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    Why Day-of Coordination Doesn’t Really Exist

    Why Day-of Coordination Doesn’t Really Exist  

    Lately, we have been getting lots of inquiries asking for just “Day-of” services.  Day-of Coordination doesn’t really exist.  Month-of Coordination is the service that is required.

    Many couples believe that they can plan their own wedding and simply have a coordinator show up on the day of the wedding and jump in.  Then came the newer planners, who decided to offer this service at a lower price to build a portfolio.  Long ago, we admit we did the same thing, but not for long as we realized that this simply doesn’t work. Keep reading and I will explain.

    Experienced Wedding Planner

    Experienced Wedding Planners have been in business for years and are professionals at identifying every potential issue that can arise at your wedding. They are able to manage all vendors prior to and on your wedding day.  They are also very resourceful, problem solvers, and calm under stressful situations. They built relationships with many of the vendors in town, along with venues.  Most importantly, they are licensed and insured.

    Inexperienced Wedding Planner

    They are most likely starting up their business and may only have a few weddings under their belt.  Knowledge of contracts and timelines is lacking along with insurance and being licensed.

    In order for a Wedding Planner to be successful at your event, the following should be considered:

    1. Your Planner needs to know who all of your vendors are and have read the contracts. They also need to understand each of their duties, what exactly they were contracted for, setup times and start times.  I can’t tell you how many things we catch just by reading the contracts.
    2. The Planner should know all of the aspects of the venue. This is a MUST!  It is mandatory that the planner have a walk through with the venue manager prior to the wedding to finalize the floor plan, load in and out location, electrical outlets, extra equipment, etc.
    3. Planners also are in charge of drafting a timeline for your wedding day. This is distributed to all of your vendors to follow, but may also need to be adjusted in real time if problems arise.
    4. What about rehearsal? Your Wedding Planner will direct your rehearsal.  Do not expect the venue manager to do this unless they are specifically contracted to do so. 
    5. And then there are your wedding decorations. The favors, welcome table, cake serving set, escort cards, etc.  Your Wedding Planner will obtain these items from you ahead of time so that they can review and inform you if there is anything missing.

    Costs of a Wedding Coordinator

    So the most popular question asked is, why does it cost so much? Let me break it down.

    Contracting Vendors and Obtaining Contracts

    3 Hours

    Review of Contracts

    3-4 Hours

    Venue Walk Through

    2 Hours

    Timeline Creation

    3-4 Hours

    Rehearsal

    1 Hour (usually everyone is late so 2 hours realistically)

    Floor Plan Creation

    1-2 Hours

    Other Pre Planning

    1-2 Hours

    Wedding Day

    10-12 Hours

    Total Hours

    24-31 Hours

    Note that this doesn’t include business expenses such as assistants, insurance, licenses, and other overhead costs. So next time you ask a Wedding Planner to drop their pricing, you are asking them to work for an average of $4 an hour. Providing Month-of Services allows us to provide the correct level of service and professionalism that allows you to have the best day of your life.

     

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    10 Things you Need to Know about Wedding Contracts.

    You are floating on air that your engaged, now comes the stress… choosing a date, a location, and your vendors.  Of course, we recommend hiring a wedding planner or coordinator to help you through this.  However, even with your wedding planner/coordinator, you will need a contract from them as well.

    Here is what you need to look for on your contracts.

    1 – If a wedding vendor does not have a contract.  They are not a legitimate wedding vendor as you should have a contract from each of your vendors.

    2 – Verify your wedding information.  Is your name spelled correctly? Is the location, time and date correct.  I know it sounds like a simple thing, but there was a case where the contract had a different date than the bride had wanted.  We were able to catch it in time, and make adjustments.

    3 – What services is the vendor providing?  It should be spelled out.  For example, is the rehearsal included?  Or if a wedding photographer, engagement photos?  If cake or caterer, is a tasting included?  Make sure you are receiving the services you want.

    4 – Is the deposit refundable?  Industry standard is that the deposit is non-refundable.  For clarity in relation to planners/coordinators, a full refund is not possible because the majority of the Wedding Services (e.g., planning, timelines, bookings and visitations with third-party vendors, etc.) will be performed prior to the wedding date and the company must be compensated for Services that are rendered prior to the cancellation.

    5 – What is the cancellation policy?  If you need to cancel or postpone your wedding, what are your options with this vendor.

    6 – Is there an “act of nature” clause?  What are your options in the event of a hurricane or other act of nature? If an outdoor wedding, what are your options if it rains?

    7 – What if a vendor cancels?  Life happens, if the vendor suddenly has a death in the family the day before your wedding, what is the plan?  We get a least 1 call a month asking for  last minute officiant or coordination due to the vendor backing out at last minute due to life situations.

    8 – How is your balance treated?  When is it due?  Can you pay it off early? What happens if your late in paying?

    9 – Are there time limits?  Are there exact times on the contract, such as a photographer saying their service is 2 hours, 5-7 pm.  What if the wedding starts late?

    10 – Do you understand everything in the contract?  If not, ask the vendor for clarification!  The best method of this is email so you have a hard copy of the answers that you can file with the contract.

    Wedding vendors are not out to trick you.  Their contract should be set up to protect both you and them for the services you are needing.  By making sure you understand the answers to these questions for each vendor, it will prevent stress and worry later.  As with any contract, you should read  all of it before signing.

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