I’m here today with Jackie Raez of Smooth Tie the Knots.
PianoJenny: Jackie, how did you get started as a wedding day coordinator?
Jackie: It is interesting how you find a passion for something. I started as a salesperson for a wedding services company and just enjoyed meeting the couples in the most positive project of their lives. I have always been the “planner” to all of the events in my family since my girls were born, making their birthday parties colorful and with activities receiving so many compliments. Once I felt the “call” to plan wedding days, it just took off and I have been doing this as my part time passion for almost 5 years.
PianoJenny: A lot of people — even me, really — get confused about the difference between a “Full Service” Wedding Coordinator and a “Day Of” Coordinator. Could you please explain that for us?
Jackie: Sure. There are different “tiers” for this type of service and these depend on the uniqueness of each couple’s needs and budget. Full Service Wedding Planners are those that will take the bride hand in hand to visits, interviews with vendors, provide floral designs, manage their contracts, guests RSVP’s, plus coordination of the wedding day itself. This group caters a wider range of services that some couples may really need depending on the uniqueness of their wedding, time and budget.
Month Of or Day of Coordinators cater to couples who want to plan their wedding, select their vendors, be involved fully with their floral/décor design and handle all their little details, yet want to enjoy their actual wedding day at their fullest and have a professional take care of all logistics and details. This is what Smooth Tie The Knots offers.
PianoJenny: But “Day of” doesn’t mean that you meet the couple for the first time the day before the wedding, right?
Jackie: Oh, no! I believe that we need to also get to know our couples and their vision, therefore, my service provides up to four planning face-to-face sessions along the process. This extra step in consultations has given my couples the tranquility in knowing that we are with them along the way, plus keep them on track of what they need to be doing at certain time during their planning process. I strongly believe that we have to form a partnership of trust between the couples and my team so that they are worry-free on the day of their wedding.
PianoJenny: I think a lot of couples wonder if a coordinator is something they really need, or just a luxury. Or they think that having a coordinator means that they don’t get to have a say in their wedding choices. What would you like to tell them?
Jackie: Don’t try to save on this. It is a MUST. I have seen the trend that couples want to be fully involved in the planning of their wedding and there are so many tools out in the internet, wedding sites, etc. that provide a lot of guidance with checklists,etc. I believe that this a beautiful “project” for them to be part of along the way, yet, when approaching towards to the last 3 months of the wedding, they find themselves overwhelmed about how to pull all pieces of the puzzle together and mainly who will take care of it… that is when the stress starts! Don’t let friends and family help you with this as you still want to remain your relationship cordial with them, plus you want them also to enjoy this wonderful occasion by being at your side! Don’t try to be the one to control things as you will miss on all of the small details of one of most important day of your lives.
PianoJenny: That’s a good point. We all remember that Friends episode when Phoebe “fired” Monica because she was driving her crazy being her wedding coordinator. Do you have any funny wedding stories, Jackie?
Jackie: One time we had a wedding where the bride’s minister was tasked to bring the bread and wine for the ceremony. Well, he forgot. So here we are, he arrives 30 minutes before the ceremony and we have the table set out and no bread and wine! I had in my cooler some apple juice and some granola bars. So guess what? We used that for the bread and wine ceremony! The bride was cracking up afterwards as she thought it was the most creative thing and she thanked us for doing this and not letting her stress about it! Trust me, there are many things that happen behind the scenes that afterwards are funny, but if you tell them to the bride, they are one more thing for them to stress about. So we have to be creative!
PianoJenny: Well, the Lord works in mysterious ways, and I guess one of them is through a resourceful wedding coordinator! Thanks for talking with me, Jackie.
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