PSA: Many wedding venues have an on-site coordinators but make sure you know EXACTLY what services they provide. Trust me, I have been a venue coordinator before and it's not the same level of service. Typically venue coordinators handle set up-up of the venue, liaise with catering (if they have someone on-site) and can assist with on-site technology. However, they do NOT typically coordinate with other vendors, manage the ceremony, or run your wedding-day timeline!
Hiring a coordinator is an additional cost but we can save you money in the long run and will absolutely save you time and stress ( p r i c e l e s s ! ). This is an investment so you want to make sure the coordinator you hire is the right fit for YOU. Before you chat with a coordinator, you and your fiance should have a few decisions already made:
- How much money you have in your budget
- How many people you want to invite
- Your preferred wedding date (and even a backup)
- A vision of what you want your wedding day to look like. Don't worry, you don't have to have all the details figured out and a coordinator.
Once you have those decision made, you are ready to look for a coordinator! Here are a few questions you should ask....
1. Do you have our date available.?If so, do you anticipate any issues with the date such as weather, travel for the guests, booking a venue, etc.?
--This is a GREAT starting point. No point in wasting your time or theirs if the date is not available. They might also have insight into popular wedding seasons for the area, additional venues you could check, and let you know if there are other major events going on in town!
2. Are we required to book the vendors you recommend or do we have the freedom to book someone even if you haven't worked with them before? Follow up question: Will you be at the vendors meetings or will you assist in reviewing vendor contracts?
--These are great questions to ask to see what the scope of their involvement will be. Some planners are priced to include more involvement in vendor meetings. Some charge an additional cost if you want them to attend the meetings or review contracts. Either way, you'll definitely want to know whether or not you have to strictly use their vendor list or if you have some flexibility!
3. What kind of planning do you offer? Logistical only or a combination of logistics + design?
-- Some planners are full-service 'manage the contract and implement the design' planners. Others are strictly logistical. For a DIY bride that has the help to implement the design, a logistics coordinator is the perfect option. Typically coordinators also have design vendors they can refer you to if you want the best of both worlds!
4. Do you offer different package options or is everything customized based on what we're looking for?
-- Customization is key! Having packages is great but every bride is different and you don't want to pay for anything you don't need.
5. If we decide to book with you, what is the process? Follow up question: How much is your deposit?
-- You want a coordinator who has a clear process so that you know exactly what the next steps are. The last thing you want is to leave a meeting feeling confused and unsure of what's next. Most, if not all, coordinators will require a contract and deposit. Make sure you find out what that is ahead of time!
POST MEETING -- after your call/meeting with a coordinator, evaluate how you felt. Did you feel heard? Do they understand your vision? Do you mesh well with them? Choosing a coordinator is a huge step and you want to make sure you choose the one that gets YOU the best and that YOU feel comfortable working with!