Monday, February 11, 2013

The History of the Wedding Planner

The role of the professional wedding planner has evolved over the years. As long as men and women have been getting married, there have been people to arrange all of the details and help plan the wedding day. Perhaps not the stylish, modern-day professional wedding planner hired by celebrities that we have become accustomed to, but rather a behind-the-scenes individual–typically a female relative or neighbor–tasked with the responsibility of arranging the wedding feast, decorating the venue, managing the guest list and sometimes even making the wedding dress all without ever expecting or receiving any compensation for her wedding planning help.

Weddings, indeed, marriages, have changed in the past 30 years or so. Back then, for example, it was a given that a bride’s parents would pay for her wedding.

The end of World War II saw the beginning of big American weddings in public places. Prior to that, weddings were relatively private and small gatherings. Then in the late 1960s and 1970s we saw the ‘natural wedding’. And then in 1981 the world turned it’s eyes to the wedding of all weddings.The marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer. Watched by millions the event set off the modern day ‘big wedding’ frenzy. Almost overnight, weddings became the fairy tale lavish productions that bridal magazines and dreams are made of. And the role of the wedding planner became more prominent.

Even so, for several years, there wasn't a common understanding of why the everyday bride needed to hire a professional bridal consultant. Fast-forward to today and couples are marrying much later in life, have established careers and are paying for their own nuptials.Now with the average American wedding costing $28,000, and requiring more than 15 types of wedding professionals/vendors and attended by approximately 165 wedding guests, wedding planners are no longer reserved for the rich and famous but instead have become a necessity for time-pressed couples.The release of the 2001 romantic movie, ‘The Wedding Planner’, starring Jennifer Lopez as Mary Fiore, a dedicated professional bridal consultant, set off another wedding frenzy: wedding planning as a career!The influx of wedding reality shows like ‘Whose Wedding is it Anyway’ and ‘Bridezilla’, keep the buzz and demand for the wedding planning business going.

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