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Wedding Party

Bridesmaid/coordinator

edited October 6 in Wedding Party
So my fiance's best friend's wife has become a friend of mine over the last few years. She is also a professional wedding coordinator and she offered her services for free. I kind of impulsively asked her to be a bridesmaid without thinking about the consequences, and without discussing it with my fiance. It has created a few important conflicts in regards to the logistics (setting up & supervising vendors before the ceremony while pictures are being taken, timing the wedding party going down the aisle, etc). She insists she can make it work, but the venue staff and my photographer have said it'll be really hectic and complicate a lot of aspects, and it really has, but she says she can make it work. However, it's really stressing me out and I hate the complications that have come up because of it.

I value her friendship, and am so grateful that she originally offered to coordinate for free, but with all of these conflicts, she wouldn't really be coordinating that much on the day of, and I'd have to ask another friend (don't know who) to do certain things who isn't as qualified and awesome at coordinating, and who might want to just enjoy the wedding as a guest and with their date (my current bridesmaid/coordinator friend always talks about how she always hates attending weddings as a guest and not helping to coordinate)... Would it be horrible if I asked her to consider being solely the coordinator again? I wouldn't want to jeopardize our friendship. I love hanging out with her one-on-one and as a couple with her husband and my fiance. Technically, we could hire the venue's day of coordinator for $550, but we were really relieved to be saving that money. What should I do?!

Re: Bridesmaid/coordinator

  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    So my fiance's best friend's wife has become a friend of mine over the last few years. She is also a professional wedding coordinator and she offered her services for free. I kind of impulsively asked her to be a bridesmaid without thinking about the consequences, and without discussing it with my fiance. It has created a few important conflicts in regards to the logistics (setting up & supervising vendors before the ceremony while pictures are being taken, timing the wedding party going down the aisle, etc). She insists she can make it work, but the venue staff and my photographer have said it'll be really hectic and complicate a lot of aspects, and it really has, but she says she can make it work. However, it's really stressing me out and I hate the complications that have come up because of it.

    I value her friendship, and am so grateful that she originally offered to coordinate for free, but with all of these conflicts, she wouldn't really be coordinating that much on the day of, and I'd have to ask another friend (don't know who) to do certain things who isn't as qualified and awesome at coordinating, and who might want to just enjoy the wedding as a guest and with their date (my current bridesmaid/coordinator friend always talks about how she always hates attending weddings as a guest and not helping to coordinate)... Would it be horrible if I asked her to consider being solely the coordinator again? I wouldn't want to jeopardize our friendship. I love hanging out with her one-on-one and as a couple with her husband and my fiance. Technically, we could hire the venue's day of coordinator for $550, but we were really relieved to be saving that money. What should I do?!
    Yes, that would be bad.

    You're getting her professional services for free, which is a kind gift, especially since 99% of friends (the hypothetical one you'd ask to coordinate additional issues included) usually do not want to work your wedding instead of merely enjoying themselves as a guest. Think of this person like Monica Geller. This is supposedly the one person you know who would beg you to clean your house.

    Then you're telling her that you actually don't believe what she says when she says she can handle the responsibilities of both positions.

    Then, having decided for her that she can't do both, you're considering taking away the position where you honor your friendship, instead of the position where she works for you for free.

    I managed to get a 120-person wedding accomplished without a coordinator (day-of or otherwise). I just spoke to my vendors myself. Many, many people do, plus not everything needed stage direction. What are the items you're concerned about falling through the cracks? It is possible that they are not that big a deal, and certainly not worth jeopardizing this friendship over. If you cannot imagine being the one to deal with things on your wedding day, hire the venue-provided coordinator.
    MobKazcharlotte989875Casadenashort+sassy
  • I think you know it would be wrong to tell your friend that she'll need to step down as a bridesmaid in order to serve you better. 

    Your only choices are to take her at her word or to deal with the vendors yourself. Even hiring the venue coordinator, which the venue clearly wants you to do, would be hurtful to your friend.

    This isn't rocket science, and if your friend is a pro, she can do this. Your vendors are likely also professionals and won't require micromanaging. Just establish the timeline beforehand and make sure everyone knows it. It will be fine!
    short+sassy
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    So my fiance's best friend's wife has become a friend of mine over the last few years. She is also a professional wedding coordinator and she offered her services for free. I kind of impulsively asked her to be a bridesmaid without thinking about the consequences, and without discussing it with my fiance. It has created a few important conflicts in regards to the logistics (setting up & supervising vendors before the ceremony while pictures are being taken, timing the wedding party going down the aisle, etc). She insists she can make it work, but the venue staff and my photographer have said it'll be really hectic and complicate a lot of aspects, and it really has, but she says she can make it work. However, it's really stressing me out and I hate the complications that have come up because of it.

    I value her friendship, and am so grateful that she originally offered to coordinate for free, but with all of these conflicts, she wouldn't really be coordinating that much on the day of, and I'd have to ask another friend (don't know who) to do certain things who isn't as qualified and awesome at coordinating, and who might want to just enjoy the wedding as a guest and with their date (my current bridesmaid/coordinator friend always talks about how she always hates attending weddings as a guest and not helping to coordinate)... Would it be horrible if I asked her to consider being solely the coordinator again? I wouldn't want to jeopardize our friendship. I love hanging out with her one-on-one and as a couple with her husband and my fiance. Technically, we could hire the venue's day of coordinator for $550, but we were really relieved to be saving that money. What should I do?!
    The bolded is your biggest issue.  You do not ask friends to do your work.  You hire someone or do them yourself.  "Timing the wedding party" to walk down the aisle is practiced at the rehearsal.  I can promise that no guest will be taking a mental count to determine whether the bridal party walked in sync.  Neither my son or daughter had a wedding coordinator at the church.  If your vendors require that much supervision, you've hired the wrong vendors.
  • edited October 6
    I can see the vendors and timing down the aisle working well without her supervision, but what about getting ready with the rest of the party and participating in the wedding party photos before the ceremony? She'll be setting up the wedding while most of that's going on. Also, I would not tell to step down. I was going to tell her that I don't see how she could fully experience being a bridesmaid and coordinate day-of at the same time, especially in regards to pre-ceremony events. Then I would ask her which she would like to be - her choice, and then deal with whatever her choice is, even if it's being solely a bridesmaid. I see your point though. I guess we'll have to just have to deal with her not being able to participate in everything. 
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 7
    She's a professional, let her be a professional!  Stop letting the other vendors get in your head about it!

    Let the detail go!  You delegated to her for a reason.  That said, recognize stuff happens and she might get delayed for example, if a vendor is late arriving, or an unforeseen issue (Cake table knocked over by the ice sculptor, etc.) which happens, the importance is that they arrive before you're walking in!  But, just be flexible is the best thing that you can be!  If she's able to walk down the aisle, GREAT, if not, know she's got your back and taking care of a situation that will make an interesting story later.  That's a bridal "Cupcake, beverage, and chill" scenario that's going off in your head right now about this whole concept, relax, your BM is a professional, you can offer if when things get closer she needs backup for the day-of that you'd be happy to hire the venue's site coordinator she's just got to say the word, otherwise, let her be the professional that she is and be super generous with the BM gift!!! (Honestly, even though she's not asking, I'd make an envelope for her even if you don't hire the venue's coordinator!  It just keeps waters from being muddied down the road..)..
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I agree with PPs. In addition, she might have additional staff that helps her out on the day of the wedding. Our DD's coordinator had an extra assistant the day of her wedding.
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I can see the vendors and timing down the aisle working well without her supervision, but what about getting ready with the rest of the party and participating in the wedding party photos before the ceremony? She'll be setting up the wedding while most of that's going on. Also, I would not tell to step down. I was going to tell her that I don't see how she could fully experience being a bridesmaid and coordinate day-of at the same time, especially in regards to pre-ceremony events. Then I would ask her which she would like to be - her choice, and then deal with whatever her choice is, even if it's being solely a bridesmaid. I see your point though. I guess we'll have to just have to deal with her not being able to participate in everything. 
    I mean, what setup? At our venue, anything that needed assembly their staff was hired to do. The florist showed up to where I was getting ready with bouquets, and brought the rest to the reception venue. Cake was delivered to the reception venue. Etc. Where again, the venue staff were the ones who had to do centerpieces, get the cake to the kitchen, and whatnot.

    While I am sure it would be nice to have someone generally available as the point person during your getting-ready and photos time frame... I just don't see how these are unsolvable issues (which may be because you've not given any detail about the necessary tasks).
    charlotte989875levioosashort+sassy
  • It's fine if she can't participate in the getting ready process and pictures! Not all wedding party members do this anyway. My D was in a wedding 12 days after having a baby, and there was no way she was going to make it to the getting ready party. She just showed up on time for the ceremony and still made it in a lot of the pictures. The bride was just happy to have her there. It really is okay if there are some WP shots where your friend is missing.

    Your friend will know how to work this and so will the vendors. Your venue also has an interest in running this thing smoothly, even if you aren't hiring their coordinator. They really don't want bad reviews.

    You don't need to give her a choice between being a BM or being the coordinator. That would be a friendship-destroying move.
    MesmrEwe
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I can see the vendors and timing down the aisle working well without her supervision, but what about getting ready with the rest of the party and participating in the wedding party photos before the ceremony? She'll be setting up the wedding while most of that's going on. Also, I would not tell to step down. I was going to tell her that I don't see how she could fully experience being a bridesmaid and coordinate day-of at the same time, especially in regards to pre-ceremony events. Then I would ask her which she would like to be - her choice, and then deal with whatever her choice is, even if it's being solely a bridesmaid. I see your point though. I guess we'll have to just have to deal with her not being able to participate in everything. 
    I mean, what setup? At our venue, anything that needed assembly their staff was hired to do. The florist showed up to where I was getting ready with bouquets, and brought the rest to the reception venue. Cake was delivered to the reception venue. Etc. Where again, the venue staff were the ones who had to do centerpieces, get the cake to the kitchen, and whatnot.

    While I am sure it would be nice to have someone generally available as the point person during your getting-ready and photos time frame... I just don't see how these are unsolvable issues (which may be because you've not given any detail about the necessary tasks).
    To be fair, that is often what people hire a wedding coordinator to do. One of the reasons we hired someone was to set up things like center pieces, guest book, escort cards, etc. She also served as a point person for the vendors who were coming in to set up/drop off items at the same time. If you're using the type of venue that requires you to rent everything, a point person is important. 

    I think OP should have done a better job of talking with this friend about what she plans to do as coordinator and what the expectations are for her schedule that day. That said, friend is a competent professional who has said she can handle it. If she misses getting ready together, she misses getting read together. No big deal. 
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I can see the vendors and timing down the aisle working well without her supervision, but what about getting ready with the rest of the party and participating in the wedding party photos before the ceremony? She'll be setting up the wedding while most of that's going on. Also, I would not tell to step down. I was going to tell her that I don't see how she could fully experience being a bridesmaid and coordinate day-of at the same time, especially in regards to pre-ceremony events. Then I would ask her which she would like to be - her choice, and then deal with whatever her choice is, even if it's being solely a bridesmaid. I see your point though. I guess we'll have to just have to deal with her not being able to participate in everything. 
    I mean, what setup? At our venue, anything that needed assembly their staff was hired to do. The florist showed up to where I was getting ready with bouquets, and brought the rest to the reception venue. Cake was delivered to the reception venue. Etc. Where again, the venue staff were the ones who had to do centerpieces, get the cake to the kitchen, and whatnot.

    While I am sure it would be nice to have someone generally available as the point person during your getting-ready and photos time frame... I just don't see how these are unsolvable issues (which may be because you've not given any detail about the necessary tasks).
    To be fair, that is often what people hire a wedding coordinator to do. One of the reasons we hired someone was to set up things like center pieces, guest book, escort cards, etc. She also served as a point person for the vendors who were coming in to set up/drop off items at the same time. If you're using the type of venue that requires you to rent everything, a point person is important. 

    I think OP should have done a better job of talking with this friend about what she plans to do as coordinator and what the expectations are for her schedule that day. That said, friend is a competent professional who has said she can handle it. If she misses getting ready together, she misses getting read together. No big deal. 
    Sure. I get that not every venue will include the setup, especially of things they don't provide. So that may be necessary.

    But "setting up the wedding" or even having a coordinator isn't a universal need, so I'd like OP to clarify what responsibilities the couple is required to cover by the venue contract. (Those responsibilities which some couples physically do for themselves, some couples obnoxiously voluntell their friends to do, and some couples hire additional personal staff like a coordinator for).

    If she doesn't want to go into detail about tasks, that's fine, but it would help us advise what she does and does not need to worry about and how best she can include her friend.
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