Hello hello! I’m so excited to be guest posting for Lauren Baker Photography today! I’m Hailey, the owner and lead designer over at Essen Events. We’re an award winning wedding planning + floral design biz in the Twin Cities who specializes in making wedding days unique to each couple’s story. I’m also planning my own wedding currently, and going through some of the same scary moments as a lot of brides and grooms out there navigating the ever-changing times of this pandemic.
Enough about me, though. I’m here to tell you all about why it’s so so so important to have at least a day-of-coordinator on your team for your wedding day. Especially in these tough times, it’s important to have someone on your team who is working for YOU.
It can all be a little confusing, and there’s a lot of different titles that us event planners go by. Below is a round-up of a lot of FAQs we get about our job:
Q: What’s the difference between a wedding planner and a day-of coordinator?
A: An wedding planner is someone who you’ve hired early on in your engagement season. They’ll be there to hold your hand through booking the majority of your vendors, as well as help you come up with an overall design for your wedding day. We manage all vendor communication from the get-go and put our clients in touch with vendors that fit the style and vibe of their event. They’ll also be there day-of to help all those details that you’ve worked on come together with your entire vendor team.
A coordinator, often called a day-of coordinator, is perfect for couples who have a clear vision of what they want, and are already super organized on their own. Day-of-coordination is a confusing term because it’s really more like month-of-coordination. The bulk of our work actually happens in the weeks leading up to the event day. We meet with our clients about a month out from their wedding day and go over all the final logistical details. We then take all the stress off their shoulders and take over all vendor communication from that point on. We’re also there on event day to ensure that everyone is where they need to be at the time they need to be there!
Q: What is event design?
A: An event designer is there to help you when you’ve got a good start to planning your wedding. Maybe you have your venue picked out and are on the right track with getting things organized, but you’re starting to feel stuck in the deep dark hole that is Pinterest. There’s so much inspiration out there for weddings, it’s really hard to narrow it all down. An event designer will do just that. Typically with our Essen clients, we have a few meetings where we sit down and figure out what elements you like of a certain trend, and a few elements you might want to tweak to make it unique to you and your story as a couple. We also are very familiar with the inventories of all the rental companies in the Twin Cities and can help you pick out pieces that reflect the style you desire for your day.
Q: Why do I need a planner or day-of coordinator if my venue already has a day-of manager?
A: I know, I know…your venue already has an event day manager or venue coordinator who says they, “basically take care of everything that a day-of-coordinator would do.” But how true is that? Are they going to be reaching out to your entire vendor team if you need to postpone due to COVID-19 and help come up with the most seamless plan B option for everyone involved? Bottom line, your venue event day manager may be a super helpful person, but their job is to keep the venue managed. That’s it. A lot of times, venue event day managers or venue coordinators also are in charge of managing the catering and/or bartending team for the day.
Q: Do I really need a coordinator? My cousin is super organized and has offered to help me plan and coordinate my wedding.
A: That’s great! I’m so glad that you have family members who are so kind to offer to help! Something that sets us professionals apart from having a family member step in to help is our deep networking connections with other professionals in the industry. For example, Essen Events has a huge list of preferred vendors that we’ve already negotiated some killer discounts with. Every client who signs with us has access to that list and discounts!
All in all, hiring a day-of-coordinator or planner is going to secure your sanity on your wedding day. We are there to work for you. It’s not your job on your wedding day to queue your bridesmaids down the aisle. It’s not your mom’s job on your wedding day to set up your decorations. And your Aunt Suzy needs to be over at family photos, not telling the catering company where to park their trailer!
We’d love to chat with you about your wedding day, and how we can help to make it as smooth as possible, all while reflecting you as a couple. Here’s a link to our website and make sure to follow us over on Instagram (@essenevents) to keep up with our daily shenanigans!
Happy wedding planning! <3
How do we even start to say thank you for all the work and effort you put into our wedding day?
- Josie and Scott
Lauren played such a meaningful role in our wedding, capturing the day in photos that we'll look back on for the rest of our lives. She kept Scott and me calm and sane - Lauren is a miracle worker! She put in 100% effort and gave us her very best, and that means so much to me. Seeing our photographs makes me so excited and so happy that Lauren was with us on this journey.
Lauren made the process so easy and made us feel so comfortable!
- Amy and Luke
We just wanted to say thank you again so much for your amazing work. You were seriously incredible to work with and we loved the locations you suggested for both our engagement shoot and the spots in Stillwater. We were very worried about getting professional photos done since we had never done it before, but you made the process so easy and made us feel so comfortable. Thank you!
Working with Lauren was easy breezy and FUN! She gave us our most treasured photos ever!
- GRACE AND NICK
There was a chunk of time in our wedding planning when we thought we'd go without a professional photographer to save on cost (terrible idea!) but once we met with Lauren, we knew we'd be in good hands. She checked in often and asked questions that got us thinking about other parts of the wedding that we probably would've missed. Lauren captured exactly who we are as a couple!
Lauren's enthusiasm and passion make the photo-taking process so fun – she made me feel like a star!
- Alisa AND Adam
Lauren and her team are so much fun to work with! She made us feel so comfortable on the day of our wedding, providing both silly and helpful cues to help us relax and be ourselves in our photos. Lauren’s background in dance is super helpful in recognizing simple posture changes that make a big difference, too. Oh, and the photos we got are just stunning!
Lauren was pivotal in making our wedding day perfect!
- Emma AND Erik
My husband and I looked FOR MONTHS to find the perfect photographer and after meeting Lauren we knew was the best fit for us. She made our day so much fun and easy. She found little opportunities to make the perfect photo all with a calm ease that comes from someone who has an artistic eye along with experience in understanding the flow of a wedding.
Not only is Lauren an amazing human being, but she is an awesome photographer!
- Haley AND Erick
I've been in several weddings and have worked with a multitude of photographers and I never felt as confident as I did with Lauren. I love how professional she is. She helped with the timeline way in advance and we stuck to that timeline the day of. She was also able to professionally and firmly keep unruly family members settled and focused and navigated family drama beautifully!