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Advice On Wedding Coordinators
Cindy Cooke, a professional wedding coordinator with our clients at Swissotel - Chicago,Il.

Professionals who know their role can make a difference.

Wedding coordinators are just like wedding officiants, they have varying degrees of experience and professionalism. In the two decades I have been officiating, I have had the good pleasure to have met the best, and I have had to work with those who are either inexperienced or are still learning their profession. And there are some, just like some wedding officiants, who should not be in their profession at all. Since the majority of wedding coordinators are women, I'll refer to them as female though this is certainly not true in all cases.

Only a fraction of all brides and grooms hire a wedding coordinator. Most often couples seek a wedding coordinator to assist them in creating and managing their mid-sized or large sized wedding events. Couples coming in from out of state often hire a wedding coordinator as those couples have little understanding of local wedding professionals, and may not know other couples who can advise them on whom to hire.

The best wedding coordinators are experienced. Always ask how long a coordinator has been in her profession when considering hiring her. Hiring a newcomer means she will be learning at your expense. Experienced wedding coordinators know which wedding professionals to hire because they have seen them in action. Much of your stress will be removed from your wedding day when you are confident that a knowledgeable wedding coordinator has advised you on hiring the right DJ, photographer, officiant, florist, makeup artist as well as which Chicagoland wedding venues can be counted on to provide a first rate setting for your wedding ceremony and its reception. To this end, wedding coordinators are indispensable.

The best wedding coordinators exhibit appropriate professional boundaries. Sometimes a wedding coordinator is present when I am interviewing a bride and groom. If the wedding coordinator is professional, she will listen along to the presentation asking questions only when in need of clarification. Others however turn into lawyers, nickel and diming me with questions, hoping to convince her clients that hiring her was well worth it. This cross-examination needlessly bogs down the interview and wastes time.

Professional wedding coordinators don't interfere with other hired professionals as they perform their duties. In all the wedding ceremonies I have performed, where a wedding coordinator has inserted herself into the execution of that wedding ceremony, the coordinator invariably hurt the performance. How? by starting the bridal party in motion at the wrong time; by prematurely having the DJ or musicians play while I am still speaking to and welcoming the guests; by having the bride and her escort begin their entrance before I could announce that entrance and ask the audience to rise. The list goes on.

Professional coordinators who are actually trying to help out with all the chaos that can precede the start of a wedding ceremony do so by getting the bridal party assembled and to their positions well prior to the start of the ceremony. This includes gathering the ushers who will be escorting VIPs to their seats as well as the participating children. They see that handicapped guests who are in wheelchairs have appropriate places waiting for them (within the seated audience) rather them placing them in the aisle. This list goes on too!

Professional wedding coordinators handle all disbursements. An officiant, DJ, or photographer etc., should never have to ask the bride or groom for their final payment after the wedding ceremony concludes. if a wedding coordinator is present, she has that item as well as the marriage license.

A wedding coordinator does just that - coordinates. The officiant is the master of ceremonies; all events in a wedding ceremony take place at his or her invitation. The wedding coordinator brings harmony and ease of mind to a couple who are in the spotlight of a very large and often complicated event. If she is good at her skill, she will render assistance to all the other professionals who are also tying to give that couple a beautiful and unforgettable experience that befits a couple joining their lives in marriage.