Monday, April 16, 2012

How to choose a wedding coordinator

Until recently, I did not fully appreciate the value of a wedding coordinator. My daughter is getting married in June. Like every family, we want it to be perfect. The problem is that there are so many details to deal with that it would be easy to make a major blunder at the wedding. Plus, a coordinator will know how some wedding traditions began. Strike the music and cue the wedding coordinator to save the day!

She will be lining up the bridal party and telling the ushers who gets seated where. She will also be making sure that the groom does not see the bride until the agreed upon moment. And, chances are pretty good that the wedding coordinator will be handing tissues to the mother-of-the-bride (me).

People ave given us well-intentioned advice from the moment we announced the engagement of our daughter. One of the people at church put his hand on my shoulder, gave me a knowing look and suggested running for the hills. Others suggested that we bribe my daughter and her fiance into eloping. Those ideas sounded good, but the future bride and groom wouldn't hear of it.

This is when I began to seriously think about a coordinator. Crossing items off a list makes me feel empowered. So, I made a list of that I wanted out of a wedding coordinator. These included:
  • Knowledge of procedure and protocol
  • Showing up for meetings on time
  • Being clear about what is expected on all sides
  • Written agreement on fees and services included by the coordinator
  • Attendance at the rehearsal dinner and wedding
  • Ability to coordinate and understand different cultures and religious denominations
  • Experience as a coordinator
  • Supernatural powers to calm frayed nerves
  • Willingness to be the 'corrective voice' if necessary
  • Take the pressure off of the mother-of-the-bride (me).

With list in hand, I interviewed several wedding coordinators. All agreed that my requests were reasonable and with one clear exception, every coordinator seemed fabulous. However, I have a friend who is very, very good at coordinating events and met all of the above needs. I am honored that she will be our wedding coordinator when my daughter gets married.

Going through the above process helped me clarify what we needed. Printing the list was one of the best things that I could have done. It helped focus the conversation and ensured that all the bases were covered.

It is a process that I would recommend to anyone hiring a wedding coordinator. Here is a rundown on the rest of our wedding team and a couple of wedding blogs that you might want to look at.