“We just want the day to be over.” It’s not something we want to hear from a soon-to-be married couple, but when we do, it’s often because they don’t have a coordinator helping them out—or the one they have just isn’t cutting it. But the truth is that a wedding planner or coordinator can make or break a wedding, and that’s why it’s so important to find one who gets you, and who understands your vision and has the practical experience that’s needed to make it a reality.
A Lot Is at Stake in Your Choice of Wedding Coordinator
Because wedding planning has the potential to consume so much of your life, your time, your energy—and, really, to drive you crazy—a wedding coordinator who steps in is like the keeper of:
• Your sanity
• Your bank account
• Your time
• Your relationship
• And the best day of your life
When you look at it this way, you have all the more reason to find a wedding planner you can trust, who understands what you really want, and whom you could see being your best friend for the months leading up to your wedding day. The ideal coordinator is not just one who makes calls and shuffles around contracts so you don’t have to. The ideal coordinator is one who’s willing to take your calls, one who will actually ease your stress and help you feel confident and excited about the big day.
While I’m being entirely serious when I say that your ideal coordinator should feel like your BFF, don’t get me wrong—they are also complete professionals who know how to get the job done. Their extensive experience means that they can juggle the immense amount of details that make the actual wedding possible, and it also means that they’ve spent years developing connections in the industry. Your coordinator will be your advocate, the one who stands between you and the caterer, the venue—and maybe even opinionated family members—to make sure your vision will be carried out.
How Do You Find the Right Fit?
There is only one route to finding the coordinator you click with, the coordinator who gets you: you have to meet them, in person. Even though most of your conversations over the coming months won’t be in person, we’re talking about a meeting of minds and hearts—and we’re talking about the best day of your life, so it’s critical that you prioritize this personal aspect that will alter the course of your planning and the success and tone of your big day.
First, narrow down your possible candidates according to the following considerations. You can likely do this from information you pick up online, from the venue for which they work, or from a quick phone call:
• Coordinators who do a lot of weddings at a single venue have probably put on the most amount of miles with the same vendors, from wine to sound to rentals, so their ability to streamline things and troubleshoot will be impeccable—and you have good reason to be confident in their abilities. So, look for full-time coordinators who work at or partner with venues.
• Coordinators associated with a particular venue or professional group are also more likely to have access to a network of resources and liability insurance, so you can feel comfortable leaning on them as they employ the very best services and take responsibility for things that may go wrong.
• When you’re considering whether to meet a coordinator in person, call them up and ask—if you were to hire them—how often could you reach out to them and expect a response. Of course, they might tell you, “All day, any day,” and not really measure up to the promise, but it is good to pose this question and rule out those who are expressly unwilling to be there for you when you need them.
Second, set up face-to-face meetings with those who pass the first test. When you do sit down to talk to them, keep the following in mind:
• Listen to your feelings and your gut. This whole idea of finding the right fit is only as good as your coordinator is honest. When they answer your questions, do they sound like they’re reciting a script, or do they sound as if they’re present with you, listening thoughtfully, and answering you as a person, not just as a customer? This same authentic quality plays another important role, too: you want to trust that beyond being encouraging and enthusiastic, your coordinator is going to be honest with you about what is possible and reasonable for your budget and the material reality.
• In the same light, do they seem genuinely interested to hear about your very personal and precious vision of your dream wedding? Do they light up and offer fresh ideas that are truly in line with what you want? This kind of cohesion shows not only that they have enough experience to fill an event with fitting details, but also that they enjoy the whole process for its own sake—and for your benefit too.
• Do they add to your happiness? As you sit with them, do you feel comfortable, light, connected? They may be the person you’ll be looking to constantly for guidance and reassurance from now until your wedding day. You want your conversation with them to feel more natural than a business arrangement.
Letting Your Coordinator Take Care of You
One thing a coordinator can do that you can’t necessarily do for yourself is consider how you’re going to think and feel about the wedding once it’s all over and done. Their experience, confidence, and bird’s eye perspective allow them to look beyond the planning and the hows or ifs of whether it’s all going to get done. If you feel that you can really trust your coordinator, and that they understand what you really want from your wedding day, you’ll be able to hand the torch over to them so that they can make some decisions for you. And that is the path to really easing your burdens and stress, ensuring the best possible outcome on the wedding day, and setting yourself up to actually be present and rested enough to enjoy the event that all of this hype has been leading up to.
At Kennolyn, our true love is watching our clients’ dream weddings come to life. It takes consistent dedication, brilliant imagination, and care. We’d be honored to be on the journey with you. Get in touch, and we can set up a time to meet and see whether we’re a good fit.