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Kristin Vining Photography

The wedding dream team

Posted: Monday, Mar. 30, 2009

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You’ve decided to work with a wedding consultant who will not only help you create the wedding of your dreams, but will also make the planning fun and exciting! Below are some pointers to help you get off to a good start:

• Wedding date – Are you set on a particular date or season, or do you have flexibility? Make sure you talk with your family and others who are essential to your wedding. Are there times of the year that are difficult for them to attend? Also consider what is going on in the community that might pose a conflict. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, your wedding consultant can begin coordinating the ceremony and reception location(s).

• Set the stage – What style of wedding are you going for? What colors would you like to incorporate? Jotting down any ideas or clipping photos of flowers and cakes will help your wedding coordinator best understand your preferences. Don’t forget to include your fiancé in this process – it’s his wedding, too!

• Determine a budget – This can be difficult, especially if you’re not sure of the costs of various items and services. Are there certain aspects you want to focus on more than others? If you’re more concerned about food and flowers, then perhaps you can save money by wearing your mother’s gown. Discuss such issues with your wedding consultant. They’re in this business for a reason, and will know how to stay within budget and where to cut costs. And don’t forget, to avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings, you should broach the subject of who will pay for what with your fiancé and both sets of parents during the early stages of your planning.

• Themes and traditions – Is there a specific religious or cultural tradition or theme you’d like to integrate into your wedding? A good wedding consultant already knows many different ethnic traditions, or is willing to do the research for you. They will also be able to guide you when it comes to proper etiquette and protocol.

• Wedding party and guests – Have a general idea of the size of your wedding party and how many guests you would like to have. Talk with both families to get a sense of how many guests they wish to invite. It’s important not to get overwhelmed at this point. Once you begin your conversation with a wedding consultant, they can help you focus on what is realistic and devise ways to help meet both your goals and your budget.

• A sense of family – Sometimes a wedding consultant will serve as an “advisor” when family matters get sticky. In today’s world of divorced parents, stepparents, children that you or your fiancé may have, or on-going disputes between family members, it helps to have someone who has a way of easing the awkward situations that can arise. They may have great methods for striking a compromise when you and your mom have a difference of opinion. Your consultant will also know where to seat your dad’s new wife at the ceremony, and how to incorporate children into the service. It’s your wedding, and one can only hope that the adults will put their own concerns aside during the planning of your big day. But having professional assistance can be vastly beneficial!

Above all, choose a consultant you really like, and enjoy the relationship you form together. You want to feel comfortable enough to communicate openly about your likes and dislikes, when you don’t understand something, or if you need more time to make a decision. After all, they will be helping you plan the most important event of your life. And chances are, your friendship will endure far beyond that most special day!

Check out our list of Consultants & Coordinators.

Read more of our Planning Articles.

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