"I got this. Everyone gets married. How hard can it be? Plus, I'm on a budget and I can't afford to spend precious dollars on a wedding coordinator. And, the church has a coordinator, so why would I need one anyway?"
If you've thought these things, you aren't alone. You want to know how I know? Because I was that bride.
I didn't get into wedding design and coordination because I loved planning my own wedding so much that I wanted to do it for life-- far from it. As much as I love weddings... I love marriage more. I design and coordinate weddings because aside from loving love, weddings are a beautiful intersection of meticulous planning and beauty. They are the cross between super elaborate schedules and the flow and feel of a beautifully decorated space. They are where my problem solving skills try to accomplish your wants on your budget and where my creative ideas meet. We're a rare hybrid of people.
But back to my wedding (which, by the way, was 2010 and pre-Pinterest): My photographer was two hours late, my flowers were much more tropical than expected, it was 106 degrees outside, my reception had to be moved inside due to the heat (the cheese cubes were literally melting into queso), I never ate a bite of our wedding cake nor did I get a drink, I announced my own exit with a wave and to top it off, we didn't get our wedding album until a year and a half later only to discover that most of our images were shots we specially requested not to include. Ta-da!
I'm the world's most organized person (so much so that I made a career out of it) and still needed an experienced person to suggest and vet quality vendors outside my knowledge or research, confirm them in the weeks prior, monitor and receive them day-of, orchestrate my reception activities and make sure I made it home with a piece of wedding cake. I didn't have that and thus, my wedding day was not particularly magical. It was actually a lot of work trying to cue people and vendors to certain activities and not near enough spending time with the people I loved.
I will tell you this though.. the way your wedding goes, is by NO means a reflection of how your marriage will go. When people ask the best days of our lives, we always tell them that we've had 100 much more fun days than our wedding and our marriage is my favorite. You don't have to have a fabulous wedding to have a fabulous marriage. But, since you are going to the effort to plan this event and you would like to enjoy it, here are some reasons why an A+ wedding coordinator should be by your side at some point during the process.
1. Day-of Really Means Month-of
----- At Meg Owen Events, we meet a month before your wedding and again one-two weeks before. At that month mark, I start to piece together a meticulous schedule for your wedding including everyone's where abouts, your vendors drop/off and pick up times right down to who's delivering the microphone over to your MOH for her toast. It's pretty intense. There's plenty of vendors to call and confirm as well as errands that might need to be run on your behalf the week of the wedding. So even outside the actual wedding day, there's plenty of work to be done.
2. Set-up and Tear Down
----- Linens, chargers, napkins, glasses, guest books, frames, easels, photo booth props, favors, guest seating assignments, gifts, signage, personal decor, etc. don't assemble or set themselves.
3. Something(s) WILL Go Wrong Day-Of (And That's Ok)
----- Remember that awesome itinerary above? That's the insurance policy in case something goes wrong (and it totally will.) Knowing where everyone is, what everyone's phone number is and having hired a professional "fixer" makes it so much easier to combat issues that may arise on the day of your wedding. As a bonus, hiring a coordinator that also has experience in floral, calligraphy, sewing, etc. can also be greatly to your benefit! Which is another reason why I happen to be pretty great... there's literally not a hat that I don't wear!
4. We've Seen It All
---- Speaking of fixing things, I bring a bridal survival kit (packed carefully with tricks of the trade needed from my experience in the business) in the event something goes wrong. I've always got a chalk marker in my purse to fix chalkboards, safety pins for broken dresses, wedding playlists ready to go on the iPod, floral tape, duct tape, fashion tape, (you get the point) so that rest assured whenever a surprise happens, I've more than likely already seen it and know a decent fix!
5. Let Your Mom and MOH Enjoy The Party
---- Wedding work is hard. That's it. There are furniture and props to move, people to orchestrate, a non-stop ringing phone, vendors to receive, family member questions to answer, linens to drop, table settings to be set, favors to be arranged and one million other small detail-oriented things. It may sound like a a job that CAN be done by your mom or MOH but let them be a part of the celebration! Let them be present at the makeup and hair appointment, let them be there when you slip your dress on, let them be on their phone for taking pictures not with giving directions to your ceremony musician!
6. Relationships and Discounts
----- A great aspect of having a coordinator is that vendors may offer a small discounts or may possibly even waive delivery or pickup fees or some small token of savings based on our referral of their services. If your coordinator has been in the business a while, she often may be able to recommend certain vendors based on your budget and personal wedding style, thus, alleviating multiple vendor meetings for you as well!
7. We Work With Church Coordinators (It's Actually Preferable)
----- Have you ever seen that episode of Looney Toons where Bugs Bunny is playing all the different positions on the baseball field? That's kind of what I do on your wedding day. I'm playing all nine positions at one time. So if the church you are getting married at happens to have a coordinator for the church, that is actually preferable! That actually works out lovely and lets me move onto the reception for a final sweep once the doors are shut for the wedding!
8. Time Accounting
----- The DIY bride is fantastic and sometimes brings the most thoughtful ideas! But we need to account for all the time that your particular set up will take. The great thing about the itinerary I provide is that we are able to formulate a set up plan prior to just unloading everything the day of. This will help us make better use of our limited time at the venue and make the day run so much more smoothly.
9. Service Orientation
----- How does it sound to have a seasoned professional completely devoted to your happiness that day and making sure all of your wedding day wishes get completed? How does it sound for someone to double check everything, to do extra sweeps of the room after you've left, to make sure all your gifts get packed away, to make sure you get home with extra cake and leftovers from the night? How does it feel to know that at the end of the night, there will be an extra pair of hands helping your parents pack their cars and make sure you got home with all previously-purchased decor? Wedding days are often 16-hour days for us and we devote that to you. We devote that time to making sure you, the bride, have to do as minimal work as possible.
10. Quality Coordinators and Designers
----- Every day there's a new girl (often fresh off planning her wedding) that rolls out of bed and wants to do this job. I get it, the thought of planning weddings is fun. But please know that planning and executing events for a living is hard work. I have worked in corporate events for five years before making the move to personal events. That's seven years of concerts, pop up markets, town hall meetings, birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, fund raising events, veteran celebrations, kids events, etc. Seven years of events in 110 degrees and some in freezing rain, events both under and over staffed, events with million dollar budgets and events with hundred dollar budgets. That's seven years of remembering extra trashcans and renting bathroom trailers when needed; seven years of catered food, contingency plans, tough decisions, relationships and advice and so much more.
When you're thinking about possibly hiring a day-of coordinator, check those Top 10 reasons against your potential vendors. I promise Meg Owen Events can deliver on all them! In the spirit of community over competition, if MOE is booked or unavailable to be your wedding designer or coordinator, I am more than happy to refer you to fabulous people in her industry whom I trust to take care of you.
I hope you found this helpful! If you'd like to talk more about possibly booking Meg Owen Events as your day-of coordinator (or wedding planner/designer, florist, chalkboard artist, freelancer, etc.) you know right where to find us! You can check out with other brides have said about Meg Owen Events in our "About Meg" section or, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org