Early on in my wedding planning career, I received a disheartening email at 1:30 am. It was a lady who’d been engaged for 3 years. She hadn’t even set a wedding date yet. The woman had hit a breaking point and was overwhelmed because she’d been “planning” for such a long time. She’d invested in several DIY projects, spent more money than she could remember and spent countless hours researching vendors and venues with no results. She was tired to say the least, hence the 1:30 am email.
I think this was my most extreme case but to some degree this is how most of my couples come to me. Sometimes they try to do it themselves but when they dive in and get overwhelmed with the many options, the expenses and how daunting the whole process really is.
I want to let you in on a wedding planning tip / secret. If you’re in a similar situation or even if you think you’ve got it all figured out, there is a service that planners offer called “Consulting.” Not all planners offer it but they're out there. I offer it but don't advertise it. Even for the type-a, very capable, very stylish and go-getter bride, there is much to be learned. If you woke up one day and decided that you wanted a custom home built, you wouldn’t head to Home Depot and buy a bunch of wood because you know from the DIY channel that a house typically has a wood frame. You would most likely commission an architect or Chip and Joanna Gaines to tell you how much to invest to build you your dream home. And just like that you can commission an event professional to consult you for your event. It’s very inexpensive and it will get you started on the right track. The prices tend to range anywhere from $50 - $200 per hour. Even if you aren’t engaged yet but want to get a jump start on the planning, consulting with a planner will prepare you for what you will embark on in the future.
Consulting services are for the couple that are proactive by nature and do their due diligence. They’re usually forward thinkers, careful with their investment, plan for a budget and research to ensure they don’t dive nose first into the shallow pool. With consulting services you don’t have to hire on the planner if you’re not ready to make the big-ticket investment. Do yourself a BIG favor and before you lift or rather tap that pin on your Pinterest app, consult with a planner in the area where you imagine yourself getting married.
To get the most out of your consultation, check out what to do after you get engaged. After you've thought through that process, take your notes to your consulting meeting.