Updated: Dec 10, 2018
What do I do as a wedding coordinator? I always laugh when I am asked this question. Not because it is a bad question or I think everyone should know my job description by heart. I laugh because sometimes I don’t even know how to describe my job. Over five years, I have performed countless tasks and projects under the job title of wedding coordinator. I have been dubbed many additional titles by my couples and their families.
To summarize my job as a wedding coordinator into a short description feels insufficient. One of the titles I have been given by my couple Myronda & Angelo sums it up well: Magical Wedding Elf.
Yes, that almost covers it. As a wedding coordinator, I perform logistical magic to give my couples and their valued guests the best experience possible. What I do for each couple varies based on their individual wedding vision, what they have planned, the services they’ve hired other professionals for, the type and amount of decor they have, the timeline of the day… Every couple has an individual story and need from their coordinator, and I’m there to fill those roles.
There are tasks and services I consistently perform for every couple, and they do make a big difference in the outcome of the wedding day. As a wedding coordinator, my couples have planned most of their wedding on their own. At minimum, they’ve booked their venue, hired vendors, invited guests, and selected decorations. I learn about all those plans and details. I spend a lot of time talking to my couples in person, over the phone, via email, and on video calls so I can ask them questions to learn about what they want their wedding experience to be. Then I get to work on the logistics.
With the help of my beautiful, incredible coordination team, we take all their plans and wishes and turn it into clear, concise, and functional event plans. We create detailed layouts to scale, exact timelines, and setup and cleanup plans - down to who is doing what task and how long it’s going to take.We speak with everyone directly involved in the setup, function, and cleanup of the wedding to make sure we have all the details of what they need and they have all necessary information.
One thing I make sure we do is walk through the event day plans to confirm all is good to go. During this dry run, we find all the holes, missing information, or spots where things clash so that we can make adjustments ahead of time and avoid problems. And we make back up plans to our back up plans so that in any event, we can quickly and seamlessly implement Plan B.
On wedding days, my main focus is that no one is working who doesn’t have to and that everyone is safe, stress-free and fully immersed in the experience making memories. My coordination team is the first to arrive on site and the last to leave. We lead arrivals and deliveries, oversee and assist with setup, keep everything flowing on time, make adjustments as needed, solve problems, communicate between everyone, keep guests informed and happy, lead the vendor teams, queue activities, make sure our couples items get packed up and into their getaway car, and organize cleanup so everything gets where it should and the venue is left in better condition than we found it.
Ultimately, something goes wrong on the wedding day. Big or small, my job is to fill in the gaps and make magic happen so that the guests and the couple don’t realize anything happened. The most invaluable resource a coordinator has is their network of professionals in the area. In the rare, unfortunate instances where a vendor has failed to show up, I have been able to start making calls immediately and have the problem solved and a back up professional there to help in short order.
Wedding coordinators do so much. The tasks and responsibilities that fall into our job description are wide ranging and innumerable. Often, the services we provide that mattered most had nothing to do with the logistical event coordination covered on our contracts. I have been the shoulder to cry on, the person to vent to, the go between, the protector, the fixer, the builder, the DIY project problem solver, the distributor of bandaids, Advils, and extra socks. I have flexed my food handler permit and my bartending license to step up and get food and drinks served quickly. I have cleaned bright red lipstick off a bride’s gown just in time for photos and fixed countless broken bustles. I have been the solution to much that went awry, couldn’t be avoided with proper prior planning, and which could have ruined the experience for the couple. But I was there to be the Magical Wedding Elf and solve problems.
I love my job. My team loves their jobs. We work ridiculously hard in the office four days a week and often up to 14 hours on our feet on wedding days. There have been times where we have looked at our Fitbits and gawked at the 12 + miles we are on our feet going from end to end of a venue repeatedly. While I don’t love the wedding industry as a whole, I do love weddings. I love my couples, their family, their friends, their stories, their love, their celebration. Making logistical magic happen so that they can be fully present to enjoy the fleeting day that is a wedding.
I would love for Prudence & Sage to be all this for you on your wedding day, if we are the right fit. We work together really closely leading up to your wedding so it is important to me that you and your coordinator, whether it’s me or one of my amazing staff coordinators, get along on a personal level. Let’s start a conversation and get to know each other. First, I invite you to learn more about our coordination services and our team.
Even if it’s not us, I highly recommend you make finding a coordinator a priority. Wedding coordinators make all sorts of magic happen behind the scenes. Their services are invaluable. Don’t shop on price; shop on personality, experience, reviews, and your gut feelings. Your coordinator is going to take your plans and make them happen. You should feel confident and trusting in their ability.
What does a wedding coordinator do? Magic. We do magic.