Choosing A Wedding Coordinator

Information and questions to ask when interviewing your wedding coordinator.

From the second a woman is proposed to, the wedding plans have already begun. When my husband proposed to me over four years ago, I had practically created a guest list in my head in the few moments between the time it took him to propose and show me the ring. For some women, like me, the mere thought of planning a picture-perfect wedding is exciting. For other women, however, it may seem overwhelming. This is where a wedding coordinator comes in. Depending on how much you are willing to pay, a coordinator will do everything from narrowing down a list of venues, florists and photographers for you to pick from to planning every single detail of the wedding, including the theme and colors, so you and your soon-to-be spouse can sit back and enjoy the ride. If you are planning on hiring a wedding coordinator, here is a list of some items you will want to keep in mind and some questions you may want to ask during your interviews.

One thing you will want to know is how long the wedding coordinator has been in the business and how many weddings they have actually planned. Sure, your old college roommate may think it exciting to help coordinate your wedding, but if this is the first wedding she will be planning, much less, attending, then you may have some problems. If a coordinator having a degree is important to you, then, by all means, only choose one who has gone to school for it; however, his or her work must speak for itself, so ask to view a portfolio of recent weddings and some reviews from their past clients.

After determining if your styles mesh, it is vital that your personalities do not clash. After all, this is the person who will be coordinating your wedding, who may be in attendance at the wedding, who will be telling you, your spouse, your bridal party/groomsmen and your relatives where to sit or stand and who will help you with one of the most important days of your life. Be sure that you get along well with the coordinator you choose.

Many wedding coordinators start off part-time while their businesses get off the ground. If you want a coordinator whose work schedule you do not want to work around, you may want to choose a coordinator who is full-time in the business already.

Unless you and your spouse-to-be are trust-fund babies with no money worries, you will want to have a coordinator who helps you stick to your budget. One of the first things you will need to discuss with a coordinator is how much you are willing to spend on the entire wedding. A great coordinator will pick vendors accordingly and not have you meet or interview, say, a florist or photographer that is out of your financial league.

Discuss fees and costs with your coordinator. Most coordinators charge one of three ways. They will either charge a flat fee (in other words, they will offer package deals based on how much involvement you want in the coordination of your wedding), a per hour fee or a percentage of your budget. Ask the coordinator up front of any hidden costs or extras they may charge, like travel fees or fees for extra helpers at the wedding.

Depending on the size of your wedding, your coordinator may work alone or they may hire a few helpers for the actual wedding day. If so, make sure this is included in the fees you have discussed. You may also want to get a breakdown of when you will need to pay. Some coordinators may ask for the cost up front, while some are willing to accept payments leading up to the actual wedding day.

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