Thursday, April 8, 2010

When Your Client Isn’t the Bride-Part 2


Call them wedding coordinators, wedding consultants, wedding plan­ners, and even producers and event planners. They are all the same thing—a person who guides the bride through all the details leading up to her wedding day and on her wedding day.

Most brides turn to independent wedding coordinators when they are overwhelmed with wedding details and don’t have the time or energy to deal with it all. Sometimes, the bride is planning a “desti­nation wedding”* and does not know how to contact good wedding professionals.

Wedding coordinators come in all shapes and sizes. Wedding coor­dinators are not only independent, self-employed businesspeople. If a bride decides to have her wedding at a house of worship, that church or synagogue may include a coordinator for the day of the wedding in addition to pre-marital counseling. If the ceremony is in a wedding chapel, the minister or celebrant may act as the wedding coordina­tor prior to the wedding day and on the day of the wedding, too.

There are no state regulations governing the practices of wedding coordinators, at least that I know of. However, wedding coordina­tors should have local business licenses and clean records with the Better Business Bureau. This is the way to check them out to make sure they are legitimate. You can also check with the Association of Bridal Consultants to confirm if the coordinator is a member in good standing.

Here is how Gerard Monaghan, past president of the Association of Bridal Consultants, explains the way independent wedding coordi­nators typically work with musicians:

“Most bridal consultants recommend at least three musicians to the bride and let her make their final decision and sign the contracts. However, a good consultant also will get a letter of authorization from the bride to act as her agent, so the consultant can make the appropriate decisions, freeing the bride to enjoy the day without handling the details.”

Most of the independent wedding coordinators I reached prior to writing this book do not contract directly with the musicians. They charge a fee to the bride to give her suggestions or even a list of pos­sibilities. The bride then selects her favorite musician or band among the choices given to her. Then the coordinator contacts the musician about availability and cost. The wedding coordinator forwards your contract to the bride for a signature.

It’s quite a different story when working with wedding chapels. These in-house wedding coordinators do not work for themselves: they draw a salary, and sometimes a bonus or a commission, for book­ing as many weddings as they possibly can to make rental payments on the chapel.

The major dfference between booking agents and wedding coor­dinators is that booking agents send you on wedding jobs while wedding coordinators oversee your work at the wedding. This can be a curse or a blessing, depending upon the amount of experience the wedding coordinator has under their belt.

Here are the marks of the ideal wedding coordinator:

1. They are a good communicator and will be in touch with you well before the wedding day to supply you with all the instruc­tions you need.
2. They understand the terms of your contract, the services you, and what you need from them to be able to deliver your services properly.

Copyright © 2008 by Anne Roos, excerpt from "The Musician's Guide to Brides: How to Make Money Playing Weddings", published by Hal Leonard Books. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced in any form, without written permission, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review.

Hundreds of additional tips, are available for musicians (and all entrepreneurs) in my book, "The Musician's Guide to Brides" available wherever Hal Leonard Books are sold: music and bookstores, and through online retailers including,, Sylvia Woods Harp Center catalog, and of course, at my website at

No comments: