Gettin’ Tipsy

Since vacation and summer are over, it’s time to get back into wedding planning mode. I had a few appointments set up with wedding coordinators and met the first one  recently. She came highly recommended and happens to be a friend of Michael’s stepsister. We met in their Pearl District office downtown after work and even though I am a super organized person, I was completely unprepared for the appointment. I thought it would be a quickie “this is what we offer and it costs this much” kind of appointment. It was not. It took about an hour and she asked a million questions, gave lots of really good tips and advice (one in particular was that we need to double check that the caterers don’t charge the gratuity on the rentals. I didn’t even think to look for that!).

I’m looking for a day-of coordinator to run the show. Once my wedding comes, I don’t want to do anything, I don’t want to be stressed, and I don’t want my family (my mom in particular) to feel obligated to run things either. Michael and I both liked the coordinators a lot. It sounds like it’s going to run between $1000-1500 for the day and that is totally worth it. They do EVERYTHING. From setting up the tables and centerpieces to coordinating the vendors to directing the flow of the day. They also take care of anything that goes wrong.

I asked, what has gone wrong and how did you fix it? One example they gave was that they realized after the florist had left the wedding that they were missing half of the flowers that were ordered. To fix that they dismantled the ceremony decorations to use as centerpieces for the reception. Smart thinking. The bride had no idea, either. Another example was that a DJ didn’t show up. They fixed that by calling someone else last minute.

The ladies were very calm, cool and collected. I felt confident in hiring them after we left. Michael felt the same way. We have two more coordinators to meet with in the next few weeks and then we’ll make a decision.

After the meeting Michael and I had a date night at Vie de Boheme. It’s a wine bar in SE Portland and I had a Groupon that was going to expire in a week (ooops). The deal was for a wine tasting flight for two and snacks. We decided to order dinner while we were there, too.

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The place was really cute, stylish and trendy. They were setting up for an evening of salsa dancing, too! We did not stay long enough for that. Maybe next time. 🙂 The wine tastings were a little heavy on the pours and I ended up drinking WAY more than I expected. I also started tasting on an empty stomach. Needless to say, the lightweight in me kicked in and I cannot remember the last time I was that tipsy. It wasn’t on purpose!

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The wine flight for two was reds. We started with two different Pinot Noirs, which neither of us liked, then two Zinfandels. I liked the Zins a lot. Last on the menu were the two Cabernets. For dinner Michael ordered the pork loin with a salad. It was delicious! The meat was falling off the bone.

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For dinner I got the vegetarian quiche with a side salad. The quiche was probably the best I’ve ever had. I thought I was smart ordering the veggie quiche but I’m pretty sure it was cooked with multiple sticks of butter. The crust was perfect and flaky and the quiche itself was delicate with the egg and cheese. So freakin’ good.

Anyways, I was definitely drunk from the tastings. I had planned on riding to work the next morning. I was honestly worried I might wake up still drunk. O.o Eeeek! Luckily I wasn’t–just a little tired.

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September is the Bike Commute Challenge here in Portland. I’m not sure if it’s everywhere. I joined the team at work (and Michael has a team at his office). This was my first commute of September! I drove part way into work, parked and then biked in the rest of the way. The ride went really well even though I was SLOW and my heart rate was REALLY high the entire time I rode.

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My first ride of September also ended up being one of the hottest days! Joy! 96 degrees! As the day went on the temperature got hotter and the air more stagnant. I wasn’t really looking forward to the ride home but it ended up being okay.

I tried to go slower than normal but you know how that goes…I tend to only have one speed. I stopped about three times along the way to rest in the shade and drink some water. One thing I did notice is that my heart rate was again really really high and it didn’t go down very quickly.

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Eleven point five miles for the day! And my knees were great! I was happy (and very hot) when I got home. Michael made a delicious dinner of spinach salad and grilled chicken breast (and some guacamole).

QUESTION: Did you hire a wedding coordinator? What was your experience?

12 Responses

  1. Hi Lisa – I worked for a small business owner in 2000. She owned a bed n breakfast, she was a wedding planner, and also owned a tassle, ribbons and bows business that sold to restaurants, hotels, high schools, you name it. Anyway…this lady had very few scruples when it came to hidden charges in her capacity as a wedding planner. She had a sparkling personality that drew people to her, and her B&B had a ballroom and a wedding chapel next to it on the 10 acre property. So she could plan the wedding, host the reception and cater the event all in one place. Receptions could be held outdoors or indoors as the B&B was a good sized mansion with a large green yard with big cotton wood trees near a lake. People would have a great time until they received the bill.

    She routinely added a 20% gratuity. I quit working for her after six months. I found out that people I knew that used her services, were getting billed for me as an employee, as bartender, washing dishes, preparing food, and setting up and putting away tables and chairs for banquets, receptions, etc. The problem being…I wasn’t a employee in that capacity at all. I worked telephone sales for her tassle business with restaurants and hotels. I had no part in the wedding business. So my advice is this…discuss all fees and charges with your planner and get the cost quote in writing before giving up your credit card for the down payment. Also…it doesn’t hurt to request references from previous customers. They’re more likely to tell you how it went for them and if they felt they got their monies worth. Enjoy your special day:)
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    1. Oh that’s too bad. I’m glad you realized sooner rather than later and got out of that business. Doing unethical things like that is bad karma. And thank you for the warning! The wedding coordinator gave me a good tip and said to double check that the caterers don’t charge gratuity on the rentals. I didn’t even think about that!

  2. Oh yum! I’ll have to put that on our list of nice, close places to go out.

    Our venue came with a coordinator so I didn’t have to spend the extra money. We didn’t use one for Rylee’s wedding. Everyone was assigned a few tasks which worked out great, but she has the luxury of a HUGE family and her brother lives with the florist. 🙂

    I think this will take a lot of stress off you which is great. There are always a million things going on at once. You should really be able to enjoy your day and your party.

    1. It was a great place! I liked it a lot and want to go back for the music events. They were setting up for salsa dancing when we left. The four of us should meet there sometime. And maybe Rylee and Corey want to join us!

  3. We had a day-of coordinator for our wedding, and it was AWESOME. She provided great advice and guidance leading up to the wedding, ran our rehearsal, and did everything on the day of, for a flat fee. (We knew what we were paying her in advance.) I would totally recommend having one! It was so nice not to have to worry about dealing with something if something went wrong.

    1. It sounds like the coordinators we’ve talked to are doing a flat fee too. I plan on getting everything in writing and whether or not that might change after the fact. But I’m excited about having a coordinator who can take care of the minutia on the day.

  4. Apropos wine tasting: the other day I had two glasses of a nice dry German Dornfelder. Not exactly the heaviest red out there, yet the next morning a tremendous hangover greeted me. I hadn’t had any alcohol for so long that even that small an amount made that big an impact.

    By Jupiter, I’m becoming a softie 😀
    evilcyber recently posted..The 6 1/2 Steps To Running Your First 5K

  5. My cousin had a coordinator that came with the wedding/reception place for her wedding. I was the point of contact for the day for anything needed. It came in handy when the staff had questions and didn’t want to stress the bride. One helpful thing, my cousin made a spreadsheet of all vendors for the coordinator to use – djay, flowers, limo, etc. It came in handy when the limo didn’t show up on time and she had to call them.

    1. That’s one of the things the wedding coordinator will do. Even though we are just hiring a “day of” coordinator, they start working with us 6-8 weeks before the wedding finalizing everything and organizing the flow of the day. Thanks for the recommendation on the spreadsheet! Will pass that on.

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