by: Lauren

Hi everyone! Wow, I seriously cannot believe that it’s August already! This year is flying by so ridiculously fast!

So for Thursday Tips today, I thought I would talk about having a wedding coordinator. Yes, I know that wedding planners and coordinators are a common topic here at ELD, but after all, I did get into this whole blogging thing because I was a wedding planner! :)

In the past I’ve discussed things like SIGNS you might need a wedding planner, WHY you need a wedding planner, and that you DESERVE a wedding planner… but I haven’t talked about what to do if you just can’t AFFORD a wedding planner. Yes, I said it. It’s not that wedding planners are incredibly expensive, it’s just that sometimes the truth of the matter is that you might not be able to afford a wedding planner. But STOP don’t freak out, and don’t give up! The good news is that you can still enjoy your wedding day! The answer? A WEDDING COORDINATOR!

Thursday Tips: Cant Afford A Wedding Planner? via
Via ELV DC Wedding Planner, Bellwether Events

So sure, you may not be able to afford a FULL SERVICE wedding planner, but you can still get the next best thing! First things first, you’ll want to know about the difference between Full Planning & Coordination. Got it? Okay, great… let’s move on. If you decide that you want to just go with coordination instead of full planning, you may have a few questions…


What’s the difference between a “coordinator” and a “planner”?

When we’re talking about a “coordinator” and a “planner”, it’s all about the titles. Usually a coordinator will also have the title of “wedding planner”. Often times it’s the same person, just the difference between the two “terms” is the service that you receive. Wedding coordinators are still “wedding planners” to other brides who have hired them for full service planning. But lucky for you, they also offer coordination services! When you hire a coordinator, they will do just that- coordinate your wedding day. And most of the time they also coordinate the weeks and days leading up to your wedding day. Speaking of which…

Is there a difference between “Day-Of” or “Month-Of” services?

“Day-of” coordination is slowing being eliminated from coordinators’ services, and “month-of” is taking the place of it. Not because they’re charging more, but because it’s the truth of what the service is and should be. Everyone handles their coordination differently though, so it really just depends on who you end up with.

But my venue has a coordinator- can’t they take care of everything?

In a nutshell, yes, your venue may have a “coordinator”, but they’re going to be busy coordinating the things going on with the venue. This is why their title is usually “venue coordinator”… not “wedding coordinator”. Also, when you hire a coordinator for your wedding, he or she is working for YOU- not the venue. I highly recommend you read this post in regards to this “debate”. :) [Note: the same facts pertain to a catering company’s “coordinator” or “planner”. They are working for that company, not you!]

Can I afford a coordinator?

Ah, the big question. My answer for you is simple: YES you can. All you have to do is plan for it. (Budget before you book!) If you want to enjoy your wedding day, don’t let there be a question of whether or not you’ll be getting a coordinator. Just include it your budget early on in your planning process, and about 6 months before your wedding, book someone!

When should I hire a coordinator?

You can start your search for a coordinator about 8 months before your wedding. You could even inquire with them early in your planning to ask about their coordination packages so you can plan ahead for what you need to set aside in your budget. I recommend that you hire your coordinator 6-7 months before your wedding date. Planners & coordinators tend to book up fairly quickly, especially during the more popular months. Also know that you won’t begin working extensively with your coordinator right away when you book them at this point in your planning. A few emails may be exchanged here and there, but usually the most time spent will be a month before your wedding.  

Thursday Tips: Cant Afford A Wedding Planner? via TheELD.comVia ELV Florida Panhandle Wedding Planner, Savoir Faire Weddings

 Friends, when it comes down to it, you deserve to not have to worry about anything on your wedding day- as does your mom, your aunt, your cousin, and your friend from college. I can’t tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard- from both brides AND vendors- about how they wish they had at least hired a coordinator. So remember- if you can’t afford a wedding planner, just PLAN on having a wedding coordinator.  All in all, it’s about having someone there for you on your wedding day- someone who can make sure everything goes according to plan. Someone who wants you to have the best wedding day you can have and who knows how to make sure you have it!

Any other questions about wedding coordinators? Feel free to ask here in the comments or in the ELD Q&A! And just a reminder- I want you all to have the BEST weddings possible… that’s why I do what I do! :)

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Founder & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.

5 responses to Thursday Tips: Can’t Afford A Wedding Planner?

We love your comments, but please remember to keep them kind and positive, as this is a place for inspiration and sharing information. We have the right to remove or not approve any negative or harmful comments.
  1. Brianna Storch (Dream Day Event Coordination)

    Yet another great post from you on this topic!

    Having just launched a year and a half ago, most of my weddings have been “day-of + Rehearsal”. And probably about 75% of the clients I have booked have smaller budgets, still making the established coordinators/planners in the area unaffordable. Because I have had past clients and successfully done weddings but am still in the “new” stage, my rates are priced according to this.
    Essentially, we’re both benefiting from each other: they are able to have that coordinator to make their special day run smoothly and I am able to grow my portfolio!

  2. Abby Grace

    I WISH we’d hired a coordinator- it was a nightmare trying to do everything myself, and every wedding I’ve shot with a coordinator always seems to be more enjoyable for the couple.

  3. Beth Carrick

    Great article! I can not tell you how many times we have had brides that did not hire us, come back after the wedding and Tell us how much they regret not spending the money on a coordinator. Having a good coordinator ultimately can save a bride money and a lot of stress.

  4. Courtney Porter {Dogwood Events}

    Fantastic post! A lot of my clients hire me for month-of coordination. After the wedding, they often tell me that it was the best decision they made while planning their wedding because they really got to enjoy their wedding day without worrying about all of the little details.

  5. Kristen J Scott, Day-of Wedding Coordinator (a Vendor)

    Lauren – I just stumbled upon your post and although I’m a 2 year late comer to the comment section, I have to thank you for your insightful views on wedding planning vs coordination. I am a “day-of” wedding coordinator firmly planted in the wedding industry for several years. I do NOT fashion myself a planner; and will actually refer brides to a wedding planner if they need more than I offer. I have a very clear understanding of what I can offer to brides and I do my job very, very well. So often planners undermine the service I offer; so I find your editorial quite refreshing. We would all love to have a planner at our side for the duration of the wedding process; but budgets don’t always allow for that luxury. Day-of coordination is a true gift for those who have shorter purse strings. It brings me great joy to lead a bride through the last few weeks of their planning in a low anxiety and stress free manner, and then ultimately delivering a joyous, memorable wedding day.
    Thanks – I’ll be sharing you thoughts with others!

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