I received an email from a gal a few weeks ago. Her wedding venue requires their clients to hire a professional coordinator and they recommended me. (Thanks for the referral, venue!) This bride was unclear why she needed to hire me. At first, I was a little offended. I mean, DON'T PEOPLE KNOW HOW VALUABLE US PLANNERS ARE? Actually, most people don't, until the wedding day. I cannot tell you how many newly married ladies have expressed their sincerest appreciation to me during the reception. I've been told "we could never have done today without you" or "I felt so relaxed all day knowing you were in control"....those are very nice things to hear. I don't tell you these things to build myself up. In fact, I've been told those same things about other wedding coordinators. People, we are a necessary and precious thing to have. Just like you wouldn't do your wedding without a photographer (I REALLY HOPE YOU WOULDN'T), you should not skip over a crucial element to making your day a success: the lady (or fella) in charge.
At the bare minimum, here are 3 things I always do for my brides:
- Email all vendors to introduce myself and send timeline info. Your florist, your baker, the caterer, the DJ, they all need to know when to be where. Assuming you've talked to all of them individually about this, they probably want to know a little more. Even though it's hard to understand why, the caterer might want to know when the band is arriving. Or the florist needs to know when the cake is getting there because she has the real flowers to dress the cake. What time is dinner? When is the first dance? How long do guests have to wait until they share a piece of glorious wedding cake? With my bride's input, I create a timeline of the entire day. Everyone involved in the wedding day gets a copy sent to them ahead of time, usually a week in advance. And on the day, I'm running around, making sure the vendors my bride has hired are where they should be and when. Call me mother hen. And trust me, vendors like to know who's in charge....because your DJ certainly doesn't want to do it. He doesn't. Neither does your photographer.
- I protect her. Before the wedding, I don't allow guests access to the bridal suite. If she is getting ready at the church, I barricade the doorway to keep out the flood of visitors. It's not that she doesn't want to see her great aunt or distant cousin, but she's busy getting dressed, taking photos with her bridesmaids, and trying to relax. I find some people forget what it's like for the bride on wedding day.
- Be honest about things that might not work. We've all been in a situation where our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. (Example: me at Disney World....I'm filled to the brim for days! NOT COMPLAINING! #takemeback) A lot of brides want to add unique elements to their ceremony or reception. When something isn't realistic for the timeline, space, or cost, I tell it like it is. I've been to more weddings than I could ever possibly count. Before becoming what I am now, being a wedding guest was a bit of a hobby for me. So when I tell my brides "I don't think this will fit with your overall plan," I'm saying it because I've seen it. It's only out of good intent that I would ever intervene. And if she still wants it, we will find a way to make it happen.
So there are just a few reasons to hire a wedding coordinator. No matter what I do, some gals are going to want total control until the last possible minute. And I'm here to tell you that's okay. I don't mind swooping in at the last minute to take over. As long as she's able to be a bride on her wedding day (not a planner, boss, or workhorse), then I'm 100% fine with that.
If you're engaged, know someone who's engaged, or think you could be getting to that point soon, give me a holler. Let me know how I can help you play your role as bride on your wedding day. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. xoxo
Photos: Amanda Hedgepeth Photography