Last week, at 39 days out from the wedding, I made the best decision since Sam and I started planning our wedding roughly 16 months ago: I hired a wedding coordinator.
Being obsessed with weddings for a majority of my life, and working in the industry as an editor at a weddings magazine, I was certain I could handle—and enjoy—all the little details that will come together on October 29. But when I sat down and really thought about all the logistics—figuring out the timeline for the day, setting up the décor, handling vendor communication and tips, answering questions from family members—I began to feel overwhelmed. That is not at all how I want to feel on my wedding day. I want to show up, enjoy mimosas with my ladies, be pampered, marry the love of my life, and spend the evening partying the night away with my closest family and friends. Sam agreed that is was time to call in reinforcements when I began sending him paragraph-long e-mails about all the tasks I was stressing over as we head into the last few weeks of our engagement.
I’ve known of Shawna from Away We Go Weddings for a few years now (Mpls.St.Paul Weddings wrote a story on her when she first launched her pop-up wedding business), and I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews from the brides who’ve worked with her. I frantically reached out, praying that she still had my date available and was willing to take on this crazy bride as a client. Luckily, she was!
We met for coffee a few days later, and she instantly put me at ease. Beyond her bubbly personality, I could tell coordinating weddings was something Shawna genuinely enjoys, has plenty of experience doing, and comes naturally for her. She asked questions I hadn’t even thought of—How many chairs will be in each row for the ceremony? Will the officiant make announcements about cocktail hour and dinner?—and already had solutions to problems I didn’t even know I had. We spent an hour going over the details for the day, and I left that meeting feeling more relaxed about my wedding day than ever before. Shawna will be the first one there and the last one to leave, and I have complete confidence in her and her team.
Don’t get me wrong—I have an amazing personal attendant and some more-than-willing-to-help family I could turn to, but those people are also my guests. I want them to enjoy the night as much as Sam and me, and be present for all the big moments without worrying about setting up escort cards or monitoring the gift table. Having a wedding coordinator is completely worth the cost in my mind, and if I could go back and do anything differently, I would’ve hired Shawna sooner!