What Does a Wedding Coordinator Do? Roles & Duties Explained

Story Amour
Written by Story Amour · Posted in Advice Last Updated March 18, 2023 · minute read
In This Article

    We get it! Planning a wedding can be hard. Then you finally make it to the big day itself, and you still need to keep going. Well that’s where a wedding coordinator comes in. Specifically an ‘on-the-day’ coordinator.

    Think of your wedding coordinator as a J-Lo type character from everyone’s favorite movie ‘The Wedding Planner’. No? Just mine? Well I do work in weddings, what were you expecting!

    Anyway, back to your very sensible question, what does a wedding coordinator do? Well, over the next few minutes we will deep dive into everything you could ever wish to know about wedding coordinators including their duties, costs and tips to get the most out of your experience. Trust us, with nearly 15 years in the industry, we know what we are talking about when it comes to wedding coordinators. Before Story Amour launched, that was our primary job.

    Let’s get started!

    person writes on a wedding timeline with article title over image

    What Does a Wedding Coordinator Do?

    What is a wedding coordinator?

    To begin with, let’s actually define ‘wedding coordinator’. A wedding coordinator is a wedding planning professional offering the service of ‘day-of’ wedding planning. They will organize, arrange, manage and of course, coordinate your wedding day.

    A coordinator will stay on top of vendors, ensuring they are always in the right place at the right time. They will manage the timeline, making sure that no one is late or left behind. Generally speaking, a wedding coordinator is just someone that can help with any problem you might have on the day of your wedding. Quite simple really.

    Start Your Forever
    with 10% Off
    Use code FOREVER10 to save on your stationery Visit Our Shop

    Wedding Planner vs Wedding Coordinator

    Is a wedding coordinator just a wedding planner? No. While you will often hear “wedding planner” and “wedding coordinator” muddled together, generally speaking, both are actually completely different things.

    Your wedding planner will be there from day one, lending their incredible knowledge expertise with every stage of your wedding planning. Chances are, they will help you find and book your wedding coordinator as the day approaches. Many wedding planners will even offer the service themselves.

    The planner will plan, advise and help with anything you need throughout the entire wedding planning process. Need to find a photographer? The planner will help. Unsure about how the vows work? The planner will help. Just need advice on the most comfortable materials for your dress? Again, the planner will help.

    A wedding coordinator offers a very different service. On the day management. The amount of time spent dealing with the coordinator before the day will be very limited in comparison to your wedding planner. However, on the day itself, your coordinator will be there to fulfill your every need.

    With us so far? Wedding planner helps you plan the wedding from saying yes to your proposal, to finally sipping cocktails on the beach during your honeymoon. A wedding coordinator is there on the day to help make sure everything runs smoothly.

    What are the duties of a day-of wedding coordinator?

    Duties and responsibilities, this is where your coordinator excels. From dealing with blushing bridesmaids to devotion to decor, your wedding coordinator is an expert in putting out fires and making sure your dream big day is every bit as magical as you imagined.

    Below we have put together some of the most common responsibilities that your coordinator will help with.

    Timeline Management, Scheduling and Logistics

    Your wedding coordinator will work closely with your wedding planner in the build up to the day. They will design a timeline and rundown for your big day. With their experience they will know how long each aspect takes, as well as understanding potential issues that could arise.

    On the day itself, your coordinator will ensure that schedule is followed to the letter of the law. They will manage all logistics meaning everything and everyone is in the right place, at the right time.

    Decor & Design Administration

    To begin with, your coordinator will make your decor team arrive accordingly, setting up the various design aspects of your day. From flower arrangements to centerpiece perfection, everything will look and feel as intended. Furthermore, they will also speak to you directly, making sure you love everything you see. If you don’t, say no more. With the wave of their magic wand, your wishes will come true.

    Wedding Party Management

    Ok, we understand it’s a bit much to call it “management” but on the day of your wedding, some of your most stressful moments will come when dealing with the people you love the most. Your wedding party.

    Your coordinator will be there, like an Encyclopedia Britannica, to answer any questions they might have. They will give advice, help, guidance, and of course, provide champagne whenever necessary. A master of manipulation (kidding), your wedding planner will ensure all your wedding party members are in the right place, fed, watered, and excited to watch you walk down the aisle. Sounds a little bit like herding cattle…

    Liaising with Vendors & Suppliers

    You and your wedding planner will have found an amazing collection of vendors to help make your wedding dreams become a reality. It’s your coordinator’s job to make sure that your visions are met. They are the go between vendors and brides. Alleviating any stresses, making sure they are on track and ready to go!

    They are also there to keep the vendors happy. A happy vendor means a happy bride. Trust us, we know how this all works.

    Help, Advice & Problem Solving

    It goes without saying, you’re going to need advice and help throughout your day. From finding a brolly if it starts to rain (fingers crossed it wont!) to advice on how to remove wine stains from the mother of the bride’s cream colored two-piece.

    Think of your coordinator as your personal assistant, except all they know is weddings! An expert in all things happy brides and wonderful weddings.

    Start Your Forever
    with 10% Off
    Use code FOREVER10 to save on your stationery Visit Our Shop

    What is the difference between a wedding coordinator and venue coordinator?

    My venue offers a coordinator, will I still need a separate wedding coordinator? Yes and no. A lot of the jobs of a venue coordinator will overlap with your wedding coordinator. Generally, as a wedding coordinator, they will have a much bigger oversight of the day, knowing who each vendor is and what you have planned. Whereas a venue coordinator will be more focused on venue provided services such as food and scheduling.

    A wedding coordinator is hired by a couple, whereas the venue coordinator is often provided as part of the service when booking your wedding venue. It’s important to ask if your wedding venue booking includes a coordinator. If so, ask for specific tasks that they will undertake. At this point you can have a discussion with your planner to decide whether or not you need to hire a separate wedding coordinator.

    How much do wedding coordinators cost?

    Wedding coordinators can cost anywhere between $5,000 to $3,000. It’s rare to be quoted more than $3,000, however if you are having a particularly exuberant wedding, or trying to hire the actual Mary Fiore (J-Lo from The Wedding Planner. Yes that’s the second reference to The Wedding Planner in this article) you may need to pay higher costs. If you are buying a Ferrari, you can expect to pay Ferrari prices. That doesn’t mean that a nice BMW can’t do a fantastic job.

    Wedding coordination costs may also vary depending on other aspects including size of your wedding, how difficult or challenging your rundown is, or any other ‘out of norm’ requests you may have.

    Further on in the article, we’ve put tips on how to find your coordinator. We always recommend getting quotations from a range of different suppliers. This way you will be able to sit down with a cuppa and compare prices to get the best deal for you. Your planner might also have discounts available from their recommended supplier list and can also help manage within your budget.

    Start Your Forever
    with 10% Off
    Use code FOREVER10 to save on your stationery Visit Our Shop

    Are wedding coordinators worth it?

    Absolutely, 100%. If your venue doesn’t provide a similar service as part of their package, it’s absolutely crucial to hire a coordinator just in case any unexpected problems pop up. Below we have broken down why a wedding coordinator is what you need for your special day.

    Do I need a wedding coordinator?

    Maybe you’ve been planning weddings all your life? Or do you work in the event industry? Perhaps you even work for a wedding venue? If so, chances are you either know how to coordinate your own wedding or know someone who can help. That being said, you know how stressful a wedding can be and how important hiring a coordinator can be.

    Below we have put together a couple of scenarios where we believe you must hire a coordinator.

    Outdoor or Unique Venues

    If you are planning a particularly unique wedding, or perhaps hosting the day at a more non-traditional venue, this is where a wedding coordinator can come in very handy.

    Most traditional wedding venues will offer some sort of advice on scheduling and time keeping. They will usually assign a member of the staff to manage the day. Even if this person is not a full on coordinator, they will still be well versed in wedding scheduling.

    All of that goes out of the window when you opt for that rustic inspired barn two towns from the middle of nowhere. This can increase stress for yourselves, you may experience problems that you don’t know how to solve. This is where a wedding coordinator’s experience can come in really useful. You may even want to find a coordinator that specializes in unique weddings. They do exist!

    DIY weddings

    In the early 2012’s, DIY weddings became all the rage! From doing your own bunting to family members helping out with wedding cakery. It wasn’t just a method to reduce costs, it became a real styling to your day. It was and still is amazing. However, no matter your wedding style, you will still need to be organized on your day.

    DIY weddings often have a more laid back feel and you may be thinking that you don’t need to hire a coordinator. That’s totally fine however we recommend nominating a member of your wedding party that can help make sure everything is running like clockwork. If you don’t believe a member of your party can step up to the plate, then it’s time to start the search and consider hiring a coordinator. While it will surely impact the budget, it’s definitely worth that peace of mind that they will provide on the day.

    Not included in your venue package

    As mentioned previously, a lot of wedding venues will include some kind of on-the-day coordinator for your big day. It’s always good to check with your venue exactly what your plan includes. Many venues will offer an upgrade option or allow you to find outside service providers.

    If your package doesn’t include a wedding coordinator, it’s good to find someone that’s worked at your venue before. This way they will know all the little nuances associated with your venue.

    Start Your Forever
    with 10% Off
    Use code FOREVER10 to save on your stationery Visit Our Shop

    Other Considerations

    So you’ve decided to take the plunge and hire a day-of wedding coordinator. Good! You won’t regret it. A stress free wedding day is incoming!

    What now? Well here are a few additional considerations to make in the hiring process.

    Always remember to speak to your wedding planner before finding your coordinator. Chances are they have worked with many before and can recommend the most suitable for your rundown.

    Cost & Budget

    Probably the most important consideration on the list. If you can’t afford a coordinator, don’t stretch the budget to accommodate something you don’t think you need. Try to wrangle in a bossy friend. They might be just as good…

    If you’ve made the decision to go with a wedding coordinator, then be sure to be upfront and ask questions about costs. Ask about any unexpected expenses not included in your quote. This should ensure everything stays within budget.

    Friendly & Communicative

    From your initial meeting, do you get on with them? Do they seem like the kind of team you can smoothly liaise with on your special day? Did they communicate their services well? All this is extremely important as it’s not just you they will be dealing with. Having the right temperament to deal with a whole host of vendors will allow your amazing wedding to go off without a hitch.

    We recommend putting together a list of questions to ask you potential coordinators. How they respond and answer those questions will give you a good insight into whether you’ve hired your future best friend, or someone you need to block. Joke. It will allow a peak into how the will perform on the day.

    Availability

    Availability, availability, availability. It’s kind of obvious that availability is the most important consideration you need to make when looking for a coordinator. Please remember that most couples want to get married at the weekend, when the chance of good weather is highest. As a result, this limits the number of potential dates for all couples getting married. In demand wedding coordinators will book up fast, make sure you check their availability before continuing any discussions.

    How Experienced Are They?

    Experience isn’t always required. We’ve seen newbie photographers capture images 100 times better than seasoned pros. However, when it comes to coordination, it’s more than just being bossy and good with a diary. Knowing those little potential problems that can jump out you, and being able to remain calm and fix them in real time, is a skill you only learn from being part of weddings after weddings after weddings.

    Be sure to ask any potential candidates for reviews from past couples, and a general overview of their history and experience.

    Style & Personality

    Strangely enough, finding a coordinator that has a style that matches your wedding day isn’t particularly important. Nowhere near as important as it is with other vendors. Imagine hiring a photographer that shoots dark and moody when you are looking for a light, bright and airy? Or maybe a decor stylist that loves rustic vibes when you are after a modern and contemporary style? It just wouldn’t make sense. However, when it comes to coordination, it’s more about being a whiz in the organizing, as well as reliable and efficient.

    In addition, while style is overrated, having a personality that matches your own is exceptionally important. You don’t want to create any necessary conflicts on the day itself, and booking the right coordinator that you can gel with, goes a long way to ensuring this doesn’t happen.

    Start Your Forever
    with 10% Off
    Use code FOREVER10 to save on your stationery Visit Our Shop

    Tips for finding and choosing a wedding coordinator

    So you know what you are looking for, but where, when and how do you go about discovering them? Well with all our wedding experience, and an army of past and present brides to call on, we’ve put together a few tips to ensure you experience a blissful wedding coordinator search. All tips can go a long way making sure you find the right vendor and skip any potential mishaps.

    The Early Bird Catches The Worm

    As mentioned previously, good wedding coordinators will book up quickly. Start your search early. Be responsive. Shop around. Do everything a couple of weeks before you think you should. This will allow you to avoid disappointment and not be let down when you discover your favorite wedding coordinator is no longer available for your day.

    Just a note, most coordinators will require a deposit up to 50% to secure a slot. If you haven’t paid your deposit, chances are you haven’t secured your booking. If I had a dollar for every bride that thought they had booked when they hadn’t paid their deposit… Well I’d have a couple of dollars but you get the idea.

    One final thing, finding your coordinator also helps you work together to ensure the day itself will be awesome.

    Coffee and a chat

    As we’ve mentioned before, while style is overrated, finding a coordinator that’s on the same wavelength as you is indispensable. We recommend sitting down with any potential candidates and chatting through your expectations.

    Ask questions, enquire into processes, listen to what they say and try and make a decision on whether you believe you can work well together. Finding the right fit can create the dream wedding day partnership, working in sync to create wedding euphoria!

    Referrals are key

    Whether you are asking your planner or your best friend that you were a bridesmaid to, ask around for recommendations. Knowing someone with first hand experience of a wedding coordinator is a valuable commodity. They can act as your personal wedding expert, giving you advice on whether they were worth it, what they were good at, what they were not so good at, etc.

    Contract?

    This tip could easily find itself in the ‘Other Considerations’ section however we’ve decided to look at it more from a “spiritual” point of view.

    Remember to ask any coordinators if they provide a contract. While a contract is an important legal aspect that you should follow, it can also give you an insight into how professional they are as a business. Moreover, it should show their organizational skills. All these go hand in hand with how good a coordinator they are likely to be.

    For legal considerations, make sure to fully review the contract. Your wedding planner can probably give it a once over and look for anything out of place.

    Conclusion

    So, we’ve tried our best to answer the question, What does a wedding coordinator do? In summary, they are there to lend a helping hand on your wedding day. Their skillset will safeguard against any potential problems, while their experience will assure your timeline is followed and your schedule is kept. Guess what… this all adds up to an epic, stress free wedding experience for you, your other half and your wedding guests.

    Everything a wedding coordinator does is to allow you to breeze through your big day, making magical memories as you do, rather than having to worry about Aunty Sandra getting a piece of wedding cake.

    From a Story Amour team opinion, hiring a wedding coordinator is a big must.

    Now go ahead and find your coordination team so you can enjoy your big day!