My good friend, Ariane Fisher, who runs Story Mix Media with her husband, Mike, was kind enough to write this post about why she regrets not hiring a coordinator for her own wedding in 1999...read on to see why it is, indeed, worth the money!
I was married over 11 years ago (where does the time fly?) on a picture perfect May day. We had a short 7 month whirlwind engagement packed with a lot of DIY projects. Both my husband and I are type A personalities and wanted to do as much as we could to put our budget toward items of major significance - a live band, top shelf liquor, hall - man what a party!. In retrospect it seems crazy what we pulled off ourselves- invitations, built a website (remember this was 1999), made my own dress (didn't know how to sew!), and made the cake.
So, what was my big regret? Shoulder strap came off while I walked down the aisle? Invitation had the wrong date? Cake had clumps of baking powder? Nope, the big regret was not having a day-of-coordinator to make sure everything went smoothly. Let me tell you what happened.
Since we were so keen on doing as much as possible ourselves we never seriously considered hiring a wedding planner or coordinator. Hey, we worked at a major corporation and my fiance had everything planned out in Microsoft Project. What could go wrong?
We had about a 5 hour window between the end of our ceremony and the start of the reception. Of course there were still some tasks that needed to be taken care of in between - specifically creating the table cards. We had some last minute changes in the seating plan due to some surprise late responses.
One of my bridesmaids promised to use her calligraphy skills for this task - during the time before the reception. So, we spent 2 hours getting photographed and assumed everything was taken care of. When we arrived at the hotel where the guests were staying to say hi and grab some food, we noticed my bridesmaid and maid of honor weren't there. No big deal, they'll show up soon I thought. About an hour before the reception they still hadn't arrived and we had no way of getting in touch with them since neither had a cell phone (seems like the stone ages doesn't it?). In case you are thinking she was diligently working on the table cards, my husband had the seating chart in his pocket! Long story short, we ended up 15 minutes late for our own reception and had guests waiting to find out what table they were at!
I wish that was the only snafu during the day. Our videographer (otherwise known as my maid of honor) ended up taking only about 5 minutes of footage at the reception (ironic since I now own a company which creates online photo and video wedding products), the late night snacks we paid extra for (our reception went until 1am) ended up in the lobby where nobody knew to get them, and a handful of other small things that I wish I hadn't had to deal with.
After spending so much time and effort to put together my dream wedding it would have been nice to relax and enjoy the day, instead of coordinating last minute details. Don't get me wrong, I still had a fantastic time at my wedding, how could I not with a live bar band? But, it would have been well worth the money to have a professional coordinator like Five Grain Events make everything go smoothly.
Planning a wedding is a lot of work, stress, and costs a lot of money. Not hiring a day of coordinator seems like a great way to meet your budget, but in the end you can't compare the benefits of knowing everything is in good hands so you can really appreciate and enjoy the biggest day of your life.