When I meet with clients they usually have their venue booked, and are still in the early stages of wedding planning. I often ask if a wedding coordinator will be involved. Some brides are very hands on in the planning and may not have thought how a wedding coordinator can help them with the flow of their event. There is also a stigma that wedding coordination is expensive and only for luxury weddings.
Do any of these thoughts resonate with you? Krisanna Reiff of Koordination by Krisanna answers some questions you might have thought of for this Q + A on wedding planning and coordinating. I hope this is insightful and helps you with your wedding day plans!
What are the different tiers of involvement couples can choose from with hiring a coordinator? What will having a wedding coordinator for the duration of your engagement do vs what a wedding day-of coordinator will do?
Each planner is different, but I decided that I wanted to offer 3 standard packages for my couples to choose from, including: 1. Month-of Coordination, 2. Partial Planning + Coordination, and 3. Full-Service Planning. Here's a quick breakdown:
1. Month-of Coordination: we begin working together 4-6 weeks prior to the wedding date, which gives me the opportunity to get to know the couple's personalities & wedding goals! This package is perfect for the couple who is comfortable with all of the planning aspects leading up to the big day but would like to hand over all responsibilities & rest assured that all of the logistical aspects will be taken care of day-of.
2. Partial Planning + Coordination: I begin my collaboration with a couple who chooses this package 5 months before their wedding. This package is optimal for a bride & groom who have picked out their "big" initial vendors (i.e. venue, catering, photographer) but would like some help with finding the rest of their vendor team, staying on track with checklists & extra meetings, and tying up loose ends. Of course, this package also includes me being there day-of to ensure everything goes smoothly.
3. Full-Service Planning: I am your personal assistant from Square One! Maintaining a budget, choosing a date, proofreading vendor contracts, securing your vendor team... the list goes on forever. This package is optimal for the couple who want to stay involved but might not have the time to do it all on their own and would like someone by their side every step of the way.
Why would you hire a Professional Planner vs assigning those responsibilities to a Family member or Friend?
Oh my goodness, this is a wonderful question. I actually wrote my own blog post on this topic because I have heard so many stories of couples who wished after the fact that they had hired a coordinator (you can read it here, if you'd like)! Professional planners & coordinators are still viewed by many as a luxury cost and I get it - when you're on a budget for your wedding, it seems like one of the easiest things to cut. After all, your cousin Marsha said she'd be more than happy to take over coordinator duties! I know I'm biased because I AM a coordinator, but please understand that if you appoint a family member or friend to take on the tasks that a professional coordinator would normally be doing, you will barely see that person the entire wedding. They will not sit down, they will not eat, they will not dance with you. Nothing makes me more sad!
Would you hire a friend with no law experience as your attorney? No! And maybe that example is a bit extreme, but you get where I'm going. Professional wedding coordinators have years of experience and, consequently, know all of the little things that makes an event tick. We have chosen this profession because we are highly detail-oriented problem solvers, who are fluent in the language of wedding logistics. So even if you are extremely comfortable with the planning process prior to the wedding, hiring a month-of coordinator will allow you (and Marsha!) to focus on what is really important when your wedding day rolls around.
I think most Brides that don't hire a wedding coordinator do so because they think it's something they can save from the budget. What can you share to those Brides?
Like I said before, I get it! That being said, I think it's a common misconception that hiring a wedding coordinator will cost thousands of dollars. That's where finding an experienced wedding coordinator who provides month-of coordination comes into play. A month-of (or day-of, depending on what the specific planner has decided to name it) package provides you with help on the big day AND it's also the package that requires the least amount of hours on the coordinator's end compared to some of the packages that require months of research, etc. The end result? You don't break the bank AND you have someone who is running around behind the scenes, making sure everything is going according to plan.
Any thoughts/advice you would like to share beyond the Q's that I may have missed?
Honestly, my best advice is to enjoy the adventure. Don't get too stressed out - make it fun! Remind yourself that your wedding is about you & the love of your life, celebrating your romance with everyone you love on one very special day. Yes, logistics are important and you certainly deserve a beautiful occasion but it's easy to get swept away in all of that... After all, a wedding is simply the very beginning of something so much more precious: your marriage.
Krisanna Reiff is a Wedding Planner & Stylist, born, raised, and based in Seattle, WA. Her favorite aspect of her company is the people part - forming amazing connections and life-long friendships with her clients and colleagues. She is also a firm believer that the little things are what matter most. Krisanna loves giving back to her community by volunteering for the Seattle Humane Society and Get Hitched, Give Hope. Any extra spare time is spent practicing calligraphy, enjoying a good book with tea, or watching her favorite sports teams (Go Hawks!).