Atlanta experts offer advice for wedding planning

Reporting by Nick McLain

Amber Cleveland, owner, Beyond Events Atlanta, Atlanta, beyondeventsatlanta.com

Michelle Bryan, owner, Michelle Bryan, Certified Meeting & Event Planner, Lawrenceville, Ga., www.wix.com/tmichellebryan/event-planning

Rhonda Eggert, owner, Re: Weddings And Events Inc., Acworth, Ga., reweddingsandevents.com

Why do brides-to-be need a wedding planner?

Cleveland: It helps make the most of the money, keeps them organized and handles the stress and logistics of a wedding.

Bryan: They can help the bride have the dream of a perfect wedding, while taking the responsibilities and stress away from them.

Eggert: There are too many details and too many things you don't know about or could anticipate. I can present all the options. No unpleasant surprises.

How soon should one be hired?

Cleveland: As soon as possible - a good wedding planner often books weddings a year or more in advance.Bryan: I always encourage brides to start the wedding planning process at least two months into their engagement.

Bryan: I always encourage brides to start the wedding planning process at least two months into their engagement.

Eggert: As soon as they become engaged.

How much do they cost?

Cleveland: It varies, depending on how much assistance is needed and the market you're in. Plan to spend no less than $50 an hour for a good planner in Atlanta.

Bryan: I offer service packages ranging from $700 to $5,000, depending on the extent of the help. Wedding planners tend to save more money than they cost.

Eggert: It can range from $50 to $150 an hour. But many prefer service packages, which can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more.

What services do you offer?

Cleveland: Full service planning, event planning and "month of" coordination.

Bryan: Planning itinerary, selection and booking of venues, event design and decor, arrange vendors, rehearsal coordination and much more.

Eggert: Assistance with setting a budget and staying within it, design ideas, vendor and venue selection, coordinate the wedding day itself, and much more.

Are your typical clients brides or their parents?

Cleveland: It's a combination. Many times, the bride will seek services, and just as often, the mother of the bride approaches me.

Bryan: Both - it's typically with the bride and groom on their vision for the wedding and then working with the parents regarding budgeting and cost.

Eggert: I get both. More brides than parents, but it's close. Parents are typically really happy to have a coordinator.


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