What is a Wedding Consultant?

wiseGEEK Writer

A wedding consultant can also be called a wedding planner, wedding coordinator or bridal consultant. The wedding consultant is a very helpful person when it comes to planning and executing the ideal wedding. The consultant tends to work with the bride and groom and their families from the early stages of planning to the successful completion of the wedding.

A wedding consultant can help the bride-to-be choose her registry gifts.
A wedding consultant can help the bride-to-be choose her registry gifts.

There are no specific training schools for wedding consultants, but this doesn’t mean these workers are untrained. In fact, many people choose to become consultants after gaining advanced degrees in business or finance and others have extensive event planning experience or training in hotel and restaurant management. To get a well-qualified consultant, research any potential planners through the Better Business Bureau and ask for references. It’s a good idea to interview several consultants prior to choosing one.

A wedding consultant may help design and send out thank you notes to attendees after the reception.
A wedding consultant may help design and send out thank you notes to attendees after the reception.

The first contact a wedding consultant tends to have with the bridal couple is at these initial job interviews. The consultant will ascertain the theme, needs, and budget for the wedding and make suggestions accordingly. Sometimes planners get involved in later stages when a bride and family give up on creating a challenging wedding themselves, or when no one has time to make the necessary arrangements. It may be hard to book a wedding consultant for weddings occurring soon because many of them are busy planning events well in advance. However, a planner might be able to help put together a wedding quickly.

Wedding consultants can handle all dinners, receptions, parties and other events tied to the main marriage ceremony.
Wedding consultants can handle all dinners, receptions, parties and other events tied to the main marriage ceremony.

In the early stages, the wedding consultant’s job is to collect information for the couple and their family about vendors that offer different resources. Consultants may or may not make a profit by using certain vendors, but they usually have to give couples lots of options. This means consultants usually have extensive contacts with other vendors in the bridal industry.

Wedding consultants usually arrange the food, drinks, and decorations at the wedding reception.
Wedding consultants usually arrange the food, drinks, and decorations at the wedding reception.

A wedding consultant may only be as good as her/his contacts because these allow her to offer many more choices to the couple. With the couple, the consultant uses these vendors to decide on food, invitations, reception, locations for weddings and receptions, clothing, decorations, and flowers.

A wedding consultant or planner will handle any last-minute crisis that arise on the wedding day so the couple can enjoy the day without worrying.
A wedding consultant or planner will handle any last-minute crisis that arise on the wedding day so the couple can enjoy the day without worrying.

The couple can still be very involved in planning. The main difference is that they make choices based on the information the wedding consultant brings them, instead of having to work with lots of vendors on their own. On the other hand, some couples prefer to have a wedding planned for them and want very little involvement in the process. The wedding consultant uses his/her discretion to make choices about what the wedding should include.

A wedding consultant can help arrange a bridal bouquet.
A wedding consultant can help arrange a bridal bouquet.

Once decisions are made, it is the consultant’s job to ensure the wedding goes smoothly. This means making sure all vendors provide their services as needed, and making sure that every family member or wedding participant is present when required. Consultants may also help plan rehearsal dinners, showers and bachelor or bachelorette parties. On the actual day of the wedding, planners may help wherever is needed and deal with last minute crises or decisions so that the couple and their families can enjoy the day without much worry.

A wedding consultant may offer tips on how to save on a reception.
A wedding consultant may offer tips on how to save on a reception.

Standard rate for wedding consultants is about 10-20% of wedding cost. In demand consultants may charge more. It is wise to try to book consultants at least six months before a wedding. Many people advise interviewing planners about a year in advance, especially if you want a specific planner who is very busy.

Wedding consultants may help a bride design her look.
Wedding consultants may help a bride design her look.
Travel and hotel costs might be researched by a wedding consultant.
Travel and hotel costs might be researched by a wedding consultant.
A wedding consultant can suggest locations based on the couple's style.
A wedding consultant can suggest locations based on the couple's style.
A wedding consultant may help decorate a wedding.
A wedding consultant may help decorate a wedding.
A wedding consultant may help plan bridal showers.
A wedding consultant may help plan bridal showers.

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Discussion Comments

pleonasm

@MrsPramm - I'm sure it's not that bad. It's basically the same as planning a party, except with specialized requirements and some people thrive on that kind of job. Some people don't and that's why they should hire someone to do it for them.

Many, if not most weddings end up being fairly stress-free and joyous occasions.

MrsPramm

@croydon - I guess they would be able to charge that much because, in theory, they would be able to get deals on things like flowers and photographers.

I don't think it would be an easy job though. I mean, you might get to see the occasional pretty dress, but mostly you'd be going through paperwork and dealing with people who are extremely tense and stressed out. And a wedding hardly ever runs completely smoothly, so you would have to be responsible for making sure that nothing serious happens and that problems are fixed immediately.

I don't think I could take the pressure. I mean, the job exists in the first place because couples don't want to have the pressure of arranging their own wedding, so basically you're offering to take on all of that pressure and then multiply it by however many couples you're working for at any given time. You couldn't pay me enough to start a wedding consultant career.

croydon

It must be so exciting to work in a job like this. Being able to be surrounded by beautiful objects and people at the height of their happiness. And I didn't realize how much a wedding consultant earned for arranging the whole thing.

When you consider how expensive weddings tend to be in general, particularly the ones that need to hire a consultant in the first place, it must be a fairly well paid job.

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