Atlanta experts offer advice for wedding planning

Atlanta experts offer advice for wedding planning

Reporting by Nick McLain

Amber Cleveland, owner, Beyond Events Atlanta, Atlanta,

Michelle Bryan, owner, Michelle Bryan, Certified Meeting & Event Planner, Lawrenceville, Ga.,

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

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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