Consultants: Planning Makes Perfect

Planning a wedding can be fun. But it’s difficult tojuggle your career, go shopping, hire suppliers andstay on budget. It’s even more complicated if youlive in one city, but your wedding is in another.Fortunately, wedding consultants and directors areready to lend a hand.

Wedding consultant

If you need someone who knows theins and outs of planning weddings, look fora wedding consultant. For these experts,organizing a wedding is routine — andthey can do it within your budget.

While services vary, a wedding consultantusually offers one-stop shopping forbusy brides. You decide what you wanthandled — just a few details or the entireevent — and your consultant will do thelegwork. This professional knows the bestsuppliers, such as florists, caterers and DJs,and knows where you’ll get the best valuefor your dollar. A wedding consultant cantrack down a site for your ceremony andreception and can attend your rehearsal,ceremony and reception so you don’t haveto worry about organizing the events orsolving last-minute problems.

Hire your consultant early — even ayear in advance. When you interview a consultant,ask about references, experienceand fees. Typically, a consultant requires adeposit and a contract. The fee is usually apercentage of the total cost and is includedin the budget. Because you’ll be workingclosely with your consultant, be sure you’recomfortable with this person.

Tell your consultant two things first: theideas you’ve collected and the budget youcan afford. You’ll be able to know almostimmediately what will work and whatwon’t. You can adjust your plans, then letyour consultant handle the arrangements.

Wedding director

A wedding director focuses on therehearsal and the ceremony to ensure thatyour wedding runs smoothly. While somewedding consultants also provide directingservices, some directors are volunteers orchurch or temple staff members who helpbrides plan an appropriate worship serviceand comply with regulations on flowers,music and other concerns.

Some places of worship will not allowan outside wedding director. If your churchor temple requires an in-house directorand you’re working with a consultant whoalso provides directing services, sort outearly on who’s responsible for what. Thewedding director of a church or templegenerally has the last word on whetheryour plans are acceptable.

Duties vary at each church, so ask yourdirector what can and can’t be done foryou. Most, by the way, charge a fl at fee, butsome charges may differ depending onwhat responsibilities are agreed upon. Ask.

Even if your wedding is being held at alocation other than a place of worship, it isstill important to have a wedding director.These professionals are key to making surethat everything goes as planned at yourwedding.