I know what it's like to plan a wedding and be overwhelmed with everything your budget needs to cover. And when you've never planned a wedding before, it can be hard to make good decisions, because you honestly don't know what the best option is and what the ramifications of that choice will be. That's why I always recommend that my brides hire a professional wedding planner, but that's a topic for another day.
Today I wanted to talk about what happens when a couple doesn't hire a planner or a day of coordinator for their wedding. What happens is that the photographer kind of becomes the coordinator. And that's not always in the couple's best interest.
Don't get me wrong. I love helping my couples put together their wedding day timelines. I will make sure things keep moving throughout the portrait time. I will tell the girls how to hold their bouquets and advise the bride and groom on how to cut the cake. I will work with the DJ or band throughout the reception to make sure we're on the same page with the parent dances and the bouquet and garter toss.
Sounds like a day of coordinator right?
But what if the cake cutting set goes missing? What about keeping the girls on track during hair and makeup? What about set up and take down of the reception? What about pinning on those pesky boutonnieres? What if the groom forgets his vows in the hotel room? What if a vendor is running late?
A photographer can't handle these sorts of things. But a day of coordinator can.
I can't corral people during the family and bridal party portrait times, because I have a shot list I have to get through. So without a coordinator, another family member has to go in search of any missing people and the more people that are missing, the harder it is to finish the list on time.
And even with the timeline... a coordinator's option is so valuable! As a wedding photographer, I'm focused on scheduling the parts of the day that involve photography. But I don't know how long it will take for hair and makeup. I don't know when the cake should arrive. I don't know how long to schedule for bustling your dress before the reception.
A day of coordinator not only manages things that go wrong on the wedding day, but she helps the day run more smoothly. She might ask the caterers to provide a plate of appetizers for the bridal party during cocktail hour. She's probably a pro with boutonnieres! And it's her job to make sure every part of the day runs according to schedule and to get back on schedule if something runs late.
When there isn't a wedding coordinator, I do take on a few of those responsibilities. But those are big shoes to fill and I simply can't do it all! I can only help with a few things that are directly affecting the photography. But when my bride and groom have hired a wedding planner or day of coordinator, I can be completely focused on photographing the wedding day, so the couple will receive the best possible product from me.
On a related note, local Hampton Roads wedding planners, Emily Weddings, recently posted a fabulous article about the difference between a venue coordinator and a day of coordinator.
Looking for a wedding photographer? I still have a few weekends open for 2014 and I'm booking for 2015 as well!
Shoot me an email here with your names, wedding date and location!