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  • What should you consider before hiring a wedding planner?
  • How to Hire a Wedding Consultant: 7 Important Questions to Ask

    A wedding could be a great time for everyone involved – more so for the bride and the groom – if only there was less planning and fewer decisions to make.

    That, however, should not stop you from going ahead and taking control of the full planning and execution of the wedding ceremony. Some people are just great planners and organizers, and they can certainly plan their own wedding if they can plan their businesses and career.wedding-planner

    On the other hand, if you are looking to sit back and enjoy the wedding ceremony, and make it an occasion to remember, you can definitely consider hiring a wedding consultant.

    How do you want to remember your wedding in later years? Was it a time to connect with friends and family, your spouse, and to dream about the marital bliss?

    Or did you spend your evenings leading to the wedding in chasing the photographer, the caterer, the baker, the guest list, the travel agent, the dress maker…

    …well, you get the picture!

    Hire a wedding plannerYou want a wedding consultant. No, you NEED a wedding consultant.

    But wait, how do you know how to hire one? How would you know that you found a right person to plan your big day? What should you look for when considering a wedding consultant?

    Read on to learn.

    7 Questions Before You Hire a Wedding Consultant:

    Let us look at the seven most important questions to ask before you hire a wedding consultant:

    1.     What are your priorities and capabilities?

    As mentioned at the start of this article, someone who is a good at planning and execution may be tempted to manage the show at their own wedding. If you are that person, please stop and think. Would you be able to stick to a budget? Do you have the time to find vendors and suppliers, and to ascertain their trustworthiness? Would you remember to plan for everything, and then remember to pay for everything? Can you find a good venue?o-WEDDING-PLANNING-journal

    All of these are very important considerations, and would need decisions, decisions and decisions. Even the most consummate of planners may struggle when it comes to planning their own weddings – it is unlike any other event.

    Also read: Top 10 wedding trends of 2015

    2.     What is your vision for the wedding?

    "i'd pick a beach if I were you"

    Do you want your wedding to be a pretty grand affair, with formal evening dress or an outdoor wedding ceremony? How about the guests – is your invitation list very long? How would you manage the logistics if you are organizing the wedding at a place other than where you live?

    One of the most stressful and critical aspects of a wedding is managing the often contradictory demands of your friends and family – everyone is a well-wisher and suggests different things.

    With a right professional looking at such aspects, you can focus on the bigger picture, and just enjoying the day to the fullest.

    3.     Do you think you can develop chemistry, a relationship with the consultant?Wedding planner

    This may seem to be a strange question, but it is a very important one. Just hear me out.

    In a recent article, Time suggested that there should be personal connection between the wedding planner and the bride – even going as far as to suggest that this relationship is the Holy Grail. We tend to agree with this assessment.

    The reason is not hard to understand – the consultant really should have the best interest of the bride in their minds, AND the bride should KNOW the fact.

    Of course, you would know this if you have seen any of the romantic comedies that have featured a wedding planner – the scenes where the consultant would look at the wedding dress, and then reject it outright, saying that “she would hate it”!

    4.     What is your budget, of course?

    It is critical to note that hiring a wedding consultant is NEVER about the dollar amount you pay as their fees, and how much it adds to your overall wedding budget. It is ALWAYS about the balance between the price you pay, and the value you get.

    weddingbudgetWhat your wedding consultant charges you would depend upon several factors – such as your overall budget (consultation charges are usually 10 to 15 percent of this budget). A smart wedding consultant may actually end saving you MORE than what you pay to the consultant, by being smart in where to spend the money, and where to cut back.

    A pro tip would be to actually include the consultant fee also in your wedding budget – most people don’t do that.

    5.     Full Service or Day Plan?

    This is how the business of wedding consultation works – you actually hire them to manage the whole business of wedding from scratch to finish, or you hire them to just execute your grand plan and vision on the wedding day.

    Again, looking at the exact dollar amounts that you end up paying for the two different types of wedding consultations – the day plan will definitely turn out to be a cheaper option. But conversely, the full service consultation is way more comprehensive, which means that YOU have to sweat lesser.

    Also read:  Planning your wedding on a budget.

    6.     What are the Consultant’s Contacts and Vendors?

    You just don’t hire a consultant – you hire the full extent of their contacts and the vendor network. This helps the consultant to render the best possible service, not only in terms of money you spend, but also in terms the bang you get for your bucks.

    wedding-vendorsgProfessional planners that have been in the business for some time will have great relationships with vendors, and you can implicitly trust their recommendations. Just be careful, however, that their recommendations are aligned to your wishes.

    Please understand that there is always a monetary aspect to consultant-vendor relationship, and it is fair to ask if the consultant get compensated by the vendor. It is acceptable, it is an industry standard. But a professional planner would always prioritize in favor of YOUR wishes in case of a clash of interests.

    7.     What is the Feedback about the Consultant?

    Although feedback is the last step in any process, it is the first order of business in case of choosing a suitable wedding consultant. It actually starts on the day you start interviewing consultants from your short list.

    Once you have narrowed down your list to two or three wedding consultants, and after you have talked to understand their terms and scope of services, you may ask them for their previous customers or references. Then, spend some time in calling those references, and learning how the consultant executed the wedding plans.

    Of course, if your consultant came recommended from a close friend or a family member, and you were actually present there to see and get impressed by their work, it makes your task all that easier!

    That’s it – the seven cardinal questions that you need to ask before you hire a wedding consultant!

    From the Time article that I quoted in the beginning of this article, the bonus tip for the bride would be understand that there are human beings at the other end of the transaction too. Treat everyone with respect, and they might just be nicer with you. This may mean they will try a little extra harder, and that might just be what makes all the difference!

    Sources:

    Time, Martha Stewart, Wedding Club

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