Early last month, I put out a call for help from all the married ladies out there. I wanted to hear about different wedding experiences, some with a coordinator and some without. My goal is to help you understand how vital a wedding weekend coordinator is to the success of your big day. I also wanted to include real bloopers and celebrations, as each wedding story was sure to be different. Parts 1-3 are from real brides. Part 4 will be advice from real wedding photographers.
Christabel + Andrew
Christabel and Andrew were married in October 2013. I was privileged to be their day of coordinator. My point in sharing their story is to remind you that, even with a coordinator, some things may go wrong. You want to ensure you'll have a coordinator that will be able to handle the potential hiccups in the day.
"With the assistance of my groom and mom, I planned the wedding without a professional. I had about 10 months to plan our wedding. I had a budget and I wanted to have as much of our dream wedding as possible, so that meant forgoing a professional, hunting for deals, and being a DIYer. Most of the time, I wanted to pull my hair out and I wish I had the finances to hire a professional."
"[Sterling] was a lifesaver when it came to advocating for our wishes and making sure everything ran smoothly. The day before our wedding, she was one of the major people helping us decorate and she spoke to anyone who started to upset me and kept me calm. On the day of the wedding, Sterling jumped right into action as soon as she arrived and made sure everything was on schedule and that I got every moment and photo I wanted. She had set up Andrew in a spot where he couldn't see me and rushed me down the hall so we could have our prayer together. Without her, I wouldn't have gotten my favorite moment from our wedding day."
Christabel's dummy cake arrived to the church, but the sheet cake did not. After learning this, she handled the situation gracefully, and allowed me to share the news with her guests.
Do you have anything you would change about your wedding day/weekend?
Christabel: "Well for starters, I would have gone with a different cake company. Other than that, I would probably try to find a different location for the reception. We let family members talk us into having a small reception and to have it all in one building, like they did years ago. If you can afford a different option, don't let people talk you out of your dream."
"Find someone you trust to be the weekend coordinator. I'm sure more things would have gone wrong and I would have been even more stressed if I didn't have Sterling to handle the details of the day."
Jenna + Clint
Jenna and Clint were married in September 2007 by a Justice of the Peace and had their wedding celebration on June 7, 2008. Their wedding story is the most unique in the bunch. Growing up in a Hindu household, Jenna had two weddings, fulfilling traditions of both of their families.
Jenna: "We didn't hire a professional [planner], although my mom did the ENTIRE planning for our wedding and we kinda just showed up. I definitely wished I did have a more hands on approach because looking back there is a lot I would do differently. We did not have a wedding rehearsal- it is done little different in our culture. Typically a wedding can last up to ONE WEEK!!! Our wedding got condensed into 4 very hectic days."
Jenna explained that her Hindu ceremony was long and tiring. After an already full day, she changed into a white wedding gown for their reception. "Our reception didn't start on time because my mom was adamant that we wait for EVERYONE to show up - we were starving!!! Finally after an HOUR later the reception began and the small hiccup seemed far away."
Looking back, do you have anything you would change about your wedding day/weekend?
Clint: "A huge regret I have is putting the importance on others people's experience of the wedding rather than ours. Also, worrying about guests that were absent was trivial since much of my family was absent."
Jenna: "Although my mom was my "planner" I saw the stress taking a toll on her. It would have been nice to have someone to push all of our anxieties on and keep the day flowing more cohesively together. Also, I feel that it would be easier to talk with a coordinator - you won't hurt their feelings by telling them you don't like something, like you would a family member."
"Looking back at the big day and hearing how much my parents paid for our wedding I kinda think it's a lot of money. I think that weddings should be beautiful, but to the bride and groom's tastes - not what "should" be done because it's been that way for years in your family."
Ladies, thank you both for sharing such wonderful, candid insight on your wedding days!
Check back next Monday for the next part in the Coordinating Success? Series! You'll get to hear from Susie and Gemma!