Hiring a coordinator to handle all the details of your wedding on your big day is a very popular choice, and for very good reason. There are a lot of things to take care of at the last minute, and the only thing a bride usually wants to be thinking about on her special day is the wedding itself. Sure, you could put the entire burden onto a friend, family member, or even your maid of honor, but chances are you probably want them to be enjoying the festivities as well. While the reasons to hire a wedding coordinator will vary from bride to bride, it is important to know exactly what you’re getting for your money and what to expect when your wedding coordinator arrives.
How it Works and What it Entails
One of the biggest questions surrounding hiring a wedding day coordinator is if everything happens on one day at the very last minute. Usually, the bride and groom will sit down at least a month before the wedding date to start going over the details of the big day. This will include putting together a timeline for your wedding, as well as organizing all the various vendor’s and entertainer’s contact information so the coordinator can handle anything that pops up at the last minute on your wedding day without needing to disturb or worry you.
What Is the Cost of Hiring a Wedding Day Coordinator?
The cost of hiring a wedding day coordinator will vary based on a variety of factors including your location, the size of your wedding, their experience, and other variables that are completely unique to each wedding situation. However, the national average seems to be somewhere in the $800 to $2500 range depending on which coordinator you have chosen. To put it into perspective, things like moving from one venue to another between the ceremony and reception can add costs because there is more to coordinate. Similarly, things like an evening snack or other additional steps into the planning process can make their job more involved; thus making the bill higher for you.
Biggest Benefits of Hiring a Wedding Day Coordinator
While many of the benefits of hiring a wedding day coordinator are fairly obvious, some of the best benefits are little less noticeable on the surface. Everyone knows that having a well-trained advocate on your side that can make sure all the details of the ceremony and reception are handled smoothly can be a huge benefit, but what happens when something totally unexpected happens? What if there is an emergency situation or a last-minute cancellation by a vital wedding vendor? Having a very experienced wedding day coordinator will make these unforeseeable events much easier to deal with because they will have contingency plans in mind for pretty much anything imaginable; especially scenarios that have never even crossed your mind.
What Do Wedding Coordinators Actually Do?
On the day of your wedding, there are all sorts of things that are commonly seen by a wedding day coordinator that you would probably never expect to handle at your own wedding. After talking with a handful of leading wedding coordinators in their respective market areas, we’ve determined that an average wedding day coordinator will commonly deal with the following at a wedding:
- Wedding crashes are eating, drinking, and dancing and need to be escorted out.
- Groom or groomsman is missing a shirt or other important part of their tuxedo, they organize an emergency delivery or go pick one up.
- A band member arrives late; they work to get the band setup as quickly as possible to start playing some music.
- They direct traffic in the street and parking lot so everything is safe and the photographer can get the perfect photos.
- The mother of the bride or a member of the bridal party disappears when they are needed the most, they go and locate them and bring them to where they need to be.
- The lighting in the ballroom is too bright or needs to be adjusted for a specific timeframe; they work with the venue to get the lighting correct.
A Brief Overview of the Wedding Day
Leading up to the actual day of your wedding, the coordinator will formulate a wedding day timeline and give it to all the vendors, coordinate all the wedding vendors that have been chosen, and conduct the rehearsal the day before the wedding to make sure everything will go smoothly. On the actual day of the wedding, the coordinator will do things such as the following:
- Assist the bride, groom, and wedding party with getting dressed and scheduling all of the wedding photo shoots.
- Guide the bridal party through processional and recessional.
- Check details both big (final head count for caterer, number of place settings) and small (placement of favors, menus and napkin folds).
- Check seating plans, lighting levels, cake placement, and other details.
- Cue all wedding professionals, entertainers, and vendors.
Collect all the gifts and personal items, and then inventory them for safe removal. The coordinator is almost always the last person to leave the reception hall.