Now you have planned your budget (See PART 1), and you can’t wait to get this wedding planning started! (or over with, depending on your bride “type” – again, see PART 1). Before you get too far, though, please, please, please consider adding a wedding coordinator or planner to your budget, if you have not already. Now, you might be saying, “Well, well. So surprising that she is recommending hiring a wedding coordinator. She is only saying that be she IS a wedding coordinator.”
Well, I am writing this post, so…maybe you’re right…. Hang on, hang on. Hear me out. First off, I am not fishing here. I have retired from full-time coordinating. At least while the kiddos are small. Secondly, it is SO worth it!!
Any time I would meet with prospective clients I always told them that whether or not they chose me, that I really hope they chose someone to help them with their wedding day planning.
Top Reasons You Should Hire a Wedding Coordinator/Planner
1. Stress reducer!
This really could be #1, and #ONLY. The role of a coordinator is not just about booking vendors,
arranging schedules and lists and timelines, and mediating between crazy relatives.
A coordinator knows how important your wedding day is to you. They will want you to remember this very special day without the stress. Their job is to ensure that your plans for your wedding day run smoothly by relieving much of the pressure, leaving time for you and your family to enjoy the day and your guests.
2. Mediator/Advocate/Neutral Party
A coordinator is great for handling all the swarms of people involved (or not intended to be involved) with your wedding. A coordinator with experience will know how to handle any group, any situation, and number of people with poise and calm. Then you don’t have to do it! (SEE Stress reducer!)
This is a coordinator’s job. They know what is expected, what comes next and the questions that need to be asked and answered. They know etiquette, program ideas, music selections, order for the wedding party entrance, and all of those little details that need attending to behind the scenes that you may not even realize exist. Pretty much they are like the James Bond of weddings. (OK, maybe that is just want I wanted people to say about me… I’ll move on.)
When you are interviewing wedding planners and coordinators you want to make sure they are competent in their work, of course, but it is also very important that you feel you will get along with whomever you choose to work alongside. If you don’t mesh with their personality or demeanor in the meeting, then you won’t mesh planning either.
What to Look For in a Wedding Coordinator/Planner
- Portfolio of work that you can see
- Confident in themselves, and in their position
- NOT a relative! (As great as they may be, it can be hard to make neutral decisions, or keep peace with any conflicts, if any arise.)
So, the main difference in a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator is that a planner typically helps you from the start of the wedding process from engagement to wedding day exit.
A wedding coordinator will typically meet with you a few times over the planning process to gather details about what you have planned, and to organize details about the wedding day itself. I did planning before having my kids and I really enjoyed going that journey with a bride. After my kids were born I transitioned to wedding-day coordination so that I would have more time with my family. Therefore, I will give you a very basic overview of expected duties of both a planner and/or wedding-day coordinator only:
- Face-to-face consultations with the bride to discuss wedding details – 2-3 months prior to wedding & at least once more 1-2 weeks prior.
- Attendance at and direction of the rehearsal.
- Instruction to all wedding party, family & vendors involved in ceremony
- Confirm music and cues
- Greet vendors as they arrive at location day of the wedding. Help as necessary.
- Check in with audio/visual tech. – double check cues, equipment, and any changes
- Check in with bridal party: see to needs, concerns, and keep party updated on time schedule.
- Provide direction during the ceremony:
- Make sure set up is correct: all candles lit, flowers in place, etc.
- Guide wedding party and audio technician
- Transfer necessary items from ceremony to reception (i.e. gifts, guestbook, etc.)
- Provide direction during the reception:
- Make sure set up is correct: all candles lit, music playing, etc.
- Manage timeline: entrance, cake cutting, bouquet & garter toss, toast, exit
- Oversee clean-up after wedding and reception have ended.
Usually all of the above listed in “Coordinator”, plus:
- Budget preparation, timelines, and checklists
- Vendor appointments
- Confirming contracts and schedules with vendors
- Additional consultations
- Be available for delivery of food, florist, rentals, etc.
- Help decorate
- Help serve and/or work with the caterer
- Help decorate
Hopefully this information was helpful to you in a decision whether or not you hire someone to assist you with your wedding. (At least have a coordinator!)
You can usually find a decent selection to choose from within any budget.
Congrats, and happy planning!
Make sure you check out Part 1 and Part 3 while you’re here!
Originally published October 15, 2015