Wednesday, July 27, 2011

7 Wedding Coordinators and A Confused Couple

Finally....he's popped the question and you're so excited to start planning that you don't know what to do with yourself!  Should I start with venues, florists, cake, food, alcohol...ahhhhhh!!!!  You're freaking out before you even start to plan!  The groom was stressed before you even screamed, "YES!" and now he has how many months to deal with you like this??? 

Breathe.  Relax.  Simmer down.  One of the greatest investments that you can make for your wedding will be to find an awesome, knowledgeable, easy to get along with wedding coordinator.  So now you're thinking, " expect me to turn the most important day of my life over to a total stranger and just trust them?"  Well...kinda sorta.  Not a complete stranger, but someone you get to know and understand.  Someone you can communicate with and have confidence in.  Ok...better now?

So, you do an online search for your area, only to find that there are many people around you who call themselves coordinators.  And the freaking out begins again.  How do you know who to go with?  What matters when selecting a wedding coordinator?  They are gonna cost me what?!? 

Here are some tips to help you find the person who is going to keep you from freaking out so much:
1.  What's your first experience with them? 
Friendly and informative or rushed and pushy?  Good coordinators will take the time to explain things to you and share information.  So what if you have a habit of asking the same question 12 times.  The coordinator for you is going to answer the question each time and provide the information for you so that it eases your worries.
2.  Do you feel comfortable talking to them?
Of course there is bound to be a little awkwardness at the first meeting, but that should soon be forgotten and you focus on what you're there for: planning your wedding!  Coordinators have the information or know how to get the answers, and you should find someone who you feel comfortable talking to and asking anything.  And I do mean anything.
3.  What experience and references do they have?
Now, first and foremost, taking a class does not a wedding coordinator make.  If coordinators want to take those classes then great.  However that does not mean they are qualified or good at what they do.  Just because my crazy aunt has taken a class on shooting a gun does not mean she should be allowed to hold one.  I read books and magazines and a gazillion articles online, but you become an awesome coordinator in one way:  Experience.  Don't be afraid to ask them for multiple and current references.      
4.  Is this going to cost me a horn and a hoof?
Price is a big factor when selecting anything to do with your wedding, and wedding coordinators are no exception.  Many coordinators have a percentage fee, which means their charge is a percentage of how much your total budget is.  Others have a set fee with specific duties they perform.  This is very important for you to consider and decide which type is right for you.  If you go with the percentage fee, the more you spend and add on the higher their cost.  You will need to make sure they don't encourage you to make pricier choices or select higher end vendors so that they are paid more.  If you go with the set fee just make sure you understand the cost as well as exactly what's included.  Need a service that's not included?  Ask them if it's an add on option for a reasonable fee.
5.  Meet more than one!! 
Even if you absolutely love the first coordinator that you meet, meet one or two more just so that you can compare notes about them.  I loved bacon the first time that I ate it and felt there was nothing better in life.  But now that I tried bacon with chocolate (and don't give me an eewww until you've tried it) I am amazed that I didn't discover it sooner!  So meet multiple coordinators...all it costs to talk is a little bit of time!

Take your time, ask questions, be yourself and overall trust your gut instinct.  If there is anything that you're hesitant about explore that.  This will be your confidant, your stress remover, your sanity installer and the person who you trust the most with your wedding.
Breathe.  Relax.  Find a great coordinator! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don't leave your guests waiting forever!

It's your day.  It's your time to shine.  It's the time for all the attention to be on you and everything to revolve around you.  Well, kinda sort of.  While these things are true, there are other people to take into consideration on your wedding day.  Such as...ummm...I dunno...all of the people who have taken time out of their busy schedules, spent money on travel and gifts and suffered through catching up with family.  Yep, you got it...your guests!!  

The ceremony is over and you're busy, busy, busy:  photos, greeting guests and talking to people, cutting the cake and getting something to drink.  But while you're zooming around here and there, what are your guests doing?   Sitting and catching up?   Yeah, that will keep people entertained almost as much as reading a magazine about road paving.  Your day being about you doesn't mean that consideration of others has to go out the window! 

What are good things for your guests to do? Here are a couple: Appetizers, drinks, getting to know one another games, unique ways for them to find their seats, disposable cameras on the tables, photo booths (home made or professional), board game area, professionals (magicians, artist to draw pictures, dancers) and even slide shows.

 The bottom line is that if you want your guests to hang out throughout the reception, keep them entertained. Keep things moving and keeping them wanting to know what is coming up!