The job of a professional bridal consultant (also known as a wedding coordinator) is to coordinate every minute detail of a wedding on budget. And the job starts as soon as a contract is signed.
But do you really need one?
Not really – just as you don't need a real estate agent to buy a house – it just makes a lot of sense.
Weddings are expensive and you can't afford to make mistakes. More importantly though, they take a tremendous amount of time to organize. Many couples are too busy with professional and personal lives to add planning a wedding to the mix.
Hiring a professional bridal consultant can often save you money. Because they bring repeat business to a facility or vendor, they can often negotiate a better deal than you might get without them.
A bridal consultant's expertise is weddings. They know the timing and order in which things need to be done and where to go to get the services and vendors you need. They can help you prepare your budget, provide advice on colors and decorations, help you select a menu and be there for the thousands of other questions you'll have and things needing to get done.
A wedding coordinator has been there, done that. They know what works and what to stay away from. They can speak from experience and want to make sure you avoid some common mistakes.
Usually a wedding coordinator is paid one of three ways – either by one or more vendors, on a flat fee basis or by commission.
Coordinators paid for by one or more vendors may seem like a good bargain since you are not paying for their services directly but on the downside, you don’t get to choose and they may not necessarily have your budget or best interests at heart.
A coordinator who is paid on a flat fee basis is the most common way to go for weddings with less than 150 guests. This type of agreement is usually based on a certain amount of hours allocated to your wedding. If you go over the pre-set limit – and you will for extravagant or large affairs – you will be charged an hourly rate over and above the base fee.
For those large and elaborate weddings, you are best to go with a commission-based coordinator. Commissions are generally between 15% and 20% of your total wedding budget. If you spend $20,000, then expect to pay an additional $3,000 to $4,000 for the services of a professional bridal consultant.
If hiring a wedding coordinator for your entire planning process is just out of your budget, consider contracting one just for the final week and the day itself. This gives your planner time to coordinate the arrival of vendors, assist with last minute preparation and decoration and orchestrate your special day.
A professional bridal consultant can help make your day the joyful, stress-free celebration of your dreams but in the end, only you can decide if hiring one is right for you.
Bridal consultants use online tools to help keep their businesses running smoothly and now you can too. Whether you work with a coordinator or not, many couples find using the an online wedding planning tool invaluable.
Home of Printable Planners > Professional Bridal Consultant