Planning 101 – Coordinators and more

Long time no see on the wedding front šŸ˜

I’m only 58 days away from the big day! 

If you are doing this wedding thing without a coordinator then you’ve probably asked yourself at least 50x why the hell you didn’t decide to elope. 

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise.

Everyone is going to tell you that you should get a planner. It’s not true. You really CAN do it on your own…that is, if you’re organized. 

Coordinator or not, here are some suggestions I have for you along the way. 

1. Get a wedding planning binder (or download checklists for free).

I ordered the binder from The Knot and – yes – most of it has been useless but it served as a GREAT starting point. 

There are timelines in this binder for short engagements and long engagements so that was a really cool feature. It really helps you see what you should be focusing on and what can wait. 

Another good feature is the check lists (budget, timeline etc). They are very detailed,  you may not end up needing them all but they definitely help you think of things you may forget. 

I haven’t really used my book on a weekly or even monthly basis. It’s there when I need to stop and evaluate where I am in the process. 

1. Google is your friend. By this I mean Google Sheets and Docs. Seriously. Some people use sites such as The Knot for managing rsvps etc. but I found Google  to be super easy. 

 I started out on Google sheets by making a “Guestlist” sheet. I reccomend using excel or google sheets because the ability to have multiple pages and columns is a life saver. 

On this  sheet I have pages for separate events (I.E bachelorette,rehearsal dinner, wedding etc). It makes it easier because all guest lists are in ONE place and you are able to just copy and paste the names to the other pages. 

These programs really help make it easy.

The columns I have for our lists are 

First name

Last name 

Address

Guests invited 

Guests attending 

Name of guests 

Hotel ( to indicate weather or not we will need a welcome package) 

Gift received 

Thank you sent 

Song recommendation (we had this option on our RSVP) 

I found it helpful to use Google sheets because I was able to send the document to my mom and grandma for them to add their guests.  I made another little box on the bachelorette and bridal shower pages with details of date recommendations and ideas so that they could use them in planning. 

Another cool feature is that you can have the program do all the work in keeping track of your guest count. 

The BEST part is that you can download the apps and have you’re document on hand at all times. Much easier than lugging around a giant binder. 

I also used google docs for a vendor list and timeline. I’m sure I’ll have even more but it’s been really nice to have readily available to edit or send at anytime we’ve needed to. 

3. My third piece of advice is really just for your sanity. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to do so.

PLAN AHEAD 

Screw the ones  that tell you you have time. Wouldn’t you rather be able to relax during the final weeks before your wedding than freaking out about centerpieces etc.? 

You CANNOT control businesses and you cannot control the people you work with. 

You’re going to feel like a nag. Constantly asking people if they’ve done this or that etc. 

Example: 

I started asking FH in June to send his groomsmen to get their suits. Fast forward to July 20ish…the first one went in and we get a text that Menswarehouse lost our account and has no idea what suit we wanted. 

I could provide about 100 more examples of this. You see…no matter how early you start, people will procrastinate and sometimes things go wrong and often times you might feel like your in this alone. 

As much as it sucks, just keep up on people. Watch your lists and make sure things are getting done. Don’t check something off because you “know it will be done” because that’s most likely why you’ll end up forgetting. 

As for the day of the wedding, my reward to myself is a coordinator. 

I may have planned every detail of the big day but I am able to acknowledge that I will not want to and will not have the time to direct everyone where to go or keep things running smoothly.  Nor do I want to put my mom in that position. 

 Wedding coordinators can serve a variety of purpose from creating decor and coordinating vendors to breaking up fights at the reception.  

Be sure to pick one based off YOUR needs. 

I don’t need her help in decorating so I’ve asked our coordinator to simply show up, keep us running on time and make sure everyone is having fun. 

One of my biggest issues in interviewing coordinators was feeling like they were listening. 

If you have no idea how a wedding works and are looking for someone to hold your hand along the process, fine. There’s nothing wrong with that but you need to make sure they are working for YOU. Not vice versa. 

I went into these meetings with a timeline, vendors etc. figured out.

There was one individual I met with that literally didn’t listen to a word I said. She knew how the weddings she’s done have worked and wasn’t really interested in letting me do it how I want. There were even times she would say the complete opposite of what I wa saying. It was so bad that even my fiancĆ© stated “she wasn’t listening” as soon as we got to our car. 

So again, make sure they listen but you also should make sure you’re compatible and you’re hiring someone willing  to go above and beyond. 

 Read reviews and meet in person! Do you want the uptight professioal? The perfectionist? The life of the party?So many options and you can’t judge personality from a picture. 

We chose the more lax option who I am confident will be able to keep everyone in line and put them in their place. 

Remember it’s all about your needs and the mood you’re trying to set! 

So wedding coordinator, no wedding coordinator or just day of coordination.  No matter what it’s your time and your decision. 

You know what you’re capable of and what you’ll need help with. Explore your options and remember to relax and have fun! Check lists will keep you on track! 

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