What will a professional bridal consultant do for me?
In addition to helping make your wedding dreams come true within your budget–and perhaps saving you from costly mistakes—a bridal consultant will save you time. With today’s hectic lifestyles, many bridal couples and their families do not have enough time for the detailed planning and work that a beautiful wedding requires.
Won’t a consultant want to run the whole show?
A professional bridal consultant will work with you to handle as much or as little of your wedding as you wish. After all, it is your wedding. The consultant is there to help you and your family and make the day as perfect as possible.
Why can’t I do the planning myself?
You certainly can do the planning yourself, and that sometimes is part of the fun. But it also can be a hassle: checking many sources for each vendor category, making sure all the details are in place and worrying about whether you’re getting the best deal and whether everything will turn out all right. A bridal professional has the training and experience to make it all come together while you relax.
Do I need a contract with my consultant?
You should have some agreement in writing. While some people prefer a formal contract, a letter of agreement signed by both of you is usually enough. This is an informal contract which spells out fees, payment schedules, and what each of you will do.
What qualities should I look for in a consultant?
It is important you look for one with professional credentials. You should also be very comfortable with the person. You will be spending a lot of time together planning one of the major rites of passage in your life.
Do Bridal Consultants get “kickbacks” from suppliers?
Some vendors do offer commissions to consultants, much as airlines pay commissions to travel agents. Many consultants pass these commissions to you in the form of additional savings. The Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) strongly discourages commissions, so in all cases, you should know how the consultant is being paid and by whom. The ABC Code of Ethics requires they disclose to you any payments received from suppliers.
How can I tell if a Bridal Consultant is reputable?
All Association of Bridal Consultants members agree to uphold the ABC Code of Ethics and Standards of Membership. Look for the Association’s logo and ask to see a current ABC membership certificate or contact the Association to verify a bridal consultant’s status. Be sure to ask the consultant during the interview what kind of education and experience they have. Our members work towards the designation of Professional Bridal Consultant once they have completed the Professional Development program. Some senior members have the designation of Accredited Bridal Consultant or Master Bridal Consultant. Each of these has a certificate and indicates higher levels of training and experience. Some members also participate in Association-sponsored seminars and workshops. Certificates indicating that they have completed this training also may be displayed.
What will a Bridal Consultant charge?
ABC discourages its consultants from charging a percentage of the cost of the wedding. Most ABC consultants charge an hourly rate or a fixed fee, or a combination of both. All these methods are acceptable, but you should clarify in writing how and when you will compensate your wedding coordinator for his or her services. A wedding consultant is part of your budget, not an extra expense. In fact, you often save money because a consultant suggests affordable alternatives that still enhance your wedding. The professional bridal consultant will work with you to produce your dream wedding, including the consultant’s fee, all within your budget.
How can I tell if a Bridal Consultant is providing a quality vendor?
Bridal Consultants work with many different wedding vendors and service providers. They have experience to know who is the best suited for your wedding. The consultant’s reputation depends on the quality of the services you receive. A bridal professional is committed to providing the best possible wedding for the lowest possible cost. Also the consultant’s job is to keep you on budget.
How can a Bridal Consultant help?
With so many brides and their parents working, a bridal consultant can handle much of the time-consuming, detailed planning for your wedding. You save time, reduce stress and concentrate on having fun as your wedding approaches. An experienced consultant can often smooth the complex relationships found when today’s modern family plans a wedding.
Do I need a Bridal Consultant?
A consultant will be a distinct asset as you plan your wedding. Wouldn’t it be nice to spend time with your fiancé and your families, rather than worrying about all the details of your special day? A consultant will take care of those details, leaving you to have the fun. And on your wedding day, you shine as the star, while your consultant works behind the scenes to make your dreams come true!
Reprinted with permission from the Association of Bridal Consultants. Copyright 2011.