Hiring a planner from abroad takes quite the leap of faith. You’re trusting your special day onto somebody you might never meet in person before the very wedding, and that requires a courage that I admire enormously. To make this choice as stress-free as possible, today I’m telling you what a first meeting with me is usually like. Keep reading until the end, there’s a little surprise.
So, every time you reach me, enquiring after my services I will suggest a Skype call (or Google Hangout) to get to know each other better. If you’re visiting Italy I will try and reach you at your hotel or at a quiet café so that we can have some private moments to discuss everything about your wedding at ease or sipping cappuccinos. The bill, regardless to say, will be on me.
THE MEETING 101
Needless to say:
– all preliminary meetings (even when they happen in person at my studio or your hotel) are entirely free. If you realize you have more questions and/or doubts after we hung up, more chats can follow. Anything you need to make an informed choice of hiring me is free. Yes, my time is important, but so is your wedding, and it is in both our best interests that you are comfortable with your decision;
– yes, I have office hours, but all meetings will be arranged according to your needs and time zone. They could happen on a Sunday, at lunch break, anything that’s suitable for your schedule;
– you can ask me anything. In fact, make the most of our time together to clear any doubt you might have. You can ask me about my studies, about previous experiences, enquire for referrals (I have a number of pretty satisfied customers who will gladly vouch for me), ANYTHING. I answer every single question (I know the answer to!), but most importantly I don’t take anything personally. My goal is for you to be fully comfortable with hiring me, confident that I’m the right person for the job, anything that works towards that goal is fine.
WHAT TO EXPECT
First of all, I will try to put you at ease, allowing you to choose whether you’d prefer me to start by explaining the way I work and the services I offer, or you’d like to jump on questions. It usually takes up to 30 minutes to clear this introduction, by the time we are all settled into the meeting I will start asking you quite a lot of questions about the wedding.
Please, don’t think I’m a nosy person, even the seemingly most private questions work towards me understanding you better. Naturally, you’re free to decline answering them, but rest assured they’re not asked on a whim, and that all information shared with me will be kept private at all times, unless you grant me permission to share it with vendors if it’s relevant to their services.
One of the very first questions I will ask is about the budget you’ve allocated for your wedding. Again, no pointless curiosity here. Since my consultancy is entirely customized, I need to know the price range I will have to select vendors in. I am not a fan of forcing expensive vendors on clients, on the contrary, I prefer asking vendors to deliver their best within a certain budget. I know excellent vendors in most price range, and I always select those who deliver quality services no matter the price tag.
Towards the end of the meeting I will explain how I intend to proceed. Usually, it will take me 5 to 10 working days to put together a proposal, 10 to 12 for a full service estimate, also depending on the the period when we meet in (Spring and Summer tend to be busier for me, hence they entail a longer waiting period) . This is because my proposals always include an analysis of your situation and my suggestion of the service best suited to serve you, a full break down of the consultancy inclusions and exclusions, and a general description of the wedding style I envision for you based on our conversation. Often, I will also include an alternative service proposal, if I think that you might benefit from it. The estimate attached is a fixed fee, which means it reflects the amounts I will actually invoice a the end of the service, and I make a point of making it sustainable in perspective with your overall budget.
I generally prefer to present you the offer over a Skype call, so as to be able to address directly any questions you might have, but sometimes it’s easier for you to receive the proposal .pdf, then discuss it in a meeting after a few days. Again, anything that’s comfortable for you is ok by me.
WHAT TO DO WITH MY PROPOSAL
You’ve met me over the first meeting, you’ve heard me talk, you’ve asked me questions. Hopefully, this will have provided us an opportunity to ‘click’, to show you that I can inspire your trust and liking. Well, the proposal will demonstrate whether I was able to really listen to you and to what you said, whether I could understand your needs, style, personality, wishes and dreams and turn them into a feasible wedding project. In short, it will show you whether I’m the right consultant for you.
So, was this helpful? Is this what you’d expect from a first meeting? And if not, what else would you like to happen? Please, let me know in the comments section, it’d be great feedback to adjust my routine.
Finally, a little perk, you can hear my voice here. I don’t just claim to be able to speak English, this is me doing it for you to judge:
Just a quick note regarding the audio (which dates back from 2014), my Instagram handle has since changed, you can now find me as @fatamadrinawp on most social media.
That’s all. See you soon!