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Wedding Coordinator Tips
Do You Need a Coordinator?
We're not going to tell you the answer to that because we can't. Only you know if you need one or not. Will you be getting help from others around you, your mother, bridesmaids, fiancé, friends or will you have to do it all by yourself. Can you do it by yourself? Do you want to plan your wedding by yourself? Only you know.
What Can a Wedding Coordinator Do For Me?
The list is long but here are a few of the duties you can expect:
Help you to create the type of wedding you want. With that knowledge you'll be able to pick your venue, vendors, color scheme, theme, music, etc.
Help you create a budget sheet and keep track of where your money is going and how much is still owing.
Help keep you on your budget and not go over...too much!!
Suggest vendors that fit your budget and ideas.
Make a wedding planning schedule so that you know what you've done and what still needs to be done.
In most cases a coordinator can save you money because of their connection in the industry.
Take care of any emergencies that arise.
Create a wedding day schedule.
How Do I Find a Good Wedding Coordinator?
As with all other wedding vendors, word of mouth is always good, bridal shows or ask other wedding vendors about coordinators that they've seen at other weddings. Call first and see if you like them over the phone. If you don't then don't bother wasting time with the appointment.
A professional wedding coordinator will have taken a wedding coordinator /consultant /planner course and have a diploma to show for it.
Call the organization on the certificate to make sure that it exists!
Is the coordinator organized?
Do you feel comfortable with them?
Are they friendly?
Do they know their stuff?
Does they have any references?
How long have they been in business?
Are they within your budget?
Are they computer literate?
Do they have another job or do they coordinate full time? It's not necessary for your coordinator to only work at planning weddings but it is better because they will have to contact your vendors during business hours.
If you like them and the answers you get, great...if not go elsewhere. Make appointments to meet at least 2 coordinators. Never choose the first vendor you meet, you need to compare.
What Type of Packages Do Wedding Coordinators Have?
Consultation only: This is like a mini wedding planning course, best taken at the beginning of your planning. The coordinator won't be at your wedding but will teach you the skills to planning your own day. Some will charge by the hour, others by the meeting. You can book one meeting only or go back as many times as you like.
Planning Preparation: Along with consultation they will save you time by listening to your needs and booking appointments for you with vendors, that meet those needs.
They contact these vendors and describe what you want, what your budget is, if they're available on your date. This way the vendors already know about you when you walk in the door.
They will help you put together a wedding binder, making it easier to keep track of things.
They will make a floor plan for the vendors and a wedding day schedule.
Full Wedding Day Package: A coordinator can be hired for the wedding day alone. She will direct the events of the day and make sure everyone around you is doing their job. Should any emergencies happen she will take care of them. Although a coordinator is hired for one days work, in actual fact they have been working on your wedding, anywhere from 30-50 hours before the day actually get there, getting prepared. You should meet with the coordinator at least once if not twice to go over the details of your wedding. Any coordinator that says no meeting are needed isn't a professional.
What Does a Coordinator Charge?
Wedding coordinators can charge 3 different ways and you will have to ask your's how they work out their prices:
by a percentage of the total cost of your wedding,
by the hour; or
a flat fee.
What Questions Should I Ask When I Meet a Coordinator?
How long have you been a wedding coordinator?
What coordinating organization do you belong to and do you have a diploma?
How do you charge? (percentage, flat fee, hourly)
How much will you charge us for the services we need?
How many times will we meet and how long will each meeting last?
Will you meet with our vendors and look over their contracts?
Are you computer literate and do you own a computer?
Do you have a backup in case of emergency and can't make our wedding and who are they?
Will you be at our rehearsal and is there an extra charge for this?
How will you be dressed?
Can you help plan a wedding within our budget?
Are you a registered business?
Have you worked at our venue before?
Have you worked with our vendors before?
Will you contact our vendors before the wedding?
Is there an extra charge for phone calls and e-mail correspondence between us?
Do you have a preferred vendors list?
If our officiant can't make it, will you direct our rehearsal?
Can you handle last minute changes and emergencies?
What is the deposit requirement?
If we cancel our contract, will we get all or any of our deposit back?
What time do you arrive on the wedding day and what time do you leave?
If we give you the payments for our other vendors, will you pay them?
Are you discreet or are you like Martin Short from the movie "Father of the Bride"?
If you are only going to see a consultant for planning lessons then you will probably just get a bill. It is impossible to have all details on a coordinator's contract, for the simple fact that they are dealing will all aspects of your wedding day and have many duties.
The contract should at least have the following:
How the coordinator charges (percentage, flat fee, hourly).
How many meetings will there be and if the consultant will visit vendors with you.
A service description.
The total cost of their services.
Your contact information.
Your wedding date.
Your's and their signature.
The amount deposited and still owing, and the due date for last payment.
Cancellation policy (if you cancel).
No show policy for the consultant.
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