I have been working with coordinators for a good while now. When I started seeing couples hiring coordinators in the early 2000’s there were just a handful of talented coordinators in the area with great reputations and a desire to help brides and grooms enjoy the process of planning a wedding as well as create an atmosphere so that the couple could actually attend their event instead of working their event.
I immediately saw the benefit to having someone at the event keeping things going smoothly from a totally different perspective. I equate the relationship between an entertainer and coordinator like running a great dining room at a fine restaurant. The entertainer is in charge of the front of the house which is everything the guests see and the coordinator takes care of the back of the house which is all the behind scene things that are so crucial in executing a flawless event.
After a few years of working with these handful of professionals there was a sudden surge of coordinators on the scene. It seemed to be that a lot of these folks were hanging up their shingle right after planning their own wedding and deciding it was something they could do professionally after one go at it as the bride.
Yes in every profession you have to start somewhere and somehow. When I started my professional career as a DJ I worked in my family’s business and the best way I learned was to be on as many events as possible as an assistant until I was capable of going on an event by myself. After six months of training I was officially booked on my first event as the DJ and not an assistant. It wasn’t an extravagant wedding but instead a very basic event. This is how I got my feet wet. In time I perfected my skills and understood the value of being ready to DJ a very important event. If I had DJ’ed an important event such as a wedding before I was really ready it would have cost me but more importantly cost the bride and groom because I play such an important part of their day.
The process for a coordinator is exactly the same and a key question you should ask the person you are interviewing is “How many events have you coordinated?” If they have a sufficient amount under their belt and you feel comfortable with them then this might be the person for you. Here are some great signs that you have hired a professional coordinator:
* They should be extremely organized
If they are all over the place, which you can tell in a 15 minute conversation over the phone or in person, then they will be that way while planning and doing your event.
* They should have great attention to detail skills
A coordinator who can show you an example of her detailed timeline in the interviewing process and discusses things that you didn’t even think of is a clear sign that she/he will not leave any stone unturned. You will be amazed by how many items a coordinator has on her checklist.
* They have a calm demeanor about them
I think this is so important. I’ve seen all kinds of coordinators and the most successful events have coordinators who stay calm even in the most stressful situations. These are my favorite professionals to work with.
* They are team players
I actually love working with coordinators who understand that in order to create a successful event it must be a team effort. Staying in communication with all the vendors before hand and working together from beginning to end will make a huge difference and a magical day.
Lisa Capitanelli Kasberg