DO YOU NEED A WEDDING PLANNER?
2. Do you have personal knowledge of the reputations of the service providers you are choosing?
3. Do you know what to look for in a contract between yourself and a service provider?
4. Do you know the resources available to you to help you with your plans?
5. Do you know what to do if you ordered the wedding dress or maids dresses and there is a problem?
6. Do you know all the proper etiquette involved in a wedding?
7. Do you know how to plan a wedding budget?
If you answered "no" to at least 4 of these questions you could probably make your life easier by hiring a wedding consultant. The terms 'planner', 'consultant' and 'coordinator' mean pretty nearly the same thing. When you look in your local yellow pages to find someone you can expect to find any of those terms. When you locate someone and you call to interview her/him ask the following questions:
Do you have a business license?
The answer to the last question should be "NO". A person should not be receiving pay from 2 sources. If a dispute arises, whom will the consultant favor?
Services are best paid for by the hour. Costs can get high if you are paying a percentage of the total or according to how many guests there are.
And lastly, you and the consultant should have a good relationship. If the personalities don't work well together, it will only cause you more stress. Make sure the contract has an escape clause in case problems arise.
Ask exactly what services they can provide for you.
Ask to see their credentials. There are several organizations that offer training programs for Wedding Consultants. Call the organization that the consultant belongs to and verify their status and ask what training have they received by them. Ask for an agreement in writing. A letter of agreement signed by both of you that spells out what each of you will do.
Ask for their pricing policy. Some consultants charge about 15 percent of the total cost of the wedding. Some charge an hourly rate, fixed fee, or some combination of these. Others charge nothing and earn their income from suppliers' commissions. All methods are acceptable but you should determine in advance how your consultant will be paid.
Ask if you are obligated to use vendors suggested by the consultants. Make sure the consultant will work with you and you have the final word in the decision-making process.
Ask how many weddings a consultant works on while working on yours. For example a professional wedding consultant who is full-service will work on 2-3 weddings per month. Make sure you are comfortable with your consultant. Does she listen attentively? Is she pushy? Is she available at your convenience when you need her?
Ask for three referrals from past brides and speak with them.
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