If you’re a bride in the process of planning your wedding, then you’ve probably been overwhelmed by all of the decisions that need to be made.
What colours should I use? Who is going to make my cake? The list goes on and on. And let’s not forget about one of the essential parts: who will coordinate it all for me?!
Hiring a professional Wedding Coordinator can take some stress off your plate and ensure that everything comes together seamlessly on your special day. Here are the things you’ll want to know before hiring someone!
Should I hire a wedding coordinator?
In this post, we’ll help you answer the question, “Should I Hire a Wedding Coordinator?“
Alright—so you’re a wedding design queen, you’re totally on top of RSVPs (colour-coordinated spreadsheet and all), you hand-lettered your invitation envelopes using those super sharp calligraphy skills you learned in college, AND you’ve already got your wedding party outfitted to boot.
So why, in the ever-loving wedding world, would you need to hire a wedding coordinator?
Well, we hate to break it to you, but even the most organised and on-top-of-it brides and grooms are in for a massively unpleasant surprise if they try to head into their wedding day sans professional help. Check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners in Melbourne to help you organise a stress free wedding.
Today, then, we’re breaking down four significant reasons you need to hire a wedding coordinator. Read on—and get ready to save yourself some severe sanity. (Cheers to that!)
First Off, What Is a Wedding Coordinator?
Ah, great question!
We break down all you need to know about the difference between the types of wedding planners here—but the most significant thing to note is that a month-of coordinator won’t be involved in wedding design or recommend vendors as a full-service wedding planner would.
Instead, a wedding coordinator typically comes on board in the month leading up to your wedding, focusing on logistics and organisation (fine-tuning your timeline, jumping in with vendor communication when needed, etc.).
Wedding Coordinator: to Hire or Not to Hire?
Weigh the pros and cons of booking a wedding coordinator.
You’ll Get Someone Who’ll Help You Save Time.
Planning for your wedding can take up a lot of time and effort, and for someone who hasn’t arranged a grand event before this, it could feel overwhelming.
Hiring a wedding coordinator who’s done this hundreds of times will put you at ease.
You’ll Get Someone Who’ll Provide You With a Detailed Schedule Breakdown.
Whether it’s full-service planning or day-of coordination, your wedding planner lets you know what should be done at a specific time frame and reminds you of payments to be given or things to be booked.
On the wedding day, the planner will coordinate with all the parties involved, from the couple to the families to the entourage and the photographer, videographer, and other suppliers.
You’ll Get Someone Who Follows-up With Your Suppliers.
This is a particularly time-consuming portion of the wedding process.
With a coordinator, you only have to sit down and catch up with one person to find out how things are progressing for the different aspects of your big day.
You’ll Get Someone With Insider Knowledge.
Want to get a vintage bridal car but have no idea where to find one? Your wedding planner has a wealth of contacts that can help complete your checklist.
Plus, when you’re feeling confused about a particular wedding issue, a coordinator can present you with multiple scenarios based on his past experiences.
The best part is that your wedding planner can help you make the most of your budget and allocate it appropriately.
You’ll Get Someone Who Can Troubleshoot for You and Make Sure Your Wedding Runs Smoothly.
There’s only so much you can prioritise for the big day. All the little things will be covered and addressed by your planner and his team.
You Must Research to Find the Best Person Who Matches Both Your Personalities.
Talk to friends to get referrals and check bridal chat rooms for honest feedback on the people you’re eyeing.
You and your partner should both be present to meet with prospective wedding planners.
Talk about all your meetings, and choose the person you both feel confident and at ease with.
You Have to Shell Out Money to Pay for a Wedding Coordinator.
Unless your sister or best friend is a wedding coordinator, you’ll have to set aside money from your wedding budget to hire one.
You’ll need to decide if you can afford full-service planning or day-of coordination and develop other alternatives to cater to your specific needs.
You Have to Relinquish Control.
This is a disadvantage for couples who want to be involved every step of the way.
If you hire a planner, you grant that person the power to make decisions on your behalf and smooth out problems in their early stages.
You Might Not Be a Priority at Times.
This is especially true for wedding coordinators who have too many clients or need to focus on weddings that are about to occur.
But don’t worry! As soon as those weddings are over, they’ll have more time to concentrate on planning yours.
Reasons You Need to Hire a Wedding Coordinator
So Many Balls to Juggle
In particular, the thing about weddings, as opposed to other types of events, is how complex they can be.
To start, five different elements are naturally occurring at weddings. Five factors that make them more complex, beginning with the structure.
The structure of weddings, there’s usually three parts, which are the ceremony, the cocktail hour, and the reception.
And sometimes there’s a fourth part which is an after-party if the bride and groom decide to do that. Each one of those parts requires vendors, setup, and communication. So that’s already complex as a baseline.
The second item–or element of complexity–is the guests themselves.
Even if you have 12 guests, 40 guests, a hundred guests, a hundred fifty guests, sometimes a 300-person wedding, it gets more and more complex to organise these people, communicates with them, seats them, and serve them.
All complicated while also making them feel welcomed and part of the event.
The third element of complexity related to those guests is the pressure to impress them.
Though these are friends and family, there’s still this pressure to impress, or maybe even for the event to go well in front of this audience that you have here.
Plus, the added drama between friends or family, or maybe tensions that developed over the planning process, which is very common.
The fourth element of complexity is the cost. The average cost of a wedding in 2019 is $35,000. Compare the cost of a marriage, whether it be $33,000 or less, to roughly the price of a brand new car.
But a brand new car is not built in a single day. You’re expecting your wedding to happen all in one day and be Flawless.
The fifth element adding to the complexity is probably your first or second time doing this.
We’re not saying that wedding planning is rocket science or anything, but it takes practice and experience to do well like any skill.
And we don’t think we know everything that could go wrong at a wedding, and it’s likely that you don’t either. But that adds another layer of complexity.
You Don’t Want to End up Working on Your Wedding Day.
No matter how on top of it you are, you don’t want to be the one organising vendor setup and tear-down on your wedding day.
Think you can skirt this by having a trusted friend or family member overseas vendor set up and tear down on your behalf?
You’ll need someone who knows design well (they’ll need to tell your vendors where and how to place those rental items or florals);
Someone willing to show up hours early, who—rather than dancing and drinking and photo-boothing the night away;
Someone who is willing to stand in the corner of the reception space and manage bartenders, caterers, and speeches, and who is willing to stay long after everyone leaves to manage the vendor tear-down process as well.
It’s just not a job you want to stick any of your wedding party or family members with, as it leaves them no time actually to enjoy the celebration.
Plus, you need someone with a specific skill set who can put out last-minute fires, rearrange seating at the eleventh hour if need be, throw together a forgotten place-card at the last minute, stay on top of the timeline direct your wedding party, and more. (It’s exhausting just thinking about all of those things!)
There Are Lots of Loose Ends to Tie up in the 30 Days Before Your Wedding.
First off, kudos to you for those incredible organisational skills!
You’ve made it this far without a professional coordinator—but the 30 days before your wedding can be, by far, the most stressful.
This is when you’re collecting the last of RSVPs, starting on your seating chart (don’t even get us started on the difficulties of seating charts!), touching base with all of your vendors, etc.
It can turn even the coolest, calm, and collected bride or groom into a frazzled (and forgetful) mess who’s bound to let a few necessary details slip through the cracks.
There’s nothing like the peace of mind that comes along with getting to hand those overwhelming details over to a professional and spend the month leading up to your wedding focusing on what’s important: you and your spouse-to-be!
You Don’t Know How to Create a Timeline. No, You Don’t.
Okay, so you’re good with technology, and you know how to throw together something that resembles a timeline, sure.
But do you know how to create an accurate, wedding-specific timeline?
Do you know which areas needed to be padded to ensure you don’t run out of time for them?
Do you know when your florist should be setting up versus when your tables should arrive versus when your photographer shows?
Do you know that beauty services/getting ready are typically the number-one area where even seasoned pros can mess up the timeline?
Wedding day timelines are an art form in and of themselves, and they’re best left for professional coordinators. It’s not you—it’s the timeline!
You Need Someone to Make Sure Your Ceremony Goes Smoothly.
Wedding ceremony mistakes are super common—and, unfortunately, they’re often the most cringe-worthy.
A month-of coordinator will be there for your ceremony rehearsal to run through things with your wedding party and ensure everyone knows where they need to be, when.
She or he will also be there on the day of, directing guest traffic, corralling your wedding party, fixing the groom’s crooked boutonniere, providing copies of your vows to your officiant, and making sure you’re tucked away and kept out of guests’ sites all the while.
Even with family members or friends helping, there’s no way to ensure a smooth, seamless ceremony without a professional coordinator on hand playing figurative Tetris with all of the many moving parts that go into a successful wedding ceremony.
Types of Event Coordinators
When people think of wedding planning, they probably are thinking of a full-service wedding planner.
And full service means they planned the entire wedding from start to finish.
A full-service wedding coordinator would meet with a client initially, and the client would tell them everything about themselves–about how they felt about each other, what they wanted from the wedding, about the look and feel, about their history.
They would take that information, and they’d have an event designer create the entire look and feel of the wedding.
The wedding coordinators will pitch that to the client; if they approved it, they could make changes, whatever they want. They will then start moving forward with the logistics; someone from the team would take over and start putting the pieces together.
Clients could come in on the day of the event and enjoy and bask in everything they decided on.
What an experience! But a full-service coordinator comes with a high price tag for that amount of attention to detail and the entire team working on your wedding for that long.
Beyond a full-service coordinator, there is a spectrum of different types of other coordinators.
Most wedding planners out there have different packages that have different levels of involvement throughout the planning process.
So you could have someone help you more throughout the planning process and then take over on the day of.
Or you can have someone come in blind on the day of and execute the event.
So obviously, someone who doesn’t have to give you attention throughout the planning process will cost a lot less, but they will also not have all of the information that they need to do an excellent job.
So most people opt to go with a month-of coordinator, where the client does most of the planning.
Then the month of wedding coordinator comes in and buttons up everything. You’ve tossed the baton, and they execute the event.
It depends on you and your budget, what packages you can afford, and how many levels of involvement you think you’ll need.
If you feel lost, you might need a little bit more help, but maybe there’s a package that spaces these meetings out over a more extended period rather than that last month, so the planner can help you throughout the process a little bit more.
Say you have a day-of coordinator, but you’re struggling with all your decisions.
You’re not sure if it’s going to work together, and you’re struggling that it’s not looking like what you wanted it to. You could also hire an event designed to help you with that aspect of it.
It’ll still be pricey, but to get the look and feel you want, it could be worth it for you to have someone help you figure out what things go together to make your message be heard that this is about you and your groom or you and your fiance.
The event designer is another option, or there’s also a la carte.
Maybe you’re struggling with a particular project, or you want to surprise your fiance with something.
You can also add on to that coordinator or get a different coordinator to help you with the logistics of the particular projects.
Say you want to surprise your fiance with a band that takes a lot of additional logistics, and if you don’t have time for that, you can hire someone to take care of that item.
Beyond the day-of coordinator, full-service, or month-of, you can also think about your venue contact.
Sometimes they’ll be there to help you plan it. But remember, if you’re going to ask the venue or your friend or anything like that, remember that someone has to be working.
Someone has to be that person holding all the information giving us supervision and leadership.
So you could go with a coordinator, but if the venue has someone dedicated to it and the platform includes it in the price of your venue, that’s great; maybe you don’t need an additional coordinator.
Talk with them and determine what’s right for you, your level of input needed, and your budget.
Working With a Wedding Coordinator
Now that you’ve hired a wedding coordinator, here are some tips which are not everything under the sun but are still some critical tips for you when working with your coordinator to utilise your time together.
First off, even if you have a full-service wedding coordinator, make sure that you listen to her when she says things are difficult.
She’s probably speaking from experience and basing her recommendations on your budget.
So at the same time, it’s okay to ask why she’s recommending you do something in some way. For example, you and your coordinator are split on how to do something.
She’s pushing you for one thing, and it’s making you uncomfortable.
To get out of the situation, instead of demanding her to do it your way, make sure that you’re asking why she recommends doing it and how much it would cost to do it your way.
That way, you can hear where she’s coming from regarding why she’s recommending that you do something. Maybe she’s seen it successful in the past, or it’s within your budget.
So number one tip is definitely to make sure you’re listening when she says things are difficult.
The rest of these tips apply if you don’t have a full-service wedding coordinator.
If you have a limited amount of meetups, phone calls, emails, text, et cetera, you want to make sure that the ownership and responsibility of this event are still on you.
Your coordinator is your support; she’s your person to go for advice and recommendation; she hasn’t been hired to do everything for you.
The onus is still on you to get the event done.
So, the good news is you have an incredible resource that you’re on right now, called the internet.
Videos, articles, and so much information on the internet that you can do this on your own, and we fully believe that you can.
So we recommend going as far as possible with stuff before your meetup and then utilising your time with her to ask more specific questions.
They don’t know where you are in the world, what kind of weather it is, what your guests are like, what your family relationships are like.
People can’t guess that. But your wedding coordinator should know your event intimately or recommend things that the internet cannot.
So don’t wait for your coordinator to say, “now is a good time to hire a baby company.” no!
Research online, find the baby company you like, you can even sign a contract, then alter your order later. Bring the order with you to your next meetup, have her review it so she can give the input for your specific event.
Have a list of questions ready for the event coordinator when you go into the meeting, and then make sure that you list things that she thinks you should be doing next.
She might automatically provide this to you.
Maybe she has his master checklist. But check in on the index and make sure you have a list so that you can have her advice, along with the internet advice, for you to move forward.
Your event coordinator might have already built a pre-wedding meetup into your package.
But if not, make sure to save one of your meetups or phone calls to be right before the wedding.
Right before the wedding is your opportunity for your final offloading of information, passing the baton, transfer of power, whatever you want to call it.
The pre-wedding meetup is your opportunity to give everything you know to her so that she can do the best job she possibly can.
Tell her all the changes, even the family drama, tell her everything to make better decisions when something comes up on the day of the event, and you don’t have to worry.
Have that last meeting, and in that previous meeting, be sure to communicate with her how much you want to be involved as the planner and information holder, how much you want to be applied on the day of the event.
We recommend telling her to use her own best judgment on almost everything unless it’s highly critical.
Giving her your blessing gives her the authority to make decisions on the day of the event. It puts here in that supervisory and leadership role that’s needed at weddings to make things go smoothly and happen as they’re supposed to.
And it also allows you to let go. After that point, it’s in her hands, and she’s going to do the best job she can.
You could also give her the following blessing with a caveat.
You could say, “I want you to use your best judgment on everything, but I do want to see the tablespace before guests arrive.” Or “I want to see this slideshow, or talk to the DJ.”
You can add one caveat into her day to make sure she pulls you in on that one item, then the rest of the time, it’s up to her.
You made it through the wedding! Now what?
After the event, give it a few days, but on a Monday or Tuesday following the event, make sure you have a debrief meeting with your wedding coordinator before talking to any other vendors.
We cannot stress how critical this little debrief meeting is or a phone call; it could be a phone call, no problem. But talk to your coordinator first.
Generally, your wedding coordinator will know more about what happened at your event than you will, especially if you were the bride or groom because they will have all of the background knowledge and the front around understanding what happened as well.
Debriefing the event can be fun to relive things and see how it went from someone else’s perspective.
You probably already have been asking your other guests, but it’s fun to hear from your coordinator how it went on the back end.
So if something did not go exactly to plan, your wedding coordinator probably had to scramble to find a solution.
It’s always good to hear what went into that solution. What if something else is being charged to you. Or if it was a vendor’s fault, what happened.
It’s good to talk to your coordinator first because she’ll probably know about it.
She’s on your team, and she has enough “event knowledge” to source out –even if she didn’t physically see it– she can probably guess where something originated or started from.
If something went wrong, your wedding coordinator could also help you think about approaching that vendor.
If it’s full service, she’ll probably do this for you if she hasn’t already. If it’s not full service, it’ll be on you because it’s your relationship with the vendor.
She’ll tell you how to approach it. You also have her word about what happened, along with your site’s input or a friend’s input on what happened.
She can also help you guide what to ask for.
Sometimes that’s a partial refund, sometimes that’s an apology, maybe it wasn’t something that big, but you want to confront your vendor about it.
She can help guide you with that.
On the flip side of that, what if a vendor went above and beyond?
Your wedding coordinator can help you determine if that vendor deserves an extra little gift. Maybe a cash tip or an online review.
She can help you know about it. After all, sometimes, when a vendor goes above and beyond, you don’t notice it.
You don’t notice it because something happened as it was supposed to.
You don’t know that something crazy happened in the background that had nothing to do with your vendors, but your vendors were able to scramble together and make something happen so that you don’t even notice it.
She’s a good resource for you to know what happened on the back end. That was also good. Along with that, maybe it’s your wedding coordinator that went above and beyond.
You’ll probably know this on the day of the event, or maybe in the debrief meeting, you’ll hear about all the things she had to deal with. If something was particularly challenging, it might be worthwhile to give her a cash tip. Boutique Events Group has proven itself to be an iconic wedding venue and function centre in Melbourne. Book today so you don’t miss out.
You wouldn’t mention that during the debrief meeting, but you can give her a little something, send it in the mail as an additional thank you.