Vicki Dewdney and Deborah Allen, Wedding Coordinators at The Redworth Hall Hotel in County Durham, part of The Cairn Collection, have nearly 15 years’ experience between them of organising weddings, from a two-day multi-cultural wedding with more than 300 guests to an intimate soiree for just 18 people. They share their insights into how to get the very best from your venue’s wedding coordinator.
Your wedding coordinator is there to ensure your wedding day is a wondrous event that you remember forever. To use them only to book times and make dining arrangements is to waste their experience, organising weddings at your chosen venue is what they do every day. They have in depth knowledge of how the venue can look – much more than your wedding planner, if you’re using one. A venue’s wedding coordinator has seen the venue used to create magnificent wedding celebrations and, never forget, that the best wedding coordinators are in their job because they love helping brides and grooms create a fabulous day.
Get to know your wedding coordinator
The venue’s wedding coordinator is just as important as the venue. Even if the venue is your ideal, if you don’t get on with its wedding coordinator, you’ll have an uphill struggle in making this landmark occasion in your life the best it can be. Spend time getting to know your wedding coordinator and making sure you ‘gel’ with them, as this can help turn a great wedding venue into an exceptional location for your wedding.
Ask about their experience
Getting to know your coordinator should involve a chat about their experience. Ask them for examples of the weddings they’ve coordinated before, not just at this venue, but others too. Try and find out what they did to make those special occasions exceptional. With sensitivity, you can also ask if they’ve ever had a disaster at a wedding, and what they did to save the day. A wedding coordinator’s answers will give you a feel for how fluent they are in the creation process.
Talk money early
Don’t be afraid to talk money, especially if you’ve got a tight budget. You’ll be surprised at how many little tricks a good wedding coordinator knows to make your budget stretch further. This can be something as simple as reducing spend on less important elements of the day and ensuring those characteristics that will make it fabulous are where the bulk of your money goes. Use your wedding coordinator’s budget-refining knowledge of their venue well, and you may find that what you felt was out of your budget is within your reach.
Ask them to suggest ideas
Ask your coordinator to open-up about their ideas for creating unique wedding ceremonies and celebrations. Let them unleash their creativity. Ask, “If there were no limitations, including budget, what would you do to make a wedding here incredible?” and “Now you know a little more about me and my fiancé, what do you think would work for us?”. If you like their suggestions, but they are outside of your budget, ask what they can do to create a similar theme to meet yours.
Also, you can bring your focus back to the specific venue, “What can this venue offer us that no other in the area can?”, “How do you suggest we make the most of this venue, including working with your team?” You’ll be surprised at how much the answers to these questions reveals about the venue and the wedding coordinator.
Finally, listen to everything they say – read between the lines. Off-the-cuff remarks can reveal a lot about your wedding coordinator and the venue team’s professionalism but, you should equally pay attention to what they don’t say. When discussing their work and previous experience, do they use words, phrases and anecdotes that demonstrate their care and enthusiasm for what they’re doing. Listen for warmth and excitement in their tone of voice and the stories they tell. Do they give you a feeling – or any examples – of a willingness to go the extra mile for a couple, simply because of an eagerness to please? It’s crucially important to work with a wedding coordinator that loves organising weddings!
A little extra help
Hopefully this piece has given you some food for thought on working with wedding coordinators to create your perfect wedding day. Should you wish to discuss your ideas with one of the experienced wedding coordinators at a Cairn Collection property, please do not hesitate to contact us, we’re here to help.