One question every couple should ask at the onset of their wedding preparations is: Should we get a wedding coordinator? Let's face it, brides- and grooms-to-be are much busier nowadays, even before they start planning the wedding. And there are only a few couples who actually know the ins and outs of wedding planning.
Hiring a professional wedding planner/wedding coordinator/bridal consultant is not exactly a requirement to all couples -- it's a choice. Before getting one, ask yourself if 1) you can handle the preps, and 2) if you have someone, like a family member or friend, to help you out. To tell you the truth, we did not hire a professional wedding coordinator during our big day. I guess it helped that our families and friends actively participated from preparation to execution. And because we had more than a year to prepare and having experienced being guests at other people's weddings, we knew more or less what we should do. In the end, everyone enjoyed the party.
But for couples who are really in the dark and would like to get a fresh perspective of the planning stage, hiring a wedding coordinator is a must. Wedding coordinators help you with the nitty-gritty, from thinking of a theme to hiring suppliers to managing your budget to organizing the flow of the wedding program. They're there from Day 1 of the preparations until the last minute of your reception.
One of the advantages of getting a wedding planner is that they usually have a huge list of contact suppliers. This eases the process of scouring and researching for venues, caterers, gown makers, photographers, and the like. Sometimes they could even haggle prices for you, if they can, so you could stick to your budget.
Another advantage is that wedding coordinators helps in keeping the program flowing smoothly, especially on the day itself. They would carry a checklist of things you'd need for the ceremony and reception -- some of them even have a sort-of wedding first aid kit for those small snags that might happen.
Some wedding coordinators also take note of your guest list and RSVP. If it's part of their service, they would be the ones to do the follow-up, removing the stress from the bride and groom.
Bottomline, wedding coordinators help make your big day as organized as possible so you get to enjoy the wedding more and worry about the little things less.
Wedding coordinators have varied services catering to your needs. You can hire them solely for consultation, or get the full package (from preparations to wedding day itself) or the on-the-day coordination (you have your suppliers already, you just need the organization).
Of course, there are a few things to remember about getting a wedding coordinator. First, do your research: How long have they been in the business? Who have been their past clients? What are their services and how much are they going to charge you? How many times should you meet during the preps? What will be the terms stated in the contract?
I've heard of horror stories regarding a few wedding coordinators, and it's best to do a background check on the ones you're eyeing first. The best way to check their credibility, aside from asking them directly (that's also to check if you have rapport with your potential coordinator), is to ask their past clients how they fared during their wedding. Online forums are a big help to determining the names to be short-listed in your mind. Actual brides who have availed of their service would be more than willing to recommend their wedding planners to you.
So now that you have an idea, ask yourself if it's important that you hire a wedding coordinator. If you think you won't be able to handle it on your own, remember there's always someone willing to help you out during your preparations. Work hand in hand with your wedding coordinator and your big day will be truly memorable.