The Undervalued Vendor

They hired a coordinator so they could enjoy their big day!  DUHHH!  Of course there's so many other factors, but entrusting your wedding to a professional on your big day will alleviate a lot of stress and help you enjoy your big day.

I always get the question from friends asking me what is one of the most frustrating things about being a wedding planner.  Many of those that ask me assume that it’s handling over emotional brides or disastrous scenarios, but it’s not.  For me, it’s the fact that wedding planners are undervalued. Sometimes it’s hard to understand the value during your planning process because most couples don’t realize the need for one until after the event is done.        

Now, when I was planning my own wedding, I was very naïve about it all.  I thought I could do without a day of coordinator, but boy was I WRONG.  Fortunately, my mom saved the day by asking one of her very close friends who has experience doing events.  As time has gone by, and the more experience I’ve gotten, the more I realize how insane my 300 person DIY wedding was.  Did I mention I had 3 cars full of DIY projects for the day of the event? 

As a wedding planner there are three things that I always tell potential clients that I can help them save: money, time, and stress.

Can you help me save time?
One of the most time consuming processes of planning a wedding or an event is vendor selection.  There are a TON of vendors out there and sifting through ones that would be perfect for you can be quiet a bit of homework.  Most importantly, how do you know if they will follow through with what they promised to do?  It’s never a good feeling when you have doubts or problems that arise from a vendor you do not trust, and it’s too late to do anything about it.  As a planner, my job is to make sure that I can help screen your vendors and to catch those red flags ahead of time.

Another time saver that I can help you do is to make sure that your planning process is done correctly.  Personally for me, I prefer planning an event from the beginning whether it’s doing a partial or full planning package.  Oftentimes when I get hired to do a month of coordination service, I usually end up having to fix a lot of problems that could have been prevented early on.  Especially if it’s a major issue, then scrambling within a couple of weeks to solve the problem before the event can be very hectic for all parties.  

Planning a wedding or any major event is a full time job.  Hiring a coordinator can help reduce a lot of your time spent on planning your wedding/event.  Not only that, it will be easier for you to focus on taking care of your career, family, and personal day to day things.

Wouldn’t I be saving money if I didn’t hire a coordinator?
Instead of thinking about the added costs of hiring a coordinator, think of it as something that will be of value to you during the planning process and on the day of your event.  Here’s another way to think about it.  If you are spending thousands of dollars and countless hours of time on this one big event that will only happen once, don’t you want to make sure that you can enjoy every second of it?  

Especially on the day of your event, it’s crucial to have someone there to coordinate all the details, ensure your vision is executed, communicate to the vendors, fix problems that arise, run the program, and most importantly, take care of you.  A bride should be a bride on the day of her event and NEVER take on the role of a coordinator at the same time. It’s stressful and it is going to take you away from spending time with your guests.  Plus, hiring a great coordinator will allow your vendors to focus on their job as well.  At the end of the day, one of the most rewarding parts of my job is to hear that my clients fully enjoyed their day, were stress free, and that the services that were provided made a tremendous difference to their event and well being throughout the process. 

If that’s not convincing enough, here is just a taste of what a coordinator can help you save money on:
  •  Watch out for major pitfalls when booking
  •  Ensure that your budget and the vendor you hire fits accordingly
  •  Offer different alternatives to make sure that your vision is what you want and still fits in the budget (ex: different flower alternatives, budget friendly ideas, etc.)
  • Get discounts with certain vendors
Why is planning a wedding stressful?
There are A LOT of details.  If I could put the words ‘a lot’ in 1000x font size, I would.  When you think you’ve booked all your vendors and you’re done, there are still a million other things to do.   You have to think about your design set up, programing, guest lists, invitations, guest placement, lodging, coordinating with the vendors and a the list goes on and on.  The details pile up very quickly and it can be overwhelming.  Your coordinator will be there to keep track of those details and make sure that it’s done in a timely manner. 

In addition, a huge asset of hiring a coordinator is helping you make decisions.  Especially with a tremendous amount of information from blogs, Pinterest, and magazines, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed to sort out what you really want. Throughout the planning process our job is to sift through all that information and pretty pictures in order to make your decision making a lot easier.  You will feel more at ease knowing that you’ve talked it out with a professional and who’s primary job is to make sure your vision is aligned.   

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Maira Gall