Okay, ladies, men, maid of honors, single-ladies, sisters, aunts, and nearly-engaged-folks. I'm here to break down this myth that you can get away without hiring a wedding coordinator for your big day. Yeah, I mean, you can also "get away" with a couple broken legs while also trying to ride a bike. But, it kind of defeats the purpose or at least becomes a major deterrent to the end goal. And that's exactly what NOT having a coordinator is like. Seriously. I don't care if you are 12 or getting married in 5 months. Get it into your head now: you need a coordinator.
What is a coordinator exactly? I'm glad you asked. It is not the wedding planner. A planner is involved in the creation and design of the overall wedding, and is involved in the wedding planning from the beginning. A coordinator is someone who in basic terms, helps to run the show. You can hire a month-of-coordinator who oversees the final details leading up to the wedding, or you can hire a day-of-coordinator who executes the event that day only. Lastly, wedding coordinators serve the following constituents on a wedding day: bride and groom, wedding party, family/VIPs, wedding guests, and all vendors.
In other words, let me explain why we 12 out of 10 would recommend to our clients that you absolutely need to hire a coordinator.
It's Their Job To Make Sure All Your Vendors Have Their Sh*t Together
In their responsibility to manage vendors, the wedding coordinator must communicate with all vendors to ensure everyone execute's everything on time according to the schedule.
The coordinator must ensure everyone on the photographer's shot list is present for photos. The coordinator must cue the DJ for every speech and special dance. The coordinator needs to be sure the wedding party has food and that the vendors eat (Most couples don't even think about this, because the vendors are often "behind closed doors". But, they are around from 4pm til 11pm just like your guests! Surely you wouldn't want them leaving half way through the night to go pick up Mickey-D's. But they gotta eat too!) The list goes on and on. If you do not have a coordinator, who manages those things?
Who will be there to clue in the DJ if things get a bit behind schedule and you're photographer needs some extra time so cocktail hour needs to go for 15 minutes longer.
Who will hand out sparklers and light them for your wedding guests and cue you and your new HUSBAND to start walking!?
Who will tell you it's time to make rounds to say hello to all your guests? Or when it's time to cut the cake. Or when the most important people will be making their lovely speeches. Or when your bridesmaids have a little too much fun and you just need an honest outside opinion about how your hair really looks after rockin' out on the dance floor (we'll be there don't worry).
YOU (bride or groom) Are The Most Incapable Person of Fulfilling This Job (No, This is Not An Insult.)
It is important to realize that you are out of commission on the day of your wedding. Seriously, just think about this for a second. What do you picture on your big day? Sippin' champagne, seeing your about to be HUSBAND at the end of the aisle, laughing with all your friends and family, dancing the night away until you literally ride off into the sunset.
(*insert schreeching halt of the romantic music*) Except, this does not just magically happen.
As the bride and groom, you will not have any time to manage all of the moving pieces on your big day. You will be left with trusting someone to execute all of the hard work you put into planning this day.
Guests know this, so when things come up (which they always do), they will immediately start looking for the "wedding planner." They don't want to come to the bride with bad news! She should be all smiles on her wedding day. If a child slips and falls, the wedding cake hasn't arrived yet or, God forbid, a medical emergency happens, you need to have an experienced professional there to manage all the moving parts. (Seriously--we've seen it all.)
And, you as the bride will be far more emotional than you can even imagine. The pressure of the day, of being so totally in the spotlight, coupled with the beauty and extreme outpouring of love from everyone you know, will be in many ways entirely overwhelming. The last thing you need is to be told that your cake delivery is running 30 minutes late, so you need to find a way to stall or re-arrange the timeline so that you don't end up with lag-time during the reception or worse, run out of time on your venue contract. You should not be problem solving on this day. You should be loving and smiling and drinking and only remember the night as perfect.
And one other logistical detail, you probably won't have access to your cell phone all night! Unless some bridal designer started putting pockets into dresses that I don't know about, a bride's phone is usually tucked away in her to-go bag in another room. You wouldn't even know what time it was that night if it wasn't for a coordinator!
Still skeptical? Let's play this out practically for the folks in the back.
If you don't hire a coordinator, who will coordinate your vendors arriving and starting set up? And, what if they have trouble finding your venue? Who will they call? Sure they "could" call you and disrupt you drinking champagne and getting ready with your girls and your mom, while you're blasting out to Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby". Yeah, thats gonna be a hard no from us.
Sure, you could put your mom in charge because you trust her, but she will miss the precious moments. She will never see you put on a wedding dress again or be able to help you put on a veil ever again. And she raised you and prayed over you every night that you might find happiness in your life and meet people who will love you and care for you and protect you, and you want to take these once in a lifetime moments away from the woman who gave you life?! Nope, not on our watch.
Next option: you could have your maid of honor do it. But, then again, she is missing out on all these special moments too and you're missing her on the most important day of your life! Think back on all the nights over thai food take out that you guys dreamed about what your big days would be like. And seriously, you're trying to tell me you're chill with your bff being on the phone the entire time you're getting ready, with folks who can't find the service entrance for the 500th time?! I'm getting angry just thinking about this scenario...
Last option: Family friend. You think she's perfect for the job, she can make everything go smoothly until the ceremony, it's the perfect fit! But wait... then who will be the one to tell you when to walk down the aisle and how to direct your whole wedding party? Obviously (I would hope) you want her to enjoy the ceremony too. That's why she was invited in the first place, right? But instead you're going to ask her to hide in a bush around the corner cuing everyone in the party when to walk? Here's a hint, your answer should be: You're right, we love our family too much to make any of them go through this. (Also, do you really want to resent Aunt June for the rest of your life because she royally forked up your wedding entrance?!)
HIRE A COORDINATOR.
Also, Think About The Breakdown
Let your parents and wedding party go and enjoy the rest of the night and have your coordinator worry about everything else. They can pack up all your gifts, organize any decor you're keeping vs. all your rentals, they can gather any lost belongings, and make sure all your vendors are taken care of and have received any final checks.
Would you really want your drunk brother in charge of all these details at 12:30 in the morning? Hiring a coordinator could be worth it alone just to have the takedown completed by someone you trust with 0 stress.
The Wedding Coordinator Creates Neutral Ground.
It is their job to understand your tastes and preferences so as to be able to make decisions on your behalf if need be. When something goes wrong, they are capable of problem solving without causing a family feud.
If you and your mom have very different opinions on just about everything, your coordinator can help act as the middle ground between you two when problems arise. Whether your mom wants to bump a family member up to a better table at the last minute or insists your Great Aunt Dolly twice removed needs to be in the wedding photos so someone needs to go and find her before you continue taking anymore photos, your coordinator can step in and say "unfortunately, we don't have time for that. we need to stick to the shot list and keep the time frame moving". Because your coordinator does not have an emotional interest in the situation, she can be the level-headed decision maker (who, really, is paid to keep *your* best interests in mind). So basically, if your mom disagrees with a decision being made, the coordinator can take the heat instead of you. And you can just rest knowing the problems will be solved, you will get your way, and no one will be frustrated with you directly. (Wow, can all our life problems be resolved this way?!) And in these situations, people tend to listen and respect the professionals who have done this a million times, as opposed to just the "opinion" of their daughter.
Overall, a wedding coordinator is the best means to ensure that your wedding goes according to your plan. And when you're spending as much as you are on the biggest day of your life, why wouldn't you want it to go perfectly?
Don't try to ride a bike with broken legs. Don't try to have a wedding without a coordinator. It's that simply people.
This is why we tell every single client we have that they really, actually, do need to hire a wedding coordinator. And these are just the broad strokes for why we believe this. If you have any other questions about this, please don't hestitate to comment below or email us! As you can see, we are pretty passionate about this idea (that's why we decided to do it for a living!).
Photo Credits: Rachel Wise Photography
Floral Credits: Lavender's Flowers