Stress. No one ever really wants it, especially on the day of your wedding. You and your partner agree you want to relax and enjoy every nuance the wedding day holds, not worry about orchestrating it.
You’re in need of a wedding coordinator.
If you’ve contacted a few and seem impressed, there are a few things you should ask that wedding fairy godmother before you deposit and find out that magic wand is just some tinfoil and streamers.
- Can I See More Photos from Your Portfolio?
Checking out a wedding coordinator’s portfolio is usually a surefire way to ensure you’re hiring someone who is professional and matches your style. The key word in that last sentence is “usually.” Photography fraud in the wedding world is on the rise, and more and more wannabe wedding professionals are stealing from those who work hard and have original ideas.
If you can crosscheck the photographs, try to do so. If the coordinator’s portfolio looks too good to be true, tell him or her you’d like to see more photographs from the photographer who was there on that wedding day. Most coordinators have no problem reaching out to photographers they’ve worked with to get more photos for your to see. If you never hear back from the coordinator after that meeting, it’s probably a good sign they weren’t the ones who planned the wedding they were trying to pass off as their own.
- Do You Take Commissions for Referrals?
Many vendors, not only planners, have set referral fees they charge to fellow wedding vendors.
The reason referral fees matter is that the wedding coordinator might not be referring based on how well the other wedding vendors perform but by how well he or she gets paid for referring the caterer, photographer, or other vendors. The best thing you can do is bluntly ask the question. While taking a referral fee isn’t the worst thing a planner can do – it’s fairly common practice, however shady it might be –, be wary if your potential coordinator starts to be very pushy about you selecting certain vendors. Chances are, it’s because they’re getting a better kickback from them than others.
- Will You be Onsite the Day of Our Wedding? How Many Assistants do you Bring the Day Of?You may be under the impression the person you meet with will be there when you say “I do.” You know what they say about assuming, right?Don’t leave anything to misunderstanding. As you vet wedding coordinators, ask them if they will be onsite the day of your wedding. If they aren’t, ask them when your wedding gets passed off to one of their assistants.
Another question that goes hand-in-hand with this one is, “How many assistants do you bring along the day of the wedding?” With the rise of outdoor weddings, wedding coordinators have a lot more ground to cover on the day of than they used to at a church or in a reception hall or banquet room. Cover your bases by finding out how many assistants are going to be there or if it is an additional cost.
- Do You Consider Yourself More of a Decorator or a Coordinator?Everyone has his or her expertise, including wedding professionals. You can save yourself a huge headache if you ask upfront whether your potential wedding assistant feels he or she is more of a decorator or a coordinator.
The reason this point matters is because having someone who has an eye for design is amazing…unless you’re looking for someone who loves keeping people on schedule and dealing with logistical nightmares. Wedding planners and coordinators can be both great at decorating AND coordinating the day of, but chances are they’ll need assistants to help get everything done.
Be very wary of any coordinator who says he or she is completely comfortable managing all logistical to-dos as well as decorating. If something goes awry with the DJ, and the decorating isn’t done, you’ll know why.
- This is Our Budget… What Can You Make Happen for this Amount?
This question links perfectly with #4. Some wedding professionals will cover the entire spectrum, including pre-wedding planning, day of coordinating, decorating and styling. Some may even do flowers.
The question is: what can you and your partner afford?
Know your budget for your wedding and stick to it. If you find a wedding planner who offers a bunch of a la carte items, pick your top necessities first to see what the price comes out to; if you have money left over, then you can add in those extras to really top off your special day.
What are you looking for most in a wedding coordinator? Tell us below in the comments section!
Image Photographer: Polis Photography