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Hiring A Wedding Coordinator: Budget Concerns

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2000

Find out exactly how much the wedding coordinator charges, and exactly what services you will be paying for. Some charge an hourly rate, while others bill a flat rate or percentage of the overall wedding cost. Most wedding coordinators ask clients to sign contracts; many also ask for deposits, which may be non-refundable. Elizabeth Allen recommends that a couple work with their wedding coordinator to draw up as detailed a contract as possible, specifying exactly what the coordinator's responsibilities will be. That way, they'll know exactly what's paid for, and there will be no last-minute surprises.

Be honest and realistic about your budget. Fees for wedding coordinators vary, but in general you can expect to pay somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of your total wedding cost. That may seem like a lot of money -- money you might prefer to spend on more flowers, music, and champagne for the reception. But think of it this way: A good wedding coordinator is like a good accountant. Even though you pay for her services, in the long run she saves you time and money. And that translates into a happier and more relaxed wedding day for you.