Dresses, veils, flowers, place settings…as if there aren’t enough choices in planning a wedding, right? One choice that can be crucial to the success of your wedding day is which wedding professional to choose to help you get from point A to Z. Almost everyone has heard of wedding planners, those dedicated assistants who help brides and grooms make choices for every aspect of their big day, helping with appointments, bookings, etc. However, while a planner can really streamline the process for a busy and/or indecisive bride, before going that route, you may want to consider a full-fledged bridal consultant. Not sure of the difference? Let’s go through what makes a bridal consultant indispensable for planning your big day.
Basic planners can work with the outline you give them, but most won’t be able to help you hash out the financial details of your planning. A qualified bridal consultant will be able to talk with you through what your budget can handle, where you need to focus the lion’s share of the funds and what you can sacrifice if financial constraints arise. A consultant isn’t emotionally involved, and so can help as an impartial voice of reason when it comes to finances. She will be able to guide the couple towards smart choices and help remember every little detail to include in the budget, details that many would forget (who actually remembers to budget for wedding announcements and garters at the onset?)
While your basic planner will help guide you through the various stages of planning your wedding, a full bridal consultant will do that and a whole lot more. Bridal consultants will discuss each and every aspect of your planning, make contacts with vendors, and negotiate the contracts for goods and services provided. The final bit is where having a consultant can really help; too often brides are starry-eyed when it comes to their wedding, or too unsure to challenge anything that doesn’t sound quite right or overpriced. Your consultant already knows the ins and outs of the process and can ensure you aren’t taken advantage of and are getting the very best deal.
When hiring a full-service bridal consultant, it’s best to be prepared to let go of the little details. You’re hiring a professional, and their time is usually better spent consulting with the couple on the larger, more important aspects, than being required to call the couple before making a decision on trivialities such as which cocktail napkins to select. This is not to say you are not to be involved on an intimate level with the planning, it is YOUR wedding after all, but you’ve hired someone who is more than qualified to take your vision and create it for you.
As a former bride myself, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of a good, solid game plan for the day of the wedding. This is both the happiest and most stressful day of your life, and the last thing a bride and groom need is to be worried about whether the cake was delivered on time or if the parking attendants know where they should be. In addition to helping you through every step of the planning process, your consultant will also be there on your big day to coordinate all aspects of the wedding and reception. Your consultant should work with you ahead of time to create a timeline of events, lists of names and phone numbers of any and all helpers and vendors, and layouts of how things should be set up. She will then oversee all the details, making sure everyone and everything is in place, freeing you, the bride, to actually enjoy your wedding day.
When NOT to Hire A Bridal Consultant
I know, after hearing all of these awesome things a bridal consultant can do for you, why WOULDN’T you hire one? Well, like just about anything that can be included in a wedding, even a wedding coordinator isn’t for everyone. If you’re the type who just can’t bear the idea of letting go of even the small details, it will only be a waste of your money and the coordinator’s time to hire one. And speaking of funds, another reason to forgo a wedding consultant would be that a full-service consultant can be pricey. A less-expensive, but still helpful option might be to opt for a wedding coordinator. You can often hire their services for a small fraction of the price of a full consultant, but she will still coordinate the actual day of the ceremony and all reception events. However, if you have the funds and can let go of the small stuff, hiring a wedding consultant is a great way to ensure a stress-free day for your wedding.