As coordinators we consistently provide advice, guidance, recommendations, and support to our couples. After working with many couples over the years, all of which have different expectations, planning involvement, ideas, and worries, we wanted to share out top five questions asked as coordinators:
1. What is the difference between a planner and a coordinator?
Great question and our most popular. There are some major differences, which include the amount of support, time/effort put towards the wedding, and of course, the cost of hiring a wedding planner vs. a wedding coordinator. First, the support level is more hands on during the entire wedding planning process. Most planners will be heavily involved in the process from shortly after the engagement and helps influence the decisions while guiding you through the process. Coordinators are also involved early in the process, but on a lighter level.Coordinators don’t attend tastings, fittings, or don’t always review contracts. Secondly, a planner invests more of their time and resources in each individual wedding, and because of this tend to take on fewer brides. A coordinator spends less time with you over the course of the engagement period and although available to help answer questions throughout the process, they have time and resources to work more weddings. Lastly, because a planner focuses more on every detail, decision, and milestone you and your fiancé take, they tend to charge more and have more expensive fees to help compensate for their time. A coordinator, while very hands on a few months out, costs less and is a better fit for couples who want to do more of the wedding planning themselves but need more help closer to the day. Coordinators ensure you have the best day possible without all the stress.
2. How do I narrow down venues?
Keep the important things the important things. Don’t compromise on the details that matter most to you. We tell our couples to think about what is important to them and consider how much planning they want to take on. The venue chosen can often drive the level of planning necessary to make it happen. For example, hotels are often more inclusive where packages include catering, bar service, room blocks, and room set up. Things like venue coordinators, location to ceremony, and available rain accommodations make a difference. If your vision involves an outdoor wedding, we strongly recommend selecting a venue with an equally attractive indoor accommodation. This will significantly help to reduce stress leading up to wedding day!
3. Can you help with our budget?
Yes! And we would love to! We always strive to help save you money and keep you on budget. It’s important to know working with coordinators often gives you access to specialty discounts and preferred pricing you would not have received anywhere else.
4. I have to provide my own alcohol, how much should we buy?
The standard guideline when determining the amount to buy is: 50% wine, 20% beer, and 30% liquor.You know your guests best so these percentages will likely shift some. For example, if friends/family will drink more beer or liquor you may be able to decrease the wine percentage for the reception. On average, guest who drink will have 5 drinks during the reception. We suggest planning plan for # of drinkers x 5 servings of alcohol then using your adjusted percentages.When buying wine assume each bottle of wine will serve 5 people. When buying bottles of liquor assume a handle (59 ounces) will serve about 30 people.
5. When we first got engaged, we were not in a hurry to start the wedding planning and now we are in a time crunch. Can you help?
In a time crunch?Perhaps you just don't want to wait the standard year to marry your best friend? Whatever the reason, we are here to help. While a lot of the time needed for planning is due to venue availability, often other vendors and milestones can be met and achieved in six months of less. When considering the checklist, we always suggest to target the areas that require the most time to nail down. First, start with researching venues, as that will drive the style and theme of your wedding. Once your venue and date are known it becomes much easier to envision décor, flow, layout, and color all of which help kick start your planning. Once the venue is booked, consider looking at renting or purchasing your attire and bridal gown. Depending on season and style, dresses can take 6 months to be delivered and then it’s likely you will need alterations after that. Brides will look to buy off the rack for timing or rent to keep cost down. Finally hire your coordinator to help with all the logistics. Hiring a coordinator is a must. Coordinators, even just for the day, are experienced professionals that provide that extra set of hands to ensure your vision comes to life.
As you have been told since elementary school, there is no dumb question, especially when time, effort, and money are involved! The best thing you can do during the planning process is ask questions and ask the question, “What am I not asking,” to ensure you have covered all bases. Be proactive in asking questions during venue visits, tastings, and when signing contracts. It is okay to ask the “dumb questions” even weeks before the wedding when speaking with your venue and day of coordinator. Asking questions helps ensure everyone is on the same page, details aren’t overlooked, and your expectations will be met on your wedding day. Want our advice, ask away!