do we need a wedding coordinator? My mother did not have one, we can
handle it," you might say.
Before you make your final decision, please compare your mother's wedding
with yours: did your mother and grandmother work during the planning stage?
Did they have the same guest count? Did they spend the same amount of money?
Were there as many vendors to choose from? Did they have to deal with vendor
contracts, complicated logistics, and extra details? Let's face it, if you
want the perfect wedding, you need a coordinator; if you don't have one,
you, your parents, or your friends will be exhausted before the wedding day
Jean Marks helps with the gown
|Hiring an event coordinator is a great way to
save time, energy, andâ€”oftenâ€”money because you avoid making costly
mistakes. Many offer varying degrees of service, from simply finding
the right vendors for you to creating a realistic budget, to
coordinating the month prior to the wedding, to hand holding from
start to finish. Wedding coordinators know where to save money in a
most sensible way.
|Good coordinators have only your best interests
in mind. They will help you work within your budget while realizing
your visions for the wedding. They are aware of current prices in
all areas and will make sure you are not overcharged. They will
assist you in selecting the best professionals to fit your style,
review all contracts, and make sure that expectations are met and
contracted terms are honored.
Tosca fastens the veil
Among all the professionals serving the event industry, the wedding
planners may have seen the greatest amount of change in their work. The
brides that became coordinators right after planning their own weddings have
been replaced by highly trained professionals. A good wedding coordinator
can serve as a family counselor for brides and their mothers. BRO event
coordinators have extensive training in all aspects of event planning. They
belong to professional organizations and continue to attend educational
seminars. A few have apprenticed with established coordinators, but most
have taken courses and are certified by the leading training programs in our
Tosca distributes the flower baskets
...and ties the groom's bowtie.
Almost all of the BRO wedding planners have college and university degrees
and previously had successful careers in other fields. Looking at my list,
some were teachers like Kay; Marcia, a former paralegal was the first
instructor of the ACPWC, Katherine was a clinical psychologist, Jubilee a
logistics manager, Morgan a financial marketing consultant, Taylor a
television news producer, Annena a successful caterer, and Amy a pastry chef
who graduated from the Culinary Academy in San Francisco.
You might ask why these successful women would leave their jobs? I asked the
same question. The answer comes from their one common passion: "We love to
help the brides at such joyful occasions; we love to help create the wedding
of their dreams; we love to make the impossible happen." To me, they are
mothers, sisters, best friends, and true advisers all in one--always
available, always patient. Very important! You need to feel comfortable with
the professional you choose, as you know not everybody is on the same wave
Marcia Coleman-Joyner and two of her happy clients.
|As I learned during my visits, all event planners
are extremely organized. Luckily, the computer has helped to cut the
paper output of earlier years. Instead of file cabinets and note
pads, a notebook computer is all you find on their fashionable
desks. Reminders are sent via email. Jubilee uses an on-line program
that allows her clients to access all their essential
wedding-related information through her website, any day, any time.
They can log in and know exactly when the next payment is due, or
which appointments are coming up.
Today's coordinators see themselves as facilitators who work together
with all the other event professionals. Only when everybody works together
as a team can a flawless event be guaranteed.
The term "Day-Of" coordinator is a misnomer. Today, most professional
coordinators require that they come in at least a month prior to the wedding
to help finalize all the details prior to the wedding day. It is virtually
impossible to hire a coordinator to come in a few days before the wedding
and expect them to do a flawless and remarkable job handling all the details
on the wedding day. When a coordinator comes in towards the end of the
planning process, she/he still needs to spend a significant amount of time
reviewing contracts, understanding your vision and expectations, reviewing
timelines, conducting walk-throughs, and corresponding with vendors about
final details. Thus, the fee associated with such extensive work can be more
than you expect, but it is well worth it. Everyone could benefit from having
someone on the wedding day who is unemotionally attached, who has the
experience and expertise to run the event smoothly, who is calm and
clear-minded, and who is detailed-oriented. Responsible coordinators don't
hope for the best; they plan well.
|Some people wonder why they have to pay the
coordinators; don't they get paid by the other professionals? Think
about it! Shouldn't they work for you? If they rely on being paid by
the vendors, they may want to recommend those who will pay them the
most and not the ones who will serve you best. Also, it is possible
that a conflict of interest can arise if the client's wishes do not
coincide with the vendor's plans.
Jubilee and her clients during the ceremony
Here is an example I heard some time ago: A coordinator accompanied his
clients to a tasting in a hotel. It turned out that the price quoted during
the tasting differed quite a bit from the one that later appeared on the
contract. The coordinator made sure the clients were properly billed and
saved them money on their food charges.
Even with the best preparation and planning, accidents still can happen
during a wedding. Lost keys, wrong rentals, late deliveries, or other
mishaps do take place. If you hire an event coordinator, chances are - you
never will know about such mishaps because your "angel" has taken care of it
For all that you are spending on your wedding, it makes sense to hire a
professional coordinator to guide you through the process. Whatever plan you
choose, the event coordinator will give you the peace of mind to allow you
to enjoy the day itself. Coordinators are experts at creating that perfect
wedding day that you have envisioned for so long!
Recommended wedding coordinators
Jubilee's picture captured by
All pictures from Tosca were captured by Ron Schreier.