As a coordinator, I encounter many brides who make the decision to “do it themselves,” taking on the wedding planning process alone. Sometimes the decision is based on control issues – they cannot relinquish the responsibility to someone else for fear they will not get it right. I had one bride tell me, “If you want it done right it’s best to do it yourself.” Well if we all felt that way, realistically, we could get pretty overwhelmed. Sometimes the issue is money – the lack thereof and the feeling that they do not have room in their budget for a coordinator.
As the wedding planning process begins, confusion can set in on many issues from how much to spend to how to choose vendors. These worries often grow as quickly as the cost of the wedding. It is a big surprise to most brides, after they have gotten involved in the planning process, how much preparation is involved in actually planning a wedding. It is much more complex than planning that birthday party last year. Lots of issues from budget to etiquette arise and there are many questions. Brides are faced with decisions about everything from invitation wording to the procession down the aisle at the ceremony. This is why it is best to hire an experienced professional.
A coordinator is a very essential component to any wedding planning process. They are experienced in negotiating and have relationships with all the vendors needed for an event. They can save you lots of time, stress and money. They are aware of discounts that are only available to them because of their relationships with the vendors they know and work with repeatedly. They also will know the things you should look for when selecting a vendor and which vendors to stay away from.
Most brides work every day and have other responsibilities. The average wedding can take more than two hundred fifty hours just to plan. It is very overwhelming to keep up with all of the details of planning a wedding and one mistake can be very costly. It may be hard to compare all the options, the services and contracts. I encounter many brides that pick a venue before they come to me only to find that they have overlooked some important details that are going have an impact on their budget.
A coordinator is not hired to make decisions for the bride. Her job is to lead the bride in the direction of the best possible resources and advise her along the way. They also point out potential problems, offering viable ideas and solutions, which is imperative. Knowledge is power. The coordinator’s job is to put her knowledge in the bride’s hands and give her power over her event and budget. They will help you organize a dream wedding and keep the budget intact by suggesting ways to get the most bang for your buck! Coordinators do the legwork and research, saving lots of time. They can narrow down the search for what the bride needs and then set her up with the best selections.
When hiring a coordinator, ask questions, both of yourself and the prospective coordinator. Here are some questions to guide your decision making:
As far as fees are concerned, coordinator fees can vary. They can charge a flat rate or a percentage of your budget. Stay clear of coordinators who take kickbacks from other vendors. A coordinator should always have their client’s interest first and not the vendors she is affiliated with.
Now, you can be adamant about doing this yourself or have a family member do it and that’s fine. But let me share some of the possible scenarios. First of all, it’s your wedding day! Do you really want to take the chance of there being a problem that you or your family member may not be equipped to handle? Also, weddings are a lot of work. Do you think you will want to work yourself to exhaustion? And how many places can you be at one time? What happens if the DJ doesn’t show up or the photographer happens to disappear right when you’re supposed to go down the aisle? Who is going to make sure everything is going as planned at the reception location while you are getting married at the church?
A professional coordinator has the training and experience to do the ground work, the leg work, and the grunt work, making sure it all comes together. Meanwhile, you can relax and enjoy your day. Also, professional vendors appreciate a good coordinator on-site at a wedding. It helps things flow easier and they all speak the same language.
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