Many couples choose to hire a wedding coordinator. After all, handling all the details on your big day is a really big job! There are a lot of things to take care of at the last minute, which is stressful. Truthfully, the only thing a bride should 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. Additionally, you need to know what to expect when your coordinator arrives. Here’s some info to help you on your journey.
How it Works and What it Entails
One of the biggest questions surrounding hiring a wedding day coordinator is “how can we pull this all together with everything happening at the last minute?”. Usually, the bride and groom should sit down at least a month before the wedding date. The goal is to start going over the details of the big day. This will include putting together a timeline for your wedding. Additionally, you’ll organize all the various vendor’s and entertainer’s contact information. That way, the coordinator can handle anything that pops up at the last minute without needing to disturb or worry you.
What Is the Cost to Hire a Wedding Coordinator?
The cost to hire a wedding coordinator will vary based on a variety of factors. This includes your location, the size of your guest list, their experience level, and other variables that are completely unique to each 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 cost. After all, there is much 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 Coordinator
Many of the benefits of hiring a wedding coordinator are fairly obvious. However, some of the best benefits are little less noticeable on the surface. Having a well-trained advocate on your side can make sure all the details of the ceremony and reception are handled smoothly. 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 coordinator will make these unforeseeable events much easier to deal with. They will have contingency plans in mind for pretty much anything imaginable; especially scenarios that have never even crossed your mind.
On the day of, there are all sorts of things that are commonly seen by a professional coordinator that you would never expect to handle ahead of time. We’ve spoken with a handful of leading wedding coordinators in their respective market areas. Here’s what we’ve determined that an average coordinator will handle at a typical event.
- 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 would 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. This ensures that 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 time-frame; they work with the venue to get the lighting correct.
A Brief Overview of the Big Day
Leading up to the actual day of your wedding, the coordinator will formulate a wedding day timeline. They’ll give it to all the vendors, coordinate all the 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.
- Handle activities such as organizing your wedding sparkler exit.
- 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.
Overall, they will end up handling the vast majority of activities on your special day. With so much on your plate already, the choice to hire a wedding coordinator is simple.