A Bride's Best Friend ~ My Wedding Workbook

Today's brides are more inclined to hire wedding planners who are value-driven, more willing to collaborate and who provide day-of-wedding packages, according to a survey conducted by My Wedding Workbook Pro - the wedding planning software for bridal consultants.

When brides were asked about the top factors they would consider when hiring a wedding planner, 71.9% named cost as the leading factor. In addition, of the respondents who did not hire a consultant, 74.7% stated that they decided against hiring a planner because it was simply "too expensive."

"Most newly engaged brides assume that hiring a wedding planner will dramatically drive up the price of their wedding," said Jeff Kear, co-owner of  My Wedding Workbook Pro and My Wedding Workbook the online wedding planner software for brides. "But consultants can actually reduce vendor costs in lots of ways and make sure couples get what they pay for. So consultants who can demonstrate the value they deliver - especially during a recession - can really put themselves at an advantage."

The current recession also has influenced what types of services brides want from consultants, with more than 90% of brides responding that they would only consider hiring a planner for day-of-wedding services. Another big expectation that brides have of planners is the ability to negotiate very favorable rates with vendors, with 55.6% of respondents listing this as a critical attribute.

Once you get beyond concerns of cost, what brides really want from their wedding planner is great personal chemistry and a collaborative relationship. Indeed, 56.9% of brides listed this as a top factor in choosing a consultant, and another 32.3% want a partner who can help relieve the stress of managing every detail.

"What we discovered is that a bride doesn't necessarily want someone who just comes in and takes over," said Kear. "She wants a partner who will listen to her, work with her and share her vision. She wants someone who will give her great advice and who will assume the responsibilities that she doesn't have the time or desire to shoulder. Any consultant who brings this kind of flexibility and sensitivity to the table is positioned for success."

However, there are still many brides who, regardless of the cost of hiring a planner, would prefer planning their wedding themselves. Of the brides surveyed, 44% listed themselves as being a "do-it-yourself type person," 33.1% did not anticipate needing much help and 25.2% said they were not comfortable handing over wedding planning responsibilities.

"When you get right down to it, hiring a wedding consultant is a very personal decision. Some brides have looked forward to planning their wedding for so long that for them it would be unconscionable to ask someone else to do it," said Kear. "Others place their main priority on getting married but would rather leave all the details up to someone else. And then there's a ton of brides who are somewhere in between. The wedding consultants who can serve all those in-betweeners are the ones who will have very busy practices."

For additional interesting data on brides’ attitudes and opinions, visit their blog at My Wedding Workbook Pro blog.

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