Behind the Scenes: Coordination
If I had a nickle for every time someone asked me what a wedding coordinator does...I probably wouldn't have to coordinate weddings anymore (just kidding, I love my job). But honestly, most people have an idea of what a wedding planner does, but not as much knowledge of what a coordinator does. Read on to find out what all goes into coordinating a wedding and how it is a great investment for your big day!
Before Your Special Day...
Here at JW we offer three different coordination packages: Complete Day of Coordination, Week of Coordination, and Month of Coordination. Each package has varied levels of our involvement, so I will speak generally throughout the rest of this blog. One important thing to note is that a wedding coordinator will not help you plan the details of your wedding. They will help you execute every detail to perfection that you have already planned, but a coordinator does not actually assist you with choosing your venue, centerpieces, decor rentals, vendors, budget management, etc.
Most of our coordination packages include one or two in person meetings and unlimited contact with your coordinator (within reason of course). Please do not call them at 3 AM about the nightmare you had involving the napkins arriving rose instead of blush - that has never happened by the way. As a JW client you get access to our preferred vendor list of wonderful people in the industry that we have had great experiences with. Some of our preferred vendors even offer our clients special JW discounts! The week of the wedding your coordinator will reach out to all of the vendors you have already hired and paid for. They share the timeline with them, coordinate delivery & pickup of rentals, and make sure that the vendors have them down as the main contact for any questions on your wedding day, so you are not disturbed. This is truly the most beneficial reason to invest in a coordinator. It is such a relief for clients to hand off all responsibility to a professional and not have to worry about being bothered themselves, having their parents be bothered, or having "Auntie Sue" be the main contact and not answer her phone... (sorry Auntie Sue).
Since your coordinator will be running your ceremony it is always nice to have them lead your rehearsal as well. Officiants love when there is a wedding coordinator because they can focus on the ceremony and not having to line up the wedding party or make sure everyone knows where to stand. At your rehearsal your coordinator will introduce themselves to your wedding party and family and will kindly let them know that they can come to them with any questions on the wedding day and not to bother the bride & groom (we are on your team!). Your coordinator will actually lead the entire rehearsal from there: lining up the wedding party, cuing them on when to walk; instructing them on pace, how to stand, where to look, etc. They lead a quick run through with the officiant, so everyone has a taste of what to expect and no more than an hour later you're off enjoying your rehearsal dinner without a care in the world because you know the coordinator has it all under control.
On the Big Day...
This is when it all happens! The day usually begins with your coordinator arriving to your ceremony venue to check in on the wedding party. From there they will meet vendors as they arrive and show them where to set up. We are experts at pinning on boutonnieres, tieing ties, bustling dresses, and making last minute alterations to a bridesmaid dress (that actually happened).
While your lead coordinator is with the wedding party to assist the bride and groom the other coordinator is often times setting up your reception decor and making all of your beautiful plans come to life! We can be in two places at once because we are magic :) Your lead coordinator runs the entire ceremony, so it goes off without a hitch and then they pop over to the reception quickly to make sure everything is in order before guests arrive. The rest of the night is all about managing the timeline. If any of you have a theatre background it is essentially stage managing a wedding. I give people "warnings" to let them know they have about 5 min before speeches. I cue the DJ when to make the announcement for the first dance. I make sure catering sticks to the timeline, so that speeches don't start late. I even look for Grandma Mable's purse when she can't find it, etc. At the end of the night there is a whole heck of a lot that happened and you are 100% unaware. That's how we like it! I have always said if I do my job right no one will even know I was there. I think I will request that my next business card has the title "wedding coordination ninja" on it ;)
It is such a great feeling when I send the couple off at the end of the night and they say that they had the best day and never worried about a single thing. They actually got to take in every moment of their special day, which is important because it only happens once and it flies by! Don't take my word for it, read our love letters from couples who have worked with us. If you're wondering if hiring a coordinator is right for you I hope this little blog helped shed some light and if you have more questions we would be happy to answer those for you if you contact us. We love what we do and we truly do it for you!
Until next time!
XOXO - Tamara