If you’ve never had the opportunity to plan a big event, you may be shocked at the details when it comes to planning your wedding. Juggling arrangements, hiring vendors and searching for the perfect site is a lot of work, with none of the romance you may have dreamed of. If the thought of all this planning has put your head in a whirl, consider hiring a wedding consultant. A professional wedding consultant knows what it takes to put a big event together, and if you don’t have the time or the desire to plan every detail, you will greatly benefit from professional help.
What Can Wedding Planners Do?
Whatever your needs, a professional wedding consultant will help you with planning by doing much of the advance legwork. She can help you determine your budget, secure ceremony and reception sites, purchase invitations, interview and hire vendors, negotiate contracts, and much more. During the event, a wedding consultant will coordinate the ceremony, give instructions, handle any issues that arise, and even make sure that vendors are paid.
“I believe that it is extremely important to have a professional there on the big day,” says Allison Smith Van Every, professional wedding consultant. “In terms of peace of mind, hiring someone to make sure everything runs smoothly will ensure that everyone can relax and enjoy the experience.”
What Does it Cost to Hire a Wedding Consultant?
It depends on her level of experience and on the tasks she will perform for you. Most charge an hourly rate, which can range from $45 – 200. However, many consultants are willing to work within budgets, so make sure you discuss any budget issues you have during the first meeting. If one person won’t consider working within your budget, find someone who will.
What About My Venue’s Coordinator?
Many facilities do have on-site coordinators, which can be very helpful. But hiring someone who will be there for you alone is still a good idea, especially since an on-site coordinator may be running more than one event at a time. Most wedding consultants have established relationships with on-site coordinators and are welcome, but be sure to ask the site’s policy on outside vendors before signing any contracts.
How to Hire the Perfect Planner
The key to hiring the right consultant is finding someone whom you feel is trustworthy and confident. Feeling relaxed and comfortable with your consultant is very important, since tensions can be high on the big day. Make sure you ask plenty of questions during your first meeting, in order to get a feel for her personality and style as well as the services she offers. Asking key questions about her level of experience, the number of events she books in one day, pricing options, her menu of services, and anything else you feel is important will help you to choose the right person for you.
Keep Your Dreams In Mind
Remember that the consultant should also have plenty of questions for you. She should make an obvious effort to determine your wishes, needs, personality, budget, and more. And remember, don’t hire a consultant who doesn’t listen, scoffs at your ideas or budget, has no references, or won’t sign a written agreement. It’s your day and you deserve the best!