I became a wedding coordinator totally by accident. It was never a career I had considered and didn’t even know it existed.
I trained in musical theatre and did a teaching degree for performing arts. I wasn’t enjoying teaching and one day a friend of mine randomly asked me to coordinate her wedding day as I was reliable and organised… and the rest, as they say, is history. Everyone thought I had been doing it as a job already as I took to it naturally!
What a wedding coordinator does
A wedding coordinator can cover may things. I work with couples to help them find good wedding suppliers for their day and then organise everything coming together on a wedding day and making sure it all runs smoothly. I am in charge of timings, setting up, making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be, staffing and ensuring everyone has a good time.
Sometimes I even have to be the master of ceremonies, assist a photographer, help the caterers. I can be fixing a bride’s dress, sorting out bridesmaids, pinning buttonholes on the groom, cleaning up after people, coordinating a room being turned from a ceremony to a dinner… the list is endless!
What I love most about my job
I love how different every couple and wedding is, and dealing with different challenges that come up all the time.
It is lovely being in such a positive setting as everyone is in a good mood on a wedding day. Every day is different and I get to meet lots of new people all the time. I also get to test caterers’ food and be around pretty things a lot.
Why I set up my business
I set up my business about four years ago. After leaving teaching I started working in a hotel coordinating their weddings, but it felt really corporate and it was more of a sales job.
I also had to coordinate more than one wedding in a day and it just didn’t feel special so I decided to find a way of doing it in a way I wanted to.
After going out on my own, I found venues that had a more personal feel or weren’t a specific wedding venue; so they didn’t have a full time job for someone to do weddings but needed someone to look after the small amount of weddings they did have.
My advice for getting into the wedding industry
Have patience. Weddings are planned around 18 months in advance so it can take a while to get going, even if you get a couple of bookings, within a week of starting it will be a while before you actually do the wedding.
Networking is also a huge part of being in the wedding industry. I have met everyone I know through networking and when you are working by yourself it is really important to have a support network and a group of people that can recommend you.
Also, never stop learning. Never assume you know everything and be open to learning new things. I read about wedding history and new trends of how the wedding industry is changing all the time. I also spend time learning how different suppliers work so I have a fully-rounded experience of every aspect of a wedding.
Difficulties from Covid
Covid has hit the wedding industry hard. I am very lucky as I have a contract job as well as working freelance so I am getting by on furlough but a lot of my wedding supplier friends are really struggling as couples are now moving weddings to 2022 (who were originally 2020 and had moved to 2021). That is a two-year postponement for a lot of people and I can’t currently book any couples in for this year as we have no idea what is going to happen.
Being a one-woman business I am focusing on ensuring all my current couples are happy and looked after as moving wedding dates is very stressful!
My advice to my younger self
Don’t give up! Life will absolutely not go how you planned but everything happens for a reason. Trust your gut and go with the flow.
Whatever you decide to in life, be prepared for change and look at how you can interchange skills. Remember you can learn at any age! I used my musical theatre degree to be confident in speaking in public and being able to talk to new people generally.
Once I had decided to become a wedding coordinator I did an online course (in wedding planning level 3) at the age of 30. It is never too late to learn or change your mind about what you want to do in life. Be proactive about what you want to do, don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, go out and find them!
To find out more about Beverely’s business, Quintessentially Quirky Weddings, visit: www.qqwweddings.co.uk