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How to Choose a Wedding Coordinator

When planning a wedding, the whole process can be very overwhelming, and the first thought might be “how am I ever going to get all of this done??” There is so much to remember and a lot of details to fill in so having a professional at your side is a must. Some venues come with their own coordinator as part of the booking package which is a big help, however many venues require a personal coordinator as well. What are their responsibilities and how do can you find the best one for your event? Alison Martinez, Owner, Lead Coordinator and Designer at Monarch Wedding Planning schooled us on this topic and here’s what she explained:

Venue Coordinator vs. Personal Coordinator

A venue coordinator normally takes care of the venue’s interests and will assist in carrying out what the wedding contract says. For example, if the contract says venue personnel will set up the chairs and tables, they make sure this is done. In essence, they do everything inside the box that relates to what happens at the venue.

Personal planners work with the venue and with all other vendors. They work in the planning process with the caterer, florist, cake, photographer, etc. They complete timelines of these vendor services to make they have enough time to complete the services they are contracted to perform. They also must have a keen attention to detail. For example, when planning the flower delivery, a personal planner would consider not just the time of delivery and number of items, but also the size of the centerpiece, the temperature they need to be kept at, and who is going to put them on the tables. A personal planner oversees the entire planning process.

Questions to Ask a Personal Coordinator

Are you a certified wedding planner?  There are education opportunities for planner to learn about all aspects of event planning unfortunately many planners do not take a formal course and become certified as it is not required but obviously necessary in order to provide a quality service.

Are you insured? A planner should hold liability insurance so if they break anything while setting up or in the course of the wedding the couples does not have to claim against their insurance that is required by most venues.

How many years have you been in business? There are so many people who suddenly represent themselves as being a planner but may not have experience yet. Being in the business may just mean volunteering or being an assistant to an experienced planner but this will give them valuable experience to doing a good job at your event and gives you an idea of their credentials.

What are your strengths? Some planners are great at designing a wedding and other are better at providing solid coordination, so a couple should ask if the planner they pick is the best person for their requirements.

Do you charge any additional fees such as travel costs or mileage?  Some planners have hidden cost which is in addition to their wedding package price so definitely ask.

What’s included in your packaging? Crystal Shum, owner of Exceptionally Yours Wedding and Events adds an important point to the topic, explaining that not all packages are made equal even though they may have the same name. There are a lot of terms out there like “day of” or “month of” coordination, but they can mean very different things to different professionals. These common terminologies can really confuse anyone, so make sure you ask! Some coordinators will provide communication at least 3 months in advance even though the package is called “month-of”. Ask which packages include the wedding rehearsal, venue walkthrough, timeline & setup meeting, and possibly an assistant. This way you will be fully aware of what you are paying for and how much support you will receive.

Hopefully these questions help you choose the perfect coordinator for your special day. There are many great ones out there and the information for both Alison and Crystal are below! Happy planning!

Alison Martinez

(805) 896-2075



Crystal Shum

(949) 584-4613



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