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Wedding Consultant

A wedding consultant works with a network of professional service providers such as caterers, florists, photographers and entertainers and assists the client in areas such as proper protocol, etiquette, suggestions on designs and styles and questions to help create the perfect wedding day.  Perhaps the most important part of a wedding consultant's job is to attend to every detail so that the bride and groom can relax and enjoy their special day.

According to Gerard Monaghan, president of the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), about 60 to 70 percent of consultants work from homebased offices. He estimates that there are 10,000 bridal consultants in the country, so there are about 6,000 to 7,000 working from their homes.

Wedding consultants do some or all of the following things, depending on the requirements of the client:

* assist in the selection of service providers (caterers, florists, photographers, entertainment),
* budget planning,
* recommend sites for the ceremony and the reception,
* coordinate the wedding rehearsal,
* prepare wedding day itineraries,
* issue invitations,
* assist with seating charts,
* create catering plans,
* find and set up all the decorations at the house, church, reception hall,
* choose all flowers and plants and have them placed in the right places at the right time,
* advise on where to get the wedding dress and men's formal wear,
* plan the major details of the honeymoon, and
* act as the bride's personal assistant on the wedding day.

There are obviously many details to attend to when planning a wedding. As a wedding consultant, you will  locate the florist, caterer, photographer, musicians and other wedding retailers and services that will create the special atmosphere your clients desire. Using your services does not mean the bride and groom will give up control of their wedding. Instead, by using your services, they add a very competent facilitator to their wedding staff. The happy couple will usually have many ideas for their special day.  It is part of your role as wedding consultant to have the skill and knowledge necessary to incorporate these details into the wedding plans. You should also warn your clients of pitfalls in their plans and be ready to suggest alternatives.

Also, although the wedding day is supposed to be for the bride and groom, often, well-meaning family and friends may pressure your clients in their planning. As wedding consultant you can act as a buffer between the bride and her family, enforcing the bride's wishes.

You should form strategic alliances with quality service providers such as florists, photographers, caterers, entertainment businesses and the like.  One of the reasons wedding consultants are hired is that it takes hours to research and locate wedding services and retailers. Your clients look to your experience and expertise to aid in finding the right merchant who will provide exactly what they are looking for.  It is part of your role to know the most cost-effective ways to plan wedding while staying within your client's budget.

A lot of this business is conducted over the phone, so be prepared for a large phone bill. As a homebased bridal consultant, expect at least $50 over your regular household bill. Be prepared for a lot of legwork as well: visiting sites, talking with vendors, and judging the quality of their services. As a bridal consultant, you'll need to rely on your judgment, your eye for detail and your organizational skills.

Recommended sites:
Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants
June Wedding
Sell The Bride
The Wedding Planner
Wedding Careers

Recommended books:

The Portable Wedding Consultant; Invaluable Advice From The Industry's Experts For Saving Your Time, Money And Sanity by Leah Ingram
Wedding Planner And Record Book; Wedding Planning Made Simple And Memorable by Deni Bown
The Everything Wedding Organizer; Checklists, Calendars, And Worksheets For Planning The Perfect Wedding by Laura Morin

This titles are available at Barnes and Noble

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