When brides ask me for advise on their wedding planning one of the first things I tell them is, hire a wedding planner.  The service of having the peace of mind on your wedding day knowing that someone is there to take care of everything, and any problems that may arise, is priceless.   It’s unfortunate how many times I have witnessed  brides on their wedding day spend the first half of the morning on the phone,  trying to coordinate the events of the day and answering a million questions, when instead they should be relaxing and enjoying spending that time with their loved ones.   After spending months planning your wedding, the last thing you want is to not be able to enjoy every minute of it.

Since I myself am not a wedding planner, I invited Kristi Hartig, owner,  and Coordinator, Sonum Chaudhari from Glow Wedding and Events to explain how to find a coordinator and why a coordinator is so important for your wedding.

How to Choose the Perfect COORDINATOR for Your Wedding Day

 

WHAT DOES A COORDINATOR DO?

At GLOW Weddings and Events we believe the members of our team are a rare blend of creative, reliable, organized, adaptable, calm and persistent which allows us to be the most well equipped wedding coordinators to handle your special day.

Our initial exchange of information with clients usually takes place via phone or email, however we prefer to meet face to face if your schedule permits. After securing a date for your big day, we send our clients a list of comprehensive planning questions to begin piecing together your vision for your wedding. This list of questions includes everything you have begun planning for and then some. After all, we want to make you don’t forget anything!

Once you have answered the majority of these questions, we set a face to face consultation at one of our favorites spots (usually Starbucks or Panera Bread) to meet for one or two hours and go through the list. This is when we get to know you. We learn about your concerns and your expectations and in return we answer any questions you may have about us. Remember, we are not a planning team. We gather information from our clients, not vendors and believe me, nothing about our process is easy (unless you want to invite us to a cake tasting – that’s easy because we love cake). At the end of our consultation, a weight is lifted off your shoulders and your wedding has now become our number one priority.

We take the information you provide us and create a master itinerary. This document is the single most important piece of paper for your wedding, (after your marriage certificate of course) because it provides the coordinator, bridal party, and vendors a minute-by-minute outline for the day. I must warn you that sometimes the best laid plans go awry. At this point, we make our necessary adjustments and let our creativity and adaptability guide your big day. Our team is prepared to confidently execute your vision regardless of any unexpected obstacles, big or small.

And finally, your big day is here. At this time, your only focus should be on marrying the person you love and making memories that will last a lifetime. Leave everything else to us. We will seamlessly make your vision a reality.

 

WHY DO YOU NEED A COORDINATOR?

We ask all our clients why they chose to hire a wedding coordinator. Most of them tell us that they want to be able to enjoy their wedding without having to worry about any issues that may arise or that they have planned everything themselves and now need someone to put the final pieces together.  We believe you need a coordinator to:

  • make sure things aren’t forgotten
  • act as the single point of contact for your guests and vendors
  • ensure you are not bothered with concerns or issues that may arise
  • work for YOU, in order to understand your vision and see the big picture from start to finish
  • give you the opportunity to mingle with guests, dance the night away and enjoy a delicious piece of cake without being pulled in a million different directions

 

WHEN SHOULD YOU HIRE A COORDINATOR?

The first item on your list is to tell your family and friends you are engaged. The second item on your list should be to find a coordinator. Days are often booked far in advance to ensure the availability of a coordinator. Contracts are signed and deposits are paid so you can rest assure that you now have a reliable friend, confidant and organized wedding expert at your disposable at all times. Not only do we provide our clients with our undivided attention, the sooner you hire a coordinator the better we get to know you and your expectations.

 

WHERE CAN YOU FIND A COORDINATOR?

The fastest way to find a coordinator is the internet. A Google search for “local wedding coordinators” should do the trick, but if you are lucky, you may have recently married friends that can provide you with some direction. Their experiences along with testimonials and reviews you find online are the basis of search to find the right wedding coordinator. And while glowing reviews and beautiful pictures may entice you, the coordinator you choose should be trustworthy, reliable, knowledgeable and have your best interests at heart. You will spend a lot of time communicating with your coordinator before and during your big day, so make sure you find someone you get along with. We like to believe that our clients think of us more as friends rather than just a business.

So if you are wondering where you can find us, let me make the search a little easier for you. You can contact the GLOW team on our website at www.glowweddingsandevents.com, and don’t worry; we won’t make you wait for a response. We value our clients’ time as much as we value our own. But if you want to see us in action, drop by a few weddings in the DMV area – you are bound to find us coordinating someone’s big day and yours could be next!

 

WHY DO WE LOVE WEDDINGS?

Love? Decorations? Romance? Dancing? Nope. We love weddings for the cake! Just kidding. I have always believed in fairytale romances. The opportunity to be a part of someone’s love story, even just for a few hours, is more rewarding than any monetary compensation I could ever receive. The fact that no two weddings are the same and that variety is truly the spice of life makes every experience unique. Living in the DMV area provides a scenic and alluring backdrop for weddings. Working at GLOW has given me the opportunity to explore places I have never thought to visit and meet people that have given me new perspectives on life. And by the end of the night, our clients are no longer just clients; they have become our friends. We have worked with crazy mom-ster in-laws, pets as ring bearers, bridal gown mishaps, freak storms, DIY insanity, drunken guests, family photo frenzies, missing ministers and quite honestly, loved every single minute of it. We are prepared to take on anything you may envision, so when your wedding finally arrives, give us a chance to add a little glow to your day!

For more information about hiring a wedding coordinator you can contact Glow Weddings and Events directly at info@glowweddingsandevents.com or give them a ring at 301-908-7214.

If you are getting married and looking for a photographer for your wedding day you can click here and contact us to see if your date is available and to get the ball rolling.

A few weeks ago, Stephaine, Lior and I ventured to Brookside Gardens in the early morning for their Engagement Session.  We were greeted by beautiful tulips and some gorgeous morning sun, which helped warm up us a bit during our session.    Stephaine and Lior are getting married in July at  Kentlands Mansion in Gaithersburg, and I can’t wait to be a part of their wedding day.

Pink and White Tulips at Brookside Gardens Engagement Ring at Brookside Gardens Kissing in the Garden School House kiss at brookside Gardens Brookside_Gardens_Engagement-1037 Brookside_Gardens_Engagement-1038 Brookside_Gardens_Engagement-1040 Spring reflection in the lake at Brookside Gardens Spring Tulips at Brookside Gardens Brookside_Gardens_Engagement-1047

Are you getting married and looking for a wedding photographer?  Click here to contact us now and see if your date is available and get the ball rolling.

Seeing the bride before the ceremony used to mean that the marriage was on a rocky path even before it started.  This superstition dates back to the time of arranged marriages, when people believed that if the couple saw each other before the ceremony, it would give them a chance to change their minds about the wedding. Today, however, I see about a 70/30 split with my couples  that choose to do a First Look for their wedding.  There are Pros and Cons in both situations.

Pro First Look

  • It will probably be the most romantic and intimate moment that you will have all day as a couple.  Those 10-15 minutes that you will share together will more than likely be your favorite part of the day for you. First Look
  • Having a first look alleviates a lot of the wedding day nerves and allows you to be more relaxed for the ceremony and for the rest of the wedding day.  You can then focus on the wedding ceremony rather than spending the pre ceremony time trying to stay out of each other’s line of sight.
  • If you want to take part in your cocktail hour, a First Look can help you do that.  Having a first look means that you can have a majority, if not all of your pictures done before the ceremony.  Having the pictures done of you and your groom, as well as your bridal party before the ceremony also insures that you will look your best rather than waiting until later in the day.   Also, you usually end up with more pictures together with your Groom, because you typically have more time together.
  • The time of your ceremony  can also be a consideration when you do a first look.  It’s important to build a timeline for your wedding day with your photographer to make sure you not only have enough time allotted for your pictures but also the best time to have those images taken.  If your ceremony starts later in the day, having a first look can mean the difference of having good light for your images, versus trying to take images in the dark.

 

Pro Traditional

  • One of the biggest reason I hear from brides that still want to go the traditional route and not see their groom until the ceremony is they want that big reveal.  The idea of the stepping up to the aisle and seeing your groom waiting for you on the other end can be a magical experience.Baltimore Bride walking down the aisle
  • Traditions are sometimes hard to let go.   They have been around a long time for a reason, and sometimes the breaking of tradition can sometimes be problematic with family members.   Sometimes the breaking of a tradition is great, but for some people the traditions that go along with your wedding day are sacred and shouldn’t be messed with.
  • All your pre-ceremony pictures will not have one important element in them, your wedding bands.  This is something that most people don’t think about when they choose to do pictures before the ceremony.  Granted, it would probably be hard to notice in most of your images if you don’t have your wedding bands on, but to some people, not having those wedding rings in your wedding pictures is a big deal.

Alternatives

  • The idea of a first look doesn’t always have to be with the groom.   Having a first look reveal with the Father of the Bride is a great alternative.  The moment is still packed with the emotion of Dad seeing his little girl in her dress for the first time.  This allows you to have that intimate moment of a first look, yet still keep the excitement of seeing your groom as you walk down the aisle for the first time.
  • Another alternative is to have your groom blindfolded during the first look.  That way you can have that intimate moment with each other without having the big reveal before the ceremony.

Ultimately, deciding on whether you should or should not have a first look is between you and your Groom.  It’s definitely something you should talk to your photographer about so that they can advise you on your options  and how it can impact your images and your wedding day timeline.   Any experienced photographer will be able to work with whatever you decide.