A consultant can save money and mistakes: Brides and grooms sometimes feel a consultant can be an additional expense that they cannot afford. In fact, a consultant can be your best investment especially if you are on a strict budget. An experienced consultant can help a couple avoid common mistakes. Working with vendors can be costly if the right questions are not asked, and a couple with a consultant's help will never feel pressured into booking a service, because the consultant knows the timeline and how seriously to take a sales pitch.
Services available: Wedding consultants and event planners can arrange as little or as much of your event or wedding as you want. Their methods of billing vary - some charge an hourly rate, some ask for a percentage of your total budget. Even though you pay them for their time, they can usually save you money elsewhere because of their familiarity with different services, and discounts available to them as frequent customers.
Why hire an event planner or consultant? People are often under the misconception that planning your own event and preparing the food, setup, decorating and cleanup will save money. In fact it can sometimes cost more-not just in money, but in time and headaches as well. A good consultant can work with you and your budget to save valuable time and money, allowing you to enjoy the event.
A consultant can ease the stress: Hiring a consultant is a wise idea, especially if there is conflict between mother and daughter, families, divorced parents or even attendants. This is an emotional time; the objective opinion of a consultant can sometimes ease pressure. Money can be one of the biggest problems and obstacles. A third party, such as a consultant, can collect the money without embarrassment. Many times arguments result from lack of communication, emotional overload and misconceptions. The two parties just need to communicate; sometimes writing their feelings down and having someone calmly present each plan to the other half helps considerably.
Selecting a consultant: Talk to different consultants before making your final decision to find out who is familiar with providing the types and level of service you're looking for. Don't be afraid to ask questions or to see portfolios and ask for references. The person or company you select should be the one you feel most comfortable with - personally and professionally. Make sure your consultant is versed in all cultures and traditions, including Christian, Jewish, Indian, etc.
Finding a banquet, reception, or ceremony site: Qualified consultants have visited locations that you may never have heard of, but that are perfect for your event. Some consultants have videotapes and photographs of various sites, so you can preview a variety of locations without having to drive all over town. Once you have made your selection, your consultant can make sure your date and time are available, and arrange for you to visit the location.
Make sure that your consultant understands not to take direction from anyone except you - or those you designate - before and during your wedding.
Be specific about your budget and the services you want. From this information a consultant will be able to offer you a variety of suggestions that will work for you and your wedding plans. Be sure to read any and all contracts before signing them so that there is no confusion at a later date about who is responsible for what and how much it will cost.
Know how your consultant will be paid. Some of them receive kickbacks or commissions from vendors; others pass on those commissions to the couple in the form of discounts but charge a percent of the total bill.
10 Crucial Questions to ask your Wedding Planner:
- How many weddings have you planned and do you have references?
- What is included in your services?
- Do you have established relationships with vendors?
- Do you receive kickbacks from vendors?
- Will I receive discounts through you from vendors you work wth?
- Have you planned a wedding at my venue?
- How will you help me with my budget? Will I save money with you?
- How many hours will you devote to my wedding?
- Do you have assistants?
- Do you charge a flat fee or charge by the hour?