1. Why hire a wedding coordinator? Can't I just have a friend help me out?
Because planning a wedding is a big deal, and a big investment, there are no do-overs when it comes to the actual wedding day running according to plan. No matter how on top of it you are, you don't want to be the one organizing vendor setup and tear-down on your wedding day. It's also not a job you want to stick any of your wedding party or family members with too as it leaves them no time to actually enjoy the celebration.
You'll need someone who is willing to show up hours early, who is willing to stand in the corner of the reception space and manage guests, caterers, and speeches... who is willing to stay long after everyone leaves to manage the vendor tear-down process as well. Plus, you need someone with a specific skillset who can put out last-minute fires, rearrange seating at the eleventh hour if need be, throw together a forgotten place-card at the last minute, stay on top of the timeline, direct your wedding party, and more. (It's exhausting just thinking about all of those things!)
2. Is a wedding coordinator really worth the investment?
I know, I had the same argument when planning my own wedding (before I became a wedding coordinator). It's really tempting to save the extra $1,000 bucks, but take a step back and look at this in the terms of the big operation it is....you wouldn't host a concert without a conductor, or play a NFL football game without a coach, would you? Even though the individual musicians or football players know the basic function of what to do, they still need someone to see the bigger picture to make sure to avoid chaos and make a successful event.
Additionally, planning the wedding is a process. It actually involves a lot of time and effort (which I am sure you are discovering!). My services are priced to reflect the amount of time I put into the work. For instance, the Wedding Day Management package reflects twenty (20) hours that I commit to working for you to cover communication with you and your vendors, research, building the timeline, plus the actual hours of work I do on the day-of.
3. What is the difference between you and a venue coordinator?
In a nutshell, from my experience (I used to be a venue coordinator!), your venue coordinator certainly can help with the planning process, but is ultimately focused on overseeing the set-up, food and beverage, and logistics as it relates directly to the venue. An outside wedding coordinator will be more familiar with your specific vision, and will coordinate and manage ALL logistics and design details with your entire wedding team.
4. Why should I hire you as my wedding coordinator?
Like you, I want to make sure we are a good fit. I want you to ultimately find the right person to do the job, even if that isn't me. On paper, though, I have years of experience in event coordination in multiple roles. I've made the mistakes, learned the lessons, and have the wisdom to pass on to you! Additionally, I think that having professional credentials is important as well. That's why I'm a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants, which holds its members to the ABC Code of Ethics and Standards of Membership. I also have several certifications from accredited educational programs and am currently working towards my Professional Wedding Planner designation. For more information about why I'm worth considering, check out the About page.
5. Do you work with a team?
I decided to start my own business because I want to be personally involved (in the role I love so much!). I'll be your main point of contact for our meetings, the planning, and the day-of coordination, though I do work with a team of other experienced event coordinators and assistants, whom I've known for years, to make sure your event is fully-staffed if additional help is required. Most of my packages include (1) assistant, but for certain scenarios, more assistants may be needed.
6. How many weddings do you do per year / per weekend?
Since I'm the primary coordinator, I limit the number of weddings I take per year so that I can remain balanced and in control of each wedding (and have time for my personal life, too!) I believe in quality over quantity so I book only one wedding per weekend so my full energy and attention is dedicated to that wedding.
7. Is there a minimum budget you work with?
There's no clear-cut answer to this as it depends on the scale of the event you are planning. I'll work with any budget as long as it's realistic. Let's be honest - we all wish for a dream Pinterest-worthy wedding on the budget of a birthday party. But, that's just not possible. The truth is that weddings (especially as we envision them) are a luxury item, and in my opinion, are not worth getting into debt over. I want to meet with you first and discuss your vision and help you build a budget that is realistic so you can scale your vision accordingly. I do believe that you can have a beautiful wedding on a smaller budget as long as you know how to save and what is worth the investment.
8. Is there a deposit? Do you offer a payment plan?
Yes, to reserve the date, a non-refundable retainer is due once the contract is signed. A second payment will be due at three months prior and the balance will be due one month before the wedding. Between the date of the deposit and the final balance due, you are welcome to make smaller payments as needed.
9. How is your pricing structured? Why is your pricing different than your competition?
For my packages, I charge a flat fee that is calculated around the guest count and time invested. For some of the packages, guest count does matter (as the work for 100 guests vs. 300 guests can change a lot!), because other factors such as separate ceremony and reception locations, additional assistants needed, etc. can influence the pricing. Regardless, you'll be given an itemized quote prior to booking so you'll see exactly how it works out before making a commitment. I've also set up a lot of my services as a la carte so if you need more help as you go along, you can always add more services or time!
My pricing is set so that I'm sustainable as a business, but so that I'm also accessible to clients who don't need full-service, but still value the help that a professional can provide. My pricing also reflects that I am a small business - I'm not a large agency and don't have the larger operating expenses that can influence the pricing of my services. I know that budget and the desire to "save" on costs can be a strong factor in deciding who to hire, but I also want to stress that value isn't directly tied to cost. My best advice is to weigh other factors such as flexibility, availability, support system, experience, personality (and more) when considering which coordinator is right for you. I believe in community over competition so if there's a better fit for you, I won't hesitate to recommend them.
10. Are you licensed and insured?
The answer is YES, I am licensed and insured. I believe that having the professional accreditations and legal protection is important, especially when you're committing to a big investment (in both expectations and money!). I have a San Diego business license, and a million-dollar liability insurance policy. Additionally, I have a contract (created by a lawyer) which is important in making sure you know exactly what to expect when working with me.