The Value of Hiring a Wedding Coordinator

Now that the proposal has been accepted, what’s next? It’s time to create your signature wedding.
What exactly does that mean? It means that from this day forward, until the day of the wedding, you will spend 75% of your time thinking about how to create a wedding that will be like no other. You may not have given it much thought, but most couples have thought about this day for many years and envisioned their wedding in their minds a thousand times. Both of you are about to embark upon what could be a wonderful journey… or a nightmare! The choice is yours. Why leave it to chance that everything will go according to plan? Instead, implement a fail-proof plan. How? By hiring a wedding coordinator

Consider this idea as the first and one of the most important decisions you will make as a couple. Hiring a wedding coordinator will give both of you reassurance that you are making the right decisions about your choices; help bring your dream to fruition; and maintain a peaceful, loving, relationship in the process.

Although most couples enjoy the idea of designing a wedding, they often find that the planning is much more work than they imagined. It takes time and experience to address every detail. Let’s face it, some people just aren’t planners. Planning your wedding doesn’t have to be a frustrating and overwhelming experience. Organization and careful planning are the keys to a stress-free, fun-filled event. Hiring a wedding coordinator will ensure a much happier experience for you both!!

A wedding coordinator will not only help coordinate the details of the wedding but, more importantly, will help to make the process fun, reduce the stress and ensure that you have the wedding you desire. You will not have to worry or become stressed during the planning process. Instead, you both will enjoy planning the wedding.

Don’t misunderstand, you both will still make all the decisions, but consider leaving the details to the experts. Most couples truly enjoy the journey and, even if they don’t, the coordinator will be there to guide them. Trust me on this one, by hiring a wedding coordinator, your life will be happier, because everyone will be happier and less stressed.

Wedding coordinators are trained professionals who know the industry. Couples should understand that they are not just paying for a coordinator to manage the day for them; they are also paying for knowledge, expertise, skills, services and, ultimately, peace of mind.

Wedding coordinators provide a higher level of comfort for everyone. They are able to recommend the right professionals for you. Professionals enjoy working with other professionals. Are trained to handle difficult scenarios and unexpected occurrences at weddings; Are familiar with the latest trends and have the best resources; Know the best locations and services for each couple’s particular needs; Have access to exclusive locations that couples would otherwise never hear about; Can recommend the right wedding professionals for all aspects of the wedding; Are trained to help create a budget, keep expenses within that budget, and protect couples from making costly mistakes; Can save couples time in researching options. They already know what works best and why.

Now that you understand the various roles of a wedding coordinatoe, it’s time to start getting the important questions answered. Setting the budget first is the key! You and your fiancée should agree on the expenses before you begin the planning process. The budget must accommodate the size and style of the wedding. Write down your wishes and desires and compare notes. Distinguish your “wishes” from your “must haves”. Your coordinator can create a budget based on the most important elements of YOUR wedding. He/She can help prioritize which areas are most important to you.

Remember there is always room for compromise. Target more money towards the areas that are most important and reduce the areas that are less important. Your wedding coordinator will show you how to make changes without changing the feel of the wedding. Is it more important to have great food or a great band? Do you want an extravagant cake or beautiful flowers? You can have all of the above with proper planning. Whichever you choose, remember to stay on track with the expenses as you move forward. The budget is one of the most important areas where your coordinator can assist and it’s the start of making financial decisions together, a very important part of marriage. Open and honest communication is the key.

In a post-wedding survey, couples were asked, “If you had it to do over again, what would you have done differently?”
Number 1 Answer: “I would have hired a wedding coordinator – someone to ensure that all of the details were handled so that I could have enjoyed my day without worry.” Coordinators provide this reassurance on the wedding day! It is worth the investment to have peace of mind.

A wedding coordinator is able to provide: Peace of mind while planning the wedding; A great experience on the wedding day; and Wonderful wedding memories that will last forever!

Free Wedding Workbook & Website For Our Couples

For Our Contracted Couples Only
Free Wedding Workbook & Website

Workbook Services Include:

Guest List & Budget
Task Calendar
Wedding Ceremony and Reception
Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner
Seating Arrangements
Engagement Activities
Bridesmaid’s Luncheon
Bridal Shower
Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties
Post-Wedding Activities
Honeymoon
RSVPs
Gifts and Thank Yous
Costs and Payments
Vendors and Contacts
Out of Town Guests
Gift Registry
Create and Collect Notes Electronically
Organize Notes into your own Categories
Attach images and Links to Notes
Share Notes with Family and Friends
Maintain a Master Email List for your Wedding
Create Customized Lists
Send Email in Bulk
Works with your Existing Email Address
and so much more!!

Contact us today to have this set up for you for free.

It’s Not Too Late For A Wedding Coordinator

It’s not too late for a wedding coordinator. Many couples start to feel the added pressure of last minute details within the last four months of wedding planning. Many tasks can’t be completed until shortly before the wedding. Now you have to start dealing with the day of wedding timeline, and assignments for family and wedding party.

It’s ok, we have the solution. Our Day of Wedding Coordinator is exactly the problem solver. Our experienced and professional coordinators will work with you to bring all the details that you have created for your special day together. Here are just a few of the services that our DOCs do leading up to and the day of the event:

Contacting all professionals to discuss their services
Creating a timeline for the day of the event
Creating a task list for the day of the event
Meeting and greeting vendors
Ensuring vendors complete contracted services
Pay vendors and distribute gratuities
Line up wedding party
Coordinating vendors for ceremony cues
Fixing bridal gown for walk down the aisle
Helping children make it down the aisle
Make sure all ceremony decorations are completed properly
Assisting guests
Assisting with photos
Assisting with transition from ceremony to cocktail hour
Assist with the bustle of the gown
Makeup touch-ups
List of special guests are completely taken care of
Making sure venue is prepared
Keeping on the timeline
Making sure DJ plays the proper music
Making sure tables are set properly
Wedding favors are in the proper place
First one there last one to leave and so much more!!

Please feel free to contact us to discuss your event details and so that we may answer any questions you may have on your mind.

Do I Need A Wedding Planner or Day of Coordinator?

Full Wedding Coordinator

Once you have got over the thrill of being engaged there comes the time when you need to start planning your dream wedding. Not only is the process exciting but it can also be a bit daunting in some cases – the average wedding can take over 250 hours to plan! You may be looking forward to organizing the whole day from start to finish yourself but once you begin, you may find it more difficult, time-consuming and stressful than you thought!

Wedding planners can assist in many ways. They are exposed to numerous weddings and suppliers so may well know the “best” in the local market because they have tried and tested them on many an occasion. You may think you’ve found the perfect venue – but who knows the ins and outs of what goes on at weddings there? Is the catering always to an exceptionally high standard? Does the venue coordinator actually listen to your requirements? Do your chosen suppliers always deliver the products on time, in perfect condition – and to your exact specifications? Not only do wedding planners have a preferred suppliers list – they may also have a blacklist! If a bride has – at her own request – chosen to use a supplier that is unknown to us then we are always interested in hearing feedback. Sometimes (and it’s very unfortunate if it happens to you) but the supplier may not have provided the high quality service you would expect for your wedding day – and we get to hear about it! So if the wedding dress went “missing” or the flowers were half dead then chances are the bride will have given feedback to her wedding planner.

A lot of brides are put off by the cost of a wedding planner. The wedding is an expensive outlay and sometimes anything extra just can’t be budgeted for. But using a wedding planner effectively can cover the cost of her fee and also save you money too. Not to mention the huge saving of your precious time in the run up to the big day. We have databases of information so can recommend and source products and suppliers in a fraction of the time it would take if you were to do it yourself. We can often negotiate discounts with suppliers for you as once we have found a preferred supplier, they are sometimes happy to offer our clients a discount in order to bring the cost within the bride’s budget. Any discounts we negotiate are always passed on to the bride. At Hudson Valley Ceremonies we DO NOT accept referral fees or commission and our recommendations are solely based on proven customer service, quality and value for money services as confirmed by our own research, our clients and supplier competitors.

Benefits from hiring a wedding planner from Hudson Valley Ceremonies:
1. A free initial consultation whereby you can tailor-make a service to suit your budget
2. We can develop a schedule or timeline to work by, ensuring that nothing is overlooked and every detail is checked thoroughly
3. We can ensure your budget is realistic and recommend suppliers within your price range as necessary
4. We can create a spreadsheet of your wedding costs so that you can see at a glance how much you have spent on deposits, what costs are left to pay and when you need to pay
5. We have a database of preferred suppliers, chosen for their excellent customer service, personal and professional recommendations plus value for money services
6. We spend time building relationships with suppliers and are therefore occasionally able to negotiate discounts on services, which are passed on to brides. We do not take commissions ourselves on any recommendations we make
7. We can attend your wedding to ensure things run smoothly. So if a last minute hitch occurs we are on hand to forestall and fix, so that nothing spoils your day
8. You are one call away from a personal “wedding helpdesk”. If you have any questions in any regard just ask – we are here to help and give you as much information as you need.

Day of Coordinator

For those who want to plan it themselves, but need a little help that last month and on the big day, we offer personalized Wedding Day Coordination. And because we like to listen to your needs and those of your guests, we can provide multi-lingual assistants to help communicate with your international guests.

As your Wedding Day Coordinator we will:
Meet with you to discuss how you want your wedding to flow
Create a detailed timeline for vendors and wedding party
Review all your vendor contracts and contact your vendors to confirm all details
Wrap up any loose ends you might have forgotten about
Coordinate your wedding rehearsal

On the day of your wedding, we will:
Be the first on the spot to greet vendors and receive all deliveries
Coordinate and assist with set-up and decorating
Distribute final payments and tips to vendors
Assist guests and wedding party as needed
Pin boutonnieres and corsages
Direct ceremonial processionals
Keep an eye on the timeline
Troubleshoot and act as behind-the-scenes manager
Provide two-way radios for the coordination team
Gather any remaining items at the end of the night — guest book, etc.

Order of Events at the Reception

Cocktail Hour

By beginning with a cocktail hour, you will give your guests a chance to gather at the reception facility, deposit their gifts, and meet and mingle with other guests. It will also provide time for lost guests to find their way to the reception. Meanwhile backstage, this time can be used by the photographer to take portraits of the wedding party. If desired, the bridal couple can arrange to eat at this time, ensuring that they will indeed get to eat, thus freeing up their time to mix and mingle with guests later on during the lunch/dinner portion of the reception. The cocktail hour usually takes place at the reception hall.

Receiving Line

The bridal couple can open up the reception hall with a receiving line and invite everyone inside. This will ensure that the bridal couple will have the opportunity to greet each guest at least once during the festivities. The reception line traditionally includes the bridal couple, the couples’ parents, the best man, the maid-of-honor, and any special guests.

Introduction of the Wedding Party

Once the guests are inside the reception hall, the wedding party is then introduced by the emcee as they parade inside. First comes the
groomsmen and bridesmaids, then the flower girls and ring bearer, the parents, and the bridal couple.

Dancing (Option #1)

The First Dance, Father and Daughter Dance, etc. can occur before dinner immediately upon the Bride & Groom’s introduction to the reception area. This will allow the dancing to begin much earlier in the reception thereby eliminating a lull in activities that so often happens. Once the bride and groom have danced, and then the parents and attendants, then the guests will feel comfortable dancing while others may be eating or in a buffet line. This will allow many of the guests who know how to ballroom or maybe Latin dance to do so on a non-congested dance floor.

Toasts

The best man will then make the first toast, followed by the maid-of-honor, the father-of-the-groom and the father-of-the-bride. If they so choose, the bridal couple can make a speech thanking the guests for coming, the parents for paying, and anything else
they may wish to say.

Lunch/Dinner is Served

During this time, the bride and groom (if they have already eaten) can mingle and make informal visits to each table, or even have table pictures taken by the photographer. If guests wish to make speeches, sing songs, tell jokes, do a skit, this would be the ideal time.

Dancing (Option #2)

If the bride and groom haven’t danced their first dance yet, they may now take the opportunity to open up the dance floor with their first dance. Then the father/daughter dance, then the mother/son dance. The attendants then join in the dancing and then the guests are invited to dance as well.

Cake Cutting

The bride and groom cut the cake for dessert. Additional toasts may be made at this point.

Bouquet and Garter Toss

More Dancing, if time allows

Departure of the Bridal Couple

Amid sparklers, confetti, bubbles, birdseed, or rice.

Departure of the Guests

In structuring your reception timeline, make sure to consult with your photographer, your disc jockey or musicians, your reception facility representative and/or caterer, and your bridal consultant if you have one. Also make sure your master of ceremonies is familiar with the scheduling of events.

Making Your Wedding Day Timeline

Your wedding day itinerary – sometimes called a wedding day timeline or a wedding day schedule – is a non-negotiable, must do wedding planning task.

The itinerary is a comprehensive plan for who is going to do what, where, and when on your wedding day.

Even the smallest or most casual wedding is still a production – a lot is happening at the same time on your wedding day that must be managed.

If you have a Day of Coordinator or Wedding Planner they will handle the complicated task of creating the timeline for you. If you do not have a coordinator or planner you will need to make a wedding day itinerary, even if you’re convinced you won’t need it. Save yourself the potential grief down the road.

In order to make the schedule, you need some basic information:

  • Find out when your venue will be available to your vendors for set up. Sometimes party rental companies need to deliver tables and chairs the day before the wedding, so make sure this works for your venue. Tents may also need to be set up the day before.

  • Contact each individual vendor – caterer, baker, florist, DJ or musicians, limo, party rentals — anybody providing a service or a product on your wedding day — and work out their arrival times, set up times and any additional needs they may have.

  • Contact your photographer and determine how many photos on your shot list you will take before the ceremony, how many you will take after the ceremony and before the reception, and what photos you need at your reception. Work out with the photographer when he or she needs to arrive (and where) in order to get the shots important to you.

  • Work out when attendants and any family members need to be available for pre-ceremony photos, the logistics of how many different places your photographer will be taking photos, and how the photographer will get photos of both you and your fiancé getting ready, if you want this.

  • If you’ve contracted or borrowed transportation, make sure it’s available when you need it for photos.

If you do not want to miss any time with your guests, plan to have most if not all of your pictures taken prior to the event. This has become much more commonplace.

Put all the above info into a timeline formatted itinerary of the day.

Next:

  • Add info on any personal appointments for you and your attendants, like hair or makeup.

  • Include your ceremony and reception outlines in the schedule if you like, or just your reception outline.

  • Add any additional volunteer help for your wedding to the schedule, like friends picking up out of town guests at the hotel, decorating the reception venue, or delivering furniture or other borrowed items.

Once your wedding day itinerary is done, make a contact list of all the names and numbers (including emergency numbers) for every business and individual involved in your wedding day.

Before the wedding be sure each vendor or volunteer contributor has the numbers for anyone they may need to contact.

Make your preliminary wedding day schedule around a month out from your wedding date.

Expect your itinerary/schedule to be several pages long.

A week before your wedding, use your schedule to send out emails to everyone involved to confirm times, actions, and any relevant contact info.

Copies of the wedding day itinerary (with vendor info pulled out) can be handed out to the wedding party and family at the rehearsal dinner if you like, but always back it up with an electronic copy via email.

Your day of coordinator or wedding planner will always carry extra copies of the itinerary and the contact list on your wedding day. If you do not have a day of coordinator or wedding planner designate someone to carry a spare copy or two.

Here’s a sample wedding wedding day timeline– for you to use as a template when you make your own itinerary. This wedding day itinerary is for a 3pm wedding. Adjust your own wedding day schedule accordingly.

Sample Wedding Itinerary:

07:00 AM Wake up & light breakfast
08:00 AM Hair and Make-up begins for bridesmaids (7 ladies 1 every ½ hour)
10:00 AM Florist Arrives at Brides home
11:30 AM Hair and Make-up begins for bride
11:30 AM Photographer & Videographer Arrive at Brides Parents Home
11:30 AM Coordinator Arrives at Brides home
12:00 PM Light Snack/Lunch
12:00 PM Photographer Arrives at Best Mans Home
12:45 PM Bride’s hair and make-up complete – Get Dressed
01:00 PM Formal Dress Shots begin at Brides Parents Home
01:00 PM Coordinator goes to the church
01:30 PM Limo Arrives at Best Mans House to pick up Groom & Groomsmen
01:45 PM Limo Arrives at Brides Parents House to pick up Bridesmaids and Flowergirl
01:55 PM Limo Leaves for church
02:00 PM Bride and Parents leave for church in Rolls Royce
02:30 PM Limo arrives at church
02:45 PM Bride arrives at church
03:00 PM Ceremony begins
03:40 PM Ceremony Ends
03:45 PM Receiving Line
04:20 PM Bubble Exit
04:30 PM Rolls Royce Pictures
04:40 PM Formal Family Portraits In The church Begin
05:00 PM Leave for pictures
05:00 PM DJ and Florist arrive at venue to set up
05:30 PM Head to Venue for pictures
06:00 PM Cocktail hour begins
06:00 PM Bride and Groom arrive at venue and take extended family Pictures
06:30 PM Bride and Groom Retreat to Bridal Suite
07:00 PM Guests seated for reception
07:05 PM Dinner Order Taken
07:10 PM Introductions
07:15 PM First Dance
07:20 PM Parent Dances
07:30 PM Dancing
07:45 PM Dinner Music Starts
07:45 PM 1st Course Served
07:45 PM Uncle gives the blessing
07:55 PM Maid Of Honor / Best Man Toast
08:00 PM Father Of the Bride speech
08:15 PM Dinner Served
08:30 PM SURPRISE – Aunt will sing a song for the Bride and Groom
08:45 PM Dancing Music Resumes
09:45 PM Cake Cutting
09:50 PM Bouquet Toss
09:55 PM Garter Toss
10:00 PM Dessert Bar Opens
10:05 PM Dancing
11:00 PM End of Reception

Make sure you put arrival and departure times for everyone, including vendors, and time how long it takes to get from one location to another in your wedding day itinerary. Pad the time it takes to travel and to finish tasks like hair, photos and decorating.

Your wedding day itinerary will not look like anyone else’s, or have the exact same timing.

Work with your vendor on the timing for dinner (especially sit down dinners, which take more time), dancing, and traditional events like the cutting of the cake.

No two bride’s will have the same wedding day schedule.

Don’t forget to communicate your wedding day itinerary to all your vendors and wedding day participants!

10:00 AM Hair and Make-up begins
12:00 PM Sage Arrives
12:00 PM Eat Lunch!!!
01:00 PM Photographers arrive at the house
01:30 PM Sage goes to the church
02:15 PM Limo arrives at the house to pick up girls
03:00 PM Ceremony begins
03:45 PM Ceremony Ends
03:50 PM Receiving Line
04:30 PM Formal Portraits In The church Begin
04:45 PM Bubble Exit
04:50 PM Leave for pictures – Location TBD
05:00 PM DJ arrives at GV to set up
05:45 PM Formal Pictures End – Head to Grandview
06:00 PM Cocktail hour begins
06:30 PM Kristin & Jeremy Retreat to Bridal Suite
07:00 PM Guests seated for reception
07:15 PM Introductions
07:20 PM First Dance
07:25 PM Parent Dance (F/D, M/S, SM/S)
07:40 PM Dinner Order Taken
07:50 PM 1st Course Served
08:00 PM FOB speech
08:05 PM MOH / BM Toast
08:15 PM 2nd Course Served
09:00 PM Dinner Served
09:45 PM Cake Cutting
09:50 PM Bouquet Toss
09:55 PM Garter Toss
10:00 PM Dancing
11:00 PM End of Reception

10 Big Mistakes Brides Make On Their Wedding Day

1.  Timeline – so many brides either don’t make a timeline for the day of their wedding or they create one that doesn’t work.  the number one thing to remember is to put time buffers in your timeline.  For example, if it takes 15 minutes to drive to the church give your self 25 minutes.  If you really think it is going to take 1 hour for photos and you have 16 people in the wedding party, give yourself 1 1/2 hours.  This way when you are over on time, you can say, “it’s ok!”

2.  Shoes – wear them, wear them, wear them.  Make sure you start one month before the wedding wearing your shoes for 20 minutes at a time 2-3 times per week.  Walk outside, inside, on wood floors, carpeting, stairs, etc.  Your feet will love you at the end of the night.

3.  DIY – Please do some DIY projects, it is what makes a wedding yours and not cookie cutter.  But, don’t do each and every DIY project you see online, in a magazine or on tv.  Limit yourself, create a list, sit down with some of your girls and figure out, with their opinions, which ones are realistic.

4.  Wedding Party – So you have five really close friends, but you have two sisters and your fiance has two sisters.  Do you really need to have 9 bridesmaids in your wedding?  I big trend these days is to either choose 1 maid of honor or siblings.  Keep it simple and keep the costs down, for you and your wedding party.  Your five friends will still be at your wedding.

5.  Wedding Dresses – Your dress is going to be on your body for about 10 hours, yes 10 hours.  For your dress, consider how you are walking in the dress, sitting in the dress and most important dancing in the dress.  There needs to be comfort on your wedding day.  What about a knee length or tea length dress and shoes that match your attendants color dresses?

6.  Attendants Dresses – choose a color that is flattering.  But let them choose a dress that is comfortable.  So many designers now have created a line of dresses that are very similiar but yet can be suitable for different body types.

7.  Guest List – The days of 300 guest weddings is just about over.  Chelsea Clinton said it perfectly, “if I don’t know them, they don’t get invited.”  There is nothing worse than trying to create a seating chart for people you don’t know.  Meeting people for the first time on your wedding day is just not fun.  Tone it down and don’t be afraid to tell your parents that this is no longer the 60′s and that the budget just doesn’t have room for the 4th cousins 7 times removed.

8.  Hiring Professionals – Please, please take this one to heart.  Never, ever hire a friend or family member to work at your wedding.  There is a very clear line between a friend or relative and a professional.  Do you have a comfort level in telling a friend to get back to work, don’t drink, stop eating?  No, well then hire a professional.  Let the friends and relatives help with the wedding, but never have them do what a professional can do.

9.  Dinner – One important item with dinner is the amount of food and courses.  The more courses you include in your dinner the less time you have dancing.  Now for some this is fine and is a desirable choice.  But if you are spending over $7000 on your band and they only play waltzes or big band because there is another course coming to the table, don’t complain to the band.  having more than three courses for the reception is just a waste of food and time.  Tone it down, your guests will not starve.

10.  Honeymoon – So many couples just can’t wait to go on their honeymoon.  I don’t blame you.  Crystal clear water, sugar beaches, tropical drinks.  But, the last thing you want to do is get up at 4am the morning after your wedding and drive to the airport and fly to 2-8 hours.  Take 1-2 days off after the wedding to decompress.  Don’t pack before the wedding, do it the next night after the wedding.  Sleep in the day after your wedding, relax, hang out with friends and make it a weekend.  You will enjoy your honeymoon and your wedding so much more if you just take your time.

For more advice and information about how to make your wedding stress free contact Hudson Valley Ceremonies, 845-266-6076, www.HudsonValleyCeremonies.com