Wedding Plans In (or Out of) Your Hands

The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis fields this week’s wedding questions. Today: Why you should say “I do!” to a professional wedding planner

Many prospective brides are ready (and willing) to plan their own weddings, especially when they’re equipped with the support of moms, family members, and friends. Of course, there are those who find the process overwhelming (who wouldn’t?), and because of the nature of their personal or professional lives, they simply don’t have time to plan such an important event. Enter the wedding consultant!

A Valley bride asks: “My mom and I can’t agree about whether or not I should hire an event planner to organize my wedding. Mom seems to think that she can do it all herself, although I know (and she knows) that my job doesn’t allow me the luxury of helping her. I think she’s making a big mistake, and I worry that, when push comes to shove, she won’t really be able to handle it all. I need to convince her that getting someone to assist her is the right thing to do. Any ideas?”

Dear Valley bride: The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants summarizes a wedding planner as “an experienced, organized, detail-oriented, imaginative people person, possessing mature judgement, patience, and the know-how to orchestrate your special day. The consultant has the capability of planning, organizing, activating and coordinating your dream wedding in a personal and cost-effective way.” Sounds appealing, even to the most stubborn of moms!

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First off, include her when selecting a wedding planner who is in sync with your (and your mom’s) idea about how your ceremony should be. Make sure you point out that the consultant is her assistant — not her adversary — and together, the two can do a better job than one. A wedding planner can be hired for the planning stages, implementation, or the date of the wedding, so he’s essentially involved in whatever tasks you choose to assign.

Mom may have planned every wedding in your family, but keep in mind that a consultant is of invaluable help in areas in which your mother is not. Professionals have worked at a variety of venues and can offer first-hand information about them. In addition, they might get you a better deal than you would negotiating on your own.

The wedding consultant’s job is not to supersede or eliminate the role of the mother of the bride (or any other key player in the wedding). Your mom’s primary role is as a hostess — that’s a time-consuming and demanding responsibility! If you choose to involve a consultant, mom can better concentrate on her role and enjoy the wedding celebration without having to worrying about managing it.

It goes without saying that the Valley — often a haven for tri-state area weddings — is fortunate to be home to some excellent wedding planners. For instance, RSVP Events and Weddings’ Chris Madden has more than 25 years experience in event development and management. She can recommend venues and vendors that best suit your needs and atmosphere, and is an expert in protocol and seating (she has, after all, produced several events for heads of state). Chris is just one of several event planners listed on; check here for more.

I hope this helps convince your mom of the benefits of a hiring a professional planner for your wedding. Be sure to keep me updated — good luck!

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