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What is a Wedding Planner?

A wedding planner will assist in helping the couple to choose the bakery for their wedding cake.
A wedding planner can help the bride-to-be choose her registry gifts.
A wedding planner can help arrange a bridal bouquet.
Wedding planners can help plan a reception.
Wedding planners may advise on where overseas or remote weddings can be held.
Wedding ceremonies may take place in a church.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A wedding planner or wedding consultant may be hired by an engaged couple to help take care of all the details associated with a wedding before the day and on the wedding day. These details may be significant, or relatively small depending upon the couple’s budget, the guest list, and the type of wedding the couple wishes to have. Typically, the wedding planner’s job is to coordinate all aspects of the wedding and take the burden off the couple’s or their parents’ shoulders to create a dream wedding.

Pay scale for a wedding coordinator ranges. Couples may be charged an hourly fee for planning services or they may be charged a percentage of their total wedding budget; about 10-20% is customary. Some wedding consultants who work for very high profile clients will only work with couples with larger budgets to spend on weddings, and others are willing to work with couples with any budget to help them make the most of what they have to spend. A wedding planner may additionally receive commissions for directing couples to certain stores, caterers, or florists. It’s a good idea to know this if you hire a planner, since he or she may naturally lean toward recommending only the services or stores that offer a commission, leaving out valuable choices for the couple.

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Initially the wedding planner meets with a couple, or possibly the bride and her parents to determine what type of budget the couple has and what type of wedding they’d like. Based on budget, the wedding planner makes recommendations as to churches or other locations, possibly clergy or others legally authorized to perform weddings, locations for receptions, types of wedding cakes, photography services, musicians or music services (like DJs), and catering services. The next step is to determine theme and décor, which includes deciding on how food will be served, how the reception area will be decorated, and what type of flowers will bedeck any bridesmaids or groomsmen and wedding locations and receptions areas. Successful wedding planners tend to have a large number of contacts so that they can help showcase the different options and services available to people planning a wedding.

Wedding planners may also help coordinate showers, rehearsal dinners, and help the bride and groom with clothing choices for themselves and for their attendants. A planner should have a sense of the appropriateness of choices for the style of wedding, and also have a strong understanding of any specific religious obligations that might need to be fulfilled before or during a wedding. Usually, the wedding planner is present on the day of the wedding to help coordinate the services of all involved and keep the wedding running as smoothly as possible.

Couples still may do some of the work, depending upon budget. Moreover, they’re responsible for making decisions about their wedding after evaluating the options presented by a wedding planner. Some couples prefer a great deal of active involvement in decision making, while others would rather leave most of the hassle of decisions up to the wedding coordinator. If you do decide to use a wedding planner for your wedding, you should begin interviewing planners about a year prior to your wedding. Some may be able to plan a wedding on shorter notice, perhaps four to six months, but many of the best planners are booked a year in advance.

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Discuss this Article

anon26973
Post 3

I was just researching wedding planners and what they do and how they do it because it is a career i am thinking of going into when i leave school.

I was wondering what things i should be taking at college if i decide to follow this career path, and also does it make a huge difference if your not good with art?

Thank you for taking your time to read my question.

anon15009
Post 2

No, you don't have to charge a percentage. Some consultants and planner will use a flat fee or hourly rate. (Although there are many down sides potential down sides to all pay methods) Ultimately a consultant needs to do the research for the pros and cons of each method of payment and your market research for what works best in your area to find the most successful combination. I'm a full time professional bridal consultant and I offer my brides the option of hourly rate or differing packages at flat fees. The packages spell out the level of service they will receive. I took training from the Association of Bridal Consultants, in addition to other areas of experience before I went into business 5 years ago. There was a lot of information about the pros/cons of the differing options that I found very helpful and I don't think I would have known otherwise. Its taken a couple of years to fine tune the payment options but I think we've got a great mix right now. I personally don't like the percentage option - not that its wrong for other consultants. Look into the training at ABC if you're serious about being a consultant, its very helpful not just on this issue but many. Several of my brides sign our company over other area consultants specifically because all my consultants are trained ABC members...they tell me that. Others also tell us they chose us over cheaper competitors because we work this full time, from an office...not an on the side hobby. Coming across as the most professional consultant you can will be your greatest asset in my opinion. Good Luck!

simplyblooze
Post 1

Do you have to make your fees a percentage of the budget? can't you make a flat fee available according to the size of the wedding and work with the couples budget?

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