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Wedding Planning 101
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Take me shopping at the Corner Store  | Tell me who you recommend in the Service Directory | Talk to me about Wedding Planning

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Free Bridal
Advisory Service

Get the answers you need
 by phone or email,
or at The Corner Store during
regular business hours.

No Charge

 The Quiet Hour

Sometimes you need a little
 professional help - from
cake tasting to ceremony
 content - finding words for
 invites or speeches,
...whatever you require


by appointment $35 / hour

Creative
 Consultation

An on-site, personal wedding
 planning workshop to help
create the “instruction
 manual” for your wedding

by appointment $90/half day

Wedding Planning
 Workshops

Meet the best local experts
 and learn their secrets, tips
 and tricks for wedding
and event planning

Cost varies by Workshop

Do we need to hire a Wedding Planner? Like, isn’t that just for brides in the movies!?

Oooh! Here’s my first piece of advice:
It’s YOUR wedding, you con do, or not do, whatever is right for you. It doesn’t matter whether Wills and Kate did it first,
or whether no-one else is doing it that way - when you find the thing that works for you, do it, regardless!

New Zealand brides have a tradition of DIY, and if that suits you, and fits into your lifestyle, fantastic.
But.
If you’re finding the process of planning your wedding to be overwhelming, or you’re just too busy keeping your everyday life going, a Wedding Director can be the secret to your success.

A consultation with The Wedding Whisperer is a really good way to figure out whether you need to,  or even want to,
hire a Wedding Director, or if you just need an occasional check in to make sure you’re on the right track.

On the wedding day, someone has to be the first one there, making sure everything arrives and is in place.
And someone has to be the last to leave, with everything packed down, tidied away, and safely locked.
In between there are thousands of little details that need to be choreographed.
That’s a huge responsibility!
It makes sense to have someone experienced keeping an eye on your plans as they unfold.

So what does a Wedding Planner actually DO?

I can’t speak for other wedding planning services, but here’s how it works at The Wedding Whisperer:

What we DON’T do is sweep in and take over the process, according to some set formula.
The first thing we do is listen. We want to hear your dreams, no matter how crazy.
We want to know what you already have planned, what your preferences are, how much wriggle room is in your budget.
We take careful note of the details that are vitally important to you, as well as the things you’re feeling worried about.

Then we work WITH you, letting you do all the fun stuff, and making sure the boring, frustrating, and time consuming
[but oh, so essential] stuff gets done as well. You get the benefit of the knowledge and know-how that  we’ve gathered through  years of coordination, and the perks that come from the close relationships with the vendors we’ve worked alongside in that time.

The Wedding Whisperer exists simply to help your entire day go as smoothly  as possible - a Wedding Planner gives you both peace of mind and sound, professional advice. Your Wedding Planner is a professional who knows the wedding industry, and has  resources to plan your wedding with you.

In my opinion, there's no such thing as  “just a few hours of wedding co-ordination”. Not if  you're doing it well.
If you really, truly think you only need someone to ride herd for an hour or two,  then you don't need a wedding planner, you need a temp PA.


 

What kinds of people use a Wedding Planner?

People just like you.

Every wedding is different.
Some clients want a professional wedding planner to plan their wedding from start to finish for them.
Some are traveling into the area, and struggling to pull the details together from a distance.
Others are  working professionals, of full time parents, [or both at once] who simply don't have the time to get all of the planning done themselves.
Most commonly, the couples I work with have started the planning process themselves, and somewhere along the way have found it’s all a bit too much, and call us in to assist.

The key is that your  wedding is perfectly planned and carried out, so that you can relax and enjoy every part of the planning, as well as the wedding day itself.

 How can we choose the right Wedding Planner for our style of wedding

Just like everything else about your wedding, there are choices to be made, and you need to take your time and consider your options before committing to one or the other.
Choosing the person who will choreograph and direct your wedding is HUGE!

The most important thing is really simple:
Do you feel confident in this person to carry out the task?
There’s absolutely no point in entrusting your wedding plans to someone else unless you feel comfortable leaving it all to their direction.

Price is way, way down the list. Many wedding planners offer a “free” service, and the old adage is true - there really is no such thing as a free wedding breakfast! No matter how much we love weddings, they’re hard work!
You should know that even if you’re not being directly billed by the person who is doing all that hard work,
you can be sure you’re paying for it, one way or another, whether that’s in kickbacks from the vendors,
or a percentage added to the quotes and accounts.

When you hire The Wedding Whisperer, we agree on the price before we begin, rather than a percentage of the total spend, [otherwise where would be the incentive for us to find you the sharpest price?!]. 
That means that there are no nasty surprises and no hidden costs.
We  hire the wedding professionals best suited to your requirements, not the ones who have the biggest kickbacks.   Whenever there is a decision or question, we ask, ”What is in the best interest of our bride and groom?”
and with that answer, we proceed from there.
In a nutshell, we work for you.

How much does it cost to hire a wedding planner?

There are a few variables, but generally: The Wedding Whisperer’s wedding planning will be  in the ballpark of $1500,   additional "on the day" services around $35/person/hour,  with variations for significant travel, or extraordinary circumstances. There's not a simple formula for [x  number of guests + y number in the bridal party, divide by the square  root of the cost of the wedding gown...].  In the interests of clarity and simplicity, we've opted for a flat fee rate.

What you see is only a tiny fraction of what you get. There are many hours  behind the scenes, hours of phone calls, coordinating, meeting,  selecting, arranging, overseeing. Even at minimum wage [and let's just  agree right here that my time is worth more than that], that time-sheet  is going to fill up pretty fast.

There's always going to be something extra that needs  doing, some cog in the machine that doesn't mesh.
As your wedding  planner, it's my job to make sure that's counterbalanced, no matter how  long it takes to get done.
So, I've sat up past midnight hand-tying  favors, helped stitch a bride into her un-finished gown, loaned my own socks for a groom's blistered feet, waded bellybutton deep into the  ocean to stop a boat drifting...
I don't want to be second-guessing "is  this going to be paid for?" Sure, I'd make more money if I charged by the hour, but wouldn’t you be dreading that bill at the end of the process?!

If I sign on to co-ordinate your wedding, then I'm signing on to make sure all those disparate parts get pulled  together. I'm not the person that will say "Oh, sorry, out of time - see ya" A flat fee gives me the freedom to spend time comparison shopping on  your behalf, checking out details in person, rather than just going with whatever is the quickest solution - it’s often the difference between 'let me check with my couple and get back to you' and ‘sure, that'll do’.

And honestly, how do you charge for that? The answer is, I don't. It's part of the flat  rate fee, that guarantees you'll get as close as humanly possible to the event we're brainstormed and planned together.

Why can't we just pay you a percentage of our total wedding budget? Well, for starters, would that be your proposed wedding budget, or the amount you will actually spend? Because that's two totally different figures,  right there.

The percentage of costs is a totally backwards way of thinking. In the first place, there's no incentive for your wedding  planner to drill down the prices for the services she'll be booking on  your behalf. The more money they save you, the less they’ll be paid. No thanks.
And it's a crazy scale - for example, the difference  between a $4,000 photographer, and Aunty Jo with her  instamatic: The price in no way reflects the amount of work required to get good results from each - in fact the effort is inverse to the income

 

So, what next?

Come and chat with us at The Corner Store during regular business hours, at no cost.
You’ll be able to gather some good general advice, as well as getting an idea of how you feel about The Wedding Whisperer as a potential partner in your wedding plans.

Because every wedding  is so different, we would want to make time where we can talk, uninterrupted, about the type of wedding you would  like, the style, guest numbers, venue, budget, etc. The best way to do this is by making an appointment to meet at a time and location that suits you.
There is a $50 charge for the initial consultation, which normally takes one to two hours.
A quote can then be drawn up specifically for your wedding  planning needs, based on our discussions.

Even if you decide The Wedding Whisperer is not the right choice for you, I’m sure you’ll still come away more knowledgeable about wedding planning,  and with a clearer idea of what you’re looking for.

If you would like to have a no-obligation consultation with Angel, please email her,
pop a text to 021 027 04638 or phone 03 545 7531 call to set up a convenient time to chat.

 

What are the benefits of having a wedding planner?

I love weddings, and wedding planning is what I do every day, but even so, I have to say, planning a wedding is HARD, HARD work! Having a Wedding Planner is one way to get all that hard work done without spending great chunks of your own time and energy making it happen.

Many people find planning a wedding to be  incredibly stressful task.
Stress can put a huge strain on relationships, and turn those romantic dreams into a living nightmare.
Shifting some of that stress outside of your immediate circle of family and friends gives you the room to work as a team,
rather than fighting all the way to the altar.

Have you noticed that everyone has an opinion about your wedding?
And that they’re not shy about telling you about it?!
A Wedding Planner can be your deflector - giving you the perfect excuse not to discuss any of the details with anyone!

.One of the biggest benefits is having someone, who, in the weeks leading up to the wedding, will do all the double checking of details, coordinating the different parts coming together, and making sure that everything gets done.
On the day, a Wedding Coordinator will bustle about, quietly and calmly making sure that all that planning comes to perfect fruition,  allowing you to relax and totally enjoy  every moment of your wedding day with your friends and family.

This list could be endless, but I think some of the key benefits are:

Peace of mind and reduction of stress;
Saving Money: while there is a cost to employing a wedding planner, a good  wedding planner will help keep you within your budget and they can often get good deals with suppliers for you;
Saving Time:  for many couples, they simply do not have the time to plan  their wedding and hold down a career and carry on their normal  day-to-day lives like family, friends and other commitments.

 

 TL/DR: I always sit down with my prospective clients to discuss their  wedding in general and then work out a quote specifically for them and  their wedding needs.

So, why not make that call, and we can start working together on the day you’re dreaming about!

 

The Wedding Whisperer’s Corner Store, cnr Waimea Road and Rutherford Street, Nelson,  
phone   +64 3 545 7531           txt  angel:  021 027 04638         email   info@theweddingwhisperer.co.nz

all local images courtesy Sandra Johnson Boutique Photography, unless stated otherwise           copyright 2009 The Wedding Whisperer LTD.  All Rights Reserved.