Can a bride plan her own nuptials? Absolutely, especially if she has great organizational skills, lots of extra helping hands and a good working knowledge of vendors and venues local to her wedding site.
More and more, however, brides are turning to wedding planners for everything from day-of-event guidance to full-service management. Their knowledge can help couples stay within budget, navigate the choices in the wedding industry and alleviate stress.
Cheryl Abbott, owner of Forever Sacred Events in Jacksonville, Florida, offers a menu of options, including day-of (or month-of) event management, initial planning consultation, full-service planning, unlimited email advice packages (great for DIY or long-distance brides) or green-inspired event details.
“Choosing to hire a wedding planner is a tough decision for some couples who are afraid the cost might take away from their overall wedding budget,” said Abbott. “However, most clients find that hiring their wedding planner was one of the best decisions they made. Over 95 percent of our couples have saved just as much – if not more – than our planning fee; meaning they were able to have professional assistance throughout everything without adding additional expense.”
The team from Alpha and Omega Event Consultants and More agrees: “Planning and coordinating a wedding/event/party can be an extremely hectic process. We can handle every detail, freeing you and your family to savor the moment.” Alpha and Omega planners, also Jacksonville-based, specialize in planning, preparing and executing any event, large or small, including destination weddings and military weddings. For Gainesville brides getting married in the popular St. Augustine-Jacksonville-south Georgia wedding corridor, choosing a local planner or one local to your wedding is as simple as asking questions and comparing services.
Before contacting a planner, study their Web sites or Facebook pages, have an idea of your budget and arrange a consultation, which is often free of charge but be sure to ask.
“Whether I’m working with a client who has $5,000 or $100,000, the budget is what allows us to hone in on the most important elements of their day, spending more where desired and pulling back on areas that might not mean as much to that particular couple,” said Abbott.
“After weddings where a planner wasn’t hired, I’ve heard many couples and/or their parents say, ‘What were we thinking? We should’ve at least hired a coordinator for the day. We spent too much time managing the little things that came up over the day, that we missed so much!'” said Abbott. “That doesn’t have to be the case. Request a quote.”
Planners’ Web sites often list package options and prices, favorite vendors and blogs of past weddings.
(For story suggestions or feedback, contact Carla Hotvedt at SILVER IMAGE® Weddings via [email protected])