Monday, January 11, 2010

Coordinator Drama

One of the many things on my to-do list today was to visit our venue and take pictures for our "friendor" who is doing the food and to talk to the owner about our decor. Over the weekend David and I attended a bridal fair, and our venue had a booth there. We were talking with the owner's wife and the new coordinator that they hired about 4 or 5 months ago, and the coordinator told us we wouldn't be able to do the fabric draping and paper lanterns we wanted unless we did it through her. I'd already had some issues with the coordinator, and this caused even more frustration.

The issues started months ago. First of all, we booked our venue long before she was even in the picture. We signed a contract with the owner which had no restrictions on decor. Secondly, as soon as she was hired she wanted to meet with us and tried to talk us into doing a package deal with her. She had set up connections with (lesser known) vendors around the city like a photographer, a cake company, and a DJ, all of which we already had booked. She also wanted us to hire her to do all of the decorating, and was somewhat offended when David finally said, "Actually, Laura is really interested in doing most of the decor herself." It seems like she thinks she's a profressional wedding planner, but she's only been doing it for a few months now and I feel like I'm much more 'wedding savvy' (thanks to the many hours of 'research' I've done by reading wedding blogs!) than she is. I think she's really just looking for brides that are willing to hand over all of the details to her, and as you may have guessed, that's definitely not me. And thirdly, I mentioned before that David ended up knowing the owner of our venue. Because of that, he gave us Friday to decorate (at no extra charge). He's made a couple exceptions for us because he knows a lot of David's family. I don't know why, but I think this really bothers the coordinator for some reason. Maybe that we're getting special treatment? I don't know.

As you can see, the relationship there is already kind of strained. So when I went in today and she happened to be there, I wasn't exactly thrilled. I was hoping the owner would be ok with us doing the decorating ourselves since he knows David, but it all comes down to liability issues with using a ladder there. He's not willing to let anyone besides the coordinator use the ladder. So our options are either to let her use her own black fabric and drape it the way I want it or buy my own fabric and pay her $15/hr to drape it (which she seems to think will take between 3 and 4 hours). If we have her use the black tulle she has, it will be $100. It's $200 if we want the heavier black fabric she has:


As of right now, I think I'll go ahead and buy the black fabric (I'm thinking just tulle) myself, and have her hang it while we're there decorating. Like David said, if she thinks we're going to just hand her the stuff and let her tell us how much we owe her/how many hours it took her to do it, she's crazy. There's no way it would take 3-4 hours, and I refuse to pay her that much to do something I could easily do. I should be able to resell the fabric afterwards, so I think that would be the more cost efficient option.

I really hope things improve before the week of our wedding, because there is going to be a LOT of tension/butting heads if things continue the way they are. I understand that she now works for them, but we signed a contract before she was in the picture. Had I known she was going to be the coordinator, I'm not sure that we would've booked them. It's my understanding that wedding coodinators are meant to make the wedding easier and less stressful for the bride. Up until now, she's done nothing but make things more complicated and make me stress about things being done the way I want them done. I don't think it's 'bridezilla'-ish of me for wanting the details I've worked so hard on to come out the way I've been picturing them.

Have you had trouble with a coordinator? Anyone else been frustrated with an employee of a vendor that was hired after you booked them?


  1. That sucks, have you tried going around her to the owners about your isseus?

  2. does it say no restrictions in your contract??

  3. @ SG - I'm going to have David call and talk to the owner. I talked to him today (he was the one letting me in to take pictures) but she came over and joined us, so that didn't really work.

    @ Lauren - It says, "Decoration arrangements must be approved in advance," but that's it. When we originally talked about it he (verbally) told us that it would be fine. There was a liability clause in the contract that we signed, so that shouldn't be an issue anyway.

  4. Ugh so frustrating!! Seriously, the coordinator should be there to help as much or as little as YOU want. Like I told you yesterday, I know how it is to work with a difficult venue coordinator. Just keep a record of everything that's going on so when all is said and done you can tell her boss. Good luck hun, it will all be fine :)

  5. What a bummer. I can totally understand how you feel and you are totally justified in your frustration. Thankfully, I am loving all my vendors so far and love the ones we worked with at my sister's wedding 3 years ago. They have all been so accommodating. I also made sure when I interviewed vendors/venues that I felt comfortable with them and that they seemed excited and accommodating about our event. But it sounds like you thought that was what you were getting until a newbie stepped in.

    My best friend had to deal with a pushy coordinator at the church she got married at years ago. She fought us every step of the way on what the bride wanted to do saying things weren't allowed or 'couldn't be done that way' for whatever reason. As her maid of honor, I tried to step in wherever possible and be the 'witch' to deal with the coordinator and demand what my friend wanted. Perhaps you can ask a family member or MOH or BM to help you out with this so you can relax and enjoy yourself and not have to deal with her?

  6. She's just after the business. Because, like you said, wedding coordinators are supposed to make things easier for the bride and groom, not more stressful. I'm booking my venue this week, but I hope I don't get into this kind of problem, as I hope to DIY some decors too. Oh well, I hope you'll be able to sort things out and that she'll stop bugging you.


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