Wedding coordinators, I have great respect for you.
When I planned my own wedding last year, I had a taste of what it would be like to be in your shoes. I thought, “It can’t be that hard!” since I also work in the wedding and events industry.
Let’s just say that in the middle of updating my Excel sheets, getting a headache from other wedding vendors and praying that wedding money would magically appear under my bed because the costs have ballooned enormously, I realized that I can never be a wedding coordinator. Because if I am getting all frazzled about planning just one wedding (mine), how on earth am I going to keep my sanity if I plan ten or twenty other weddings… or more?!
I was a lucky bride because I had a reliable coordinator. Unfortunately, not everyone is as fortunate as I was.
Today, one of my brides messaged me on Facebook to express her annoyance at her coordinator. “I’m stressed!” she typed, coupled with a frustrated-looking emoji. Well, of course she’s stressed! The woman is walking down the aisle in less than a month’s time and you’re not showing her any progress! You are called a “wedding coordinator” for a reason — you’re expected to COORDINATE!
Both you and your wedding clients are bound to a contract. They have agreed to pay you for your services. It’s only fair that you live up to your end of the bargain by doing your job. Please do not waste their money. I don’t know if you were once a bride (or groom) before, but when you are getting married, every cent counts. Your clients might even have scrimped on other things just so they can afford to hire you. So imagine how much it would suck for them when they’ve already given you their non-refundable downpayment and end up letting go of their hard-earned money because they choose to hire someone else at the last minute? That’s money down the drain for them but they would rather lose that than risk putting their event in the hands of someone they no longer trust and are no longer comfortable with. How can you be okay with that?
Sadly, this exact situation has happened to a number of my brides before. One of my former brides even had to replace her coordinator a week (imagine that!) before she tied the knot! And the worst part was that the coordinator was not even apologetic about it. Another one of my former brides did not replace her coordinator but after the wedding, she suddenly she wished that she did. We (the bride and I) planned the program ourselves because the coordinator was never involved. Though the bride was pleased with the program, she was disappointed about the lack of coordination by — guess who? — the coordinator! After the reception ended, the poor bride took my hand and told me, “I feel so sad… Can we chat after the wedding? I just need to let it out.” That broke my heart.
It drives me up the wall when things like this happen, maybe because I was once a bride too and I know that wedding planning is already stressful enough as it is. These brides really did not need any more stress, especially not from the people they were counting on to help them make their event as seamless as possible.
Coordinators, like it or not, you are going to be the bride’s best friend. There will be moments when she will panic or bug you for your expert advice on something. Look, no one is expecting you to be her therapist or a 24/7 wedding hotline. It’s not your job to come to her rescue every time she is having a pre-marriage meltdown. But a little support would be nice. A little reassurance would help. A little guidance would be appreciated. And updates would be great (and necessary)! Those things are not explicitly stated in your contract but should be given anyway. I’m going to be frank with you here: if you don’t care about your clients, you have no business being a coordinator. Your clients’ wedding day is the most important day of their life and if you don’t share the same sentiment, you might want to rethink why you are here. Don’t mess with other people’s memories.
And on that important day of their life, after all the stress of wedding planning, they just want to let go, relax, and enjoy themselves. Let’s give them that. We wedding suppliers don’t need to be perfect. We just need to care enough to want to do things right.
Like I said, I have great respect for you. You put a circus juggler to shame as you manage everything — the food, the props, the payments, etc. — all at once. You arrive at the venue extremely early and you stay until all the guests are smashed at the after-party. You are the glue that holds the entire production together. It’s not an easy job! Just like me, I’m sure your bride and groom have great respect for you. They wouldn’t hire you if they didn’t. PLEASE EARN THAT RESPECT.