advice

Needing Help Doesn't Make You a 'Zilla: 10 Ways We'll be There for You

People love to throw out the term "Bridezilla," and friends, it can be a little unfair. Sure, we've all heard some horror stories about strict schedules, demands for weight loss or even criticism over gifts received, but sometimes you see it applied to brides (and even grooms) who are simply polite and straightforward about things they want and help they might need to make their big day go smoothly. Last week I found this story about a woman who was considering reneging on her agreement to be the "Honor Personal Attendant" at a friends wedding when she found out what all the bride meant for that to entail. The real problem? The bride in question wanted a day-of coordinator and she was asking an inexperienced friend to provide a service normally provided for pay by a professional (like Christen!).

While it seemed like this was probably too much to ask from a friend, I stopped dead in my tracks when I read a comment insinuating that anyone who needed (or wanted) any such help was a total 'Zilla. It's just true. Even simple weddings have a lot of moving parts and an absolute ton of meaning, sentimentality and importance. Bringing on a DOC not only helps make the day go smoothly, but it also gives you, the couple, the opportunity to be the best hosts you can be. If you're worried that hiring a coordinator might make you seem needy, demanding or even a 'Zilla, take a look at just some of the things we do and why we do them.

Needing help does not make you a Zilla

1. Yes, we're going to fetch your drinks. And food. And tissues. And spare bobby pins or whatever you need. Why? Because whether your guests crossed the street or flew around the world to be there, you invited them because they're important to you and when you have someone to take care of those little things, you're not taking time away from your guests.

2. We'll answer your phone. If you're straightening your tie or buttoning your dress getting ready for that first look, you don't want to hear that your DJ is lost and you're going to get frustrated if Uncle Marty waited until two hours before the ceremony to clear up your "dressy casual" dress preference. If someone needs something, we're there to clear it up so you can focus on getting married.

3. Last minute emails are on us. Great vendors keep in close contact shortly before the wedding to make sure they're doing the best job they can do, but those constant notifications can be overwhelming when you're trying to get a manicure or finish up your last-minute DIYs. That's why we handle all communication with all of your vendors the week before the big day and report back to you with concise, consolidated info.

4. If you don't need to know there's a problem, you don't have to. We're here to be the go-to for the little nit-picky things that can take away from your good time. Did your cousin light a cigarette outside of the designated area? We'll point him where he needs to go. Did your venue forget to pull a rental item you requested? We'll make sure it gets where it needs to be before it's time to start. On your wedding day, it's your job to get married and have fun; we'll help with the rest!

5. We work for you, not the venue. Many venues offer in-house coordinators who do an amazing job, but their first loyalty is to that venue. They can be instrumental in helping you make the best choices in terms of space usage, rental options and other venue-specific needs, so our job is to work with them to make sure you're really having the Best Day Ever!

6. Contract obligations shouldn't be your concern. Each of your vendors will have special needs that you're obligated to meet. You can count on needing to feed people and sometimes provide short breaks. We're here to make sure those things happen (and those meals are counted when you're giving final numbers to your caterer) so you can get back to the business of having a ball.

7. O, brother, where art thou? Your photographer will likely ask for a list of friends and family members you want included in pictures. Copy us on that list so we can help direct those loved ones to the photography area. The less time you spend taking those pictures, the more time you have enjoying the party!

8. Time is on our side. Think of your wedding as a symphony: you don't want to be the conductor; you want to be the celebrated soloist. Having someone to keep time for you allows you to hit all the notes at the right time. We'll make sure you're on schedule or things get adjusted if you need more time so you can leave the watch in the dressing room and have enough fun to lose track of time without any problems.

9. Your budget is important to us. There's nothing 'Zilla about wanting to spend your money wisely and find the best deals. If you need suggestions about where to look, trust in our Google-fu. We'll be happy to send you links and suggestions along the way.

10. Your family deserves to enjoy the day, too. One of the most frequently repeated ideas we hear from couples who reach out to us is that they want someone to run the show so they and their families can enjoy the day. Without a day-of coordinator, much of the needs get shifted to parents and siblings of the bride or groom. These loved ones often make generous offers because they care, but hiring someone so they don't have to seems far more considerate than demanding.

Having help where you need it is just a smart way to maximize your time with loved ones on your very special day. If you feel like you could use an extra person in your corner, send us an email and let us know how we can help you (and your guests!) stress less!

 

Contract Concerns? What You Need to Know Before You Sign

 

You’ve done your research and found a vendor you love and once you’re ready to commit, BOOM! You get the page equivalent of a college term paper dropped in front of you. Suddenly you start to worry that you need to hire an attorney to comb over legalese because it feels like you’re about to sign your life away. It’s going to be ok.

Contracts can be intimidating, but they’re put in place to protect you and your vendor. All too often, couples end up getting short-changed when they go with a vendor who might be a friend or acquaintance who doesn’t live up to their verbal commitment. A signed agreement gives you grounds to argue if you feel a service provider hasn’t lived up to their end of the bargain. On the other hand, those contracts release your vendor from certain liabilities – any they're all things you need to be aware of. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by a contract, we have a breakdown of some of the most common clauses and provisions and what that means for you.

Signing contracts can be intimidating

Acts of God/Nature or Force majeure

If your venue is flattened by a tornado or your photographer loses all of his or her equipment in a flood, you’re unlikely to be able to hold them financially accountable due to a Force majeure clause. These instances are rare, but when they happen, it’s clear that no entity is responsible. While they are standard in most service-based contracts, read the full clause anyway because there will be valuable information about what happens to your deposit and any payments you’ve made. In some cases, you may not be able to expect a refund. If it isn’t clearly stated, make sure to ask.

Vendor meals and breaks

Even if it isn’t explicitly stated in a contract, it’s good form to feed people who are working for you on your wedding day. In a lot of cases, they will be working upwards of six hours and/or during standard meal times. Most vendors require that they be provided a meal and, depending on the length of their work day, may have scheduled break times. This is one of the details we manage with our Day-Of Coordination services, but it’s very important to add those meals to your final head count with the caterer, if you’re hiring one. Also, confirm with your vendors about any assistants they may bring with them who will also need to be fed.

Indemnification and Hold Harmless

Popular with venues, this clause usually states that the property cannot be held liable for any accidents or injuries that occur during your wedding and reception. Most of these clauses also include a line that holds the renter responsible for court costs if someone does attempt to sue, so this is a section to read particularly carefully.  This is a good opportunity to ask your venue representative questions about certain features of the grounds you may be concerned about as well as how their security (if they require it) monitors the area.

Cancellation and transfers

Things happen. Sometimes couples have a reason they need to push the date back, move it up or cancel altogether. If you find yourself in this situation, consult your contract about the cancellation or transfer policy. Some contracts allow for an incremental refund based on the number of days prior to your wedding or after the contract was signed. Other contracts don’t provide any refund at all. In the event that you need to make a change, information is usually clearly provided to help you calculate the cost. If it isn’t, ask your vendor for their policy, ideally before you sign.

The good news is, we’re here to help you sort through all of the contract questions prior to the wedding AND make sure you’re meeting all of your obligations for the day-of. It can be a lot to handle, but when you focus on the guarantees you’re getting out of the contract, the value is more apparent. We’re here to help you every step of the way, so if you’re struggling with any of the details, send us a message and we’ll get back with you to set up a consultation!

Are there any other clauses or provisions that are leaving you scratching your head? Do you have concerns about what you will and won’t be provided? Leave your questions in the comments!