Ordinarily, couples on tight budget do not normally hire a wedding planner. However, when all is said and done, it may actually end up saving money as well as a number of heads. In situations where the bride and groom to be never seem to have sufficient time on their hands due to work or other considerations, hiring a wedding planner may very well make sense. It could make sense for those who are simply overwhelmed by the entire process of finding vendors, interviewing them and then negotiating the best deal. In these type of situations, it very definitely can be worth to bite the bullet and hire a planner. One of the keys to hiring a planner is to make the decision early on because you'll end up getting more value for your dollar. While hiring a wedding planner may seem like an extravagance you can live without, they can be worth their weight in gold – not only keeping your lives sane leading up to the wedding, but in saving you plenty with their negotiating skills.
Most wedding planners refer to themselves as just that – a wedding planner. However, some also refer to themselves as wedding consultants or wedding coordinators. Regardless of what they call themselves, most provide a full range of services. You can count on them for everything from a basic consultation to handling every detail of both your wedding and reception. What you get out of a planner will depend on what kind of wedding planner you hire. In general, you'll find three different types of planners:
1. One that provides a one time only initial consultation
This type of consultant will help you get your budget and time line set up. They'll also provide tips for dealing with all of your vendors, along with recommendations for certain vendors that they've had success with in the past. This type of wedding planner normally charge a flat one time fee – or sometimes an hourly fee. This is good because you'll know up front what they are going to cost.
2. One that provides you with partial planning services
This type of planner is normally bought in 2-3 weeks prior to your wedding to help with the myriad of details that need to be attended to and finalized. Some will only be on hand for the rehearsal and wedding – just to ensure that the festivals go off without a hitch. These type of wedding consultants usually bill by the hour, but some will do this work on a flat fee based on a set number of hours.
3. A full service planner who works with you from start to finish
This type of wedding planner will become an integral part of your wedding. They will get you know you very well. They will know your tastes and needs and will work with you to create a budget and time line. As they get to know you, they will make recommendations on everything from the food and beverage at your reception to the overall theme of your wedding, including flowers and decorations. They will even help you plan out and execute a plan for your reception. The great thing about these type of wedding consultants is that they have plenty of connections with a large number of vendors. With their vast knowledge, they'll easily be able to find vendors that will fit within your budget.
The bottom line with a wedding planner is that they are on board to save you money with your vendors. While most do a very good job at this, there are those who steer you in a direction that includes a certain group of vendors that have paid the planner to get on their list of "approved" or "recommended" vendors. Some will even give a bonus to planners who send prospective couples their way. Even if your planner provides their referrals as a "free service" to you, you can be assured that the commission that is being paid by the vendor to your wedding consultant will be passed on to you via the vendor's bill.
As with most industries, there are unscrupulous people in the wedding planner business. In order to avoid these undesirable individuals, be sure to look for a planner who is a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants. Those who belong to this association are required to follow a code of ethics which includes disclosing any referral fees before their clients sign a contract with them. Most of the wedding consultants who are members of the ABC do not take referral fees from vendors anyway, so you will not be a concern when dealing with an ABC affiliated consultant. You can find ABC associated wedding planners in your area by running a search at their web site – bridalassn.com.