How to Pick the Vendors for Your Wedding
We know how difficult it can be to plan a wedding because we've done it in 2022! That's why we have decided to give you some insight and help with this weekly series! Every Monday we will highlight another one of the very important vendors that make a seamless and stunning wedding day come to life!
This week we are very excited to introduce Kristina Smith of Curated by
Crooked Window. Kris is a wonderfully kind person and an incredible Day of Coordinator & Planner based in the beautiful High Country of North Carolina
We are so excited to be learning from Kris this week. She is so awesome and loves to serve High Country couples in a budget-friendly, eco-conscious, and LGTBQ+ celebratory fashion. She offers a range of packages, from serving as a couple's DIY wedding planning coach to being their full planner.
What is a Wedding Day Coordinator & Planner
"Wedding coordination and wedding planning vary a bit in terms and responsibilities, but essentially both serve the purpose of ensuring a well-executed wedding day. " -Kris
A special skillset
"One of my most necessary (but often unseen) skills is conflict resolution. From having to move a ceremony location inside at the last minute due to a weather change to reminding the peanut gallery to keep their negative opinions to themselves - I spend a lot of time working on plans B, C, and D and managing familial relationships." Kris
Types of Coordinators & Planners
Wedding Planners handle everything you need to bring your wedding day vision to life. A planner offers clients the most hands-off approach to the wedding planning process, typically handling vendor booking, detail management, and much more
Wedding Planners are often the most expensive option due to the increase in value to couples.
Coordinators typically take over existing plans around three months before the date and handle all finalization of vendors, day or timeline, and any other final details.
This is a great middle-ground for couples who prefer to do the majority of planning themselves or couples working on a tighter budget.
This term we first heard when talking with Kris. She describes this style as something similar to a coordinator but slightly more. A coach offers tools and knowledge leading up to the time they come in to coordinate
This is a great way for couples to become educated along with getting to know they coordinator before they begin helping in a coordinator capacity.
Picking a Coordinator or Planner
Does the planner/coordinator have a contract? If so, does the contract verbiage protect them AND you, or just them? If the answer is no to either of these questions, Kris recommends looking for another planner/coordinator. Professional vendors should ALWAYS require a contract and the purpose of that contract should be to protect both parties.
Your best bet is to go with a vendor who has proven work experience. Ask for testimonies from past clients and vendors they've worked with before, or check out their Google reviews.
Clear Concise Service
Professionals are experts and make clients have an enjoyable experience and part of that is setting clear expectations of what is included for specific rates. Your planner or coordinator should guide you in understanding exactly what they do and don't cover for your day.
1.) Decide exactly what services you need:
Full planning or coordination only? Coordination and coaching? How much work are you comfortable doing, or how much are you willing to spend for someone else to do the work?
2.) Research local vendors:
Find 2-3 planners/coordinators that speak to you and your needs. Google, Instagram, online vendor boards, and wedding showcases are all great places to look. Know a friend who got married in the area that you want to get married in? Ask them for a recommendation. Already have other vendors booked? Ask your photographer or venue for recommendations. Once you find a few potential planners/coordinators, spend some time reviewing their website, Google reviews, and social media to ensure that they are what you're seeking.
3.) Make contact:
Inquire with your 2-3 potential planners/coordinators via their preferred method of contact. (Usually a website form or email address). DO NOT DM them on social media UNLESS that is how they've requested to be contacted. Social media is a great tool, but DM's often get flagged as "spam" or "not priority," so your message may go unseen.
4.) Schedule a consultation:
Whether it be a phone call, video chat, or in-person.. "meet" up with your potential to get a feel for their personality. This is also a great time to ask any questions that aren't answered on their website or in other forms of communication you may receive from them.
5.) Gather quotes:
Request a quote from your potential. This quote should not only include their pricing, but also an overview of the services they will provide.
6.) Make your decision:
You and your lover should discuss the pros and cons of each of your potentials unless there is an OBVIOUS choice.
7.) Complete your chosen planner's/coordinator's booking process:
This typically requires signing a contract and paying a deposit. It may also entail filling out an "on-boarding" questionnaire of sorts, where they will gather many important details from you. They should have their booking process clearly outlined for you in an email, brochure, or some other form of communication.
Get to Know Kristina Smith and Curated by Crooked Window
"Moving here sort of "forced" us into the wedding industry. My lover operated a boudoir photography business before we relocated. Shortly after moving to NC, we realized that wedding photography provided his business a means to grow and prosper more so than boudoir photography did in this market. When he decided to dive into wedding photography, I excitedly followed right behind him. I served as his assistant and "office" manager when he shot the boudoir, and I have done the same for him since he shifted into wedding photography.
It didn't take long for me to identify the need for affordable wedding coordination and planning in our area. Many of the weddings he photographed had no "official" coordinator, so I often had to balance the act of photographer's assistant AND unpaid coordinator. Our couples mentioned their struggles with finding a coordinator within their budget, or that they had to go to exhaust their savings accounts for the sake of bringing their dream wedding day to life. I realized that I could fill these needs, so I spent my senior year in business school doing market research, building a business plan, and launching my wedding coordination business. I was able to combine my business school education with the experience I've gained through working alongside my lover and volunteering to help friends coordinate their wedding days to create Curated by Crooked Window. " Kristina Smith
"Curated by Crooked Window offers wedding coordination and planning services to High Country couples in a budget-friendly, eco-conscious, and LGTBQ+ celebratory fashion. My goal is to ensure that every couple has access to the tools and knowledge that they need to keep their wedding day focused on what matters most - the love that they share. I offer a range of packages, from serving as a couple's DIY wedding planning coach to being their full planner. Where I shine best is day-of coordination and planning coaching. These two areas bring me the most joy because it allows my couples to save money by empowering them to accomplish some of the planning work themselves and it also gives them peace of mind to know they will be able to relax and enjoy their wedding day." - Kris