8 Things Your Wedding Coordinator Does

When you start your wedding plans, you will often hear about wedding planners and coordinators. Unless you are a wedding expert, then this is all new to you. You might already have an idea about what a wedding planner does. The planner takes care of everything from day one (like a timeline for when to hire vendors). This article will cover what a wedding coordinator does.

There is a difference between planners & coordinators. A wedding coordinator is someone that takes care of the logistics. Coordinators typically work with a shorter timeline than a wedding planner. Your wedding coordinator takes charge of communication with your vendors around one month before your big day. They also are the primary point person on your the wedding day.

we’ll cover what to expect from a wedding coordinator & why you need one

This guide covers the (8) main things your wedding coordinator does. Most wedding coordinators offer different packages based on amount of coverage. A coordinator can also take charge a month before so it is easier to plan a wedding while working full-time. Coordinators can help you write a timeline while taking care of final payments during the big day.

Are you ready? Let’s go over all the juicy details!

Average Read Time: 4 minutes 30 seconds

Review Signed Contracts

have insurance on file for all vendors in-case your venue asks for it last minute

A wedding coordinator will not take care of your wedding plans from day one. That would be the job of your wedding planner. You need to meet with your coordinator to provide them all the details of your celebration until that moment. You need to share with them all the important information:

– vendors & provided services
– contact information
– signed contracts
– pending payments
– load in times
– special instructions
– strike times (aka tear down times)

Create a Timeline

A timeline is crucial for your big day! By the time you hire a wedding coordinator, most of your itinerary should already fall into place. You need to time every activity from the moment you wake up to when you leave the party. You need to know at what time your makeup artist will arrive, how long it will take for you to be ready when to put on your dress, and so on.

falling 10 minutes behind schedule early on can lead to hours behind schedule later on

So basically your time line keeps you ‘on time’. In addition, to creating the timeline, your wedding coordinator will make sure the timeline is executed. They will help you stick to it and make sure everyone is doing their job when they need to. They can make decisions if things should change or get you involved when necessary.

For example, if your dinner is served at 7pm, you might need your ceremony to start on time at 530pm. Because everything is based off this initial time. It is easy for your photographer to get trigger happy during golden hour make sure they don’t take up too much time. When you don’t have someone to time each activity of the day, chances are you will end up having dinner two hours late 🙁

Create a Floor Plan

After creating a timeline with your wedding coordinator, it will be time to define a floor plan for your reception. You need to know where each table is going. This includes seating for:

– you and your bridal party
– immediate family
if children invited where are they
– the location of your cake & desserts
– food stations (if not plated)
– the bar or champagne wall
– wedding dance floor
– entertainment
– even vendor tables for meals

if doing ceiling draping your vendors may need to install before a table floor plan is finalized

It is necessary to have a floor plan to locate everything visually for your reception venue. The floor plan comes in handy to designate tables and seats for each guest. You will see which one is near the bathrooms for the elderly, who is sitting too close to the music and where to place your vendors.

Vendor Check-In & Logistics

A wedding coordinator needs to establish communication with all your vendors. They need to know their approximate arrival time. Make sure your vendors are familiar with your venue & their loading policy. Vendors need to know where to park & how to access the room. This can help them from getting accidentally late if your venue is a PITA. Your coordinator needs to know:

– what jobs they are performing
– when they are arriving
– how much time they need
– when they are leaving
– cleanup and other details

arrival times are important when you have an elevator and need to stagger setup times between multiple companies

Vendors might need a storage area for their boxes and transportation cases. It would be nice to show them where they can store any extra equipment. Find out if they are leaving any vehicles on-sight during the event. You may want it parked in a special location. Also confirm their strike (tear down times), this way it doesn’t interfere with your guest experience.

Review Forgotten Details

Perhaps you felt like everything was ready; you have a venue, food, drinks, decorations, ceremony site, officiant, invitations, floor plans, seating charts & even wedding favors ready. All set, right? Wrong! You meet with your wedding coordinator, it turns out you forgot to hire some companies. Now you need to find wedding vendors fast.

coordinators can give you recommendations on the best local vendors to hire

This could be sound for cocktail hour or mics for your ceremony. Do you need to hire a valet parking service? Perhaps you totally forget to rent drapery to cover an ugly wall. Also don’t forget wireless uplighting rentals that will transform your room in color. These little details are crucial for your wedding reception. We recommend a quick chat over coffee with your coordinator to make sure all your i’s are dotted & t’s are crossed.

Plan & Manage Your Rehearsal Dinner

A coordinator will help you plan a rehearsal dinner. This can be hosted at a venue, family property or Air BNB backyard party. This is great for immediate family to break the ice before you tie the knot. The night before dinner will also serve as practice for your ceremony so it goes as planned. When you skip doing a rehearsal dinner, you take the risk of having a chaotic entrance.

Your bridal party needs to know where to stand at your wedding ceremony. They should also practice their body language since they will be in photos. Bouquets should be be held at their belly buttons. During the rehearsal the wedding party will also practice:

– who goes first
– how to walk down the aisle
– music cues
– where to stand
– readings (if you have one)
– when to leave for the ceremony recessional

have your wedding party practice adjusting your train & to have tissues ready

Okay now that we have covered where to host & how to organize the logistics of your rehearsal, you need to think about the meal. What will be served at the rehearsal dinner? Next you need to come up with an invitation list (usually 15 to 50 people). Your wedding coordinator will help you solve any details related to your rehearsal dinner.

The Wedding Day Of Point Person

The morning of your wedding is here! You wake up filled with excitement and look at your phone to check the time, but you also see dozens of messages. Everyone from vendors, family members, and even friends. They are all asking you last minute questions. Where to place this or that, how to get to your ceremony, if you know where the keys are and so on.

give your phone to a family member, they can act as a gate keeper & handle all calls/texts

Putting out fires is the last thing you need on your big day. This is one of the main reasons why your hire a wedding coordinator. They are your point person so that you can actually enjoy your celebration. Everyone who needs information or has questions about the event will contact your coordinator.

Lastly Coordinators Solve Problems

What should you do in case your wedding decorator runs late? What if your catering service staff is ill and has to attend short staffed? Do you know what to do, who to call, what is the plan B? Well, your wedding coordinator will solve these problems because chances are they have happened before. More than likely your coordinator will solve them without you even knowing there were any issues!

an experienced coordinator will see problems long before they happen

We hope you found our advice on wedding coordination helpful. Now you know which tasks a coordinator is responsible for & what stress they take off your shoulders. They won’t help you pick your bridal party, but they will take care of everything else behind the scenes. Keep in mind your wedding day is short. Invest your time into having fun & spending meaningful moments with your loved ones.

- XO Team Ship

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