THE BLOG
04/23/2013 05:19 pm ET | Updated Jun 23, 2013

Retired Bridezilla Says 'Hire a Wedding Coordinator'

According to New York Magazine, only 16 percent of couples hire a wedding coordinator.

Say what!?

As a former wedding coordinator, I can't tell you how many times I saved a bride's hide -- without her even knowing it.

With my event-planning background, I figured implementing my own wedding would be a breeze with a capital B. I boasted to my future husband last summer, "I can plan this wedding in two weeks with one arm tied behind my back!"

Gulp. I was so wrong, so very wrong!

Fortunately, I realized it in time and reached out for help. Not just any help, but professional help. Because, face it, as crafty as cousin Amy may be, she would likely be out of her league on your Big Day to carry out your Pinterest infested celebration. Plus, wouldn't cuz just prefer to enjoy herself instead of running around trying to find missing bouquets or round up the wedding party for pictures? A good coordinator ensures a better time for the bride -- and also as importantly, for your guests.

So, here are just some of the mishaps or "fires" from our wedding day. My obvious advice, hire a wedding coordinator pronto. Please don't leave those fires to be extinguished by a friend or family member.

I don't know about your siblings or circle of friends, but none of mine could have fired my wedding officiant on the morning of my wedding, just mere hours before the ceremony!

Yes, you read that right.
Fired the man who was to marry my husband and me!

Enter my heaven-sent wedding coordinator*, she handled the dirty job for us. Immediately afterwards, she turned her attention to prepping our friend-turned-officiant-at-the-last-minute (thanks to the Internet!) for his sudden role in our nuptials. Mark this on the top of our "WTF, did that really happen on our wedding day" list.

Where was I during this brewing catastrophe? Like any good bride, getting my hair and makeup done.

On this alone, she was already worth every penny. Who wants to start the first day of your married lives together by canning someone?

But like any other wedding, there were other dicey moments that needed intervention. Choosing a friend versus hiring a professional to do the unexpected tasks is up to you. For instance, we found out afterwards that our coordinator rescued us again and again. She ripped up a check for our videographer because he didn't fully deliver on his contract. Sans coordinator, we would have likely just cut our losses (who wants to get into it on your wedding day with a vendor?). But she stood up for us -- and saved us money.

Where was I when all these fires were put out? Probably on the dance floor or stuffing my face with cake.

Most of the other vendors were drama-free, but it still took a varsity level of organizing to bring everything together for us. We did have nine different vendors, which I don't even think my husband to this day realizes! I could have engaged the services of a one-stop company to handle everything; I hired vendors individually because it saved us money. We had a band but we also had a separate deejay. The photo booth was separate from our wedding photographer. Our ceremony fixtures were not from our florist. The list goes on with lighting that was a separate deal from the audiovisual guy. It could have been a three-ring circus. But luckily, our organized coordinator turned it into a juggling act. She delivered seamlessly also working with hotel's banquet captain and wedding coordinator. Note, the "day of" person my venue came with, couldn't have done the above.

Aside from the drama, our coordinator executed our dream wedding with style and grace. From the outside, it looked like she was only making revisions to the timeline and perking up bouquets throughout our day, but I know that she went through a lot. Some other WTF moments been shared with me (I pried), and some she'll take the grave I am sure. She was the go-to gal from the moment I hired her.

A good wedding coordinator is like great wedding insurance. You hope for a drama-free Big Day, but if a crisis arises, wouldn't you rather have insurance to curb the damage? Better yet, a coordinator helps prevent such crises from forming in the first place. So, do yourself a favor and hire a good one.

Just make sure to ask her/him about their experience about putting out fires -- because even the most successful wedding has one (or two) to extinguish as much as you really try to prevent mishaps. Perhaps we had a lot of room for error in our wedding with the gluttony of vendors. But nonetheless, keep cuz on the dance floor and let those fires go out with a professional.

*Wilmarose Orlanes, owner of Lovely Jubilee, our wedding coordinator extraordinaire.