In this installment of What Brides Should Know we look at what the wedding planners had to say. There seems to be a lot of confusion on just what a wedding planner does versus a Day of Coordinator. Also, planners want you to know just how much is involved on there end to plan and coordinate your wedding.
Having walked in their shoes, I have the utmost respect for good wedding planners and what they do. A good planner is the lubricant that makes all the parts of such a complex event glide smoothly. A good planner will save you more than they will ever cost you. By that I don’t necessarily mean that your bottom line will be less, more that the value you get for the dollars spent will be so much more than you can do on your own.
Even the smallest wedding is a highly complex dance of timing, goods and services and style. All culminating in a day that you, as the bride, groom or mother of the bride want/ need to be able to relax and focus on the meaning of the day; not wrangle vendors, details and guests. For even the smallest budget bride, there is a planner or day of coordinator to make this happen.
Without further ado, here is what the planners had to say in their own words.
I think a lot of brides out there don’t fully understand the full scope of what it is a planner/coordinator does. Many see it as a frivolous expense, or something that’s only for the rich and famous. Not so! Also, “planning” and “coordinating” are two completely separate things, which I think some brides aren’t aware of.
PLANNING ~ Your wedding is probably the biggest event you’ll ever plan in your entire life. Contracts, comparing vendors, packages, pricing, meetings, traditions, etiquette,timelines and everything else you need to think about when planning a wedding can be seriously overwhelming and take all the fun out of planning your happy day. A professional planner will handle your planning headaches, leaving you to enjoy the process.
COORDINATING ~ A professional coordinator is DIFFERENT than a professional planner. A coordinator, in my opinion, is even MORE important than a planner. Some brides that I’ve advertised to respond saying “I’m really creative and good at organizing, so I’m handling it myself.” Good for you! But who are you going to delegate tasks to on the wedding day? Mom? Bridesmaids? Girlfriends? You want your loved ones WITH you on wedding day, not off doing the time consuming setup details and directing the vendors. The best way to ensure that everyone is free to enjoy the day is to hire a coordinator.
Amy Kemp Nixon
I would love for brides to spend one day in our shoes. We have been very blessed with brides that appreciate what we actually do for them and the amount of work we spend on our client’s behalf. However, there is always that handful that think we just get on the phone and make a couple of appointments and that’s it! A good designer/planner/coordinator will do everything on your behalf except walk down the aisle and sign the marriage license. That is what you pay for. Appointments, hours of design and changes, talking to and booking vendors on your behalf, producing a good timeline and coordinating between each vendor according to that timeline, ensuring payments are made on time, ensuring all contracts are correct, ensuring the rsvp list is updated, ensuring incidentals are all taken care of, ensuring the musicians are all on the same page, ensuring guest list is in place, etc. The list goes on.
On-the-Day Direction? Same thing happens and there is no such thing as JUST on-the-day direction. You need to meet with brides ahead of time and go over itineraries, vendor responsibilities and carry out instructions on behalf of the client. This does not happen as a show up on the day and direct. Its a misconception and brides need to know this!
Brides need to interview wedding planners and get in writing exactly what they do. Full service means unlimited service. On the Day means on the day orchestrating, with some help prior to ensure everything flows smoothly.
This from Denise, I just love…
I was talking to someone today who pooh poohed the idea of hiring a wedding co-ordinator when she married as she said that part of the ‘enjoyment’ was the planning side of things, then I asked her about her wedding day she said she hated every minute because there was a delay in the kitchen, she spilt wine on her dress and the disco played music that they didnt like. It was soooo stressful – and I explained that is why brides need co-ordinators to deal with all that and chat to the other vendors so that they know exactly what they are supposed to be doing and when.
Real bride Jessica had this to say
As a recently married bride, the one thing that I’ve had the most difficulty with in regards to vendors has been the fall-out when something goes wrong. When I sign a contract and pay a fee for your service, I feel that whatever I paid for and what is included in the contract should be included in my wedding. Jessica
To which Layla replied
To the real bride, Jessica: I also handle complaints afterwards for my brides. Vendors respond quickly to me. I am bringing them business all the time. They do NOT want a coordinator to know that they did not quickly resolve a complaint, b/c I will tell any other brides that ask me about them, that they don’t deal well with problems after the fact.
Layla D. Smith
If you are a bride, you owe it to yourself to at least explore the possibility of having a planning or coordinator by your side. It is the single best way to be sure that you are free to enjoy one of the most special days of your life .