Updated: Nov 13, 2020
Congratulations, you're engaged and planning your wedding! You may be at the beginning of the journey, which many publications suggest is the time you should be picking a planner, or you could be close to the end, wrapping up the details. Either way, you're thinking about hiring a coordinator, and what will make them a good fit for your wedding. In this pandemic reality we are all living in, the need for a coordinator has been throw into stark relief, as brides around the world have leaned on theirs to help with the decision to postpone, finding new vendors and venues, and as a shoulder to cry on. So let's dig in and discuss it, shall we?!
1. Find someone who fits your personality!
Your coordinator is without a doubt the vendor you will be spending the most time with on your journey toward your wedding day. Whether it's in-person meetings, email or Zoom calls, you will be talking and meeting with your coordinator a lot, so it's extremely important you find someone whose personality clicks with you! It's also easier to take direction from someone you like, and they will be directing you and your wedding party at some points during the rehearsal and wedding day. Facebook and Instagram stalking are a given, but really take the time, invest in finding out about the person behind the business, and don't be afraid to get personal! This is also the time the coordinators on your short list will be learning about you, what issues and concerns you have, and where they can focus their efforts to make sure your stress level stays low and your enjoyment of the process is maxed out!
2. What does a coordinator do?
Before we go any farther, it's important to have an idea of what a coordinator actually does, which will help with the next step of being clear about what you want from them. Every coordinator does things a little different, has things that they specialize in and love to do, but here are the things you can expect pretty much every one of them to do. They will be your main problem solver in the weeks leading up to the wedding, dealing with last minute issues and addressing your concerns. They will help you stay organized with all the details, and will do the same for your vendors. They will make sure all vendors are on the same page and following the same schedule for the wedding day. And on the big day, they will make sure that all your decor is how you want it, get everyone lined up and in place for the ceremony, and ensure that all parts of the day run smoothly so you can concentrate on having fun with your partner and guests without worrying about the details!
3. Be clear about what you want from them Most coordinators offer full planning services as well, so they are used to offering various levels of service to their potential clients. When you are meeting with your short list candidates, it's important to let them know how much you want them to be involved and what you want them to do for you. Not only does this affect the price you will pay, but it will help both sides be clear on what is expected and what can be delivered. Your needs may evolve of course, and all coordinators understand that, but giving a baseline for what you want from them is a really important step. This will help you get to know them, what they can do for you, and how their services will fit with your needs. Some coordinators lean more toward design, some lean toward the logistics side, and some love to do it all. If you have a solid vision and want help putting all the pieces together, you may prefer a logistics-minded coordinator. If you are wanting help choosing vendors and someone to go to meetings with you, a design-minded planner may be your preference. Either way, going through the process will help you know how you will mesh with a particular person.
4. Why you want to hire a professional coordinator
Many brides plan their own weddings, or have friends or family that volunteer to do the job for them. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but there are several things you want to consider before you decide to go that route. A professional coordinator is focused only on their clients (that's you!) so they will be there to help when you need it. Family or friends may have other things going on that will prevent them from being there when you really need them, or from making timely decisions when something has to get done. If you're having a mini-freakout at 3AM, you want to know that your coordinator will be dealing with it first thing in the morning, and no matter how well-intentioned your friend is, you may not be their first priority at that moment.
A professional coordinator is a local expert in their field, and has the connections to fix problems that could otherwise ruin your wedding. Say the power goes out an hour before your wedding, with no fix in sight, your coordinator will know that the stage and lighting guy she's worked with for years has two generators that he can drop off before the ceremony. Or when your cake doesn't arrive, your coordinator can call in a favor from the bakery she uses in emergencies and get you a replacement in time for you to cut it. Your friend or family member isn't going to have those connections or know the options available in the market, so dealing with last-minute issues will be much much harder.
And finally, you want your family and friends to be celebrating with you, not working or doing double-duty! If your friend is your coordinator, they can't be enjoying the party, and if they are enjoying the party, they won't be able to cover all the details that will allow you to be stress-free throughout the day. You deserve a professional who is dedicated to keeping you insulated from the decisions and stresses that come along with every wedding, no matter how well planned and scheduled it may be. There are guaranteed to be small hiccups on the wedding day, but with a professional coordinator, you'll never even know about them!
We hope these tips help when you are considering hiring a wedding coordinator to hel you on the road to your special day! Take a look at our main blog page to see our other Vendor Selection posts, and get in touch with us if you have any questions about them or the services we offer! See you back here soon for more!
*All photos credit of their owners/photographers.