In our first class session, Joyce advised we spend 24 hours studying the class material for the each subsequent exam. That doesn’t even include the time necessary to prepare the Staging Guide project. It may seem like a lot of hours, but you'd understand why after just one hour in the class. Joyce goes over a ton of information. However, having no indication of the exam format, it was almost impossible to know where to start. Taking from my college days, I pulled out all the stops, including flash cards, rewriting my notes, teaching the material to unsuspecting bystanders (mainly my husband, who was quite the sport though I'm sure he was thinking about the Super Bowl), rewarding myself with treats for correct answers, coming up with crazy acronyms… you name it. And it all payed off - I aced the quiz! Having applied wedding planning experience prior to the class sure helped me remember a lot of the info, but there are so many details based on Joyce's 17 years in the business - truly indispensable knowledge for anyone in the industry. So far we’ve gone over the history of wedding planning, market trends, wedding and event management disciplines, budget management, negotiations, contracts, liability, site selection and photography. It feels like an MBA program. And similar to an MBA, it’s not that a person can’t run a business, i.e. wedding planning, without it, but the knowledge gained provides the base for managing a successful business and providing optimal service to clients. And the client is what it’s all about, right?
One of the things I’ve found most interesting is the costly mistakes many couples make when signing their contracts. Not knowing what to look for in the contracts, couples may sign too soon. Once signed, you lose your bargaining power. And speaking of bargaining power, having a wedding planner is a good way to get some. Wedding planners also help couples avoid expensive oversights. Contracts are tedious to read through, but they should be read thoroughly. There may be items missing that are crucial to your unique wedding vision or rules outlined that could result it hefty fines. Without expert knowledge of contract verbiage, it will be hard to pinpoint these specifics. Planners should be skilled at reading all contracts, from venues to photographers, and provide feedback and/or negotiate for you.
Even for a “Day-Of” package, it is imperative that the planner reviews all contracts from your vendors prior to the wedding. After all, your planner is in charge of making sure all the services and details outlined in the agreements proceed as planned. This is why reviewing contracts is included in Allure’s 'Month Of' Package. We want to make sure you get what you signed up for, and have a flawless wedding day.