Do I Need a Wedding Consultant??

Updated on September 18, 2014
B.K. asks from Carol Stream, IL
22 answers

My daughter is getting married next August. We have just recently booked the venue. It is a smaller venue where we will have the ceremony and the wedding, and she is planning on having just under 100 people there.

I had figured I would just help her plan this but now I'm wondering if we should consider hiring a wedding consultant. Any thoughts on that? If you used one, why, and was it worth it? If not, do you wish you had?

I don't want to wait too long and then kick myself for not hiring someone sooner. Time's ticking away already.

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So What Happened?

Thanks mamas!! I appreciate all your answers. I did get the Emily Post Wedding Planner for Moms and I think it's a great little book with lots of lists and ideas. I am pretty organized and my daughter isn't very fussy, so I do think we'll just do this ourselves. I know the venue has lists of vendors and I'm sure other good ideas. I just didn't want to be missing out on something. I don't really want to pay for it if I can do it myself.

ADDED: Now that I've read a few more suggestions, I'm liking the event planner idea for the day before and day of the wedding. Hmmm. I might have to look for someone to do that for me. I like to be stress free and I can see myself stressing about every little thing, even if I plan it well, on the big day.

Featured Answers



answers from Portland on

No one in my circle of friends, including the young ones more recently, have hired a wedding consultant/planner and they have had lovely weddings. My daughter and I planned her wedding and reception at a hotel and we all enjoyed it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

There might even be a free or cheap wedding planning apps that would help you stay organized and store things for easy access.

Keep a binder - google wedding binder as well. That's what I used and it worked great.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Austin on

I am a wedding planner, but my specialty is the 24 hours I offer to help for the wedding day. I take all of the errands, decisions, and catastrophes away from the bride, and her mother and make sure that they do not have to do anything but enjoy all of that time enjoying the activities and events!

I have now done this almost a dozen times and each time they have been very pleased.
I made the hard choices, repaired a complete break down of the huge arrangement of the church. I have kept an eye on certain family members or guest that were high maintenance. I took care of the grooms mother who felt under appreciated.

I guarded the church doors, with the help of my assistants to make sure there were no "crashes" . I helped develop a way for a bride and groom to ride on the back of a convertible all the way from the church to the reception without falling off, getting a ticket or getting dirty!

I found wedding cakes at the last minutes.

I provide water snacks and collect chewing gum, cell phones from the wedding party so that no unwanted cell phones are going on, and no one is chewing gum during the ceremony.

I take my emergency kits, one for the bride and her attendants and one for the groom and his men. Everything from spot cleaners, tampons to an extra black bow tie and pairs of black socks.

I make it happen so the mother and bride can have a stress free day.

Maybe this is what you need more than a planner. If you know what you wanted are good at making decisions without stress than you can do it with out a coordinator.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Congrats!! Believe it or not, 30 something years ago, I had a wedding consultant. It was kind of an accident - she was my mom's dear friend and she offered. I didn't want to say no because of her friendship with mom. But boy, was I happy (and grateful) for her help! She remembered so many things that I would have just spaced out on. And things went so much more smoothly than they otherwise would have.

I have every confidence that you and your daughter can do this yourselves, but there would be nothing wrong with it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My older sister got married two years ago this November and she had a wedding planner. EVERY detail was handled by the planner. My sister got to really enjoy her day and not stress about anything. I was so thankful she had that planner...because it made my life as a bridesmaid easier too.

I really recommend it. If you can do it, it will just make the day nicer for you and everything will be handled by someone who does this as a profession.

Congratulations on your daughter getting married!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I didn't have much help with our wedding and wish I had hired a wedding planner. It was a ton of work and on the big day I would have loved having someone coordinate everything so I could relax a little more.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It's kind of like asking if you need a cleaning person. Depends on your budget and time... I planned my 100 or 120 person wedding myself and it was a nice one. It seemed stressful yet it was fun. And now I realize it was a piece of cake vs being a mother. The caterer should help you and the venue should have a list of vendors for other stuff. I used the band our friend used and same for photographer. If you have no resources or recommendations maybe you need someone but likely your daughter's friends have some. My sister also didn't use a planner and she had a very nice elegant wedding. So doesn't at all seem necessary but if you have the money, sure. Someone the night of the wedding is very helpful though. The venue likely has someone to help.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Waste of money. A wedding is not particularly hard to put together. I a big list maker. Works well for me

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

My own wedding was very similar. 100 guests or less at a bed and breakfast in another town. My mom and I did it all and it really wasn't that stressful. Actually, I never considered using a consultant, so I guess I can't say I wish I had.
A wedding of this size can easily be done by the both of you, esp with a date this far out.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I suggest looking into a "day of" coordinator. This is someone who makes sure everything runs smoothly, communicates with the vendors, puts out fires, etc. Well worth the price. Sometimes you can find a good deal and an energetic day of person at a local college with an event planning major.
I grew up in the flower business and have seen every crazy thing that can happen. A calm person who is not emotionally involved in the wedding is the perfect person to find the missing ring bearer pillow or steal a throw pillow from a couch, for example...or safety pin a hem, or have some aspirin on hand, or tell the kitchen that the bride wants the cake cut sooner than planned, etc etc.

Feel free to pm me if you have questions about flowers :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

One of my coworker's daughters got married last weekend. She didn't think she needed a wedding planner but her daughter talked her into it. She says she would have lost her mind if she didn't have the wedding planner. All those little things that come up during the day she got to relegate to the planner. In the end she actually got to enjoy the whole wedding. Apparently that is unusual for the mother of the bride.

I know when my older daughter gets married in a few years I will be using one just based on the comments I heard from my coworker.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Your daughter is planning a very modest wedding. Mine was about 225 in Milwaukee & my sister's was about 175 in Chicago. Neither of us had a wedding coordinator. What we DID have was an AWESOME Mom to help us plan, schedule & stay on target with dates & budgets.

You can spend hundreds of dollars for a coordinator, or you can get a book planner for weddings, & ask questions of the vendors you are using.

Ask the venue manager what they typically do for weddings, about any particulars you have thought of for your daughters wedding, & then "is there anything else that I haven't asked that I might be forgetting or not aware of?".

Same thing for the caterer, florist, photographer, DJ, etc.

The biggest thing is for you & your daughter to sit down & plan out what type of ceremony & reception she wants to have, what the budget is overall, & how to allocate that to various aspects. If the food is the be all & end all, then you know that flowers won't be huge, & the photos won't be the "must have it all" package.

Good luck, & remember - it is just a day! No matter what, something will not go as planned, with or without a coordinator. But at the end of the day, your daughter will be married, which is the most important thing. T. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Another gimmick for our times. Use this time as a period for you and your daughter, your best friend, her bridesmaids, he aunts, etc. to bond over the preparations.

I used a wedding planner for my first wedding because she was a retired teacher friend of my mother's who needed/wanted something to do. She charged nothing but I bought her a small token.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

It sounds like a small less formal wedding. You need certain things and now is the time to get her dress, bridesmaids, and flowers picked. You have the place so that's a big plus.

Just get some of those things settled and then take a break until it's closer to the date.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I planned my wedding myself with some help from my sister and my maid of honor. And my husband did a few things. If you have a small wedding and not going for anything that really requires help, I don't think you need one. I don't understand why there are save the dates, then additional cards, then the invites and so many other things. We had a simple wedding at the church, I had Mexican traditions added as well, the reception at a hall and it all went fine (the part that didn't would not have been fixed by a planner).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I didn't use O.. We went away & got married.

My BFF used O..
It saved her tons of legwork.
And time, that as a busy executive, she simply did not have.
And, at planning, she was living in O. city, planning a wedding in her hometown. So her planner was invaluable.
They made site everything was handled "day of." Everything.
Wedding consultants often think of things you wouldn't.
If you have the money for O., why not?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

I am a wedding officiant, my advice is to ask someone to handle all the details the last week before the wedding. Someone to double check on the flowers, the dinner menu, the DJ and/or musicians, the rehersal etc. Have this person available at the rehearsal and two or three hours before the ceremony to make sure everything is done and to run errands if needed. Get a hand sewing kit with needles, thread, saftey pins etc. If any repairs are needed this person can handle it. He/she can also manke sure the groom and groomsmen have their boutoniers and the bridesmaids have their flowers.
As far as planning you have the major part done, the venue and the meal are done, dresses should be done, so you have flowers and entertainment to figure out and almost a year to do it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I planned our entire wedding ourselves with the input of my soon to be husband and help from family and friends to pull it all together.
I bought a beautiful wedding planner from Hallmark where I could write everything down. It included checklists and such as well. It became a great keepsake after the fact. I also bought a couple bridal traditions books from the bookstore as my husband and I planned exactly what we wanted. He has just as much input as I did since it was his day too.
My husband and I went to the bakery to pick out what cake we wanted. I went to the fabric store with my mom to find the fabric I wanted and I found the seamstress that made parts of it while I made the rest. My bridesmaids came with me to the fabric store to pick out something for them to wear (I had a themed wedding so nothing was "off the rack").
We scouted locations until we found the perfect one.
We went to Hallmark and ordered the invitations. We planned the menu.
Honestly, it wasn't hard to do ourselves. I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Next year will be 20 years since our wedding and people that were there still talk about it. Think we did something right ;)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

No. Our wedding was twice the size and we were planning it from out of state. Both of our moms were a huge help!! When I think wedding consultant I think: she'll talk you into spending $$ you don't need to spend and she'll charge you an arm and a leg. Plus, if she's pushy, your daughter may get a totally different wedding than she was envisioning!

The manager of the venue will have a wealth of knowledge from music to decorations!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I did it all myself in 6 months. Personally, I didn't want anyone else's ideas overshadowing my ideas. And I didn't want to pay someone a fee that would take away money from photos or flowers. There are so many wedding planning books that make it possible for you to do it. I don't think any of my friends have used planners either. If she has friends or family who have recently gotten married have her ask them about things they wish they had or hadn't done. Have her choose a friend or cousin to be her personal attendant who the week/weekend of the wedding can do all the little things. I've been a personal attendant for two friends. I did everything from pick up the forgotten birth control prescription to help pull on nylons so the fake nails wouldn't puncture them to pacifying the overbearing mom. It is possible to do it on your own. Especially when you have a year to plan.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I kept all my weddings simple. Guest list limited to immediate family and close friends, prepared the food for the reception ourselves, clothing that could be worn in real life.
I would have kicked myself if I had spent the money for something elaborate enough to require the services of a professional event planner.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

What does your daughter want? Personally, I didn't use one. I didn't mind the legwork and preferred to do it myself. I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to planning events. I wouldn't hire someone only to find out that your daughter wanted to do the planning herself. I think you first need to find out what you and your daughter want and then determine if it is doable yourself or if you need the help.

2 moms found this helpful
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