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Saying "I do" to Hiring a Wedding Planner

When you think "Wedding Planner", does your mind immediately wander to "Frahnk", Martin Short's flamboyant character in the movie Father of the Bride? For all his shortcomings (no height pun intended here) Frahnk ultimately pulled together an exquisite, memorable day for the bride and groom.

Planning a wedding can be a daunting, stressful challenge. Possessing nerves of steel along with the organizational skills and negotiation techniques of a strong business executive would come in handy. And, then there's the clock! Not every bride has the luxury of time to plan and make all of the arrangements necessary to create her perfect wedding day. Even if the weddi g date is a year or more away, time is always a factor. Jobs, school and lifestyle leave little time to devote to planning one of the most important days in life.

Have you started to plan your wedding alone and now feel overwhelmed? Are you concerned there may be things you've forgotten to do, or aren't even aware of that should not be overlooked? Is it getting close to your wedding and you need help pulling it all together on the big day? A professional Wedding Consultant can do as little as lend a helping hand the last few weeks prior to the wedding or be involved from the very beginning of the planning stages. Either way, a good Wedding Consultant will not "take over" your wedding. Just make it so much easier for you to truly enjoy your special day to its fullest.

Local Wedding Coordinator Jill Critchfield, owner of "Rainbow Connection Wedding Coordination", offers brides a package she calls "The Final Countdown". One month before the big day Jill steps in to review contracts and itineraries to ensure that nothing has been overlooked. As an example, if it weren't for an error that Jill caught, one of her brides would have had plenty of beverages on hand for guests at the wedding reception, but NO glasses! Catching an error like that saved a small disaster from happening. Jill's goal is to make sure the bride has all the control and none of the stress!

Bringing a Wedding Consultant in to assist from the start is the right decision for some brides. Choosing a theme and locating venues is just the beginning. If you are planning a destination wedding, extra attention will be needed to every detail.

Every wedding requires booking and signing contracts with all the vendors used. Wedding Consultants know hosts of vendors for all the necessary services and supplies. Over the years, consultants have established working relationships with many vendors and know which are the most reliable, creative and offer the best value. A Wedding Consultant can match a bride's needs and budget to vendors that will serve them best. Your consultant can schedule your vendor appointments, remind you of them and accompany you to all of your meetings. And, your consultant can help protect you from poor service or fraud by reviewing contracts before you sign them. Consultants know the wedding industry well. They are comfortable with negotiating and are less likely to be duped into higher prices or sales gimmicks.

What will this cost you ask? A Wedding Consultants' fees depend on the services you want. You can request hourly consultations if you require only advice and referrals or just to coordinate the actual wedding day. If you hire a consultant to assist with your wedding planning from start to finish, expect to pay a fixed-rate or flat fee. Hiring a consultant that charges a percentage of your total budget is probably not the route to go as the more money you are willing to spend with them, the more money they make. Also, planners that claim to charge "no fees" actually make their money through kickbacks or commissions from vendors. They are likely to pressure you into hiring the vendors they benefit from most.

The day your calendar finally says "Wedding Day!" on it will likely bring an entirely different set of challenges. Making sure everything is on chedule and everyone is in place can fray the calmest of nerves. Just getting everyone gathered together at photo time after the ceremony may produce its' own mini-crisis. Having your Wedding Consultant nearby to act as a go-between with family members and vendors can be priceless. A good Wedding Consultant can be a master of coordination, peacemaking and etiquette. Compromises, conflicts and misunderstandings can be dealt with quietly by your experienced, composed consultant. And, you, the Bride, will be spared the stress! Is it time for you to find your "Frahnk"?

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