3 Wedding Coordinator Myths Debunked
by: La Belle Fleur Events
You guys are in for a treat today! Ashley La Fleur, owner of Chicago wedding planning company La Belle Fleur Events, is here today writing about 3 common myths about wedding coordinators. PS - Ashley is recently engaged so remember to send her some well wishes and congratulations!
When you’re planning your wedding, it’s easy to see the dollar signs going up and up especially if you’re getting married in Chicago. Your venue, catering, photographer and music can all add up, not to mention the additional details like florals, decor and hair and makeup. As a wedding planner, we often see that we are one of the vendors who easily can get cut from the budget without giving it second thought.
As the owner of La Belle Fleur Events, I’ve heard quite a few reasons from couples as to why they opt not to hire a wedding coordinator.. As someone who is now engaged herself, I understand the concerns of costs and trying to stay on budget while making the best decisions for every party involved: your fiance, future in-laws and your parents.
I’m rounding up common coordinator myths we hear all the time, and why they aren’t true.
1. My venue has a wedding coordinator.
I write more about this concern in this post here, but let’s dive into this one a bit more: There are some major differences between a venue coordinator and a wedding coordinator. While a lot of venues have someone that they consider their coordinator, this is very different than a wedding coordinator. Church coordinators and venue coordinators are specific to that particular place. This means that if you need help with organizing the day outside of the places, which you will, they will not be there to assist with that timing or ensure it is executed properly. In addition to that, it’s best that the venue coordinator truly focuses on the venue and overall food service. This is in your best interest as it works with their natural responsibilities and ensures that the venue is setup properly and food service flows seamlessly. When you begin adding additional responsibilities to the venue managers plate, that means they are taking their focus away from their real duties: venue and food.
2. My friend said she could do it.
There’s a big difference between a professional who coordinates and plans weddings every weekend, and your friend coordinating the day. There will be numerous questions that you’ll need help answering: from utilizing the photographer’s hours the best way possible to understanding how to create the best flow of events at the reception. Professional wedding coordinators extensively understand the timing of the day from how long to plan for certain tasks like getting ready, first looks to ensure there is enough time for food service, and room flip. It’s best to let your friend really enjoy his or herself at the reception, and plan on having a professional on board for this. In addition to that, your vendors can always tell when your friend is coordinating versus a professional. Little details like proper communication, the organization level of the individual to when the timeline is sent out are very apparent to vendors. Utilizing a professional coordinator sets each vendor up for success and allows him or her to focus on their duties on the wedding day. Don’t you want your photographer capturing your adorable niece dancing with grandma at the reception instead of trying to find your dad for his toast?
3. They are too expensive.
The average cost of a wedding in Chicago is nearing about $65,000. The average cost of a wedding coordinator ranges from $2500 to $3500. That’s about 4% of your overall budget. When you’re already spending that amount of money, don’t you want to really enjoy every aspect of the day? I think of wedding coordinators as an insurance policy on your wedding. Something will go wrong. As a planner who has planned over 100 weddings, something always goes wrong even if it’s a minute detail like a bridesmaid forgetting her earrings. However, when you have a coordinator on board, he or she will ensure you never even realize something didn’t go according to plan. That’s his or her’s job! You likely wouldn’t buy a car or a home without an insurance policy, so why would you plan a wedding without one? Especially if your wedding is likely more expensive than your car. :)
A note about coordinator pricing: The average cost of an established coordinator in Chicago ranges from $2500 to $3500. All of us planners talk, and we share our baselines. In any industry, you’ll find vendors that charge less than the average price. If you’re finding that some coordinators are coming in less than that average price, it’s likely because they are newer to the industry and not as experienced. That’s totally okay as we all start somewhere! However, if you’re looking for someone who has quite a bit of experience, this is where you’ll find that most experiences planners fall.