On every wedding forum that I frequent, the idea of budget is a hot topic. Weddings can get very expensive very fast and I am a big believer in the fact that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful and successful wedding.
When I first entered this industry, some of those numbers seemed a lot - but then I made friends with photographers and videographers who reminded me that the 12 hours of shooting on the day is the easy part - its the hours of weeding through footage and editing the perfect shot that take up the most time and it is that time that is included in the price of their services.
So, I wanted to take a moment to look at what an event coordinator does and how their fee breaks down. Your coordinator is going to become the person you and your bridal party interact with the most that day. Get one you trust to set up your vision and take care of your day.
Let’s break down the tangible things that a coordinator actually does because it is a lot more than just a “day of”
First contact / vision meeting / contract prep: 2-3 hours + texts and calls for questions and clarifications.
Final vendor meetings : 2-4 hours
Week of Confirmation calls 1-2 hours
Pick up decor/rental items: 1-2 hours
Rehearsal & dinner: 4-6 hours
Day of Event: 12-18 hours
Return of decor/rental items 1-2 hours
Total time investment: 24-33 hours at a MINIMUM!
For a “budget” coordinator that works out to be about $15-22 per hour. And that is not if they are paying for an assistant to help with large parties or room flips.
Now think about those other things that we gladly do but could never monetize.
They will answer your panic texts in the middle of the night when you are second-guessing yourself.
They will be the first to arrive on-site and the last to leave the venue on your day.
They will reassure you that your vision is perfect even if it doesn’t include traditional elements.
They will set up and decorate your tables and sometimes rearrange the entire room In between the ceremony and the reception.
They will blot your forehead and keep your lipgloss in their pack for touchups between photo shoots.
They will light your candles at the perfect time so they don’t burn out/down too soon.
They will line up your bridal party with their suits lint rolled & dresses steamed.
They will launch your processional down the aisle and open doors at the back of the venue for you at the perfect moment the music swells for your bridal gown reveal.
They will keep your feuding in-laws at peace and give your ring bearers and flower girls bribes of candy if they make it down the aisle.
They will handle any problems without you knowing there even was a problem at all.
They are probably going to see you in your underwear as you step into and out of your dress and will be in the bathroom teaching your bridesmaids how to help you navigate ten layers of tulle when nature calls,
They will crawl on the floor to do your bustle and pin the boutonnières on the men.
They will bring an emergency kit with all of the things you didn’t know you needed
They will make sure you drink water and make sure you eat a slice of your own wedding cake.
They will make sure the DJ gets set up and has the correct names, pronunciations and orders for your grand entrance,
They will attend your final meetings with your vendors so they have all your final notes, & help you negotiate refunds if things don’t go right,
They will clean up the venue, pack up your stuff and return your rental items for you.
They will breathe with you, pray with you, and give you a hug when the emotions of the day get overwhelming.
If you want that level of service, your coordinator is worth more than just what they do the ’day-of’
Please don’t hear what I’m not saying, there are some excellent “budget” coordinators out there. Many of us started out at a lower price point to build their businesses or will give discounts to serve brides who are referrals, friends, or have minimal needs. This post is not meant to degrade those businesses who have made that their model. I commend them for serving brides of all price points and I want those vendors to know that You. Are. Worth. Every. Penny. You. Ask. For. Don’t ever doubt that!
Photo credit: KC Moonlight Productions/We Light Your Fire