Response: The cost depends on where you live and how much help you need. In most areas of the country coordinators charge a flat fee to help with the planning and coordination or just the coordination if you have completed the planning. This works better for you than paying an hourly fee, since you often need more help than your realize and paying by the hour can rapidly add up.
In some large metropolitan areas coordinators charge a percentage of your budget. This would be inappropriate if you have completed your planning and only need help with the coordination. If you have not started the planning, expect to pay 10% to 20% of your budget, depending on the area, if the coordinator charges a percentage.
To give you an idea of how much time you can expect the coordinator to spend on your wedding, the following would be typical for a coordination-only service:
1. initial meeting to find out what you have planned and to recommend merchants for services you still need to secure this meeting is often free; takes 1 to 2 or more hours
2. meeting to create a master plan for the wedding day; takes about an hour to an hour and a half
3. coordination of the rehearsal; takes about an hour if you have a plan, more time if you dont
4. coordination of the wedding day; this averages about 8 to 10 hours. I spent 9 3/4 hours at yesterdays wedding.
If the coordinator must travel more than a few miles to the location, there may be an additional charge. Some coordinators allow e-mails and phone calls at no charge; others charge for them.
To find a reputable coordinator in your area, look for web sites and ask your friends for recommendations. Ask the coordinator for references and check them. I provide references that are half current or previous clients and half other wedding-related merchants, since they are the ones who see the coordinator 'behind the scenes.'
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