5 Invaluable Tasks A Good Wedding Coordinator Will Do
Tradeshows and bridal festivals are some of my favorite events to meet and chat up brides. However, many times in the middle of our conversation I will have a bride tell me, “Oh, I don’t need a wedding coordinator. That is what my maid of honor is for.” I am here to tell you that is absolutely not what your maid of honor is for and please don’t ask her to do it – I have been down that road too. Yes, there are certain things that your maid of honor can oversee both prior to and on your wedding day - and I plan to do a blog post on that subject alone - but being your wedding coordinator or day-of coordinator is not on that list of duties. Today I want to highlight 5 of the things, out of the dozens and dozens of things, that your wedding coordinator does for you on your wedding day, some you may not even realize were done until you are looking back at your beautiful pictures months down the road.
1. Did you notice that as you were taking that big walk down the aisle that your wedding dress train was perfectly displayed and photo ready? Your wedding coordinator did! Part of my job is to make sure everything is “picture perfect”, including your train. Your maid of honor has already walked down the aisle right before you and is standing in just the right position waiting for you to take your place at the altar. Your photographer is in front of you capturing the pure joy on your face and all the emotions that your future Forever is feeling, not standing behind you making sure your veil isn’t caught on one of your dress beads before you walk. And that person standing beside you, escorting you to your next great adventure? Well, if it is a male, good luck getting them to understand what you are asking them to do when you say, “Can you fluff my dress?” Especially if they are just as emotional and nervous as you. Wedding coordinator to the rescue! After cuing the bridal party when to walk down the aisle, the last thing I do before quietly exiting the ceremony scene and letting you enjoy your moment, is to take one last look and make sure everything is exactly where it should be!
2. You may not consciously even see it, but as you look at your wedding photos notice that all your votives/candlesticks are perfectly straight, and all lit up. It is unlikely that your maid of honor will have done this, since before the ceremony they were getting ready and helping you get ready, during the ceremony they were standing up crying next to you and after the ceremony they were probably taking more pictures or they were getting a well-deserved drink at the bar. Then who made sure that everything was placed and lit exactly how you envisioned before your guests could see it and be blown away? Your wedding coordinator of course! True, a lot of venues now offer that service, if they have the time and the staffing, but often the venue is more concerned about making sure the food is coming out on time and the guests aren’t getting too rowdy. Most of the time, if the décor is something that you provided, then it is the wedding party’s responsibility, including when the candles get lit and who lights them.
3. Uh oh! One of your vendors is MIA! You really don’t want your maid of honor to have to step away from finishing hair and make-up or step out of those awesome bridal party photos because they need to figure out where this vendor is. NO! Please don’t make them do that. If you had a wedding coordinator, odds are you wouldn’t even know that a vendor was late because they would have already called them and either remedied the situation or come up with a plan b. What if your ceremony is in a different location from the reception? There would be no way for you to know that a vendor is missing or late until you get to the reception venue and realize it. Again, if you have a wedding coordinator, odds are you will never know a crisis existed!
4. Imagine. It’s the end of what was a wonderfully magical day, and you can’t wait to head back to the hotel with your new spouse or jump on that party bus with your best friends and continue the fun. Unfortunately, all that beautiful décor that you worked so hard to plan and set up needs to be picked up and organized. If only there were such things as clean-up fairies. Well, a wedding coordinator is the next best thing! It’s likely that if your maid of honor isn’t on that party bus with you, she has still had a little (or a lot) to drink and your family is worn out after a long day of emotions and mingling. As much as I am sure they don’t mind sticking around to help clean everything up, if you had a wedding coordinator there is a high possibility that most of that décor is already picked up and organized while you were killing it on the dance floor and it just needs to be transported to the person or vehicle assigned to take it all home. Now, the next morning, instead of worrying about where everything went or if something got missed, you can rest assured that it was all taken care of properly and handled with care.
5. Okay, last one! This may not be considered very “sly”, but it is still very helpful all the same! Most, if not all, wedding photographers will ask you to compile a list of family members who you want to make sure you get formal portraits with. Some will even go as far as to have you group them together, so they know exactly who is supposed to be in each photo and no one gets missed. However, that can be a lot for one photographer so it can be nice to have a wedding coordinator there to help corral family members. Sure, your maid of honor can do that too, but what if they are a relative and supposed to be in some of those photos? It won’t be as easy for them to make sure everyone is present or run off to find Uncle Al because he wandered away before he was supposed to. Even though it’s likely your wedding coordinator doesn’t know everyone in your families, typically they have no problem calling out names and cracking the whip to make sure everyone is paying attention. Believe me, I have helped photographers get family photos done in 15 minutes that would have likely taken closer to 45 minutes without someone there to help with roll call.
The moral of the story of this story is to please, at the very least, hire a day-of wedding coordinator. I know you may be thinking, well it’s not my maid of honor, but I have my aunt or my step-mom or whatever family member you are inserting into that sentence here to help, however it all still applies. Allow your family to enjoy the day too because if they have a question about something, it’s likely that they are going to come ask you, the bride, and you should not be the one worrying about the small things. This is a big day for everyone involved and you deserve to look back on it with your heart full and thinking about how smooth everything went, not about how stressful it was and that you never want to do it again. “You only live once, but if you do it right, once if enough.” – Mae West
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