Often when you are looking for wedding vendors who suit your needs, you will run across a vendor that advertises that they also will coordinate your wedding – FREE! These people generally do not have the extensive training or association memberships that professional wedding designers or bridal consultants have.
Be aware that there are different types of vendors who offer wedding coordination services:
There are concierge services that also do wedding coordination. While they are running errands for executives (scheduling lunches, picking up laundry, buying gifts) they are also planning your wedding. Wouldn’t you feel better to choose a company who caters strictly to event planning — not wrapping packages while trying to find your site?
Free Wedding Coordination Services
You must ask yourself how these companies stay in business if they aren’t charging you for their services! Simple. They are provided with an incentive payment (usually a percentage of the package you purchase) from the vendor that they refer to you. Since the vendor will raise their prices to cover the amount going to the “free service”, you could actually end up paying much more in commissions for what is supposed to be a “free” service to the bride. One important note is that a lot of the more reputable vendors will not subscribe to a service like this, so you could really be missing out on a vendor who matches your style and has extensive skill and talent.
Ceremony Site Coordinator
Often hired by the church/ synagogue /wedding site to make sure that their rules are followed — such as no lights on the video camera, no throwing of rice or birdseed, who can and cannot stand on the alter. Professional wedding coordinators always work with these people to ensure that your ceremony is as individual as you are, while still following the guidelines set up by the church/synagogue/site.
Reception Site Coordinator
This person is usually a salesperson who works in the catering or sales office of the site. Typically, they are NOT trained wedding coordinators. It is their job to make sure that the right linens are on the table and that everything seems to be running smoothly. If you ask for vendor referrals, you will usually get a list of companies who have done weddings at their site before. They do not check references of these companies and may have only worked with them once or twice.
Again, this person is trained in how to do fabulous floral arrangements for your wedding day. If you ask for wedding coordination, you will receive a list of vendors who have used their services in the past and references will not be checked.
Caterers are a wonderful addition to your wedding. They create imaginative menus best suited to your wedding style and budget. However, caterers are not wedding coordinators. Situations have come up where a caterer has told a bride not to waste her money on a wedding designer. When the day came, details were not complete and one of the suggested vendors did not show up. They also do not help you with complicated questions on wedding etiquette and they aren’t at the church to make sure that all the details are completed.
A True Wedding Designer Works For You On Every Level
Let your vendors do what they are best at. Spreading themselves too thin can, in the end, can cause you to not get the wedding you hoped for. When you are choosing your designer, make sure that they belong to a reputable organization and that you feel comfortable with the services that they are offering you. They should only have your best interests in mind!
The above information should simply reinforce the fact that a Professional Wedding Designer has your personal interests at heart, not their own. Invest wisely in your wedding and make sure that you are being taken care of so you can relax and create wonderful memories.