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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mothers of Brides! Do You Wish You Had Your Own Maid of Honor?

As a Wedding Coordinator, I know how much work goes into a wedding, and I become very close not only to the bride but to her family as well.  I recently had a mother of a bride say that regardless of whether the bride and groom felt a need for a Wedding Coordinator, they were going to have one because it was going to be her gift to them.  Mom knows that she doesn’t want to take all the time to coordinate everything but still wants to be involved.  She also wants to enjoy her daughter’s wedding day and not have tasks to take care of or delegate that inevitably result in missing some of those once-in-a-lifetime moments.  I told this particular mother, from the bottom of my heart, that I wish more people saw things that way.  Most Wedding Coordinators feel like they are in a helping profession.  That’s exactly what they want to do.  Help people.  Forget the Hollywood or “reality” show images!
A Wedding Coordinator takes care of much more than logistics.  I have said that we are part real estate agent, counselor, researcher, reference desk librarian, firefighter, mediator, confidante, designer, bearer of bad news, custodian, magician, fashion consultant, liaison, catcher of tears (a made-up term), troubleshooter, owner of broad shoulders and we must be sensitive and have thick skin all at the same time.  Whenever they come up with a title for someone who can spin on a dime, and deal with disasters without anyone even knowing they happened, that will be added.  
It is our job to listen and listen again.  It requires listening to a person’s vision when they don’t know how to express it but be able to make it all become reality.   A bride wants her wedding a certain way and rarely does it match what everyone else is telling her so we listen to what is bothering her and offer solutions before it escalates into a family feud.
It really is the bride’s day, but there often needs to be a little dose of reality tossed in here, there and everywhere.  It can be much easier for a Wedding Coordinator to deliver that dose rather than “Maaaauuuum!”  You know, that voice that comes with the rolling of eyes!  It is a stressful time for the bride and the mother even if it is one of the most joyous of celebrations.  One scenario could be that a daughter thinks that no expenses should be spared because it is her wedding day.  That’s fine if that is what the parents want and can afford.  The other scenario is when a parent makes it absolutely clear that they are paying for the wedding and they most certainly will have it their way or no way at all.  Do you feel the tension?  That is the road to Nowhere or Unpleasant Drive. That is precisely why I not only offer a free consultation to the bride and groom but also to whomever is paying for the wedding.  Again, it’s all about listening, not just to words but the underlying emotions. 
Financially, often a Wedding Coordinator will save a client as much money as their fee.  They can pass along discounts from quality vendors who want their repeat business.  We also know what mistakes or assumptions can be very costly and how to avoid them.  Having a Wedding Coordinator for the rehearsal and the wedding day is all gravy by that point.  Everyone puts a different price on reduced stress and time saved, but that is definitely a part of the equation.  The more you use a Wedding Coordinator, the more you save.  The earlier the better.
This I find to be a very sad statistic.  The two most common times a bride and her family state that they wish they had hired a Wedding Coordinator, are right before the wedding and right after the wedding.  

As always..wishing you the greatest of days!

Janis Flagg, Owner
Greatest of Days
Event Planning and Design
Wedding Officiating

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Bridal 4-1-1 Wedding Workshops beginning in March 2011.
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