Post # 1
Help bees! I am trying to decide if we should hire a wedding planner or not. We only would need day of/month of coordination. I just want us to feel as stress free as possible on our wedding day and not have to worry about anything.
The only thing that is holding me back is the cost! How much did you spend hiring a wedding coordinator? My area is charging around $2000-$3000 just for the day of/month of coordination. We didn’t really account for hiring one when we were working on our budget, but now that we are in the full swing of planning (May 2018 bride here!), I am really feeling the stress!!
Another thing, our church and venue both come with “coordinators”, but I feel like we need someone for everything in between and to keep everyone on track. Just not sure spending the extra money is worth it.
What are your thoughts?
Post # 2
- Wedding: July 2017 - The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek
I personally don’t see the need for a planner. I planned our whole wedding myself with no problems, and we have two coordinators at our venue who will be there the whole day, not to mention our DJ and caterer also have our detailed timeline. Why do you think you’ll need an additional person?
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
It wouldn’t be worth it for us but I can’t really think of any reason to justify spending extra money on a coordinator. Our venue is all-inclusive and the event manager also acts as day of coordinator. She’s pretty awesome and already outlined for us the flow of our day plus coordinated with our photographer and DJ. But our entire wedding is around $7k so an extra couple thousand for this seems unnecessary and wasteful. What exactly are you thinking needs to be done as far as everything in between?
Post # 4
2-3k seems like a lot for just ‘day-of’ coordination. I am paying about 4k for a full service wedding planner – but she’s done EVERYTHING, and I mean everything, since the beginning of the process.
We decided to go with a wedding planner for 2 reasons: 1st – we are planning the wedding from afar (like, 10,000 miles away afar) and didn’t have many people locally that could help us out as far as checking things out, meeting with vendors, even calling during normal business hours since we are in a very different time zone. 2nd – we were hoping that she could use her connections to steer us towards reputable vendors (since we had no idea where to start!) and secure us good deals. She has more than made her moneysworth in that area in my opinion, as she’s gotten every vendor to bring down their prices for us so far.
I have heard a day-of coordinator is very useful, but it sounds like you already have 2? What elements carry over from the first part of the day to the second that you are nervous about? If there are a lot of moving pieces it may be worth the expense to hire one day-of coordinator, but 2-3k seems way overpriced to me.
Post # 5
Ask your church and venue coordinators exactly what they do in the month leading up to the wedding and the day of because hiring somebody may be repetitive.
I have a day of coordinator (who also does lite planning) and I paid $500. She does all my set up, clean up, keeps my timeline, makes sure I don’t need anything, and so much more. I found her on Thumbtack and for all she does she was an amazing deal. Maybe try it for your area. I am sure you can find a quality person for less than $2000. If you even need somebody since you already have 2 coordinators.
Post # 6
I know the venue coordinator does not handle details and styling of the event, so that would be a plus to having a day of coordinator who can put up our guest seating chart and make sure all our DIY deco gets put out correctly (for example), instead of having to burden a family member or friend to do that. Plus they’ll know exactly how I want it to look because they do a venue walkthrough.
As for the church coordinator, I’ll reach out to her and find out what exactly she does.
The day of/month of coordinator offers these services…which I know the church and venue coordinator will not do: handle payments to all the vendors, prepare printed timelines for the bridal party, immediate family, and vendors, manage transportation of guests to and from the hotel and reception, coordinate logistics and deliveries with vendors, secure gifts and personal belongings at the end of the night, etc.
Like I said, I just want everyone to have a care free night without having to think about needs to be done. But I agree $2000 is a big price to pay.
Thanks everyone for the input!
Post # 7
futuremrsdaniellebell : I’ll definitely look into thumbtack! Thanks!!
Post # 8
We hired one for the sake of less stress and honestly, turns out it was the best decision we ever made about the wedding. A lot of places were charging 2-3k as well in our area for little. I reached out on WeddingWire and found there were better prices for planners on there. We found the most amazing wedding planner, we have 80% planned and it’s still one year away. We are paying $1,900 for partial planning. I would do more research and don’t settle for someone out of your comfortable price range.
If you happen to live in Canada Vancouver I would definitely recommend my planner! Lol
Post # 9
littlesymmetry : oh wow that’s a great deal! I did look at weddingwire and that’s where I found most of the planners I reached out too 🙁 I’m from the Philadelphia area, so if anyone can recommend an affordable wedding planner, please share!!!
Post # 10
absforthenguyen : depends on your venue. We didn’t get one – and our venue coordinator DID handle styling of the event, timing, running the ceremony, etc. Basically did everything a doc does.
Post # 11
absforthenguyen : A million times, yes! I tell my brides (I’m a wedding photographer) that a coordinator, even if they’re just “day of”, is the best gift you can give yourself. Do yourself a favor, and hire someone experienced. I know someone mentioned thumbtack, but I’ll just say as someone with 10+ years as a wedding photographer, and inexperienced planner is just as bad as not having one at all. Not saying you can’t find an inexpensive one who does a great job, but definitely do your research.
It’s important to remember that church and venue coordniators and NOT wedding coordinator. Their job is to look out for their venue/staff, your hired coordinator is there to be an advocate for YOU. The coordinator is going to help you make a timeline, and make sure all vendors are aware of where they need to be and when, as well as handle the day of logistics. Those are all jobs your venue coordinator is not going to do – they’re going to be overseeing their staff.
From my perspecitive, weddings with coordinators run more smoothly and efficient. So much so that I’ve actually almost stopped taking weddings that don’t have one, and I have a couple of them I love working with so much (because they’re so good at what they do) I offer my brides a little bit of a discount if they opt to hire them because it honestly makes my job SO much better!
The biggest reason is that on your wedding day you and your family shouldn’t be working or worrying about anything. A coordinator has already discussed EVERY detail of your day with you, knows your wishes, and has discussed backup plans. When something goes wrong – they just handle it. Anytime I have a couple designate a family member or friend it’s always a disaster because they are SO worried about making the wrong decision instead of just handling a problem they run to the bride….which stresses her out for no reason.
Post # 12
I would absolutely recommend hiring a day of/month of coordinator!! We were not initially planning on having one, but the venue we chose requires a day-of coordinator.
Our coordinator cost $1,800. She offers us all vendor recommendations throughout the planning process (we are having a 1.5 year engagement) which is really nice. Some coordinators only allow you to contact them basically 45-60 days in advance, so do your research to find one that’s more flexible with helping you! Ours also reviews all of our vendor contracts and keeps copies of everything.
The problem with a venue/church coordinator is that their job is to make sure their venue is running smoothly and the way it’s supposed to. So really, their number one priority is their venue, not necessarily the couple!
If you are anything like me, a day/month of coordinator was also really important because I needed an outside perspective to be on my side and balance out my momzilla. 🙂
Post # 13
I had my MC coordinate the wedding.. well, there was a lady who coordinated the venue before everyone arrived and made sure the DJ and all that were set up, but for the actual wedding itself the MC kept me on track and everyone else by announcing when things happened, such as the speeches, cake cutting, etc. The DJ did the bouquet toss and all that but my MC told us 10 minutes before to remind us it was almost time and all the events ran smoothly. I also memorized our wedding timeline and kept on track with what time it was during our photo sessions and when we needed to be done and head back upstairs, just make sure someone in the bridal party has a watch on them lol. Everything was on time even though the ceremony didn’t start until 40 minutes after the initial start time since there was a terrential downpour and everyone had to be moved inside until it passed. When doing the timeline just plan extra time for big events such as the ceremony time, receiving line, photo session, so you aren’t rushing and have enough time even if there is a delay
Post # 14
starfish0116 : toyoking : omg yessss!! both of your responses literally define why I think I need one!!!! Thanks so much for your input!
Post # 15
- Wedding: August 2017 - Combermere Abbey
I would definitely advocate for AT MINIMUM a day of coordinator but NOT at those prices. In the U.K. I would expect to get a wedding planner for the entire engagement process for that kind of money!! And definitely no family or friends get someone professional.
I know another Bee advised against day-of coordinators from the venue but I disagree. My venue comes with a day-of coordinator team with two ladies as lead coordinators. They have been very involved with myself and Fiance over several months and had many meetings with them where we have gone over the schedule and timings of the entire day. They have created a shared planner and have all the contacts of our suppliers which they liaise with to make sure everyone knows where and when they need to be somewhere. They will also be directing our wedding party throughout the day. Their reviews on trip advisor are excellent and the one phrase that keeps getting repeated is about how organised they were so I didn’t feel the need to hire another day of coordinator! It definitely depends which venue you go with though so I would ask them for their exact duties and responsibilities to you would be on the day before booking.
I did hire a wedding stylist / venue dresser who is also a wedding planner but offers styling as a partial service. Decoration/design/DIY/lighting/stationary etc all that sounded stressful to me and I’m so glad I handed all that aspect of planning to someone else.