I planned and coordinated my very first wedding all by myself. It was a great success, but to be honest, I don’t know how I did it. Almost immediately on wedding day, it was clear to me that one person is not enough to properly oversee all of the details and moving parts of a wedding day. Luckily that first wedding was for a family member so I enlisted the help of other willing family members to get through that first event.
I have NEVER coordinated a wedding by myself again!
One of the reasons we tell couples that they need a coordinator is because they can only be in one place at one time. On wedding days, there are important events happening at multiple locations; often simultaneously. If you want to successfully coordinate a wedding, you’re going to need extra hands. Even when it isn’t wedding day, you’ll find that as a business owner, your to do list will be long.
Extra help in your office with administrative tasks or social media and marketing can be critical to you working efficiently and successfully.
It is ideal to build a team of people who work with you on a per project yet long-term basis. This ensures that you have a well-oiled coordination team while leaving you and the employees the flexibility to work together as much or as little as needed. A good portion of my Coordination Assistants fall under this category. They are assigned to an event, they work the event and they are paid a flat fee for that event.
If you’re just starting out, how do you find the staff you need?
Me and my daughter on wedding day!
- Hire family & friends. I did! If you know capable and professional people, see if they want to make some extra money and work with you on a per-project basis. My very first employees were friends and they’ve stayed on for over a decade. When my daughter turned 16, I put her to work. She gets great work experience and I get help with administrative tasks in my office and an extra pair of helpful hands on wedding day. Employees that you already have a relationship love you and they care about your business so you can trust them to always represent your company in the best possible way.
- Get an Intern. There are students in every city that are looking to obtain work experience in their field(s) of interest. Hiring interns a semester or year at a time can give you inexpensive, if not free, assistance on a number of things from administrative and marketing help to onsite assistance on wedding days. To find interns, contact your local college career centers. Do not forget that internships are learning experiences; not just free labor. Make sure that you are giving your interns learning opportunities so that when they leave you, they’ll take valuable skills with them. Better yet, train them so well that they’ll want to stay on as well-trained and experienced coordination assistants.
- Hire Temps. If you’re really in a pinch and you need event day assistance, temporary staff can be procured through local temporary employment agencies. You pay a fee to the agency and they take care of payment to employees and all that entails. The advantage of temp labor is that the agency takes care of all of the hassles of payroll. The disadvantage is that you pay the agency a fee and you have less control over who you have on your staff.
- Engage an Independent Contractors. As you build your business you’re going to befriend other vendors, planners and coordinators. They can be a great source of extra help on days when you’re booked and they’re not. You can engage them as independent contractors on a per-project basis. Note that there are VERY important and strict guidelines about what constitutes an independent contractor. Before you engage someone as an Independent Contractor, make sure to clear it with your attorney.
- Post a Listing. If you don’t have an obvious source of extra hands, don’t be afraid to search for a great candidate. Create a job posting and share with educational institutions, social media and job sites. Review resumes carefully and conduct thorough interviews and choose candidates you think will represent your brand well and whom you easily connect.
For more information on how to get your business up and running, check out our “Getting Started” Series of course modules in our Course Catalog.