It's amazing that we are already at the end of 201o! This was a very busy year for me and I want to thank all of my clients, their families, all of the wonderful vendors I was fortunate enough to work with, and my family for supporting me!
I thought I would share with you the valuable things I learned in my first year of wedding coordination! I can honestly say that no amount of studying for my certification, reading bridal blogs and magazines could have prepared me more than actual hands-on experience. Enjoy!
1) Make sure you truly know how much time it takes to be a planner! It is difficult to turn down a client, but sometimes it's better to say "I"m sorry, but my schedule is very busy and I do not think I will be able to devote the necessary time to your wedding that it deserves" then to short change yourself...and your client!
On an average week, I was spending 50 hours a week attending meetings, reading contracts, phone consultations, touring venues, searching websites, attending courses, marketing, etc.
This took me away from my husband and four year old son more than I had anticipated!
2) Work along side a wedding coordinator to get the true "behind the scenes" look into the workings of planning a wedding.
I had my twin sister assist me with an October wedding and she said to me "Wow, I had no idea what all it took to get a bride down the aisle!" You will definitely see months of planning shape up on the wedding day. The "fun" part of a wedding like selecting the dresses, flowers, food and your entertainment are just the facade of a wedding. You have to know the basics in order to make everything come together seamlessly. You need to know how to orchestrate the ceremony rehearsal, work with vendors, work with a nervous bride and groom, manage their families' emotions,handle the "unexpected", and make sure it's legal at the end of the day! Working first hand with a coordinator will definitely make you appreciate the months of planning!
3) You can never say somethings enough! No matter how many weddings I had this year, I always said "Don't forget to bring the rings and marriage license!" I always felt like I was stating the obvious, but I can't tell you how many times those two most important items were left at home!
4) Don't be afraid to speak up with vendors to make sure your clients' visions are carried through! I am the first to step down from a confrontation, but when it comes to making sure my clients get what they are paying for, I'll be the first to defend them. You want the best working relationship with your vendors in hopes of doing business with them many times in the future and having a mutual referral relationship, but they have to understand that you are working for their client too! I was once referred to as the "momma bird" for one of my brides, but I wanted to make sure SHE was happy with her wedding.
5) You are the professional! You have to make sure that no matter what events occur during the planning process or wedding day, you keep your professional appearance and demeanor. You are representing yourself and your company. Your client and vendors will appreciate your professional mannerism in the end.
There are SO many more things I learned in my first year, but these are the most important items I learned! I look forward to the many things I will learn even in my second year of wedding coordination and know that I can only continue to improve and it's not work if you love what you do!