Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into wedding coordination:
I am the Owner and Lead Coordinator of Jessica Dum Wedding Coordination (JDWC), an Indianapolis-based company specializing in day-of wedding coordination. I studied Hospitality and Tourism Management at Purdue and always dreamed of being in the event industry in some capacity. My background is in corporate event planning, where I was a Tradeshow Manager for 5.5 years. I started JDWC while working full-time, as a way to get my “wedding-fix” and do something fun for myself on my weekends off. Little did I know, this small-but-mighty business took off and my team and I have had the pleasure of working with some of the sweetest couples over the last several years!
When couples are deciding whether or not they need a Wedding Coordinator, what advice would you give them?
I personally feel that every couple’s gift to themselves should be a worry and stress-free day. You’ve worked SO hard to nail down the perfect venue, the perfect vendors, the perfect details…and you deserve to enjoy every second of it. Hiring a Wedding Coordinator can rid you, your family and your friends of having to deal with all that there is to tackle in a short amount of time on such a momentous day. With that said, couple’s should think about:
How much involvement you’d like someone to have throughout the planning process
Some couples want to plan their own wedding. Hiring a day-of Wedding Coordinator is perfect for those who enjoy planning their wedding, yet want a trusted professional to help pull all the final details and logistics together. And then execute, manage and bring it all to life.
However, for those who want someone to help from beginning to end – site selections, managing their budget, creating a design esthetic, attending all vendor meetings – a full-service Wedding Planner might be the best route. While JDWC is not full-service, we always encourage hiring a full-service planner should a couple want that additional coverage throughout the planning process. Full-service planners are incredible at what they do and truly are there for the couple every step of the way!
How much involvement your venue coordinator has throughout the planning process and on the day-of
Many venues have onsite coordinators, however most tend to focus solely on the venue space. They don’t always play a role in other aspects of the day, unless clearly stated in the contract. Some venues fail to educate their couples on exactly how involved their coordinators will be. So making sure you ask about their roles and responsibilities will help create a better understanding and set early expectations.
There is an additional expense when hiring a Wedding Coordinator, however having peace of mind that you’ve hired a professional to pull all of your personal details together is worth every penny. Trust me, I’ve been in your shoes! I look back on my own wedding and am glad I was able to surrender full control of the day and truly enjoy my wedding from beginning to end.
Family and friends
A family member or good family friend may offer to help on the day-of. While it may seem simple at first, some questions need to be addressed:
- Will they meet with you on numerous occasions to learn every detail, how you envision your room to be set, discuss timelines and offer ceremony logistical suggestions?
- Will they attend a site visit with you?
- Will they arrive early to setup your details, confirm tables have the correct number of chairs according to your diagram and manage vendors and any questions that arise?
- Will they manage your ceremony, ensure food comes out on time, confirm the Emcee sticks to schedule or manage your formal exit at the end of the night?
- Are they able to make tough decisions on the spot without having to involve you, your spouse or your families?
These items above are just a glimpse of decisions to consider for your big day.
What should brides look for when choosing a Wedding Coordinator?
I would encourage couples to look for someone they connect with. Someone they feel “gets their vision” and who they trust will execute their day exactly how they’ve always envisioned it. A Wedding Coordinator should be truly enthusiastic about every part of who you are and what you’re hoping to experience. Read reviews, check references – you’ll be glad you did!
What are some things Wedding Coordinators do that people don’t know or think about?
Oh goodness. There are many things Wedding Coordinators do leading up to and on the day-of a wedding that couples may not realize. Obviously a Wedding Coordinator will meet with the couple on numerous occasions, including a site visit, but there are many hours that go in behind the scenes to prep for a wedding – creating and nailing down a solid timeline, confirming vendors, reviewing details and ultimately devising a game plan for execution on the day-of.
As Wedding Coordinators, we’re there to make it happen. Our goal is to have as much knowledge as we possibly can about your details, logistics, and dreams for the day. We are the main liaison with all of the vendors. We are the couple’s voice when a question arises and have their best interest at heart in all decision making. We put out fires before they even happen. It’s our duty to ensure the couple’s vision is implemented and manage the entire day so they don’t have to.
What are some ways couples can personalize their wedding?
There are several ways to personalize your wedding – from the color scheme and floor plan layout, to personalized paperie and favors at individual settings. I always encourage clients to focus on what truly matters most to them. Yes, there are “traditional” ways to go about certain formalities or elements of a wedding, but there’s no reason to do them because everyone else does. If you aren’t big cake lovers, don’t have a cake. It’s as simple as that. Instead, maybe you create a fun dessert station with a variety of mini-desserts for your guests. Or consider fun alternatives – think warm apple crisp with a dollop of ice cream, macarons, donuts, pies or even popsicles!
What are some wedding trends you think we’ll see in 2016?
Gold is still hot right now and I’m A-Okay with that! It adds a touch of whimsy and elegance to any wedding, whether it be through simple touches like votives, cake stands and chargers, or through wow-factors such as chairs, flatware and sequined linens.
Remember when I mentioned popsicles? Thinking outside the box for your dessert or late night snack options is a growing trend I think we’ll continue to see in 2016. It not only personalizes your wedding, but it adds a fun element of surprise for your guests!
Long Sleeve + Cap Sleeve Gowns
Whether lace, sheer or beaded – long sleeve and cap sleeve wedding gowns are starting to make a big comeback in the bridal world. They can add such a soft, romantic and/or visual interest to any bride’s dream dress.
In today’s world of Pinterest, it’s no secret that couples have thousands of design ideas at their fingertips. I think personalization will continue, but truly feel couples are also becoming more intentional with their details. Adding elements unique to THEM and tying in elements their guests will appreciate and enjoy!
Hand Lettering + Calligraphy
Touches of hand lettering and calligraphy can be extremely sophisticated and chic. From invitations and menus, to escort cards, favor tags and signage – couples are taking it a step further to truly personalize their wedding.
Well y’all, that’s a wrap! Jessica- your interview was GOLD! Thank you so much for your insight into this beautiful business! Be sure to check out Jessica and all that she offers HERE!