THE DECISION

The choice of retaining professional consulting and coordinating services or performing your wedding planning and production yourself is one you will want to make carefully. This resource guides you through either course of action you decide to pursue.

Remember, your wedding can be the most wonderful day of your life if you put it together with skill…but only if you then are relaxed enough to really enjoy the result.

We often get a call from a bride or her mother within a month of the wedding date when sheer panic over the detail and complexity they thought they could handle sets in. Very often an adequate understanding of the elements involved in the planning of the wedding is not obtained in time to get the desired result.

THE COORDINATOR

If you choose to obtain professional help with your wedding you should be aware of how to find the right coordinator. Understand that churches and event facilities often have “wedding coordinators” on site. These people do not coordinate your entire wedding. They only manage their facility’s functions for you. A professional wedding coordinator takes all of the responsibilities off your shoulders.

The wedding consulting and coordinating field is not a regulated profession like medicine, law, or accounting. No governmental agency or mandatory industry standards committee stands ready to verify the credentials and competence of someone claiming expertise. The burden of selecting a qualified and effective coordinator falls squarely on your shoulders. This is why we offer the following suggestions:

  1. Find a coordinator who services the location you are considering for your wedding. This means that the company (or person) has most likely gained knowledge of the competence and responsibility of wedding service providers in your area.
  2. Determine what professional training in wedding consulting and coordination this company’s principal and employees have had. Remember, anyone can call herself (himself) a wedding consultant.
  3. Find out how many weddings the consultant has serviced, and how many years of experience. You don’t want to be one of the first clients.
  4. Obtain a list of references and letters of recommendation. Then call at least three or four of them and ask whether the coordinator was everything expected. Ask also if they felt they received value in all aspects of the wedding. (Refer to #5 below).
  5. When talking to one or more of the references for the coordinator, find out which wedding service providers she used for her wedding, and give several of them a call. Ask them whether they enjoy working with the coordinator. Many people calling themselves wedding coordinators seem to have the temperament of drill sergeants at a military boot camp. Remember, it’s your wedding and you don’t need to work with someone who wants to make it her (his) design or else. The coordinator’s function is to help you make it the wedding of your dreams.
  6. Ask the coordinator if she (he) receives any compensation from wedding service providers for client referrals or for any reason. What you want is for each wedding service provider recommended by the coordinator to depend for future recommendation on the quality of service rendered to you.
  7. Find out whether the coordinator has experience in the kind of wedding you plan to have. Has she (he) done theme weddings or contemporary weddings as well as traditional church ceremonies? Does she (he) have experience in your desired religious or ethnic wedding?
  8. Does the coordinator have experience in dealing with “ex”-families and “step”-families where ill will may create strained encounters at the church or reception? If you have relatives who fall into this category a coordinator with skill can often smooth the waters.
  9. Does the coordinator’s personality match with yours? This person must make you feel confident that your wedding is in the very best hands.

ON YOUR OWN

If your choice is to plan and run your own wedding the following guide should enable you to identify and qualify your resources, and put them together effectively. Remember, you’ve made your decision to plan it yourself so relax, take it step by step, and enjoy the process.

START EARLY

The first step you should take on the road to planning your very special wedding is to start the process early. When you decide the style and size of your event you don’t want to find your dream-wedding site or reception facility already booked. If you plan to have your wedding in one of the popular months, (i.e. May thru September in Colorado) the quality locations and vendors are often booked twelve to eighteen months in advance.

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