Wedding woes: How wedding coordinators plan the perfect wedding

“Here comes the bride, all dressed in white.”

A time for first-glimpses and grand entrances, the bride’s march toward their beloved is often considered one of the highlights of any wedding as the couple promises their futures to each other in front of loved ones. While the future spouses—as well as many members of the audience—may find this a tear-jerking moment, those who helped orchestrate the scene will see this march as something else entirely. It is merely one frame in the entire production, and there are many more similar moments that make up this “perfect day”.

Wedding coordinators know firsthand the painstaking work that goes into any grand event, ensuring that the couple can fondly look back on their wedding as a magical start to the rest of their lives. Like guardian angels in the shadows, these coordinators dash from place to place, solving problems even before they arise.

Taking charge

Weddings can be seen as the start of a couple’s journey toward a lifetime of togetherness—for better or for worse. However, the months leading up to the wedding can cause the couple some stress as the pressure of planning the wedding may take its toll on the relationship.

This is where experienced wedding coordinators like Cathy Ebuen and Trisha Lim swoop in to save the day, alleviating some of the burden off the couple’s shoulders as they hash out the wedding details together.

Organizing an event is far from a straightforward process. One of the main reasons for hiring coordinators, Lim explains, is the expectation that getting professional help would ensure that the wedding will run smoothly, so the couple can focus on each other on their special day.

“Naturally, since it’s [our] job, we know who to go to and what to do,” she says. Coordinators have at their disposal a list of names they can call to fulfill certain aspects of the event, such as makeup, photography and videography, and hosting, among others. Lim further adds that hiring a coordinator would be advantageous as they can help find professionals who are “right for [the couple’s] budget.”

Ebuen, meanwhile, expresses that being “Commander in Chief” of the whole event is what she loves most about being a wedding coordinator. With her can-do attitude, she has turned her hobby of planning small gatherings for friends and family into a full-time job of helping others meticulously plan out one of the biggest days of their lives.

Say yes to the details

The profession of wedding planning is a daunting role filled with many hardships and obstacles, requiring exceptional organization skills to pull off such a momentous event. Ebuen attests, “You have to be [a] hands-on and detail-oriented person to organize a good and successful event.”

From unreliable suppliers to particularly demanding clients, Lim has encountered her fair share of hurdles as a newcomer in the industry. Her greatest challenge of all, however, concerns the limitations of her own abilities—her memory in particular. Although wedding coordinators are typically thought to have all the details ironed out to the smallest crinkle, they are still humans who, at one point or another, might overlook some details, especially in such a high-pressure environment.

“I forget a lot of things sometimes,” Lim admits, recalling a time she had almost forgotten that she was in possession of the wedding rings. She continues, “Thankfully, it wasn’t time yet for the rings [to be given], and I remembered just in time [to hand it over].”

To address this, Lim has learned to rely on her trusty clipboard, where she keeps a copy of the program flow, item inventory, and all other important details as to make sure she doesn’t forget anything. “We have this rule in our business that you [should] never leave your clipboard,” she reveals, explaining the significance of the humble tool in the wedding planning industry. Lim stresses, “If you lose your clipboard, you lose your life.”

Labor of love

Despite the challenges, the profession is undeniably a fruitful one. Ebuen has poured much of her heart and in the last decade into ensuring that her clients get to have the wedding of their dreams. She emphasizes, “Being a [wedding coordinator] is [not all glitz and glamour]…you need to have good rapport with your clients.”

While Lim’s career has only just begun, she already knows how gratifying it is to partake in the love and joy of a couple. “To have contributed a lot to the success of [someone’s life] milestone…Just the [couple’s] satisfaction alone really makes me happy,” she admits. Lim confesses that the heartwarming feeling brought by the experience is already a reward in itself, far outweighing the monetary compensation she receives from the job.

Like all those who are filled with passion for their work, the joy that wedding coordinators help cultivate on that special day is reason enough to keep them motivated. There is a certain type of love that inspires them to piece together each unique event with the couple’s best interest in mind—and that is truly special.

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