can i get some coordination, please?

It’s that time of year again where I like to throw some advice to all you bride & grooms who frequent my website. In this post I’ll be talking about something I’m extremely passionate about. That is, wedding coordination.

It’s the big day. At this point you and or your family have spent thousands of dollars to create an unbelievable day. You wake up and now what? Do you want to be making calls and ordering breakfast or lunch? The truth is you shouldn’t have to. It’s your day and you shouldn’t have to stress out about all the crazy details and last minute stuff. In my opinion brides and grooms should be on autopilot that day and having to deal with distractions such as “where’s the limo drivers tip?” or “did I tell the florist 11am or 12pm?” shouldn’t be a concern.

I’m a believer: I recommend day of coordination to all my brides and grooms. Why? I have so many reasons!! I can talk to a coordinator prior to your wedding and we’ll figure out a perfect timeline so no one’s stuck twiddling their fingers for an hour. We have a science when planning out your day! After a phone call with a coordinator they’ll hang up the phone with me, call the hair + makeup, florist, limo drivers, etc and plan around our schedule. All you need to know is when to wake up and where to go. They even give you a little timeline the night before. How cool? It’s great because when I walk into a hotel room or brides home I want my bride 110% completely relaxed. When coordination is there I know I have this. Why stress? I’ve photographed some stressed brides in my day too! Word…

I’m not a coordinator, I’m a photographer: Another reason I’m a fan of wedding coordinators is I can be creative. We can show up and document the day which is what we’re there to do! What happens at a wedding when I become coordinator? Well, I still do my thing and take what I only hope are phenomenal photos but I’m not even going to try and front, I get stressed. There is nothing worse then trying to setup a first look when I should be locked in on the grooms reaction but I’m out of breath fumbling with lenses because I just ran a 5K to tell the bride “ok, you can come to the first look spot now”. Look I’m not trying to get out of any extra work, our clients pay us very well to document their day and we’re grateful for that, believe me! Things just run smooth when you have someone telling people where they need to be and when. When we’re doing family photos I love to have a coordinator on my side making sure the Smith family is there and the Smith siblings are on deck waiting to be photographed. We can bang out those family shots in record time with a little coordination! Or there might be any given photograph you want and you mentioned it to your coordinator. For example, how many times has a coordinator came up to me and asked if I got the college shot, the rings or something special? All the time!

Day of coordination: Most of my clients use “day of coordination” and some are “full planning”. I would say there is a HUGE misconception in the words “day of coordination” because while yes they are there on wedding day coordinating, they have actually met with the bride and groom at least once in person and have had a handful of phone consults or video skypes with them. So no, you’re not paying for just one day. You’re probably getting a 40 hour work week at the end of the day. Now don’t quote me, but I think “day of coordination” begins around $1500 and could reach up to $1900 depending on date and hours needed. People, this is a STEAL! I see these coordinators all day making things happen! I mean they’re with you or running stuff around before your first eyelash has been applied and all the way into the night when you’ve said “good bye, thank you” to your 175th wedding guest. These girls BUST their butts and put out fires all day! I have to commend them for it! Shoot, they should have a holiday dedicated to them! I personally think they should charge more for what they do (maybe they all will after they read this so act now! kidding). I’d be willing to bet if you asked anyone who had a coordinator for their wedding if it was worth it they’d say it was the best money they spent… aside from the photography of course πŸ˜‰

Who?: In this post I’m endorsing two coordinators. The reason is I work with these two consistently and consistently get work from them. Are they the only show in town? No. I’ve worked with other great coordinators as well. For the sake of putting one name before the other I’m going alphabetically by last name, Katie O’Malley and Christine Wheat. I contacted both these ladies and asked for some quotes from them and they both dropped what they were doing and emailed them right over. Those coordinators always have it together..

“As a bride you can definitely plan your own wedding but it is really hard to wake up on the morning of your wedding and actually coordinate your own day!  You should be sipping mimosas with your bff’s and getting pampered with hair & make-up, let us worry about the schlepping and details!” – Katie O’Malley
“It’s the one day in your life where you’re the VIP and playing hostess all at once.  When you hire a ‘day of coordinator’, not only do you get someone that is going to make sure your vision comes to life, but this person will help guide you through your day; getting you from one place to the next. This always makes for an enjoyable day and happy memories.” – Christine Wheat
“Investing in assistance on your wedding day just makes sense!  You have already invested a lot of money in the venue, the entertainment, decor and photography, you should be able to let go and make sure all your hard work pays off.  You will not be worried about when this vendor is going to arrive, if the escort cards been placed exactly how you want them and all the details that the coordinator will worry about for you!” – Katie O’Malley
“The traditional elements of coordination are important (cuing, making sure everything runs on time, lining people up, setting up decor) but I also think that making sure vendors are taken care of (bottles of water to the photog), sliding on the brides back-up flip flops at the moment she just can’t bare to walk, making sure the bands dinner is out when they take their break, even making sure that dad sees his daughter being pampered that day, are just as important and make a good day become a great day for all involved.” – Christine Wheat
“The best compliment we receive is usually at the end of the night when either the bride & groom or their parents come up and say “wow we had such an amazing day and can’t thank you enough.” – Katie O’Malley
“In my experience I’ve had many believers and nonbelievers before the wedding day comes.  Afterwards it always amazes me that my nonbelievers come up and say “you were the best investment we made for this whole wedding.” – Christine Wheat

I hope some of future brides and grooms got something from this! Big thanks to Katie and Christine for helping me out with this blog post! I hope I see more of you girls in 2012!!


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favorite 2011 wedding (second half)