Although hiring a wedding coordinator may not seem frugal (but a definite must for the truly lazy bride), the reality is that having an experienced wedding professional on your team can not only severely cut back on the number of hours you need to invest in planning (and time is money, no?) but also can save you cold hard cash.
But aren't wedding coordinators expensive, what with the J Lo headsets and all, you may ask? In a word, no (and Hollywood movies tend to grossly stereotype). While you do have their fees to consider, consultants will be able to find ways to save you money on your overall budget, usually enough to cover their costs and then some. They are familiar with the different vendors in your area and know the good, the great and the ugly through years of experience. You as a bride alone, however, are walking into the planning forest without a compass, much less a guide. Maybe you have some recommendations from friends but you're likely experiencing an overwhelming sense of 'where do I even begin'? How do you know for sure that you are going to get the product/service you want, on time, on budget and that Vendor X is your best option? You don't. You're taking a risk, a leap of faith.
Enter the wedding coordinator. Weddings are their lives, literally. It's what they do all day, week in, week out. They know which cake maker has the best flavors, the florist who uses only the freshest flowers, the rental shop with the linens that are always in impeccable shape. And they also know the photographer who is more interested in hooking up with the cute bridesmaids than shooting the reception, the caterer who shows up late and the musicians who are always slightly out of tune. They will work with the best and steer you away from the rest.
A coordinator knows that the most expensive vendor is not necessarily the best and this alone can save you gobs of money. They also know different tricks of the trade, how to get the best bang for your buck, which venue offers the best setting for your wedding vision and how to make your decor dollar stretch without the result looking like you were cutting costs. Because they work with vendors on a regular basis, they are sometimes able to get discounts not available to the individual bride and then pass them along to their clients. When you hire a wedding consultant, you are hiring an advocate who will work and negotiate on your behalf.
Besides the dollar and cents (or should that be sense) a wedding coordinator makes to your budget's bottomline, the piece of mind that you have a professional looking out for your best interests while you navigate planning (what is likely) the largest, most expensive and most anticipated party in your life, is priceless.
My advice to the lazy 'n frugal bride is to speak with a couple of wedding coordinators (check out the Association of Bridal Consultants for members in your area). Most will offer a free one-hour consultation. See what they can do for you and how they can help you realize your wedding vision. It's likely more affordable than you may have thought!