As you begin to plan your wedding, your head may start to spin with all of the new vocabulary and terms you never knew existed in the wedding world! I mean, who would’ve thought you needed a dictionary to help you plan your wedding? In the past, one of the most common terms our clients have asked us about is a wedding coordinator!
When it comes to a wedding coordinator, most of our couples come to us with bloodshot eyes, complete with bags under them and everything asking us, “What the HELL is a wedding coordinator and do I really need one for my wedding day?” Okay… Maybe we’re being a little dramatic but nonetheless, if you find yourself asking this question, we’ve got an answer for you.
Should you hire a wedding coordinator for your wedding day? ABSOLUTELY YES!
In this blog, we’ll detail everything you need to know about wedding coordinators, how they are different from wedding planners, why you really should have one for your big day, and how to go about finding that perfect person! Rest assured, Winsome Photos has got you covered!
Like we mentioned in the beginning, there are so many unique terms and roles in the wedding industry that you may not even know what a wedding coordinator is! In short, a wedding coordinator is a designated person who’s purpose is to make sure your wedding day goes as smoothly as possible.
Now as we’re sure you can assume, there are PLENTY of tasks entailed in making a wedding day go smoothly! For us, it’s easier to think of a wedding coordinator as the point of contact for questions and concerns and the person who is going to make sure that everyone is where they need to be at the right time. They follow along with your wedding timeline to make sure that everything is done promptly and the day is right on schedule.
Some of you may be thinking to yourself, “That sounds easy enough. I can just be my own wedding coordinator!” Well… we hate to be a Debbie Downer but being your own wedding coordinator is simply not feasible. As wedding photographers, we have gone to MANY weddings where the couple has opted out of having a wedding coordinator and it can get messy really fast. Trust us when we say that it is completely and utterly WORTH IT to have a wedding coordinator!
A wedding coordinator primarily serves the purpose of taking some of the load off of the wedding couple. Just think: as you’re getting ready in the morning of your wedding day, you don’t want to be stressed about the caterer being here on time or if the table cards were set out. Would you rather spend your wedding day at ease, soaking in every moment of the special day or stressed out, pulling your hair out because you have too much on your plate? A wedding coordinator will leave you only with the good option!
We get this question quite often once we get into the conversation of wedding coordinators. The answer to this question is not necessarily simple since there can be a bit of overlap with the two roles!
If you are not familiar with who a wedding planner is and what they do, a wedding planner deals with budgeting your wedding, booking and communicating with your vendors, and overseeing every part of your wedding day. Wedding planners can vary in their degree of control in planning your wedding; there are partial planning options for weddings where the wedding couple maintains more control over their wedding planning, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. Basically, a wedding planner is the person who hashes out all the details before your wedding day.
While a wedding planner deals with a lot of the happenings BEFORE a wedding day, a wedding coordinator manages things the DAY OF your wedding day. A wedding coordinator wouldn’t, for example, deal with the initial booking of a photographer. Instead, they would be interacting with the photographer on the day of to make sure they have what they need and are familiar with the timeline.
Many wedding planners offer day-of wedding coordination services that can be really helpful to use! If you have planned your wedding with a wedding planner, why not have the person who has been with you from the beginning to help see it through to the end, right? There are some wedding planners who offer wedding coordination services who will work with you even if you didn’t utilize their planning services (Of course, this is subject to their services and policies). Either way, wedding planners can be a great resource to look for a wedding coordinator.
If you are looking for a more detailed comparison of the two roles, check out this awesome article from Brides.com! In this article, they go in more depth of how the roles of a wedding coordinator and planner differ and intersect!
So perhaps you’re to the point where you agree with us that a wedding coordinator would be EXTREMELY helpful for your wedding day! So how do you go about finding a wedding coordinator?
Like we touched on before, many wedding planners offer coordination services in their packages. But there are many other wedding vendors who can bundle their services with coordination too! For example, your floral supplier/designer might offer day-of coordination services that you can add on to your service. Make sure you check with your vendors to see if they offer this service for you!
Additionally, your other vendors are a great resource to find recommendations for coordination services! If you have your photographer booked and are looking for a wedding coordinator or planner, reach out to them and ask if they have any recommendations. They most likely have worked with a handful of professionals that they know those who are worthwhile to work with! It’s important to note that a good wedding coordinator will have positive reviews from both past clients AND vendors since the coordinator will primarily work with your vendors!
But when it comes down to it, maybe you’re thinking to yourself: “That’s great and all! But we just don’t have any money in our budget to allocate to a coordinator!” Thankfully, we’ve got some ways that you can go about finding a coordinator that are pocket-friendly.
A great, price-friendly way to find a wedding coordinator is to ask a trusted friend or family member to be your wedding coordinator. We still recommend flipping them a little bit of money for helping with your big day but you probably won’t spend as much if you hired a professional coordinator! This is a great way to invite a special person in your life to play a bigger role in your day!
If you’ve opted in to find a wedding coordinator from your friends or family, we want to give a word of caution. Coordinating a wedding is not a task for the faint-hearted so not just any Joe-Schmo will be a good fit! You will want to find somebody who can take on the task and do it well. Here are a list of qualities of someone that would make a good wedding coordinator:
Now, this is just a short list of qualities of someone who would make a good coordinator! But the most important quality of your wedding coordinator is that they personally align with you and your partner! Think of a wedding coordinator as a clone of yourself that you can trust to handle all the tasks that you can’t take care of on your wedding day. You want someone who would take on this task and handle the duties of it like it was their own wedding day!
From the list that we detailed above, you can probably guess that you need to choose someone who isn’t afraid to put their foot down. Rowdy groomsmen glued to the bar while pictures are taking place? Your coordinator needs to be able to put their foot down and kick the groomsmen into gear. Dance floor needs laying down? Your coordinator should be right there to help lay it out. They’ve got to be able to get their hands dirty and be that person who keeps everyone in line!
Additionally, you want to choose someone who is friendly and will get along well with your guests and vendors. We’ve worked with wedding coordinators in the past who have been flat-out rude and it can be really hard to work with someone like that. Your wedding coordinator should be that friendly, familiar face that vendors and guest can go to for questions/concerns who will also make sure that things are in order. If you could envision your coordinator being an absolute Bridezilla, they may not be the right fit for the job!
Your wedding coordinator will be your superhero on your wedding day! Instead of dealing with all the fuss of making sure your vendors are accounted for and accommodated, your timeline is being followed, and all the other head-boggling tasks that come with a wedding day, you can sit back and enjoy your wedding day to the fullest! In the end, your wedding coordinator will save you from MANY headaches on your wedding day!
If you’re looking for some awesome wedding photographers to shoot the most EPIC day of your lives, reach out HERE and let’s get in touch! We’d love to be a part of your day and make some magical memories with you! In the process of writing your wedding vows, check out our blog for our tips and tricks on how to write unforgettable vows!
Stay radical, my friends! xoxo