Five Things You Need To Know About Your Wedding Coordinator

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As much as we wish we were J-Lo, ain't nobody wearing heels while working a wedding.


Photo Credit: Rachel Girouard Photography

1) We’ve done this before

The planning process is a delicate balance between sharing expertise and being open to the couple’s vision. For us coordinators, this means that we have to be great listeners while also having the creative capacity to tap into past experience and utilize it to make this new vision work. For brides, this means that you have to trust your coordinator. We know what we are doing and we will not lead you astray!

2) This is a job, not a hobby

If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me, “I’ve thought about going into event planning, I would love to do this on the side”, I would be very, very wealthy. Event planning and coordination at this level is not a hobby. We dedicate 60+ hours a week to ensuring that our clients are taken care of and that visions become a reality. While some folks have the organizational skills consistent with event planning backgrounds, not everyone is cut out to be in this business, and we’ve worked very hard to get to where we are today.

3) Your wedding day is indescribably important to us

We do not look at you and see a number, or a date. We look at you and see a beautiful bride with wedding dreams that we will do absolutely anything under the sun to make come true. When you are upset, we are upset. When you are happy, we are happy. We hate saying “no.” We will go above and beyond to ensure that this is the best day of your life. We care about you, immensely.

4) This job is physical…and emotional

We are on our feet for 14+ hours a day. We run, sweat, climb, lift…and this is all before the wedding itself even begins. We deal with drunk guests, rude guests, guests who completely lose sight of the fact that this day is not about them. We skip meals to set up your décor and redo paperwork for the 7th time when you add in another guest, all the while keeping a smile. It is hard on our bodies, and even harder on our minds.

5) We wouldn’t trade it for the world

A lot of people ask me if my job is fun. While there are fun moments, my job is without a doubt the most rewarding aspect of my life. There is nothing better than pulling off a great surprise from a bridesmaid, or getting to know your parents, or seeing you and your new spouse smile together as you take it all in. So why do I do it? Because even after my craziest day, there is still a happy couple that makes it all worth it.

Is That Included?

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What are you really getting for the listed price per guest?


With a new year comes a new wedding season. While a-la-carte venue arrangements often seem like an appealing way to customize your wedding experience, all-inclusive packages can save you time, money and quite a bit of stress. As you’re shopping for your reception venue, be sure to keep the following items in mind so that you can be confident in your final decision!

1) Catering
Does the venue offer on-site catering? If not, this means an additional vendor will need to be booked. Booking a caterer often involves scheduling a tasting and paying additional fees for other necessary items that sneak into the picture, such as china, flatware and chafers.

2) Bar
Similarly, does the venue offer an on-site bar? Catering companies can often provide you with a bartender as well, but this also usually means paying for glassware and additional staffing charges.

3) Staffing
Does the venue have its own in-house wait staff? While many folks tend to overlook the importance of the wait staff, servers play a major role in keeping the wedding running as smoothly as possible. Beyond passing appetizers and serving dinner, wait staff ensures that the venue stays tidy, that guests’ needs are attended to, and that the order of events remains as scheduled on the timeline. If the wait staff is in-house and familiar with the venue, this adds more stability to the event’s success.

Helpful Hint: Don’t be afraid to ask what the server-guest and bartender-guest ratio is. Some venues may include more to increase the speed and quality of service.

4) Linen
Does the venue include a standard/basic linen, or is it an additional cost? Linen is essential to the formality and style of the wedding and can be very costly if rented or purchased through an outside service. Be sure to ask your tour guide what linen options are included in your package and what options would be considered an upcharge.

5) Tables and Chairs
While this may seem like a no-brainer, many rustic or barn-like venues do not offer anything other than the structure itself. This means that tables and chairs would also need to be brought in from an outside source, adding more on to your list of rentals. If you’re interested in a barn wedding, don’t forget to think about components such as heat/AC, lighting and restrooms, as several barn venues do not include these facilities.

6) Coordinator/Planner
Does the venue include a point of contact who will aid you in the planning process? Will this person also be there on the day of the wedding to ensure that every element remains on track? An in-house wedding coordinator will relieve a lot of wedding day stress and can help you to prepare for the big day by answering any logistical questions about the venue and its wedding process in advance.

Helpful Hint: Don’t shy away from asking how hands-on the coordinator will be in your planning process. It is good to know how much outside help will be required and how much is already there for you to utilize.

7) Venue Fee/Site-Rental Fee
Is there a separate charge for the space itself, or is that rental fee included in your price per person? This is a crucial question to ask as it may affect your budgeting plans. A low price per person may sound wonderful, but can be off-set by a high site-rental charge.

8) Apples to Apples
Here are a few other items to consider when comparing venues:

i.  Number of passed hors d’oeuvres included for your cocktail hour
ii. Number of entrees/stations included for your dinner service
iii. Number of hours included for your overall event
iv. Is a wedding cake included?
v. Is there a ceremony fee? If so, how much?
vi. Do they include any sort of centerpieces or décor?
vii. Do they offer an décor rentals (candles, drapery, etc.)?
viii. Are you sharing the space with another wedding, or is the space yours for the entirety of the day (to use as getting ready space, for photos, etc.)?

Shopping for your wedding venue is the first big step in the planning process. With your big day approaching, the last things that you want to be worried about are hidden fees or expenses. Arming yourself with these important questions will help you to make a decision that you can feel comfortable with. 

Congratulations on your engagement—now get to shopping! smile


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