I always end up running into recent brides and grooms, who tell me, "I wish we would've met you before we got married! We really needed you on our wedding day!" I hate hearing this because because I know the value of having a wedding planner or coordinator, and there's nothing I can do to help them after the wedding has passed!
On average, I walk between 15 and 20 miles on a wedding day. Yup, that's right. I'm on my feet and on site for 10-16 hours that day alone, depending on the couple's needs. My team and I work our tails off to make sure the bride and groom have the day of their dreams. When I hear those regretful words, it makes me sad to imagine a bride and groom doing it on their own... worried about the many details, troubleshooting problems, communicating with vendors and corralling friends and family instead of fully being present and enjoying the day.
Often those who make those comments thought a venue coordinator, catering coordinator and/or friends and family could fill the shoes of a professional planner. But the venue coordinator coordinates one aspect of the day - the venue. The catering coordinator coordinates the catering. And friends and family are there to celebrate with you, not work until 1 or 2 a.m. cleaning up. A wedding coordinator is the couple's biggest advocate, and is there to oversee all of the wedding details.
Below are a few quotes brides sent in to Stylish Occasions Weddings, regretful that they hadn't hired a wedding planner or coordinator.
“I really missed the boat by not hiring a wedding planner for my wedding in mid June this year. I was sick as a dog on my wedding day, and so many things went wrong. There were so many things that were overlooked because of how sick I was; there was no way to plan for that! Not only did I forget to bring my fiances wedding band to the ceremony, I had to get my maid of honor to leave during the ceremony to go get it. No one heard my vows because we didn’t think to have a microphone and I could barely get out a whisper. After the ceremony, I didn’t get a single picture of just myself with my two sisters, OR a picture of just myself and my husband! The photographer we hired didn’t do the job, and had I had professional recommendations, I know I would have gotten a better photographer. One of the big selling points of the reception hall was the big video screen that played music videos while we danced. Little did we know that the music videos would be of girls being very erotic and provocative. My nephews sure got an eye full before I could run back to the owner to have them shut off the screen. It was a nightmare. I know that had I hired a wedding planner, those things would have been thought of, prevented, and/or taken care of much more quickly than I could do. What was supposed to be the happiest day of my life, remains just that, but it definitely wasn’t the “perfect” day that we dreamed of!” Meg, Bride
“I wish I would have had a wedding planner to direct me to a good photographer. We had no idea who to use for photography and the person we chose took very few good pictures. We don’t have many pictures to remember our day by. If I had a wedding planner she also would have explained to me that I did not need to invite every single relative just because they are family! She would have told me tactfully how to go about that.” Corina, Bride
“We didn’t even think about hiring a wedding planner because the reception site said they had one that would help us take care of everything. WRONG! They gave us a list of their “preferred” vendors (aka the ones that paid to be on their list). They didn’t know anything about their pricing. They didn’t help us review the contracts. And they didn’t help us negotiate with the vendors.
Their "coordinator" wasn’t at our ceremony or rehearsal to help with those. On our wedding day there were also two other weddings on site and our “coordinator” was going between the three of us. Our DJ ended up…well..sucking…there was nobody there to keep him on track. He did things randomly. He started the father/daughter dance earlier than we wanted and the photographers were still eating dinner in another room!
Then our “coordinator” left right after dinner. Didn’t really matter since she didn’t “coordinate” anything for us anyway. I highly suggest you at least hire a day of coordinator, if not a full wedding planner. Looking back that’s the one big thing I would change.” Michelle, Bride
“When my daughter got engaged the first thing I suggested was a wedding planner. She and her mother both insisted they didn’t need one, that they could do it all themselves. Well, by the end of the planning process they were almost not speaking to each other. They both now agree that we should have hired someone to help and basically mediate between the of them!” Ronald, Father of the Bride
“We interviewed a couple wedding coordinators for our wedding. After booking our reception site we decided against hiring a coordinator because the site said they had one. Well, a week before the wedding we found out she had quit! (She had actually quit a while before but we didn’t find out until then.) So we met the new coordinator a week before our wedding and had to go over all the details with her again. Then she ended up not being around half the night. The DJ and photographers kept coming to us and asking us questions that we didn’t have answers to (for example where would they be eating…something we didn’t think about!). Luckily the head server was able to help us but that wasn’t his job. His job was to keep the servers on track! Hire a day of coordinator! It’s well worth the money! Jen, Bride
“I wish I would have had a wedding planner to help me choose a good photographer. We ended up going with someone a friend recommended, and they really were not good. You don’t realize how important a good photographer is when you are planning your wedding. Planning your wedding can be very stressful at times and having a professional wedding planner like Melissa Martin would have made the planning so much smoother and a lot easier.” Kristen, Bride
“As a wedding vendor, I truly feel like a wedding planner is a must, or even if you can just afford a day of coordinator. The bride should not need to be on her cell phone wrangling up her bridal party. She should have a third party present that is solely focused on making sure the day has a great flow.” Noah, Videographer