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Who needs a wedding planner? What do they do? And how much do they cost?
If you think a wedding planners is strictly for the rich and famous or couples spending an inordinate amount of money on their day, think again. More and more couples are using them, for all or just part of their wedding preparations.
They save time and stress – and they may even save you money.With so much choice available, it’s difficult to know where to start planning your wedding. How do you find out who provides the best service and value for money? What is a reasonable amount to pay them? What unusual and unique aspects can be incorporated into your wedding day and where can you find them?
Not everyone has the time or inclination to make the calls and attend the appointments necessary to answer these questions – and this is where the professional wedding planner comes in. Her (it’s usually a ‘her’) expertise and knowledge of the wedding industry will carry out all the legwork on your behalf, make suggestions, provide ideas and advice – and help you avoid pitfalls.
Brides may be concerned that they’ll lose control of their wedding, but a good planner will never take over the day. Your planner will act as a project manager, keeping to your instructions, sourcing venues and service suppliers, ensuring you get what best suits your requirements from reputable suppliers and at a reasonable price.So how do they work?
Nearly all wedding planners offer a free consultation of about an hour, without further obligation on your part. You can ask questions, discuss any concerns and see references from satisfied clients.
Many planners are happy to provide either a full or part service. They will do all the research for you, be on the end of the telephone if you need advice, but leave you to sort the arrangements for yourself. Or they’ll plan part of your wedding and leave the rest to you.
Do get a written contract stating exactly what your wedding planner will do for you and what their terms and conditions are. And find out what protection you will have if there are any problems.How much does a wedding planner cost?
Obviously the cost depends on how much you’re asking your planner to do, but the most common practice is either a fixed standard fee or a fee of between 10 and 15 per cent of the total expenditure on your wedding. It is normal to pay upwards of £800 for a wedding planner’s services.
If you think that sounds a lot, balance it against the fact that they can often negotiate discounts on your behalf, they’re full of ways to cut costs without cutting quality and they can ensure you get the best possible service for your money. It isn’t uncommon for your wedding planner to save you more money than her fee.And a final tip? As well as making sure your wedding planner can provide the service you’re looking for, make sure you get on with her. She’s going to be very closely involved in your big day and you want her to be your friend as well as your wedding planner.
Wedding planner and stylist Natalie Lovett has seven years’ experience and a wealth of credentials – and, whether your wedding is the most charmingly intimate or the most incredibly expansive, in a stately home, boutique hotel or a marquee in the garden, she will make sure it is beautifully and stylishly executed. She offers either full or partial co-ordination and offers a free initial consultation.
Lorna Bell at Mulberry Weddings & Events will help you put together your dream wedding, whether you choose bespoke venue styling and decoration hire or a complete wedding planning, design and co-ordination service. Her creativity and experience can be tailored to help with as much or as little of the planning you require, leaving you free to enjoy a perfect, stress-free day.