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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What Is the Role of A Wedding Coordinator?

Unlike what you might see on the TV shows and movies about Wedding Coordinators, our job is not as glamorous as one might imagine.  It is exciting, however, and an honor that we get to spend more time with a bride than any other vendor for her wedding.  We do what we do because we are passionate about helping a bride and groom, their families and friends so that everyone can truly enjoy their wedding day rather than work during that special day.  It is impossible in one blog entry to go into every detail of what the role of a Wedding Coordinator is, but I will try to at least give you a glimpse.

Most Wedding Coordinators will offer three basic variations of planning packages with a few more that are a blending of those basic packages.  This is just to give you a picture of what a Wedding Coordinator can do for a client and everyone involved in her wedding.

The first level of of planning packages is more than likely just to help a bride in choosing vendors/venues in which the Coordinator will offer a selection of 3 or so for a set price per vendor category search.

The second package is probably along the lines of a Day-of-Coordination (DOC).  These packages are popular when a bride has chosen the vast majority of her vendors, except for maybe a couple of them.  This bride feels that she needs some help pulling everything together, is somewhat overwhelmed thinking about her wedding day and has concerns about how everything is going to come together on her wedding day.  Unlike it sounds, a Day-of-Coordination involves on average 30-80 hours of work, not just showing up on the wedding day!  Some planners include directing the rehearsal with this and others do not.  I visit the venue as well as take a quick glance at the contracts from vendors primarily to look for a potential problems.  It cannot be considered a legal review.  From information we have gathered from them, we sometimes have to be the bearer of bad news, but that's better than on your wedding day not being able to do half of what you had planned on for decorating, just as an example.

The third basic package would be a Full Coordination in which the Coordinator helps a client choose a vast majority of her vendors.  It could even include assistance in choosing the wedding gown, attire for the bridal party, reviewing a venue, meeting together with the bride and different vendors and anyone who might be closely working with the bride.   Coordinators generally offer in this type of package to direct the rehearsal.  A Coordinator will be there specifically for the bride and groom on the day of the wedding and act as a liaison for them and their guests with any vendor and the venue.

With the two previous planning packages mentioned, a Coordinator will work closely with all of the vendors and a bride to develop a timeline for the entire wedding day so that things stay on schedule.  This can save a bride a lot of money because if you have to pay for an extra hour for a DJ or a limousine that's sitting outside the building because things are behind schedule those extra dollars can be significant.  If a venue charges you extra for an additional hour, pretty soon you could have hundreds of dollars added to your venue bill.

Sometimes it's the little things that make a difference when there is a Coordinator on the scene.  We realize that your guests are the most important people in your life and will go out of our way to make sure everyone is comfortable.  If you have a grandmother going through a particularly hard time who you think could use a hug, we'll be glad to get acquainted and give her an extra smile and a hug.  At one wedding that I accompanied my husband to that he was officiating, the mother of the bride said that they wouldn't need me to bring a bridal emergency kit but I always do anyway.  Perhaps she was thinking it would cost money, but I wouldn't do that because I thinks it's just good customer service.  Within five minutes of arriving, I was helping a bridesmaid get makeup off of her dress and also making repairs to the bride's dress so that the bustle would stay in place.  Again, it's the little things that make your day easier.  Each Coordinator will have his or her own special ways of dealing with everything to set their client at ease.

Back to the unglamorous part of being a Wedding Coordinator, we handle other types of emergencies or situations that come up.  Since are usually the first to arrive on the day of the wedding and the last to leave, we make those discoveries that have appeared overnight.  Imagine surprise graffiti, someone took off with the garbage cans, the city employee didn't unlock the restroom doors as promised and so forth.  Think of Murphy's Law.  We do our best to make you unaware that Murphy ever showed up!  We like to take care of problems in such a way that you might not even know that there was a problem.

One more thing!  When do you think we hear the statement from a bride or her family that they wish they had hired a coordinator?  It is just before a wedding and right after a wedding!  By hiring a Coordinator early on you can save yourself a lot of stress, save money through discounts we can pass on to you, and save some relationships.  Yes the latter is sad but true when nerves get raw,  emotions run high, and when anyone in particular feels overworked or even exhausted from someone constantly changing their mind.

Wishing you the Greatest of Days!

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