Many couples who are getting married hire a wedding planner to handle all the details. This frees up their time for other things and makes the planning a little less chaotic.
Considering the happy couple needs to choose locations for the ceremony and reception, handle caterers and menus, find flowers, cakes and photographers, the idea of handing these tasks over to a professional is quite liberating.
Planning a wedding involves so many details that you may find you need help. A good wedding or bridal consultant will take care of the details, bring you in under budget and help you have a stress-free and enjoyable wedding.
- Ask friends or relatives who have recently been married for referrals, or check with other wedding vendors. Contact a professional association of wedding or bridal consultants and ask for local referrals.
- Make appointments with two or three consultants. Most consultants offer a free initial consultation.
- Tell the consultant what type of wedding you want and what the budget is. She will tell you how much of your dream wedding she can produce on that budget.
- Ask about payment. The consultant may charge a percentage of the wedding budget, a flat fee or an hourly rate. Consultants who work for hotels, restaurants and DJ services may be paid by their organizations.
- Give the consultant a list of the services you need so that she can give you an estimate.
- Ask to see the consultant’s business license, certificate of membership in a professional organization, tax ID number or some other indication that she is in business and not just a hobbyist.
- Ask to see letters of reference. Of course, a consultant will show you only positive letters, but beware if someone doesn’t have any at all.
- Ask to see pictures of weddings she has coordinated or assisted in.
- Ask questions such as, “How did you handle all those children in this wedding?” or “Who do you require to be at the rehearsal?” A pro should be able to answer these questions.
- Ask about the consultant’s additional experience, including her education, other work experience and special talents.
- Select a consultant with whom you have a good rapport. In the end, the relationship is all about trust.
- Always sign a written contract stating when and how much you will pay for the services you require, and what the arrangement will be if the wedding is called off.