Anything that can include as many as 24 professionals, a 250-person supporting cast, a 35-page script, costuming, a rehearsal, and a cost of $25,000 to $400,000 isn’t only a major production, it’s also a huge investment. This is the modern wedding, which supports a $32-billion-a-year industry.
A good events consultant has been distinguished as something of a field marshal. The job may involve organizing shopping trips for members of the wedding party, putting on a fireworks display, and coordinating the concurrent arrival of an orchestra at a nearby hotel with the release of 300 doves outside the church.
A wedding consultant bringsto life and realization of a couple’s dreams. The couple have an idea of the sort of wedding they desire and no idea how to make it happen. Today, when it is common for both the bride and groom to work, neither is expected to have the time required to plan a large event. Moreover, many couples are waiting till they are older to marry (average age at marriage is 24 to 25 for the bride and 26 to 27 for the groom), so they generally have more money to spend, more sophisticated tastes, and more friends and colleagues. For all these reasons, couples employ consultants to make sure the event runs smoothly and is memorable.
The average cost for a wedding in the U.S. is now $20,000 to $30,000. From that amount roughly 45% is spent for catering, 10% for photography, 10% for music, 10% for flowers, 10% for clothing and miscellany, and 15% for consultation fees.
Consultants will tell you that few individuals remember what food was served at a wedding or what flowers the bridesmaids held, but everybody remembers whether the bride and groom or their families appeared unhappy. To have somebody else worry about supervisingand coordinating is perhaps the most crucial reason a consultant is employed.
Where to Begin
Friends and relatives who have lately involved an events consultant can tell you a good deal about how smoothly the planning procedure went and whether they were delighted with the result. Hotel managers, band managers, photographers, caterers, professional associations, and wedding-planning guidebooks and magazines are references of names of good consultants.
Prior to setting about the interview process, it is important to recognize that consultants give different levels of assistance, from just putting you in touch with a band to attending to every detail, including straightening your train just before the ceremony. Some consultants have strong financial backgrounds from former careers that can be priceless in handling the budgeting problems that are part of almost all wedding plans. Most good consultants regard their jobs as being facilitators—providing the clients what they want and doing this within budget. They don’t believe their role is to gauge your dreams or decisions.
What to Look For
Interview a prospective consultant at his or her office so you will be able to see how things are managed there. A consultant who has trouble managing an office will perhaps have trouble organizing your wedding. Look through the consultant’s portfolio and see what has been done with other weddings.
If all the weddings in the consultant’s portfolio appear alike, interview other consultants. This one may be more concerned in displaying the consultant’s own artistic style than in giving you the wedding you want.
© 2/28/2011 Athena Goodlight on Factoidz