What are the benefits of using a wedding planner?

Answer

As a hotel professional, I've worked with scores of wedding planners over the years. Here's the straight scoop: A wedding planner can save you time if you are planning a very expensive, very big, very elaborate wedding. If you are planning a 'high society' wedding and you want to make sure you do everything 'right,' a wedding planner is useful.

Most people who use a wedding planner end up spending more than they would have without one. First, they have to pay the planner. Second, the planner may accept or demand kickbacks from caterers, hotels, florists, etc who will charge you higher prices to cover it. But third and most important, the wedding planner will come up with 147 new things you just 'must' have from an attendant and hand-milled french soap in the ladies room to a gift of jewelry for the flower girl. If you protest any of this, the wedding planner will imply you are a cheapskate, and your wedding is only fit for chimpanzes.

Instead, sit down with your fiance and decide what kind of wedding is really important to you. Set a reasonable budget, and put the money you would have spent on a larger wedding toward a down payment. A wedding is one day. A marriage, and real estate, are enduring.

Add on to above statement:

The statement above is biased and only one persons oppinion. They are a hotel proffessional, not a consultant and have no idea how someone elses job works. If you are using a Bridal consultant that is worth a damn, you can save money. Granted there probably are some out there that would try to hardsell you but there are the same amount of priests that would make you feel guilty for not donating during church.

Vendors don't charge the couple extra because they are reffered a steady line of business by the consultant. Most consultants also keep their own stock of items like favors that can be purchased below retail price and some props that can be rented out cheaper than if you were to buy them.

Different consultants charge different ways, some ask for a percentage of final bill, others give an hourly rate, others will only charge the overhead they make from wholesalers. If they don't come right out and tell you how they charge, ask them. You will be signing a "contract", whether its just a written letter w/ information about what services you discussed would be provided by them or if its a detailed contract explaining the whole wedding, if you chose them.

You are never forced into anything and should always have everything on paper anyway as far as expenses go. If they do not provide you with an itemized break down of the expenses, ask them for one. All one has to do is look at the list to determine if they are fair.

Weddings do cost more than most people think but it is usually the couple getting married or their family that drives costs higher during a consultation because they want things to be a certain way. The more guests and flowers added; the more the wedding will cost.