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Congratulations on your engagement! Now to plan the wedding. Feeling ecstatic and overwhelmed? Making your dream a reality takes time, thoughtful planning, and effort. Regardless the timeline and elaborations you have in mind, a professional wedding coordinator/planner has the knowledge, connections and time to bring everything together for your spectacular wedding day.
Wedding ceremonies signify an important life change. Planning them can be a stressful, decision-filled process. Problems commonly arise from a lack of budget planning. And then there is the other precious commodity–time. Many people, especially professional women, find it difficult to carve time from their schedules to do the planning, site visits, caterer interviews and to make vendor contacts. Long-distance weddings and short engagements can further compound the stress.
You are planning just one wedding, but planners plan many and can better manage the calls to and appointments with wedding sites, caterers, florists, limousine services and musicians. For you, the research would be time-consuming and scheduling appointments during the business day often won’t work. Try to do everything on weekends over several months and you’ll have little time for anyone or anything else.
Planning your wedding should be enjoyable. It’s when you learn how to work with your budget and your groom in making choices you will both enjoy, and to savor the romance of planning your day. Since everyone will want to offer help and advice, the planner becomes your supporter, graciously justifying your choices to well-meaning friends and family members. Your professional planner will focus on your wishes for a worry-free wedding day.
Some people assume the services of a wedding planner drives up the cost of the wedding. In fact, they begin saving you money long before the wedding, starting with helping couples establish a realistic budget. Then, they zero in on the best available sites and services using their vast store of experience and professional relationships to address details, seek the best vendors and to help you obtain the best prices.
Yes, weddings can be expensive, but doing it yourself can be more expensive because you won’t have access to the resources and discounts available through a wedding planner, who can often negotiate special perks and extra value. They help many bridal couples steer clear of panic-buying mistakes or paying inflated prices for guests who don’t show up. Who do you want to plan your wedding–somebody who has never done it before or an experienced professional with many successful weddings on record?
Finding a professional
Ask friends to refer a wedding planner, ask the best venues in your area who does a good job, and contact wedding planners through websites. Prospective planners should listen to your ideas and then offer suggestions. As you seek the right combination of experience and compatibility, interview more than one planner and ask for a client reference list.
Before signing anything, be certain you understand the terms of your planner’s contract or agreement. The contract should address all costs, timelines, goods and services the planner will provide or oversee to make your wedding day special.
“Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me,” is the tried and true philosophy of Robbin Montero, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding. Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and ImportantOccasions.com. Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, “The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country.” www.a-dreamwedding.com
Robbin Montero is a wedding coordinator and special events planner in Northern California.©2006 Robbin Montero 707-579-5886
This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero’s expressed written permission.