Now the fun (work?) begins. Where to have the wedding? Indoors or out? When? What is the best month for you, your guests and even your budget? (It’s true, the time of year you choose to have a wedding can have a tremendous impact on the cost). What time of day? Will you do a plated meal or buffet at the reception or will hors d’oeuvres do? How many guests should you have? (Do you really have to invite your fiancee’s cousins?) Band or D.J.? Rehearsal dinner? Out of town guest accommodations and transportation? Who will do the flowers? The cake? The invitations? And how much will it all cost?
Yes, the number of details is staggering. And most brides have absolutely no experience planning an event with this many moving parts. The first decision you must make is: will I go this alone or hire a wedding planner? Can I even afford a wedding planner? How much does it cost to have professional help? The answer may surprise you.
Professional wedding planners offer a wide range of services from “day of” coordination to full-service planning. This allows you to take on the details you really want to do, and let the pros handle the rest. After all, you’re the bride. The days and weeks leading up to your wedding should be fun and create wonderful memories for you, your fiancé and your family. Some wedding planners charge an hourly rate, some a flat fee for just the services you require. Others may charge a percentage of the vendor services they arrange for you. But all experienced professional planners will work within your budget, helping you make the most of the money you have to spend. They know the best deals, the best venues for your unique needs, the most reliable vendors (and what they cost) and can anticipate things you haven’t even thought of. Great wedding planners understand the flow of a successful event, and will help you with timelines and strategies to create a seamless experience from the rehearsal dinner through the after-party or the next day brunch for out-of-town guests.
How do you choose a wedding planner? Experience is key. Visit websites, ask other brides for recommendations, read reviews. Then make the call, book your consultation and start building a relationship. After all, you and your wedding planner will be besties for the next several months. And when the BIG DAY finally arrives, you’ll have not only fabulous memories to last a lifetime, but a good friend as well.