How to Choose a Wedding Coordinator

Ashley Rader

Ashley Rader is the owner of Moments of Elegance, an online wedding boutique specializing in beach wedding favors, summer wedding favors and a huge collection of unique wedding favor ideas that will say thank you with style and will truly make your event unforgettable.

What is the benefit of hiring a wedding coordinator? A wedding coordinator can be worth her weight in gold when it comes to planning your wedding. There are two main purposes to hiring a professional wedding coordinator: discounts with vendors and freeing up your time.

Brad: combination Wedding Planner and Groom

Here is a guide to choosing the right wedding coordinator.

Understand the wedding coordinator's job.

She is responsible for organizing your event down to the most minor detail. A good wedding coordinator will interview you to find out your likes and dislikes and your budget. She will develop a budget and timeline for the wedding. It's her job to keep everyone on schedule and handle all the frustrating negotiations and nit picky details. Here is a small list of her duties:

· Develop the schedule, and let you know what needs to be done when.
· Help you develop your budget by giving you advice on where to spend and where to scrimp.
· Get you the lowest prices with vendors.
· Take care of paying vendors or letting you know when payment is due.
· Assist you in choosing a menu for the wedding reception. She will know what foods will be best for you and your guests.
· Help you select items such as the cake, decorations, flowers, table linens, favors and other items necessary for your wedding. She will make sure all these items are where the need to be when they need to be there.
· Keep the wedding on schedule. She will do everything from telling the wedding party when to walk down the aisle to gathering guests for the cake cutting.

Now, how do you find such a person?

Interview her. Find out how many weddings she's planned. Ask her what she will do for you.

Ask for references, and check them. Go to the vendors and ask about her reputation. Also, contact the Better Business Bureau to check her record.

Go to one of her events (if possible). This can really give you a picture of her performance.

Negotiate the fee. Wedding coordinators are paid in three different ways:

  1. Her service is free to you, and vendors pay a percentage of the cost of goods to her for bringing them business. Be careful with this option because you may not get the best prices on items for your wedding. You may also get poor service.
  2. A percentage of the entire wedding budget is paid to the planner. This usually ranges from 15 to 20 percent. The percentage payment option is a good plan for expensive, elaborate weddings. A good rule of thumb is to consider this if the wedding is over $25,000.
  3. A flat fee is the most common type of payment option for wedding coordinators. You'll receive a set number of hours from her for your different planning needs. The flat fee payment is the most transparent because you know exactly what you are paying for.

Final Tip: Check with your wedding location for leads on good wedding coordinators. Some locales even have a relationship with a planner in place, and this can be included in the rental fee.
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