What’s the point of a wedding coordinator?
Good morning blog readers! I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while but we are in the middle of wedding season and things have been so amazingly busy, so I suppose now is as good a time as any to talk about what I have been doing and exactly, what is the point of a wedding coordinator?!
When I first made the move from coordinating and managing events into the wonderful world of wedding planning I spent months driving round Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire meeting with people in the industry, visiting venues and tasting cakes because as a wedding planner and on the day coordinator it’s important that I never recommend anyone I don’t know, don’t know how they work and am not confident in what they do…plus I really like cake. But people would say to me, what does a Wedding Coordinator do?
A wedding coordinator and a wedding planner are basically the same thing, but a planner helps with the planning process and a coordinator just coordinates everything and everyone. I do both.
Well, as my wonderful mentor Anna would say, we are not J-Lo or Franck we don’t walk round with clip boards or ear pieces. It isn’t glamorous and we certainly do not wear pastel dresses with matching jackets and heels. For a start, any on the day Wedding Coordinator who wears heels can’t be doing their job properly or is in a lot of pain doing it! It’s very rare to find me in a pair of flats but you certainly will on wedding day. I am on my feet from the moment I step out of the car until the moment I get back in, hours after the last guests have gone but even though my feet hurt, I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world.
So what exactly do we do and do you need us?
As I am a wedding coordinator you probably think that my answer is ‘Yes! You totally can’t live without me!’ A survey carried out by Glamour Magazine states 82% of brides have some regrets about their wedding day, but you may not need a wedding planner and you may not have any regrets. When I got married I knew that I did’t need anyone to help me plan my wedding. When I go Christmas shopping my shopping list is a colour coded excel spreadsheet sorted into shop order. Trust me, I don’t need help with any kind of planning but what I did need, was a PA. I needed help with all the little tasks that took the time, all the things that stressed me out and I certainly needed help with my budget. I struggled to know which suppliers to go with as I was the first of my friends to get married and I ended up choosing a venue, a dress and a photographer I wouldn’t have chosen had I had help.
I didn’t know the questions I should have asked my suppliers and I ended up spending money I hadn’t planned on spending because things weren’t going to be how I expected. I booked the first photographer I met with because he sounded great and I loved his worked, it turned out he was twice as expensive as everyone else and didn’t stay all day.
A wedding coordinator can be whatever you need them to be, they are the PA you wish you had. Hiring someone doesn’t mean they organize and plan everything leaving you with nothing to do. A wedding coordinator might just recommend suppliers, they might collate your RSVPs and then liaise with your caterer they might just be there on the day of your wedding to make sure everything is where is needs to be and that it all runs smoothly.
Why don’t people hire a wedding coordinator?
There are so many blog posts and magazine articles out there entitled ‘I wish we had…’ so why don’t people hire a wedding coordinator?
Many people think planning a wedding is all part of the excitement, and for some it is. But planning a wedding can take, on average, 300 hours. People have busy lives, jobs, children and a life outside of their big day. A wedding coordinator can help with the more mundane tasks. One of the services that has proved very popular is RSVP coordination. You have all the fun of choosing your stationary, writing your guest list and then have them sent to me. I do the chasing, liaising with the venue on numbers, speak to the caterer about dietary requirements.
Some people have been picturing their wedding since they were little. They have a vision and don’t think they need help to create their vision, and they are probably right, but when you’re getting ready you don’t want to be worrying about whether your favours are in the right place.
People have opinions. One of my brides I am currently working with thought that planning her wedding would be amazing and was something she had been looking forward to, but everyone has an opinion and she is finding it difficult to deal with and it has taken some of the fun out of planning for her. But she doesn’t want a wedding planner, what she wants is someone with experience to help her with decisions and someone on the day of her wedding to manager the expectations of some of her guests and someone to just talk to who understands how she is feeling.
When people think of wedding planners or wedding coordinators their only exposure may be the movies or magazines. Wedding planners are only used by the rich and famous. People with lots or money and not much time, or perhaps too much time on their hands! But this isn’t the case. If a wedding costs £20,000 a wedding planner will charge between 10 and 15% of this budget and a wedding coordinator between 2 and 5%
What can a wedding coordinator help with?
Not everyone knows the right questions to ask their vendors. Unless you have been married before, there will be some things that you never thought to ask because you don’t know what to ask trust me I wish I had asked my venue where they take the photos if it rains! Entertainment Nation recently wrote a brilliant blog post about things you need to ask your venue if you are considering having a live band.
Things do go wrong at the last minute, I would love to be able to make you feel better and say, don’t worry everything will go amazingly but it might not be the case. Only last month I was having my nails done and a woman walked in to the salon and asked if they could fit her in the following day as her hairdresser had just cancelled. Only a few weeks ago I did a wedding where the florist turned up over 90 minutes late. I won’t say who or where I was because the bride has no idea and she doesn’t need to know. All she knows is that she walked down the aisle and it looked and smelled amazing. It was perfect but getting it perfect hadn’t been easy.
They can help you save money, not only can they negotiate on your behalf but they can stop you making mistakes and stop you wasting money on things you don’t need. I love The Reflective Brides blog and she gives great advice based on her own experience getting married.
Planning your wedding day takes time and effort, the average wedding cost over £20,000 so having someone to help make sure that it’s money well spent and that everything runs smoothly so you have time to focus on getting married and having an amazing time so why not give me a call and talk it through? I’d love to hear about your plans!