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Day of Details...Top 10 reasons for a Coordinator

While still a relative newbie to the wedding industry side, I've personally been special event coordinating for more than half of my life... With that said, I have always felt most anyone can take on the duties and responsibilities of a wedding. I certainly thought wrong on this one.

Over the last few years with all of the weddings taking place at our venue -I have always been skeptical of the need of a wedding planner/coordinator. I didn't understand why brides would leave such a huge responsibility of decision making and planning to someone they didn't know. I will tell you however - I've been seeing first hand EXACTLY the reasons why these planners are worth their weight in gold!

Finding the right Planner can can save you money, time and more importantly, ensure that you never sense a whiff of drama on your big day. They are the ones caring for all of those little (and some not so little) behind the scenes hiccups that are bound to occur. I'm writing only a FEW of the many issues that I have been seeing first hand constantly during our events - and those with wedding coordinators breeze through the day with their couples never knowing what was happening behind the scenes. Those families who had never bothered to have a day of go to person in place didn't fare well at all - with many comments, complaints, and uncomfortable issues overshadowing the beauty of the day.

I've been reading some great blogs from other industry professionals and credit goes to Every Last Detail and She Finds for their amazing articles that helped with this weeks Wedding Whimsy blog.

(Check out the following blogs for their full ideas and lists: )

Here’s what you can and should expect your Planner to do:

1. Act as liaison with vendors: set up and establish meetings, contracts, and negotiations with vendors on your behalf to help save you time and try to obtain the best pricing. Many vendors will work closely with coordinators if they believe they will bring them additional clients through referrals, and your coordinator will set all contracts to best suit you and your day of needs.

2. Hand out final payments and gratuities to vendors:One less worry for you to deal with in between pictures, travelling, and getting ready for the big event.

3. Oversee quality control: The planner takes care of chaos before it gets to you. If there is something wrong with a service, the planner can take photos and negotiate a refund and discuss issues with the vendor in advance of your ever knowing.

4. Act as a referee: It’s just not a wedding unless family members are bickering. A good wedding planner has seen her share of family drama, and can be a neutral third party during negotiations. They have magical powers to diffuse uppity in-laws and other meddlesome players. And best of all, her (secret) agenda is to make YOU happy.

5. Manage time: Yes, they have wedding timelines online – but most are confusing and not customized to your day. A planner has wedding time management down to a science. Your day-of schedule needs to have some built-in flexibility for circumstances beyond your control. If something unexpected does occur, your planner will look at the schedule and figure out where to cut back and how to catch up without you, let alone any of your guests, even noticing.

6. Last minute move: the ceremony gets rained out? Any wedding planner will tell you you must, must, no-exceptions-must have a sunny day plan and a rainy day plan. Love your plan either way so you won’t be disappointed when Mother Nature has her say. Too many brides fret that if their scenic outdoor wedding is brought indoors, it will be less remarkable, less memorable.Your wedding planner will make sure it’s equally beautiful indoors or out. The easiest way to get your wedding topping the best-ever charts is to make sure your guests are comfortable, relaxed, happy. (And dry.)

6. Menial tasks no one else wants to do: Someone has to set all of the outdoor chairs up in the 100+ degree heat, bring refreshments to grandparents to ward off heat stroke, and find a magical way of getting the crying baby to quiet during the middle of the vows!

7. Provide tricks and tips: Planners have seen it all and if they’re good can offer you ideas to make the planning process easier. Set up emergency kits and back up plans for you to have on hand in case you end up staining your wedding gown, breaking a heal, the tux has a button missing, your make up artists doesn't show, a bouquet is missing, and all of those hiccups that will happen at some point, to ensure that nothing will ever be noticed and all issues are resolved.

8. Help when transportation doesn't arrive. Stranded guests mean angry guests. Don’t let it happen to you! First and foremost, always get a great recommendation for your transportation. Once you know you’ve hired the best, you still need to triple-confirm with them. Always make sure to get the cell number of the actual driver too. Appoint someone to be in charge of the bus schedule and routes, making sure buses are filled and that someone seated in the front of the bus has a copy of the directions to the wedding venue. Your planner can leave directions and alternate means of transportation (taxi numbers, for example) in each guest’s hotel room in case they need to find their own way there.

9. …your friend shows up with an uninvited date? or some rsvps end up as no shows...

This happens more often than brides would like to think (and p.s.—don’t ever be this person). So let’s just skip right over the “if” and say WHEN this happens, don’t panic. But do let your wedding planner know immediately so she can shuffle things around with the help of the catering director and reset tables for accurate numbers.

10. Set up events so you can enjoy yourself! Have your friends and family be able to enjoy their time with you! Don't have them stuck doing the dirty work of cleaning, decorating, hosting, bussing, and serving during your event! Give these details to your planner - that's what they are for! Whether it is for a rehearsal, the wedding, the afterhours, or a brunch the next day... your family has come to spend time with you. Allow them that opportunity, and take the chores, errands and work out of the mix for them.

The most important aspect of having a coordinator: having the peace of mind that all the details will come together as you envisioned. The amount of resources budgeted toward a wedding can be substantial, and with just 5 to 10 percent of the cost going to coordination for the day, couples can ensure that countless hours of planning time will be made easier and that they get the most for their money. Think about it: In addition to being the center of attention, you two are also the hosts of the celebration, unlike the days when parents took charge of wedding day festivities. If a last-minute issue arises, having a coordinator on board allows you to be charming, gracious hosts, rather than frazzled, last-minute problem solvers. You'll be able to truly enjoy every moment of the day.

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