I decided to write this blog post because I get so many confused couples that come to me and dont understand what a day of coordinator is and how it will benefit them. We should really put an end to the term “day of“. The truth is there is no possible way a professional would be able to show up on the day of your wedding and make sure everything you have spent months planning is executed exactly how you envisioned. The process actually begins way before the wedding day itself, at least a month in advance. If you meet a wedding planner that says they will arrive on your wedding day and run the show with no prior knowledge of the logistics and your vision I would run far, far away!
What is a day of coordinator?
Day of coordination is best for “hands on” couples who want to be heavily involved in the wedding planning process and do most of the planning themselves. When the wedding day arrives they want to be able to sit back, relax and have a professional execute all of their hard work. Often one of the biggest regrets couples have is attempting to do so much DIY and relying on family and friends to take care of the small details leaving little or no time for their loved ones to enjoy the wedding day themselves. Day of coordination is meant for couples who have the majority of their wedding day planned and need an experienced professional to carry out all of the details and logistics. A day of coordinator should act as a liaison between the venue, vendors, family and members of the bridal party. Any problems that arise on the wedding day should discreetly be taken care of by the coordinator.
I don’t think I can afford a day of coordinator?
Hiring a wedding planning professional to help execute your wedding day is often the best investment you can make. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard “I don’t know what I would have done without you!” People often ask since I am a wedding planner did I have one for my wedding? The answer is absolutely! Although I did the majority of the planning leading up to the wedding myself I had a wonderful day of coordinator that saved my sanity on the wedding day. My friends, family and now husband were also able to truly enjoy the wedding day because all of the “small stuff” had been taken care of by my coordinator. Paying all of this money to florists, photographers, caterers, etc. can be a complete waste if it is not organized and if you are stressed out answering emails and calls on the day of the wedding. Who wants to be answering the phone on their wedding day answering questions like what corner of the room should the cake be placed on and placing reserved signs on the front row of the ceremony for great grandma Doris? Think of a day of coordinator as wedding day insurance.
My venue says they include a planner, why would I need to hire one myself?
Let me first say that I LOVE working with venue coordinators (also known as catering managers, sales managers, etc) and I completely respect their profession. However, their loyalty and best interest is in the venue itself, not the bride and groom. They are typically busy with internal operations, ensuring their staff and the food is on point as well as on time. Often times after dinner the catering manager will head home. As a day of coordinator our loyalty is to YOU, the bride and groom. Having a day of coordinator will give you the peace of mind knowing all of your details will be executed flawlessly and and any issues that arise on the wedding day will be discreetly handled. You should be able to sit back, relax and enjoy this once in a lifetime day worry free with your loved ones.
Although the venue coordinator will do their best to keep you happy, he or she likely will not be involved if your bustle breaks, when it comes time to load up your gifts, or tracking down your lipgloss. Venues are known to have a high turnover rate among the coordinator/catering sales positions. Often times the person that you book your wedding with will not be there on your wedding date. Your wedding coordinator is hired by YOU, hand selected by YOU, and won’t be going anywhere .
A wedding coordinator contacts your vendors before your wedding to make sure everyone is confirmed and knows what time they will be arriving. A venue coordinator may contact vendors that have to do with setup of the reception, but it’s not common. Other vendors, like your photographer or hair and makeup, would not be contacted by your venue coordinator. I could go on and on about all of the wedding day responsibilities a day of coordinator typically does but you can check that out here.
How far in advance do we begin working together?
Personally, I begin working with my couples the moment they book me and sign a contract. (Sometimes this can mean a year and a half before the wedding day and sometimes this will only mean a month before.) Although I will not be as involved in the planning process as I would with a full service client I like my couples to have a piece of mind and know they have an advocate to turn to with any important questions when booking their vendors along the way. I ask all of my clients to send me contracts as soon as they get them that way I can look them over in advance and ensure nothing major has been overlooked or is missing. When the wedding day gets a but closer we will have what I call a details meeting. I have you fill out an extensive questionnaire with questions like “who will be walking down the aisle with who” “do you want to keep the top layer of the cake”. I then create a timeline, reach out to all of your vendors to confirm delivery and set up times, and ensure your vision is implemented down to the last detail. Your day should be filled with love, joy, and a peace of mind.
How many hours do you work on a wedding day?
Unlike some wedding planners I do not put a limit on the numbers of hours me and my staff work on a wedding day. Some days are 7 hours while others end up being 15 hour days. We are typically on site to oversee the first delivery and then hang around until after dinner when all of the reception activities are finished (dances, cake cutting, garter toss, etc. ) If you need help with a grand exit or packing up personal items at the end of the night that can absolutely be arranged!