4 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Coordinator
In my time as a wedding photographer, I have learned what makes a wedding day go smoothly. In my opinion, having a professional wedding coordinator is one of the most important ingredients. Some venues will provide a wedding coordinator. Most of the time, this works out very well, but you are betting on the current coordinator staying on with your venue until your wedding date. There is some risk involved, but any venue worth it’s salt is going to ensure that a competent professional is on hand for their events.
There are 2 basic types of wedding planning services: full service planning & month-of planning. If you can afford full service planning, it’s a great way to save time and stress. (and possibly money) But, at the very minimum, you should hire a month-of coordinator. Some people ask friends to be their coordinator. I recommend that you use a friend only if this person has a background in planning and can be on duty for the entire day. If that person is also a guest, you can’t really count on them to be 100% focused on making sure that everything is going smoothly.
Reasons to hire a wedding coordinator:
1. You need a ringleader.
You will have several vendors who may or may not be familiar with your venue. A wedding coordinator can field questions from vendors and may also mitigate potential issues by communicating with vendors in the month leading up to your wedding. Wedding coordinators know what can go wrong and therefore know what questions to ask. The wedding coordinator is also a go to person for members of the family and wedding party on the day of the wedding. They also take care of tasks like putting on boutonnieres, which most people don’t know how to do!
2. You need someone to manage your timeline and keep things on schedule.
Most couples have never planned a wedding before. They probably don’t know how much time to allot for photos or the best time to do toasts, parent dances or the bouquet/garter toss. A wedding coordinator will create your timeline based on your preferences but also what is realistic. They will also communicate with vendors to make sure that everyone is ready for the next important moment. Without this you may have confusion and miscommunication among vendors. I have even seen DJs who will start cake cutting without the photographer present! You can’t assume that your vendors are communicating properly with each other.
3. You need someone to run your ceremony.
Who is going to line your family and wedding party up and cue them to walk down the aisle? I shot a wedding where the groom had to take on this task and it totally stressed him out. It’s your day and you have no doubt spent a lot of time and money on your wedding. Why not hire someone who can relieve the burden of managing all of these aspects so that you can relax and enjoy your day?
4. They may help you pack up after the event.
Wedding coordinators may not pack up your personal items, but they can certainly gather items that you rented and return them for you or gather florals so that your family can take them home. At my wedding, even with 2 coordinators, there was still a flurry of people asking me where things should go. I can’t imagine how it would have been if they were not there! One of my coordinator friends, Amelia Davie of When in White, had a wedding client who got married on the beach in NC. This client was leaving right after the wedding for their honeymoon and forgot to make a plan for getting all of her stuff back to her home in Raleigh. Amelia, who has a pickup truck, hauled all of her extra stuff and stored it for her until she and her husband returned from their honeymoon. Now that is service!
Putting all of the logistical responsibilities on a friend or family member adds a ton of stress to your day and potentially to your relationship with that friend or family member. I have seen people crying and fighting over last minute stressors when they should be enjoying the momentous occasion. The extra money you would spend on a coordinator is well worth it when you consider how much more you will enjoy one of the most important days of your life.