This article is about using the services of a wedding planner to help you with creating your perfect day. The focus is on professional assistance as opposed to a printable wedding planner or free wedding planner book that can range anywhere from being an annotated checklist to a complete guide to a do it yourself wedding.
The purpose of a professional wedding planner can be summed up in one sentence: Giving a bride her perfect day without giving her any of the stress that is normally associated with it. It sounds simple enough, but it is actually a very detail oriented job (no matter how easy it may look in movies like The Wedding Planner). Expertise at such a task comes with on the job as well as life experience. There are no shortcuts in learning how to become a wedding planner.
In doing your research to determine if hiring professional help to sculpt your big day is the right option for you, you should be aware that there are other terms used to describe this same position. They are wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, and even wedding producer. The last term is probably the least popular and may cause confusion with some people who think of a position in the movie industry.
This paid helper should be in charge of or at least partnering with the couple on every aspect of the ceremony and reception. This includes music selection and musical talent selection or DJ, flowers, photography, invitations, dress, hair, venue selection and management, cake, and even seating arrangements.
It is recommended that brides and grooms have contracts with all wedding vendors and this includes the wedding planner. After the initial meet and greet, the parties must decide if they think will be able to maintain a cordial and productive working relationship with each other for the next six months. Even with professional assistance, the process will be daunting and frustrating at times so it is vital that the couple and their helper work together peacefully.
The planner's contract should include exactly what services he or she is in charge of coordinating as well as which goods he or she will be tasked with procuring. Of course, the exact charges should be spelled out clearly as should the payment method and timetable.
Finding a wedding planner can be done in a number of ways. Couples of typical marrying age often attend numerous weddings each year. If they are particularly impressed with any of the services or receptions, they should always ask the bride for a referral to her wedding planner. Local wedding businesses such as bridal boutiques and bakeries can provide the names (and perhaps some personality previews) of wedding coordinators that they work with in the local area. If none of those avenues work, the Internet and local advertising are also places to start the research.
Budget is a consideration throughout the entire wedding process. There are two schools of thought on money and wedding consultants. The consultants don't work for free, of course and their fees may seem considerable. On the other hand, many wedding planners have long-standing relationships with the other vendors (such as florists and bakers) and get discounts for their volume business. It's possible for the wedding planner to actual pay for himself or herself on the basis of these discounts alone. This is where the bride's research really comes in handy so she can compare what she knows are the going rates for all the vendors at regular retail against those offered through the consultant's intervention.
Also, saving stress, aggravation, and frustration is worth a price too so even if the dollars and cents come out a little higher, it doesn't mean that the bride and groom are not getting a good deal.
Personality always plays a big part in any situation in which people must work closely together on a project and putting together a successful wedding is definitely a project! The bride must be sure that she will be able to relinquish control of every little detail to a stranger if she is going to pay someone to coordinate everything on her behalf. Another possible personality conflict is if the wedding producer has an overbearing personality and wants to impose his or her choices and vision on that of the bride and groom.