A question often asked by Brides-to-be is whether or not they need a Wedding Planner. To the newly engaged couple, it isn’t crystal clear what the difference is between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Co-ordinator, whose service is included when you hire a venue for your big day.
The aim of this blog is to shed some light on what you should expect from your venue coordinator, using our very own Emilie as an example, to help determine whether you need a Wedding Planner too.
Now You’re Booked!
In the same way that once you’ve booked your venue, you can relax a while, it’s the same for your wedding coordinator. He or she will get everything secured at the venue and make a note to contact you a few months prior to your wedding
How Often Will I Hear From My Wedding Coordinator?
Obviously there’s no real restriction on how often you contact your coordinator! These are intended as helpful guidelines so you know what to expect. They will of course be there to recommend suppliers to you and answer questions (preferably in one email and not daily thoughts!) when asked. And they’ll happily work alongside, or deal directly with your Wedding Planner, should you hire one.
3 months before
You’ll receive an invitation to go to your venue for a planning meeting. At this meeting you can expect to cover everything from timings, menus, special dietary requirements, seating plans, alcohol and catering quantities, bedroom allocations and access times, to finer details like your decorations, ceremony music and who the important wedding party members are.
On a separate occasion you’ll be invited in for a menu tasting on a fixed date.
6 weeks/1 month before
Your Wedding Coordinator will get in touch for you to finalise and confirm your final numbers and requirements. This allows time to create your final invoice which in Berwick’s case is due 1 month before the wedding.
You’ll be contacted to get a suitable day and time in the diary the following week, for you to drop in with all your paraphernalia!
A day or 2 before your wedding
When you drop your wedding bits in, such as your place cards, favours, decorations, menus, children’s activities and playlists, your Wedding Coordinator will be here to receive them and run through any instructions for the set up.
On The Day
Your Wedding Coordinator will be here on the day in good time for your wedding. He or she will be here to meet you (unless you stay the night before and are already here early), prepare the ceremony room, set up your table decorations, oversee florists’ set up, co-ordinate the Registar meeting the Bride & Groom separately, get you to your ceremony on time and operate your entrance music.
After the ceremony they will be here as a familiar face during drinks and to do little bits like moving floral arrangements and prompting your wedding party when it’s time to usher guests to the dining room for the wedding breakfast.
When it’s time to be seated for your wedding breakfast, they will introduce you to the event manager, whose capable hands you’ll be in for the rest of the evening. At this point your Wedding Coordinator will go home on a total high (that’s no exaggeration), with sore feet but buzzing that you’re having an amazing day!
Do I need a Wedding Planner?
If you can’t dedicate all the time to planning your wedding or if you’re feeling overwhelmed, then maybe a Wedding Planner is right for you.
Here’s an outline of what a Wedding Planner does or can do, that a Coordinator doesn’t:
- Recommend suppliers like dresses, photographer, florist etc
- Negotiate and handle the booking process with said suppliers
- Plan your whole wedding or just partially, perhaps with 4 months left to tie up loose ends
- Help to advise on the overall design and feel of the day
- Some planners offer a styling service too. They can source items and then creatively style your tables and areas of the venue on the day
- Manage your guest list and RSVP’s
- Be there on the day alongside the venue’s wedding coordinator
- Make announcements on the day
- Organise logistics like accommodation, transport and pre night and post wedding meals/activities
- Manage your budget
- Create your schedule and to do list
- Offer advice and guidance on all elements of the wedding planning process
- Offer contingency planning on the day or prior if things were to fail and you need help to find solutions to problems
- Meet you at your venue for site visits
- Liaise with all suppliers during the process and on the day
Olivia from Host Event Management is our recommended Wedding Planner. If this is a service you’re considering, you can get in touch with Olivia who will arrange a complimentary consultation to discuss how she can help you achieve an unforgettable wedding day.
Whether you decide on a Wedding Planner or not, good luck with the plans!