to pay in three or four separate payments. Note that the deposit is rarely refundable.
When it comes to paying the individual vendors, your French wedding planner will keep track of your budget and let you know when you need to pay your vendors. Generally, you will be asked to pay the full vendor fees a week before the wedding.
6. Does my French Wedding Planner Handle the Invitations?
Handling wedding invitations is usually an additional service, as it requires many hours of work. You shouldn’t assume that a wedding planner will send your invitations and receive the RSVPs for you.
Some full-service planners, who focus a lot on design, may offer to take care of your wedding invitations. In the past, we have been asked by several couples to design their invitations. For this we have partnered with different wedding invitations and stationery suppliers. Those offer high-end customised paper suites, as well as beautiful embossed, gold engraved and laser-cut products.
You can provide your supplier with a full guest list with addresses and they can stamp your invitations, and receive the RSVP to their office. Then they will give your wedding planner a spreadsheet with the confirmed number of attending guests.
“Your wedding invitations should feature a hint of the actual wedding design,” says Jean-Charles. “We often design a couple of monograms which we include in all the wedding stationery.”
HOW LONG IN ADVANCE SHOULD I SEND MY RSVP?
For a regular wedding in your hometown, you can send your RSVP around 6 months in advance. For a destination wedding, however, we would advise sending the RSVP a year in advance. This way your guests can plan their journey accordingly.
7. Do I Need to Get Wedding Insurance?
When you have spent so much money and time planning your wedding, you may wonder how to protect that investment. Wedding insurance protects you from losses in certain situations. These can range from unforeseen circumstances like extreme weather to issues with vendors and the venue. It essentially protects you from circumstances that may prevent your wedding ceremony from going ahead. If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that anything can happen!
DO YOU CARRY LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Here at Sumptuous Events, we carry excellent liability insurance. You may be relieved to know that our cover extends to over a million Euros-worth of damage caused by our team at your wedding venue. As expert wedding planners, we often work in the most exclusive sites such as Château Vaux le Vicomte Paris or Opera Garnier, where even a minor damage can cost thousands of Euros to repair.
8. What is The Best Piece of Advice You can Give to a Bride?
“While focusing on the logistics and intricacies of wedding planning, we may lose focus on the reason why a couple is getting married,” explains Jean-Charles, “A wedding is a very personal affair that can bring out the best and the worst in people. If possible, I always recommend not getting your family involved in the event planning. This is particularly true, if the mother of the bride sees this as a chance to have her dream wedding. This makes the bride often feel torn between her wishes and those of her family. We have been placed in the most awkward situation where we had to resolve family issues and almost acted as a counsellor!”
“DON’T COMPARE YOUR WEDDING TO OTHER COUPLES WEDDINGS. YOUR WEDDING IS UNIQUE!”
“Another thing I always advise brides to do is to stop comparing their wedding to another couple’s wedding. Your wedding is unique! Comparison can only cause you stress and sadness. The truth is, no matter how much you invest in your celebration, there will always be a couple who will be able to spend a lot more than you.”
9. What are the Steps to Plan a Destination Wedding in France?
Each French wedding planner has their own way of working. They have their own organisational processes in place or take time to try and test different resources. Some planners prefer using planning software. Their on-site experience is invaluable. While the way we work at Sumptuous Events is pretty much instinctive and organic, they are always small steps that we follow. Here are the 10 steps that we recommend following when planning a destination wedding in France.
10. How do I Choose the Best Wedding Planner in France?
If you’re looking for the most sumptuous luxury event planner in France and possibly the whole world, you’re already at the right place. At Sumptuous Events, we are more than a wedding planning agency; we curate memorable events to suit even the most luxurious lifestyle. When working with us you are guaranteed an exquisite wedding with a unique look that perfectly captures your love story.
Jean Charles Vaneck founded Sumptuous Events in 2015. He was one of the first male wedding planners in France. His hands-on approach and passion for his clients, leaves no detail unattended. We genuinely care about your happiness! We infuse our management process, design skills, and fashion-forward aesthetic in all our projects. Our unique personalities make a very personal approach reflected in every event we curate.