What Works, What Doesn’t – Lessons Learned

An interview by the Clutch Guide by Jennifer Prince

What is ONE piece of advice that you wish you could express to every bride (that may or may not have to do with your particular area of wedding service)?

  • Develop a realistic budget together.  We all have seen the statistics on the average cost of a wedding.  In the U.S. it was approximately $27,000-$28,400 in 2013.  However, the majority of couples spend less than $10,000.  Some couples get overwhelmed at the beginning with so much to do and so many details involved in planning a wedding, not to mention family and friends giving so much advice.  Take time to sit down and discuss realistically how much you want to spend on your wedding and honeymoon, whose going to pay for what and develop a spreadsheet and budget tracker.  There are so many wedding resources to assist you in developing and tracking your budget.  As a wedding planner and having planned my own wedding, this will save you a lot of stress and anxiety.  You shouldn’t feel you have to go into deep debt to have your wedding.  Save as much as you can and spend wisely.
In your particular area of service, what is one misconception you would like to dispel (or tell why that misconception really is a misconception)?
  • One major misconception that I would like to dispel is that wedding planners, also called wedding coordinators or consultants, are a luxury expense and a couple may do the job themselves or ask a friend or family member.  They may do that but there are many advantages to hiring a professional wedding planner. Hiring a professional wedding planner will save you time, money and stress because they have a lot of resources and vendors they have built relationships with that they can refer to couples on all types of budgets. Professional wedding planners can help you with design, some do florals, and creativity for your wedding and assist with searching and referring you to online websites for wedding items and ideas.  Professional wedding planners direct the rehearsal and are there for you before the day of the wedding, through the ceremony and to the end of the reception.  Professional wedding planners have a portfolio of wedding packages to choose from to customize your specific needs.  Wedding planners perform a variety of responsibilities and are adept at handling last minute changes as a normal part of their job.  They are negotiators, problem solvers and idea creators.  They work behind the scenes to make you look good and your day as perfect as can be. The money professional wedding planners save you by referring you to vendors within your budget to online resources and all aspects of their job, often save more than their fee.  Its a Win-Win solution! 
Connie Amos-Parsons, is the Owner/CEO of At Your Service Events Planner LLC in Alexandria, VA and Chevy Chase MD, and has been in business since 2007.  Connie and her talented team have conducted weddings, corporate events, social events, non-profit fundraisers and training, and planned travel and Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple vacations, honeymoons and destination weddings.  Connie is the Virginia State Manager of the Association of Bridal Consultants, a worldwide organization of over 4000 members and the largest organization for wedding professionals.  Connie holds an Accredited  Wedding Planner and Certified Sandals Specialist certification.  She has a B.S. degree in Business Management, University of Maryland College Park and Masters Certificate in Leadership Development Program, Johns Hopkins University. 
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