Why Choose the Invisible Hostess?
“I emailed all my friends asking them: ‘What is the most important thing I should make sure I do for my wedding?‘ Half responded with, ‘A wedding coordinator was the best money I spent, and the other half said, I should have gotten a wedding coordinator.’” – 2011 CLIENT, REBECCA
You only have one shot to get this day right, so why leave it to chance on well meaning friends and family when hiring a coordinator will ensure a smooth event? Hiring a professional means having a set of eyes and ears to double check the work you’ve already done as well as think about questions that may never cross your mind until it’s too late. There is so much detail to collect and manage we create wedding booklets for our clients containing every event detail.
Want to know more about Sheena, Natasha, Jocelyn, Mary and Kristine? Read About Us.
What makes you different from other coordinators?
AWARD-WINNING :: We are the only Wedding Coordinator in WA state that has won Best of Bride eight times, let alone eight consecutive years! This award is determined by our clients and ultimately our peers, which we believe is a statement to our mission to collaborate and work well with our clients and our industry mates.
LONGEVITY & EXPERIENCE :: We’ve been an ongoing business since 2006. We’re not “learning” on your wedding. We bring experience, maturity, sophistication and loads of past lessons to your wedding planning process. If, after 13+ wedding seasons we’re still learning little tips and tricks every weekend, imagine what a lesser experienced coordinator is figuring out on your dime.
WELL-ROUNDED BACKGROUND :: The Invisible Hostess is a logistics management team. For the first 10 years of the business, we had a staff and bartending division of the company (read more out our history here). Because we have intimate knowledge of event flow, room flips and f&b services, this carries over into your coordinator’s realm of expertise. We don’t just see a wedding aesthetically, but we examine the blueprint of your day, going over the plans with a fine toothed comb.
REFERRAL BASED BUSINESS :: 90% of our business comes from someone in the wedding industry referring us. That’s huge. Many couples may have first found us online, but as they shop around for other vendors, our name is frequently brought up as a good coordination team, which is why they decide to reach out. We are proud to have the support of our community, and it speaks volumes that they want to continue to work with us again and again.
What is the best of bride award about?
Every year Seattle Bride Magazine puts out the Best of Bride issue which features wedding industry professionals that are the best in their category. Winners are decided by past clients and ultimately by their peers. We’ve been named Seattle’s Best Day of Coordinator from 2011-2017, and Seattle’s Best Wedding Planner in 2018. No other coordinator in Seattle has 8 continuous awards. We are incredibly humbled and honored that our peers continue to support us and affirm what we love to do.
I see there are five of you. Will I receive the same service no matter the person I work with?
It’s hard not to assume “First string, second string… etc.” Let us assure you this is not the case and here’s why:
- Our process is systematized. We like to think we’ve “Starbucks’d” our services. Meaning, no matter who you work with, your experience is the same. We accomplish this by standardizing our forms, our work flow right down to our email verbiage and communication style. The only variable is our personalities. With that said, the five of us are outgoing, friendly, take charge, but also collaborative. True, we bring different backgrounds to the table, but that also means you have access to five professionals’ knowledge instead of one.
- It took 8 years to add a third coordinator, and another 2 years to grow the team again. As owner, Sheena takes her company’s brand and reputation seriously. She wants “clones” of herself in these coordinator roles. While we’re obviously our own individuals, we have the common goal of your satisfaction and work in like-minded ways.
- Even though you work directly with one or two coordinators, you are receiving the knowledge and brainpower of an entire team. We go to each other constantly for referrals, advice, input and ideas. When you work with one person, you get the brain power of 5.
What is the difference between a Senior Coordinator and a Coordinator?
The only difference is longevity within the company. The services and resources are all the same. Think of it in terms of going to a salon you really trust. You trust the brand and the salon reputation, but the stylists charge differently based on hours invested in perfecting their craft.
What do you mean by “Wedding Planning for Busy People?”
We want to accomodate your most precious commodity: time.
After a long day of work, or a long month for that matter, the idea of driving in rush hour traffic to interview different vendors for your wedding probably feels exhausting. Finding parking alone is a headache (We know! We work on Capitol Hill.) You could easily spend 3 hours of your night for a 1 hour meeting by doing it the old fashioned way. Or, you could spend 45 minutes in your comfy pants from your couch.
We offer video chat meetings for our clients whenever possible. This includes many vendor interviews or introductions that can save you hours of time. On average, when clients choose the video chat method, they save themselves 15 hours of wedding planning chores.
What kind of couple works best with you?
For Day of Coordination: We work well with couples that want to plan and orchestrate their wedding up to a certain point, and then let go of the details, as the wedding gets closer. This is our most budget friendly option, yet you get full access to our brains from the moment you book! Our Day-of clients are typically spending $30k-$40k on their wedding (for a 100 person wedding). We shouldn’t be more than 10% of your budget.
For Light Planning: Couples who desire the research and planning of full a full coordination but are willing and interested to do some of the leg work in order to keep our rates lower, benefit from this service. Our Light Planning clients are typically spending $50-$75k on their wedding (for a 100 person wedding). We shouldn’t be more than 10% of your budget.
For Full Planning and Design: Couples who have demanding schedules and don’t have the luxury of time to work on their wedding really love the full service experience. We also streamline the number of vendors and pros you have to talk to, giving you one point of contact vs. 15+ Our Full Planning clients are typically spending $90k+ on their wedding (for a 100 person wedding). We shouldn’t be more than 10% of your budget.
Our Ideal Client Partnerships
We find that couples who are busy professionals with maxed out work and life schedules, enjoy working with us. They want and value a beautiful event, but cannot assume the additional work load it takes to pull off the biggest event they’ll likely ever throw.
Couple’s with a spirit of flexibility and go-with-the-flow have the most fun on their wedding days. Flexibility doesn’t mean sacrificing what you want, but to us it means keeping their eyes set on the ultimate purpose of the day: to get married and party with family and friends. We’re not creating a styled shoot. We’re creating a space to live and play in. With that comes elements of surprise and roll with the punches moments.
We work will with couples who trust our professional judgement during the planning and on the day-of. The more decisive you are, the faster the wedding is planned and you can hang out in cruise control mode!
We want to have fun with you. We want text message groups and Instagram chats and snaps of inspo. We want to be someone you look forward to hearing from and laughing with.
Can I customize your packages?
Yes, we can always add to existing packages. Our rates are the base price which we start from and then we can add from there based on your specific needs. A popular combination, for example, is Day-Of Coordination with Design Services. Or, Venue Searching + Day-Of Coordination.
I only need a coordinator for my reception. Does this lower your fee?
This is not an uncommon question and the short answer is, yes, it can reduce the rate. The longer answer is that ceremonies are probably the shortest piece of what we do. Not doing a ceremony saves us about 4 hours of work and eliminates one vendor we assist in managing (the officiant). The rest of your wedding day is largely about the reception and all of the players in that event. Any price reduction would be nominal.
If a ceremony is taking place on the same day as the wedding, no matter if it’s at a different venue (i.e. church and reception hall), removing ceremony coordination is not an option. The reasoning behind this is that your vendors, family and guests assume we know ALL aspects of your day and when we are asked questions revolving around the ceremony that we can’t answer, it makes us look unprepared. To ensure a seamless day, we require to be a part of all wedding events on the day of. We understand some places of worship require you to use their coordinator for the service and we respect that. We can still assist you while not getting in their way.
Do you coordinate destination weddings?
Yes, we do! We coordinate local destinations and have flown across the country as well. Day-of Coordination or Full Planning work well with destinations. Our Light Planning is not an option for destination weddings.
What qualifies as a “Destination Wedding?”
Northwest Destination Wedding
If your wedding is taking place at a regional resort where guests will be staying overnight, or the travel is beyond 2 hours one way, we consider this to be an Northwest Destination wedding and we require two night’s accommodations for your coordinator and her assistant. This would mean one room with two beds for the night of the rehearsal and the night of the wedding. Additional nights may be required if there is an extra day between these two events (i.e. Thursday rehearsal and Saturday Wedding). If your wedding is taking place not at a resort, but where accommodations still need to be arranged, you will be invoiced for two nights at the average cost of a three-star hotel for that area and your coordinator will arrange her own accommodations.
A flat travel fee of $500 will be applied to cover all weekend-of travel and time involved in getting and staying at your Northwest Destination. This fee does not cover site visits outside of the wedding weekend. For additional site visits, a $50/hr travel fee applies.
Out of State Destination Weddings
Our pricing structure in Full Planning and Design covers the time for travel, so we bill for all travel incidentals. Flights, rentals, meals, accommodations, shuttles, etc. We require to do one site visit to your location for research.
Should I look for someone who has worked in my venue before?
A “new to us” venue does not affect our ability to produce a quality event. It’s the nature of our job to be in new spaces and adapt quickly. We know the questions to ask, the red flags to see and we have a network of other planners who we can reach out to for any intel. Choose your coordinator based on other qualifiers, like career experience and reputation.
Can I have design services with my day-of coordination?
Definitely! Kristine Parra is our in house designer and would chat with you individually to see what kind of help you’re interested in. It would be quoted based on hours and what you want and you it would be a separate line item on your proposal. We’ve had Day-of clients spend roughly $1000-$1500 extra for design services.
I truly only need someone for the day-of. Would you do that?
We have some options for hourly help with our Wedding Associate, Hope. Any day-of only help requires booking our DIY Day of Coordination Consultation. Please inquire.
What’s the difference between a Venue Coordinator and You?
Venue coordinators can be wonderfully helpful. A good one makes all the difference! A venue coordinator is also first and foremost responsible for the venue, it’s care and the people that work for the venue (catering, staff, equipment). Our first and foremost responsibility is you and your wants. No one else. That’s why a great venue coordinator and a great wedding planner can make a dream team.
Also, a venue coordinator is an employee of the venue – not you. We’ve experienced 4 different venue coordinators for one wedding at one venue. The hand-offs are stressful and information always gets lost in the transfer. We, however, work for you and won’t leave your wedding planning process.
Fine Print FAQ
How do you determine your rates?
There are things that can only be learned with 28 accumulated years of experience. We also make ourselves completely accessible to you, we aim to respond within 24-48 hours of your emails and calls from the moment you book, and you don’t share your coordinator with another couple the weekend-of. We’re readily referred and awarded for a reason.
Experience equates smooth wedding days. Our price is determined by an equation of industry standard + reputation + experience. As one stellar hair and make up artist said in response to someone wondering why she charged her rate for only 30 minutes of service, “If I do a job in 30 minutes it’s because I spent 10 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You are paying for the years, not the minutes.” We are efficient and good at our job because of the invested time. That’s how we determine our rates.
How do payment terms work?
We accept checks and credit cards. Credit cards incur a 3% convenience fee. For Final Planning and Day of Coordination, and for Light Planning we split your payments into two installments. Half of the balance is due when booking and the other half is due 14 days before the wedding. If need be, we can discuss other options as well.
For Full Planning and Design clients, payments are broken into 3 installments.
What is your cancellation policy?
From our contract:
CANCELLATION/BOOKING. Upon booking, indicated by a signed contract and retainer received, (now to be referred to as Client) has a 3-day grace period to retract Agreement with The Invisible Hostess per the Buyer’s Remorse Law and Client will be refunded the 50% retainer. If Client cancels after the three-day period, and it is more than 12 months to the event date, Client’s 50% retainer is refundable. If Client should cancel 12 months or less from the event date, Client’s 50% retainer is non-refundable unless another event of equal or greater value replaces the event. If Client cancels within 90 days from Client event, Client will still be responsible for the final balance.
CHANGE-OF-DATE POLICY. When changing the event date, our cancellation policy applies. While we are retaining Client’s business, there is a loss of business we incur by turning away other potential clients. We cannot guarantee availability for Client’s newly selected date, however the Client will forfeit retainer regardless, unless of course another event of equal or greater value replaces Client’s event. A new retainer and balance would apply to Client’s new date.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept check, debit and credit card. There is a 3% convenience fee for use of debit and credit cards.
May we contact past clients about their experiences?
Absolutely! Upon request we can provide information to connect with past clients and hear their stories. You can also see many of our testimonials on our testimonial page.
Can we meet in person before we book?
Yes, we prefer to meet in person (or over Skype). When you inquire using our online form, we send you a small questionnaire and set up a quick 10 minute call to make a quick connection. At that time we set up our in person meeting.
I have a few more questions before scheduling a meeting—may I call?
Yes, in fact that’s part of our inquiry process. Please use our online inquiry form, and we’ll set up a quick call.