I’ve talked a lot about our Wedding Coordinator over the past eight months, but wanted to dive a littler deeper into the process of working with her as she was virtual. I know a lot of you girls are toying with the idea of whether or not to hire a Planner so wanted to a shed a little light on what it’s like.
I met Christina, owner of Novella Theory, Weddings & Events, online and was really drawn to her work and aesthetic, but it was our first phone call that really sold me. We set up a call, late one evening back in the Spring to chat, get to know one another and see if it would be a good fit. Her calm demeanour, positivity and friendliness instantly drew me to her. She started out by telling me about herself, her background and her experience behind event planning and it. is. extensive! She’s planned not only weddings of all sizes, she’s done major corporate functions for big name companies and more. Then she listened to my vision, my concerns, where we were at with our planning process (about two months in, with just our venue and Photographer booked), what we still had to do, etc. Christina is really warm and a good listener, it felt like she really understood what I wanted our big day to look like.
We spent over an hour on the phone (!!) and when I got off I told Marco I felt like she was a friend and we definitely had to work with her–I felt like I had this massive weight lifted off my shoulders when she came onboard, that are so many things she took off my plate, so let’s jump in.
Christina, Owner | Novella Theory
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WEDDING COORDINATOR
Obviously, the traditional way of hiring a Wedding Coordinator is someone who is in the same city as you, but there are so many benefits to actually hiring someone virtually. Christina and I are actually in different countries (she’s US based in Portland, and I’m in Canada), but there was so much she was able to take off my plate easily without even being in the same timezone. Our worlds are so online now in general, it was easy to stay connected through email and text, but she was always ready to jump on a call if needed/wanted (personally, I just prefer dealing via email anyway, so I loved that she worked that way too). On top of all that, there was the option to have her fly into town to have her on-site for the big day, if we wanted, but since our venue provided a day-of Coordinator, we stayed virtual.
As far as budget goes, hiring someone who is virtual is a great way to get the help you need, without spending what you might with someone who is in town and on site. Obviously this all depends on what your needs are, but I love that there are options and ways to get the help you need at different price points.
WHAT DOES A VIRTUAL WEDDING PLANNER DO?
If I had a dollar for every time I turned to Marco while planning our wedding and said, ‘Thank God for Christina!‘ — we might have been able to cover the cost of the wedding! LOL. But in all seriousness, she took everything off my plate that I didn’t want to do: finding vendors, getting pricing, negotiating with them, reviewing contracts before we put our deposits down and more. I’m sure we are all nodding together in what a drag those tasks are, but for me they were also overwhelming and things I just didn’t want to deal with.
On top of the tedious, research-involved, time consuming tasks she magically ran with and removed from my plate, she also was a steady stream of support and advice when needed. I had a very strong sense of what I wanted for our wedding, but at the same time am really indecisive and have a hard time narrowing down what the ‘right’ choice is. I frequently sent Christina emails asking for advice on vendors, pricing, what other people do, what the norm. is, and more. I liked that she didn’t try to sway me, listened to my ideas, and would support and encourage thoughts I had (eg. doing my own make-up; I was torn, but felt like I could do it, she encouraged me to go that route and it was just confirmation I needed to make a decision–plus tons of others silly and non-silly requests).
One of the best things Christina did was find our amazing videographer. I had my heart set on someone else who was way over budget–and wouldn’t budge when I tried to negotiate with them prior to linking up with Christina–and it was just not going to happen. In all honesty, I had to sell Marco hard on actually having our wedding filmed because he didn’t think we needed it (spoiler alert: in hindsight, he’s so happy we did it). Christina took on the task of finding multiple videographers that matched our style, vision and budget and gave us advice through her expertise of working with a wide variety of vendors over the years. Once we narrowed it down, and she had done the initial back and forth communication with him, she had the contract drafted and we were ready to put down our deposit. It was just doing the more fun parts of choosing a vendor and way less stressful without having to deal with the paperwork and behind-the-scenes stuff. Truly this was the best! I’m so so so pleased with who we went with, and more to come on all the vendors we used + our wedding video!
Lastly, I also pushed her really hard to negotiate with all our vendors–we had a strict budget and I wanted to fit a lot of things into it. Every time I would tell Marco about something I wanted or something we could do, and it was over budget, he would say, ‘Find a way to fit it in the budget or we can’t do it‘. Negotiating is not my strong suit and Christina found so many ways to make multiple items work, and I’m so thankful for that! I always felt no matter how annoying I was being about nitty gritty details and money, she understood and took action with a smile.
Now I know I’ve given you a lot of information to digest, but if I can give you one take-away from this experience it is that it’s worth it. The amount of stress and burden Christina took off my plate was enormous and while there was still plenty I had to get done on my end, knowing other things were taken care of by her was such a relief. I could not have planned all that I did without her and maintained my sanity at the same time. Definitely a hugely positive experience that I would recommend to any bride who is considering help to plan the biggest and best day ever.
As always, thanks for reading, I hope you found this post helpful & I’ll see you tomorrow!