Interview with a wedding coordinator..

Interview: Heidzillas, Wedding Coordination

How long has Heidzillas been in business?

I officially started my business when I started getting inquiries while on my honeymoon in August 2008, so going on two years.

Where did the company name come from?

When I was a bride, I’d sign emails to my bridesmaids “Heidzilla” instead of “Bridezilla.” When I had to think of a business name, that was the first and only choice. I get a lot of chuckles… then people ask me if I have any “Heidzillas”? I explain that’s a good thing.

What is your role at Heidzillas?
I’m the owner, planner, coordinator… accountant… HR person… It’s just me. I also have a few assistants who help me when necessary.

Why did you start coordination in Cleveland?
I’ve always enjoyed event planning in the organizations I’ve been involved with and while at past jobs. When my friends were getting engaged, I was more excited to plan than they were. I started writing a business plan in 2007. That got put on hold when I got engaged in January 2008 until I got married and was ready to start my business!

How did you get your company started?
I started a blog and a Facebook fan page. I had two weddings in late 2008 and it all sort of went from there.

Where do you coordinate?
My territory includes all of Northeast Ohio from Cleveland to Canton. I’ve gone as far west as Port Clinton/Sandusky area and as far east as Youngstown. I’m happy to travel further if need be.

How many weddings do you work every weekend?
I typically only work one wedding per weekend. For some holiday weekends, I will do day of coordination for more than one if my brides’ schedules allows.

How many weddings does your staff work in a year?
In 2009, Heidzillas worked 25 weddings. This year it looks like it will be about the same!

What is a common misconception about your work?
A lot of times people assume they can save money by asking a friend or aunt to “coordinate.” If you just need errand running done, then maybe that will suffice. Most times though, the brides who thought they didn’t have much for me to do ended up needing me the most. Random things that pop up during the day that I’m able to handle instead of asking your photographer to go running around or having your mom or maid of honor feel like they have to fix major things.

If you could go back in time would you still be a coordinator?
If I could go back in time, I would have started coordinating a lot sooner in life. I love it so much, I wish I would have started my business sooner than I had!

Favorite place you’ve worked?
I coordinated a reception that was held on the stage of the Playhouse Square State Theater. The entire reception was set up on the stage. The lighting was obviously already installed. The acoustics were perfect. Guests marveled. It was a great event.

Best coordination experience?

A bride of mine had the chance to see her entire reception set up before guests came in. Her reactions were priceless. It was a fun moment to have a hand in.

Worst coordination experience?

I had a vendor who shouldn’t have even been inside of the venue start directing parents and grandparents around. They were confused with the varying directions which inconvenienced them and I had to get everyone back on track ASAP!

What’s your favorite part of weddings?

Probably right before the bride walks out. I’m one of the last people she talks to other than her father/escort. I get to tell her to breathe and enjoy the wonderful moment! I also get to be the one to make sure she looks as perfect as possible… veil fixing, train fluffing, bang tussling… the works.

Once a bride books you, what happens next?

It often depends on what stage of their planning they’ve hired me. In general, we start with a meeting to figure out next steps and go from there.

What is one thing you wish brides and grooms knew about hiring coordinators?

If you have a popular wedding weekend (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, special dates such as 10/10/10) and you’re thinking about hiring a coordinator, do it early! The good ones book up fast and there’s not as many of us in the area as photographers, venues, etc.

How can brides and grooms make your job easier?
Let me be involved sooner in their process. A lot of times I’m hired or not involved until later into planning and I could have saved my clients some hassles.

What do you wish brides and grooms asked you or remembered to tell you?
Everything. Kidding… I want to know everything and anything that might be stressing them. If I can’t resolve it, I’ll try to find the appropriate person who can.

Why you and not another coordinator with similar experience locally?
I work as hard as I can and do whatever it takes to make my bride and groom’s day as perfect as possible. And I’m extremely flexible with planning style and preferred communication style. If you want to plan through text message, it might not be the best way out there but I’ll do it if it’s best for you.

For more information or to get into contact with Heidi you can reach her below.

heidzillas.com
facebook.com/heidzillas
twitter.com/heidzillas
440.645.6777

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Jay r Rich

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