Whether perhaps due to Hollywood stereotypes or general misconceptions which have built up over the years, wedding coordinators have a lot of pressure on them when their clients, guests, or other event partners think certain duties have gone neglected because it was “duty” of the wedding coordinator to perform these duties.
Let’s set the record straight right here and now: a solid, experienced professional coordinator can take care of as much or as little as is contracted- but always has every duty to be performed outlined in writing in contract form in advance. If it is not discussed – and listed in writing – to be performed, it should not be presumed to be done. There is no general “rule” of what he/she is “supposed” to take care of, since what the client hired them to do can vary so greatly.
Below are some of the most common myths of what many assume wedding coordinators “automatically” take care of. If you are in doubt, ask your coordinator. Do not automatically assume he/she will just “take care of it” because it is their “job”. Their “job” is spelled out in the contract meticulously, because every task and duty is assigned an amount of time, and their fee is based on the time to take care of each of those designated tasks.
As a point of grace and service hospitality, you can almost be guaranteed your coordinator will be taking care of many items not contracted for that came up unexpectedly and most likely will never tell you about them. Which is all the more reason it should never be “assumed” that he/she will just automatically take care of “everything”. Pulling them away from their contracted duties to take care of “everything” means an epic fail for everyone – including and especially the client and their wedding day, since it means the coordinator was not given the opportunity to actually carry out what they promised.
Myth: Wedding Coordinators take care of hiring all the event partners (vendors) for the client.
Reality: This depends on the consultation planning package you contract with your Coordinator; for most limited planning packages of any kind, the Coordinator can present you with referrals or bids, but the client must legally contract with the service provider; even many full-service planners will do the legwork of planning, but signing on the dotted line and paying the deposit to the supplier is often the responsibility of the client. When in doubt, ask. Every professional wedding planner works differently and this is a good question to ask up front.
Myth: Wedding Coordinators will be with the client from the moment they wake up on their wedding day and shadow them throughout the entire day.
Reality: Unless the client has hired additional staff through the Coordinator just dedicated to be a personal assistant to them, you will find that your professional wedding coordinator’s prime dedication is your ceremony and reception site, ensuring all is set up according to plan, overseeing installation, set up, timelines and then once the bridal party has arrived, guiding them through the ceremony and reception timelines. It is the responsibility of every event supplier working the wedding to know the venue, the event timeline restrictions and much more. Wedding coordinators cannot be all places all the time and are constantly pulled in three million directions at once, so it is up to you, and your other event partners to stay on the timeline /schedule prepared by your Coordinator until you arrive to your destination and then allow him/her to lead you by the hand through the event.
Myth: Wedding Coordinators pack up everything at the end of the night and return all of the bride’s personal effects (guest book, cake topper, gifts, specialty décor or rental items) for her.
Reality: This varies greatly with wedding coordinators. Most require that someone designated by the bride be responsible for transporting all of her personal effects such as guest book, gifts, cake topper and more; if any of the décor needs to be dismantled and packed away, this is something that should be discussed in advance as it would require additional staff and time; if the décor belongs to a service provider (vendor), that service provider is generally responsible for returning to pick it up. Always ask in advance and do not assume.
Finally, a professional coordinator will help you know the questions to ask. For example, in preparation for the day of the wedding, he/she will ask the questions that help ensure no detail is overlooked. Even if he/she is not contracted to take care of the duties themselves, they will help ensure your wedding is a success by asking questions such as: “Who is transporting your gifts at the end of the evening?” and “Who will be collecting all your personal décor items”, “Who is packing up your grandmother’s fragile champagne toasting flutes?” etc. While most coordinators facilitate in some way making sure the bride’s personal effects make it back to her, the scope of what they may do/not do varies greatly.
Knowing how to prevent crises in advance is the mark of a truly seasoned professional. And only an experienced professional knows what questions you need to be asking. Trust them. Want to know what details you may be overlooking or what we can do to support making your wedding seamless? Contact us!