If you build relationships with wedding coordinators, you build solid referral partners. Read on to find out how!
Being a wedding photographer often means being a VIP to the bride and the groom. They rely on you to get their beautiful and intimate moments captured on their wedding day.
But being the center of attention, your couples may get lost in the details of the wedding venue, the ceremony, their emotions and the guests who love them. They trust you to capture all this on your camera and show them the whole story once it’s done.
You feel responsible and are doing your best to fulfill the expectations. But there is one more person who is doing her/his best to make this wedding a dream wedding for the bride and the groom. That person is the WEDDING COORDINATOR. How to build relationships with wedding coordinators is what we want to share with you now.
Who is a Wedding Coordinator?
A wedding coordinator is the one who manages the whole wedding on the final day. Not to be confused with the wedding planner, the coordinator helps in keeping timelines perfect and vendors managed.
They usually begin helping a month before the wedding and function as the point person on the wedding day. They confirm vendor contracts and create a day-of timeline, as well as make sure things like payments and guest counts are in order.
Not sure who in your area is a great wedding coordinator? Check out this resource for The American Association of Certified Wedding Planners! (AACWP) .
Reasons Brides & Grooms Hire a Wedding Coordinator
Hiring a wedding coordinator has proven to be helpful to the to-be married couples and has also become a trend. And there are some solid reasons why couples hire a wedding coordinator these days.
1. Couples Want Someone to Oversee Their Wedding Day
Couples build relationships with wedding coordinators when they hire them. They want a coordinator because a coordinator instructs the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, parents, and officiant on how to stage the ceremony and make entrances at the beginning of the reception. This often involves working with the musicians or DJ to ensure attendants enter and exit at the correct time.
The coordinator also instructs the best man and maid of honor when to give their speech during dinner. The coordinator takes care of all timelines and manages vendors. If any attendants have issues or questions on the day of the wedding, they direct them to the coordinator instead of the bride, groom, or parents.
2. When Couples Don’t Have the Budget to Hire a Wedding Planner
According to planners, full-service wedding production and design runs approximately 15 to 20 percent of the total wedding cost. This depends on their experience, what region of the U.S. they’re based in, and how much time a wedding demands. A wedding coordinator generally will cost at least 25 percent of what a full-service planner would charge.
3. Couples Don’t Know How to Create a Timeline and Want a Smooth Wedding Day
When the bride and the groom build relationships with wedding coordinators, they have someone in their corner who creates an accurate, wedding-specific timeline. Wedding day timelines are an art form in and of themselves, and they’re best left for professional coordinators.
4. The Couple Wants To Relax on Their Wedding Day
You don’t want to be the one organizing vendor setup and tear-down on your wedding day. It’s just not a job you want to stick any of your wedding party or family members with, as it leaves them no time to actually enjoy the celebration.
Why Photographers Need To Establish Great Relationships With Wedding Coordinators
With an upward trend in hiring coordinators, it is quite likely for you to find one at a wedding you photograph. Since you will get a chance to meet with the wedding coordinator before and during the wedding, why not establish a good relationship with them early on. It will benefit your greatly when the wedding day arrives.
At ShootDotEdit we specialize in sharing advice for wedding photographers so they can be more successful – but we also know that you are sometimes too busy to do the things you need to do to build your business. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a look at this blog post on ShootDotEdit’s origin and why it might be the right choice for you.
Top 3 Reasons to Build Relationships with Wedding Coordinators
1. Wedding Coordinators Help Photographers With Timeline
Wedding coordinators help in creating the timeline for the wedding day and this directly affects photographers. You are working and shooting according to the schedule and time slots created by the planner. Having a good relationship with a wedding coordinator can potentially allow for a killer timeline for you to work by. This is one of the best reasons to build relationships with wedding coordinators.
2. Bright Future Prospects
Having trust in each other’s line of work will allow you the ability to provide the best service to the couple with ease. Having that continued mutual respect and trust in one another will only strengthen your business relationship. This way, whenever you both cover a wedding, there will be so much understanding for each other’s work making it easy for you to function and get what you want.
Photographers often receive inquiries based off of referrals. Another way to receive word-of-mouth inquiries other than past clients is by vendors you’ve worked with. Wedding coordinators are a great source of referrals for you. Bottom line: when you build relationships with wedding coordinators, you get referrals.
When couples are ready to begin wedding planning, they typically look to hire a photographer. If the couple hires the coordinator first, there is a high chance of you getting a great referral!
How to Build Relationships with Wedding Coordinators
Whether you are a newcomer in the industry or highly established, these tips will help you build and strengthen your relationship with wedding coordinators. They will also help you carry out your work with much ease. Let’s begin!
1. Send a Welcome Email
Ask your client if they have a wedding coordinator at the initial consultation. Once the client books with you, email the coordinator to tell them you’re excited to work together. Take a look at their blog, and let them know what you love about it. This will make a great first impression. If you have worked together before, this will also strengthen your relationship.
2. Smile and Be Polite
This may seem simple, but always be as friendly, courteous, and professional as possible. You can also plan a phone meeting with them.
3. Copy Them on Important Info
Whether your client is adding an extra hour to the wedding day, or discussing the timeline, email a copy to the coordinator. You’ll save them a few steps, and they will appreciate your professionalism. Also, remember to respond to all communication quickly.
4. Group Shot List
Discuss the group shot list with the wedding coordinator before it’s actually given to the client to complete. Clients usually prefer to keep their group shot list short, and this may pose an issue when coordinators present their own list. It’s best to discuss this in advance, so you are on the same page.
5. Buffer Your Timeline
The timeline may change — even before our window of time for formal portraits begins, things might be running late. This is why it’s important to add a buffer for formal portraits. Discuss this with the coordinator and make sure you respect this timeline. .
6. Walk-Through of the Venue Before the Day of the Wedding
You can do a walk-through of the venue yourself and ask the coordinator if you have any questions about it. In fact, many coordinators do a walk-through with the client, so you might be able to go then. The bonus of doing this is that you can pre-visualize certain photos, and plan your off-camera lighting setup.
7. Review Their Timeline In-depth
Review the timeline from beginning to end, so you can communicate with the coordinator on any changes in advance.
8. Provide Them Photos
Always give the coordinator images as soon as you deliver them to the client. They are more likely to refer you to future clients, and your watermark will help promote you. A sweet thank you note is always a great touch too. This will cinch your relationships with wedding coordinators.
Build Relationships with Wedding Coordinators: Wrap Up
We hope our tips will help you calm any fears about working with a wedding coordinator. It’s an amazing opportunity for your business rather than something to feel burdened about.
Use our tips to build relationships with wedding coordinators! Want some amazing advice about building trust with wedding vendors? Check our blog post on that out here.