DebMcCoy: I am the author of numerous wedding books and I also own a large, full-service bridal salon in Boca Raton, Florida. I write for Wedding Dresses magazine and am in charge of The Wedding Pages FAQS.
Kherrity: I have a question, Deb. What are some things you should ask a potential wedding consultant?
DebMcCoy: You should ask about their experience, if they are a full-time consultant and the kinds of weddings they do. And you should get references and check them thoroughly. It's very important that they have a few years experience under their belt.
Kherrity: Should they be certified?
DebMcCoy: No, not really. While there are courses out there, in this business, experience is the best teacher. There is no substitute.
Kherrity: Do you think a consultant is a good idea, or a waste of money?
DebMcCoy: It's a money saver. A good consultant will know where to cut costs and advise you how to do it. Besides, if you've never planned a wedding before, you lack the experience that they have. It's invaluable. The first comment from my clients after they hire me is, "Where's the stress?"
Kherrity: Thanks so much.
DebMcCoy: You're welcome.
DebMcCoy: The average cost of a wedding today is close to $20,000. You need expert advice.
Cmtemom: When I was getting married, my mother-in-law wanted to add 15 people to my guest list a week before the wedding. I didn't have room for that many more people. How do you tell someone no nicely?
DebMcCoy: That's unbelievable. What did you do?
Cmtemom: Oh, I had my husband handle her. (LOL)
DebMcCoy: That's the smart thing to do. It's important that grooms handle their families. The future bride should stay out of the fray. How about all the guests that invite their own guests? I've had a lot of email about that lately.
Kherrity: No way ... that is so rude.
Cmtemom: That is rude. How do people handle it, Deb?
DebMcCoy: The only thing to do is call the guests and tell them the number is regulated by fire codes and that the quota is full. That one solves the problem. I think that most guests are clueless about what's involved in wedding planning emotionally, physically and financially. The other problem is the groom's family staying on planet Mars. They don't want to accept any financial responsibility. It's a problem. Weddings are two-way streets. Times have changed. In all my books, I preach that the groom's family is as responsible as the bride's. They are just as responsible as you are -- and I think the problem is that the brides don't impress upon the grooms their families' responsibilities. And believe me, this is a sore spot!