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seem daunting for a newly engaged couple to handle themselves.
One other thing: parents are great, but they have a funny way of injecting their wedding ideas into your event – and it’s probably not what you or your beloved want (Spanish dancers at a traditional wedding, anyone? Not!). Besides handling all the details, a wedding planner can also serve as a neutral third party when you let off steam about family disputes (no dancers!), or sim- ply someone to trade ideas with who isn’t emotionally connected to the wedding.
Most wedding planners have seen it all and can probably offer a solution that’s just right for your situation – whether it’s where to seat feuding family members, how to accommodate the vegans in the crowd or how best to incorporate your two-year-old nephew into the wedding.
Budgeting for a Wedding Planner
Once considered a luxury reserved for the rich and famous, wedding consul- tants can actually be a smart move economically. They should definitely be considered part of your budget, not an additional expense.
As with any other product or service, the cost of a wedding consultant varies depending on the level of service. Full-ser- vice coordination averages ten to twenty percent of your total wedding budget, while consultations and wedding day-only services are often offered at a flat fee or hourly rate.
Most wedding planners provide several packages for each bride to choose from, depending on their needs and thoughts on which services they will require.
Choosing a Planner
Seek out bridal consultants who have been certified by an accredited profes- sional industry organization. This indicates the consultant is continually learning, growing and keeping aware of changes and trends in the wedding industry.
Couples are also advised to ask for referrals from the planner or from other wedding vendors. Word of mouth from other brides and vendors is always a good resource.
Set up meetings with a few planners and see which one you felt really listened to you and understood your personal interests. Remember, you will spend a lot of time with your planner, so you need to feel you can trust her and count on her during this special time.
Make Sure You’re on the Same Page
Communication is critical between the couple and the planner. They should be able to communicate comfortably, and also feel that they are on the same page during all the stages of planning.
Couples need to know that the planner is not going to dictate the decisions, but is merely the researcher and the person with many resources to help them make wise decisions.
The bottom line is that wedding plan- ners have a wealth of information and resources that would take the average bride and her mom a lot of time to research – and they still may not have cov- ered all the bases.
The bridal consultant’s only purpose is to make the bride’s dreams come true, to make sure her day runs smoothly and stress free, andnto help make both the bride and groom look their best. And isn’t
that the point? AC W
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