Tucson wedding planners discuss services, costs

Tucson wedding planners discuss services, costs

What's the advantage of hiring a wedding planner for your big day?

Pam Leslie: "Above all, it helps you enjoy the whole planning experience. A planner steps in, gets it organized, gives you a task list and keeps you on a time line."

Linda Longhofer: "It takes all the stress off the bride and the family, and because we're professionals, we can give you the look you want."

Elaine Cantrell: "A wedding planner can reduce stress and provide an event where the couple, their families and friends can enjoy the wedding instead of being stressed about all the details."

How do you charge for your services and what's the cost?

Leslie: "I have several ways I can work with the bride and groom. There's a full package where I lead them every step of the way, and it starts at $5,000. I also do just consulting or a wrap-up package."

Longhofer: "We charge on a percentage basis on top of the total cost of the items and services we provide. For just rentals, it's 15 percent. Overseeing the entire event from the very beginning through the wedding day is 25 percent. Partial planning falls somewhere in between. We can also be hired strictly as consultants for an hourly fee."

Cantrell: "It depends on services and wedding size. We do packages, like a quick pre-ceremony planning that starts between $800 to $1,000. Some people just want a day-of package, which starts the week of the wedding. It costs between $800 and $2,500."

How do you help a couple manage their wedding budget? Is this difficult, especially if a bride has her heart set on a specific plan?

Leslie: "Every dream wedding comes with a budget. You'll get the dream wedding you can afford to have. You might have to scale something down."

Longhofer: "The wedding designer will help the couple figure out the best use of their funds to achieve the effect they want."

Cantrell: "We develop a budget sheet at the beginning. We encourage the couple to discuss things beforehand."

What makes your service stand out from what other wedding planners offer?

Leslie: "I have a good rapport with my bride and groom, and what they want is what they get."

Longhofer: "We pay incredible attention to detail - that covers every aspect of a wedding."

Cantrell: "We decorate the bridal suite and send out thank- you cards to the guests. We're into the details."

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