There are a lot of big choices and decisions to be made when planning a wedding. When and where to get married, what to serve at the reception, and, most importantly, who to hire to help you. One of the biggest mistakes many brides make is not hiring a wedding coordinator to help plan and run their big day.
Here are the top 5 myths about hiring a wedding coordinator, debunked:
Myth #1: You don’t really need to spend money on a coordinator – it’s expensive and you can do it all yourself.
Reality: Cutting out a coordinator can end up costing you time, money, and a lot of stress. Chances are, this is the first time you’ve ever planned an event this big, so why wouldn’t you ask for an expert’s help – especially when there is so much money going into it? Think of hiring a planner as insurance that your event will go the way you’ve planned, and that the money you’ve invested will be worth it.
“A coordinator can save you a time and money,” says Julie Gambrell of Classic Creations, “you can spend a lot of time calling various vendors only to find out they can’t work within your budget. We match you with vendors who fit your budget and personality, and who are professionals.” CC Dick of Colorado Wedding Company says, “We keep track of how much we save our clients, and a lot of the time that covers the expense of hiring us.” That money isn’t just saved in calling the right people – because of the relationships that coordinators have built with industry specialists, they can often negotiate a better rate or find discounts for you.
Myth #2: You don’t need a coordinator, you can do most if it yourself and your friends and family will help.
Reality: You don’t want to risk mom missing the pictures because she’s setting up the flowers at the reception site. Your friends and family are part of the committment you’re making, and of course you want them to enjoy themselves at the celebration of it. As Heather Gardner of La Dolce Vita Weddings puts it, “You don’t want your grandmother to be working on the day that you’re getting married, or for your friends to be setting up tables,” and you definitely don’t want to miss the toasts because you’re tracking down the caterer yourself.
Also remember that your family and friends probably aren’t experts on these kinds of events, either. If the band goes missing, they probably won’t have a list of DJ’s on hand to call as backup, and they’ve probably never dealt with a cake falling over or how to fix a busted bustle. Hiring a coordinator ensures that everyone else gets to be at the party, too.
Myth #3: The coordinator will take over, or you’ll miss out on the planning process.
Reality: A coordinator is there to help you as a resource, a mentor, and an advocate. Your coordinator’s goal is always to make sure you have the best possible outcome for your special day, which means getting it the way you want it. They may make recommendations or suggest ideas, but ultimately the couple-to-be always gets the final say. You can plan as much – or as little – as you want, and decide which parts you want to do yourself and which ones your coordinator can take over.
Planning an event as important and expensive as a wedding can be overwhelming. A coordinator helps keep the process fun, letting you take on the parts you enjoy, and taking on the parts you don’t. As Kerri Butler of A Touch of Bliss events says, “I’ve never heard anyone say ‘I wish I hadn’t hired a planner.'”
Myth #4: You want to DIY.
Reality: No, you don’t. Maybe there are parts you want to do yourself – hand writing the place cards or arranging your own centerpieces. Do the pieces you really want to, but let the coordinator take on the less-fun parts or the tasks you don’t want to do, like negotiating contracts or researching which venues are wheelchair accessible so Grandma can get to the buffet.
Your coordinator will also probably be able to help you figure out where the cheapest place to buy the paper for your home-made invitations is, and can steer you away from projects that just aren’t realistic to do by yourself in time. The last thing you want the night before your wedding is to be up tying ribbons on your programs at 3am. “A planner can tell you what to do next – keep you on track and remove any stress or anxiety,” adds CC Dick of Colorado Wedding Company. “The planner will have the big picture in mind.”
Myth #5: The venue has their own event manager, so you don’t need to hire one for yourself.
Reality: That event manager is in charge of all of the events happening at that venue that night. If something goes wrong in the other ballroom, they may not be around when you need them. Also keep in mind that they’re there to make sure their end of things goes smoothly. The event manager won’t be there to help with your bustle in the bathroom, and it’s not their job to make sure your DJ shows up. Once the food is served, they’re probably done with your event for the night.
A wedding coordinator can help in so many ways. Over the next 2 weeks we’ll be exploring those resasons in-depth, in the “Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner” series. Check back often, or better yet, subscribe so that you don’t miss any!