Should You Hire a Wedding Coordinator? | Hanna Ashcraft | Skillshare

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Should You Hire a Wedding Coordinator?

teacher avatar Hanna Ashcraft, Travel Blogger | Content Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Levels of Complexity


    • 3.

      The Core Issue


    • 4.

      Types of Coordinators


    • 5.

      Hiring a Coordinator


    • 6.

      Working with a Coordinator


    • 7.

      Post-Event Communications


    • 8.

      Thank you!


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About This Class

First of all, congratulations on your engagement! It is super exciting to be planning and deciding what you want your wedding to look like. I assuming you’re here because you got to the point when you’re wondering, “Should I hire a wedding coordinator?” I am so proud of you for considering this question because it will help determine your own role on the day of the wedding.

In this course, we will talk about why weddings are so complex and thinking about your role in relation to that complexity. Then, we will talk about the different types of coordinators to determine which will be best for your budget and wedding. I will share my personal tips for working with a coordinator to best utilize your time together. These tips will help clarify expectations and communication - the two most challenging aspects of working with a coordinator! Lastly, I will go over why you should connect with your coordinator after your wedding day and what you should review.

I am so excited for you to be able to attend and enjoy your wedding, while still have the wedding go smoothly.


P.S. Practically every photograph in this presentation was shot by Natalie Thomson. I created a class with her on "How to Get the Best Event and Wedding Photos", so go check it out!

P.P.S. Music credit: Bossa Bossa, Kevin Macleod (, licensed under Creative Commons: By Attributions 3.0 Http://

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Hanna Ashcraft

Travel Blogger | Content Creator


HI! I'm Hanna and I believe in thoughtful, organized, and beautiful events that delight guests and give them a warm feeling for months after. Small touches and purposeful execution will almost always lead you to success. Given enough lead time, I think anyone can plan a spectacular small or large scale event.

More recently, I began working on a passion project - my travel blog. My experience planning events effortlessly transition into planning incredible trips. I will also be teaching travel tips and tricks that I have learned.


I have been event planning in the Santa Barbara area for the last five years. As a junior in college, I took an incredible event planning internship in Oahu, Hawaii. Upon graduating, I immediately jumped into an events ca... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello. My name is Hannah. And in this course, I'm gonna answer the question. Should I hire a wedding coordinator? And if I am considering it, how would I go about communicating with determining what's the best fit for my wedding and hiring a coordinator? I'm really glad you're thinking about these questions during the planning process of your wedding because it's so important to determine your own role on the day of the event. It really begs the question. Are you going to enjoy, participate and attend the event like a guest? Or are you okay with working at the event? And by that I mean communicating with vendors answer and guests questions lining people up , killing musicians, guiding guests from place to place. You probably already know in your heart what you want. So in this course, I'm gonna dive a little deeper into the complexity of executing a wedding. Then, if I convince you to hire coordinator, I'm gonna talk about the different types of coordinators that are out there that you can determine which one is the best fit and maybe save money on your once you hired one. I'll share some tips about how to best utilize your coordinator before and after. You don't need anything for this course, except maybe a note pad, a little bit of self awareness and an open mind. You probably already have this thing, so let's get started. 2. Levels of Complexity: The thing about weddings in particular as opposed to other types of events, is how complex that can be. To start off, I'm gonna talk about five different elements that are naturally occurring at weddings that make them more complex, starting with the structure. So the structure of weddings. There's usually three parts, which is the ceremony, the cocktail hour and reception. And sometimes there's 1/4 part, which is an after party. If the bride and groom decided to do so. Each one of those parts requires vendors set up and communication, so that's already complex as a baseline. The second item, or element of complexity is the guest themselves, even if you have 12 gas, 40 gas, 100 gas 150 gas, sometimes 300 person weddings that makes it each one of those makes it more and more complex. To organize these people, communicate with them, move them, seat them and serve them all very difficult, while also making them feel welcomed and part of the event. The third element of complexity related to those guests is the pressure to impress them. So although these air friends and family, I feel like there's still this pressure to impress, or maybe even just for the event to go well in front of this audience that you have here, plus the added drama between friends or family, or maybe tensions that developed over the planning process, which is very common. The fourth element of complexity is the cost, and the average cost of a wedding in 2018 is $33,000. The best comparison of the cost of a wedding to something in real life actually came from D . J. Mike Ober, who I interviewed it another video. So make sure to save that. Watch it later, because it's pretty good. Anyways, he compared the cost of wedding Weatherby $33,000 or more or less is that it's roughly the price of a brand new car. But a brand new car is not built in a single day. Yet you're expecting your wedding toe happen all in one day and be flawless. The fifth element adding to complexity is that it's probably your first or second time doing this. I'm not saying that wedding planning is super rocket science or anything, but like any skill, it takes practice and experience to do well and I don't think I know everything that could possibly go wrong at a wedding, and it's likely that you don't either. But that just adds another layer of complexity, doesn't it? 3. The Core Issue: that's so important to determine your own role on the day of the event? Are you attending the event or are you working the event by attending? I mean enjoying participating, Not worrying about when things are happening are how they're happening. Behind the scenes. You're there to socialize, mingle with guests and a satrap, whereas if you're working the event you're there early to ensure vendors air they're set up . Its happiness is both suit. It's looking like it's supposed to. Things were happening by the time they're supposed to in order to have the event happened. And then once event happens, your queuing musicians and DJ's, you're lining people up for the ceremony or grand entrance, your guiding gas from one place to another and answering guest questions. That's what I mean by working the event. So which is it if you answered? No, I don't see myself working the event that is okay, especially if it's your own wedding. I like this question about attending versus working the event because it points out that some what has to be working at the event and also creates this tension between planning and executing, which you are in the middle of you're in the middle of it because you hold all the information as the primary planner, you're the one who has the bird's eye view of how the event is supposed to go, how the pieces air supposed to come together, how it's supposed to look, smell and feel so on the day of the event. If you go into it thinking that you're attending and you don't have someone working the vendors air going to come to you for information, answers to questions, approval. Is this OK, sis? How it's supposed to look on problem solving when things go wrong, you cannot expect to go into an event with all the information and not sharing that with anyone. And just expect the event magically happen without your guidance. Because of those elements of complexity, weddings are just too complex to happen on their own. Without supervision and leadership. They're kind of like Children. You never know what's gonna happen, so you need some supervision and leadership. And if you're not providing that supervision, leadership, working the event and executing at, then who is and is that another guest? Is that fair to that guest? To put that responsibility on them. Most simply put, if you want to participate and enjoy and attend the event while also having the event go smoothly and well executed, then you're going to need some help. It's possible to plan the entire event in hand over all of that information to a coordinator for them to execute and for them to worry about all those information distribution answers, approvals on and problem solving. This should be freeing for you because there's a way for you to plan your event while also going to be able to attend it on the day in this next section, I'm going to talk about the different levels of coordination for you to determine what type of coordinator is gonna be best for you and your budget so that you can attend the event. 4. Types of Coordinators: So when people think of putting cunning, they probably were thinking of a full service wedding planner, and full service means they plan the entire wedding from start to finish. So when I worked at a previous full time or full service wedding coordinator, we would meet with the clients in the beginning and the client to tell us everything about themselves, about how they felt about each other, what they wanted from the wedding look and feel and kind about their history. And we would take that information. We haven't event designer, create the entire look and feel of the wedding. We pitched that to the clients. If they approved it, they can make changes. Whatever they want. We start moving forward with the logistics. Someone else from the team would kind of take over and start putting the pieces together. And at every single junction we have the clients input. So, for example, we would narrow down all the amount of different color tablecloths like two different ones , and send that to the plant. And they would choose between the two tablecloths or if things were going to be a little bit more expensive for a certain look we'd always approve that by the clients. And so the clients really determined the entire look and feel of the event without having to worry about all the logistics. They could comment on the day of the event and just enjoy and bask in everything that they decided on what amazing experience, right? But that comes with, AH, high price tag for that amount of attention and attention to detail on entire team working on your wedding for that long. So be on a full service coordinator. There is a spectrum of different types of other coordinators. Most wedding planners out there have different packages that has different levels of involvement throughout the planning process. So you could have someone help you more throughout the plenty process and then take over on the day of. Or you could have someone come in blind on the day off and execute the event. So obviously someone who doesn't have to give you attention throughout the planning process is going to cost a lot less. But they will also not have maybe all of the information that they need to do an excellent , excellent job. So most people up to go with a month of coordinator, where the client does most of the planning and then the month of the coordinator comes in and kind of buttons. Everything up baton is passed and they execute the event. It depends on you and your budget what kind of packages you can afford and how much level involvement you think you'll need. If you feel really lost, you might need a little bit more help. But maybe there's a package that's kind of spaces. These meetings, some meetings up like over a longer period of time rather than just that last month. So the planner can help you throughout the process a little bit more so beyond the day off . They have a day of coordinator, but you're really struggling with the look and feel like all your decisions. You don't sure if it's gonna work together, and you're just really struggling that it's not looking like what you wanted to. You can also hire a an event designer to help you. Just with that aspect of it, it will still be kind of pricey. But in order to get the look and feel you want, it could be worth it for you to have someone help you figure out what things go together to make your message be heard that this is about you and your groom or you and your fiance event designers. Other option. Or there's also all a cart. Maybe your your struggling with a particular project, or you want to surprise your fiance with something you can also add on either to that coordinator. I get a different court of you to help you, just with the logistics of a special project. Say you want to surprise your fiance with a band that takes a lot of additional logistics, and if you don't have time for that, you can hire someone to just take care of that item beyond the day of coordinator and or full service or a month off. You can also think about your venue contact. Sometimes they have, though, be there to help you plan it. But just remember, if you're gonna ask the venue or your friend or anything like that, just remember that someone has to be working. And as I said earlier, someone has to be that person holding only information giving that super visited leadership so I would go with a coordinator But if the venue has someone who's dedicated to it and it included in the price of your venue, that's great. Maybe you don't need an additional coordinator. Talk with them and determine what's right for you. Your level of input needed in your budget. 5. Hiring a Coordinator: Now you know a little bit more about the different types of coordinators. You might want to go ahead and hire one for executing the day of the event. Where do you start? Toe? Look for one in the area of your event that's going be right for you. I would first start with your venue if you've already booked your venue. It's an excellent place to start because venues are stationary places. Obviously, they haven't been thoroughly time. They kind of seen it all. And so if a venue recommends a coordinator means that they've worked at that menu before. They know the venue well, and they take care of the being you and their relationship with the venue. And that's really important. So I would take any recommendation from the video with high card. Another person or other people you can ask for recommendations is if you've had a friend get married in the same area that you're getting married and they really like their corn eatery, annoys us them or even always look on line. With so many review sites out there, you could probably find someone online and then, with some investigations of your own talking to them On talking to your menu, you probably source out there gonna be a good fit for you. So if you're ready to start talking Teoh coordinators to see if they're gonna be a good fit , I recommend reading this Huff po article having to post article that I found online. And it's what really ask your potential wedding planner. I really like it because it shows you questions that you might be thinking asking kind of ultra sit questions slightly to get out of better point. It just It's really good. So give that a read before you call anyone, But when you're gonna call, I recommend calling at least 2 to 4 coordinators for package comparisons and fit. You will learn a lot on just a phone call, Mother. Not you're gonna get along with your coordinator. You can see if they're trying Teoh guide you towards a certain answer with everything or if they're talking over you, you can kind of expect that behavior the rest of the time there. If you're doing full service and you're gonna be paying a nice high price tag for coordination, I would definitely meet up with them in person I think it's important to really get to know them because they will be part of your life for however long your wedding planning is. And then after that. So talking. Teoh, you're coordinator. Different coordinator is pretty important between the price packages and how you how much you like them, you'll probably be able to decide what best fit it is. So once you're ready, you can sign the contract and pay the deposit and go ahead and get moving on planning the wedding. But before you sign anything and make sure you understand how much time and attention you have from them, how many emails, texts, phone calls, meetups are included in whatever package you choose. Make sure you just very clear on that and what that looks like so you don't get yourself in a pickle later. 6. Working with a Coordinator: So now that you've hired a coordinator so good, I'm so proud of you. I'm gonna share some tips which they're not. Everything under the sun but these air Some critical tips for you when working with your coordinator to utilize your time together. I'm gonna use the sheep pronoun because most wedding planners are female, but they're not always. But I am going to use that she pronoun for this video. First off and this applies even if you have a full service coordinator is to make sure that you listen. Teoh her when she says things are difficult, she's probably speaking from experience and basing her recommendations on your budget. So at the same time, it's absolutely okay to ask her why she's recommending to do something some way. So, for example, say you and your coordinator are split on how to do something. She's really kind of pushing you for one thing, and it's making you uncomfortable to get out of this situation instead of demanding her to do it your way. Make sure that you're asking why he recommends to do it that way and how much it would cost to do it your way. That way you can hear why, what, where she's coming from in terms of why she's recommending that you do something some way, Maybe she's seen it really successful in the past or its within your budget. Want to, you know, like, Oh, if I do it this way, it's gonna cost me an extra $10,000. Now let's do it your way. You guys could make a decision together and move forward without all the frustration. So number one tip is definitely make sure you're listening when she says things are difficult, so the rest please tips. Apply if you have if you don't have a full service coordinator. So if you have a limited amount of meet ups, phone calls, emails, texts and etcetera, you want a mixture that the ownership and responsibility office event is still on you. You're coordinator, although you've hide with them. Very proud of that. She is your support. She is your person ago for advice and recommendations. She hasn't been hired to do everything for you. The onus is still on you to get the event done, So the good news is you have an incredible resource that you're on right now, and that is called the Internet videos articles. So much information is on the Internet that you really couldn't do this on your own, and I fully believe that you can. So I recommend going as far as he possibly can with stuff before your meat up and then utilizing your time with her to ask more specific questions. Because what? The Internet doesn't have my videos articles they can't provide you with your event specific recommendations, right? They don't know where you're at in the world. What kind of weather it is, what your guests are like. Your family relationships are like people can't guess that. But your wedding coordinators should know your event intimately or can recommend things to you that the Internet cannot. So don't wait for your coordinator to say, Oh, now is a good time to hire a being company. No research online. Find Davey company you like you can even sign a contract and then alter your order later. Bring the order with you to your next meet up. Have her review it so she can give the input for your specific event. Have a list of questions ready for her when you go into the meeting, and they make sure that you have a list of things that she thinks you should be doing next . She might automatically provide this two year. Maybe she has this master checklist, but check in on the checklist and make sure you have a list so that you can have her advice along with the Internet. Advice for you to move forward and this might already be built in to your package, but definitely make sure to save one of your meet ups or phone calls to be right before the wedding. This is your opportunity for your final offloading of information passing the baton, transfer of power, whatever you wanna call it. This'll is your opportunity to give everything, you know, tow her so that she can do the best job she possibly can tell her Al the change in his even the family drama. Tell her everything so that she could make better decisions. When, when something comes up on the day of the event and you don't have to worry, so definitely have that last meeting and during that last meeting, be sure to communicate with her. How much you want to be involved as the planner and information holder. How much you want to be involved in the day of the personally, I recommend telling her to use her own best judgment on almost everything, unless it's life and death, or like super highly critical by giving her your blessing, it gives her the authority to make decisions on the day of the event. It puts her in that supervisory and leadership role that's needed weddings to make things go smoothly and happen as they're supposed to. And it also allows you to let go after that point, it's in her hands, and she's gonna do the best job she can. You could also give her this blessing with the caveat to you could say like I want you to use your best judgment are everything. But I do want Teoh see the table scape before guests arrive, or I want to see this slideshow or talk to the view that you can add one Katia into her day to make sure she pulls you in on that one item, and then the rest of the time it's up to her 7. Post-Event Communications: Yeah, you made it to the event after the event. Give it a few days, but on the Monday or Tuesday following event, make sure you have a debrief meeting with your coordinator before you talk to any other vendors. I cannot stress how critical this little debrief meeting is. Our phone call could be a phone call. No problem. But talk to your coordinator first. Generally, your coordinator will know more about what happened at your event. Then you will, especially if you're the bride and groom, because they will have all of the background all just going on as well as the front around knowledge of what happened as well. So debriefing the event is not only it could be really fun to to kind of relive things and kind of see how it went from someone else. Perspective. I'm sure you've probably already been asking like your other guests, but it's fun to hear from your coordinator how it went on the back end. So if something did not go exactly the plan, your coordinator probably had to scramble to find a solution. And so it's always good to hear what went into that solution. What if something else is being charged to you or if it was a vendor's fault, what happened? It's good to talk to your coordinator first because she'll probably know about it. She's on your team and she has an enough event knowledge to kind of source out. Even if she wasn't physically see it, she can probably guess where something originated or started from. So in the event that something went really wrong. You're coordinator can also help you think about how to approach that vendor. If it's full service, she'll probably do this for you if she hasn't already. If you're not full service, it will be on you because it's your relationship with vendor. She'll tell you how to approach it. And then you also have her word about what happened along with your sites or your friends input on what happened, and she can also help you guide you to to know what to ask for. Sometimes that's a partial refund. Sometimes that's just in apology. Maybe it wasn't something that big, but you definitely want to confront your vendor about it. Um, she could help guide you with that. So on the flip side of that, what if a vendor went above and beyond, your coordinator can help you determine if that vendor deserves an extra little gift, maybe a cash tip or an online review. She can kind of help you. I know about it because sometimes when a vendor goes above and beyond, you don't notice it because something just happened as it was supposed to. You don't know that. Maybe like something crazy happened in the background that had nothing to do with your vendors. But your vendors were able to scramble together and make something happen so that you don't even notice it. So she's a good resource for you to know what happened on the back end. That was also good. And along with that, maybe it's your coordinator that went above and beyond. You'll probably know this on the day of the event. Or maybe in this debrief, maybe you'll hear about all the things she had to deal with. And if something was really particularly challenging, it might be worthwhile to give her cash tip. I wouldn't mention that during the debrief meeting, but you can give her a little something. Send it in the mail as an additional thank you 8. Thank you!: Well, you've made it to the end of this course. Congratulations. I hope that by now that you feel like you know whether or not you should hire coordinator for your upcoming event or wedding. I mean, most likely he watches class through, but I'll leave it up to you also, that you feel confident in hiring a coordinator that fits your budget and wedding. And lastly, that you know how to utilize your coordinator before after event. Thank you so much for watching this video. If you haven't seen him already, be sure to check on my other videos to help you. D I y. Your own upcoming event wedding. I hope to be making more videos like this in the future. But if there's some aspect of event planning that you want to know more about leaving comment below so that I can maybe put it up in the production schedule or if you have any questions, I'll get back to you as soon as possible. I've had so much fun making these costs is that if you wouldn't mind leaving your view, it'll help other first time event and with planners, find me. All right. See you soon. Bye.