Sharon Naylor, Guest Author
When you think of wedding coordinators/consultants, you might think about Jennifer Lopez in “The Wedding Planner,” calm, cool and with every detail perfectly handled. You might also think of Franck from the Steve Martin re-make of “Father of the Bride,” eccentric, out of control, and over the top. These Hollywood caricatures of the wedding coordinator can make you wonder “What’s this going to be like?” when you start thinking about hiring a pro to help you create your perfect wedding.
Before you run away from the idea – perhaps thinking that it’s going to be too expensive or that the professional is going to run wild with your wedding plans – stop for a moment and consider that today’s wedding coordinators have new rules. The industry has adapted to offer 21st century services that fit with your chosen involvement level and budget. It’s worth considering hiring an expert when you review the following new rules and advantages of bringing in some professional help.
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• Narrowing down the best vendors and professionals in each category: flowers, photographers, musicians, and so on so that you can interview each one and make your final selections. Saves you a ton of time, and brings in proven pros for your consideration.
• Serving as a site scout, recommending those great, unique locations you’re dreaming of for your wedding. An experienced pro will know the location of a great historic estate home with a garden and marble terrace, or the perfect beach sites to see the sunset, or the ideal places to take your wedding pictures. His or her knowledge will save you hours of research.
• Reviewing, negotiating and amending all of your contracts with your chosen wedding professionals. This will cut out those questionable clauses and extra charges, making sure there’s an airtight refund clause, and checking to see if the vendor has adequate insurance.
• Pointing you towards great resources for ethnic and multicultural or interfaith weddings. An experienced pro with years in the business has contacts with the best and most legitimate experts out there. They can hook you up with ethnic associations, and even provide printouts or booklets explaining various ethnic and religious rituals you’re considering for your wedding.
• Pointing you toward the unusual things you might want to rent or use for your wedding day: a horse-drawn carriage, a trolley, a chocolate fountain, and so on.
• Serving as ringmaster on your wedding day only, so that you don’t have to worry about a thing. While you’re at the day spa having your hair, nails and makeup done, the very capable pro you hired is supervising the setup and decoration of your wedding sites, running out to buy the bags of ice that your caterer forgot, and making sure that everything is as you want it. Most couples say that this is the best investment possible: letting someone else handle the last minute crises so that they don’t have to, and so that their family doesn’t have to. It’s one of the best services out there.
It seems that nearly everyone has a story about an out-of-control mother-in-law, battling bridesmaids, parents who think they own the wedding because they’re paying for it, and grandparents who are fuming because you’re not having the religious wedding they think you should have. Very few couples escape these kinds of family squabbles, and some even think of eloping to escape it, sacrificing their wedding dreams. This is another area where wedding coordinators have stepped up their new rules, stepping in to act as family diplomacy experts and problem-solvers.
• Today’s wedding coordinators get training at conferences and in their professional associations to serve as mediators.
• Today’s coordinators are skilled at reading people, assessing problems, and suggesting solutions.
• They will run interference when the bride confides that she’s clashing with her mother or mother-in-law-to-be.
• They can suggest compromises that have worked with other wedding couples in the same situation.
• They can organize counseling for the couple with officiants, knowing that a skilled officiant has handled ceremony conflicts many times. Often, the officiant can orchestrate compromises that make the couple and their families happy.
• They can make the call or send the e-mail the bride is afraid to send to her troublesome bridesmaid.
• They can suggest great books, articles and Web sites for the bride and groom’s use in family diplomacy, and to help the couple prepare for the marriage ahead and their new relationships with in-laws.
Always find your wedding coordinator through word-of-mouth referrals from friends, or through a wedding coordinator professional association – never purely out of a phone book. The quality of service you get comes only from the quality of experience your coordinator has. So pick a good one!
Larry’s Note: I am a vendor member of the Association of Bridal Consultants. If you need a referral to a Wedding Consultant give me a call for an ABC referral: 480-998-9411.
Copyright © 2012 – Sharon Naylor. Sharon Naylor is the author of “How to Have a Fabulous Wedding for $10,000 or Less“, “The Complete Outdoor Wedding Planner,” and more than 30+ other wedding books. Sharon has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, Primetime, Lifetime, ABC News, Get Married, I Do with The Knot, Fox 5 News, Better TV and more. Visit Sharon’s Website and follow her on Twitter.
Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.
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