SO many of my couples ask me about day-of coordinators. Are they worth it? Isn’t that what my venue coordinator does? Can I ask a family member to do it?
These are such good and important questions to consider as you plan your wedding! I asked my friend Melody of Events by Melody to answer the 5 MOST-ASKED questions.
“PEACE OF MIND! Our job as the wedding day of coordinator is to ensure all the planning the couple has done is executed just how they envisioned it to be on their wedding day. Day of coordinators can help out with creating your wedding day timeline and sharing it with vendors the week of your wedding, setup and teardown of personal decor on your wedding day (i.e. ceremony programs, menu cards, place cards, misc. signage, etc.) and ensuring the day runs smoothly. Your day of coordinator will also be the point person for your guests and vendors the day of your wedding. Day of coordinators are also skilled at “putting out fires” as they arise as they are great problem solvers no matter what happens. Sometimes, when things do go slightly wrong, your day of coordinator will be able to fix the before anyone even notices. For instance, we needed another chair at one of the guest tables last weekend and a guest notified us and we were able to bring out the extra chair and inform catering we need one more place setting. Problem solved and no one even noticed 🙂 Allow your day of coordinator to take over on your wedding day so you as the bride, groom, Mother of Bride, etc. can sit back, relax and enjoy the day!”
“I’ve heard countless stories where couples don’t hire one and often regret it after the fact. The couple or someone in the family (i.e. mother of bride) ends up playing the role as “day of coordinator” and has to take calls from vendors and show them where to setup upon arrival, help with setup and teardown and much more. I’ve also heard plenty of stories where couples have hired a friend or family member to do this and things don’t go as planned. For instance, let’s say you assign your Aunt to be your day of coordinator. She might be having a little too much fun come the time dances start and forget she is in charge of tear down at the end of the night. In short, you, your friends and family should be able to enjoy the day and not be working. Definitely hire a day of coordinator, it’ll be the best decision you make in the planning process! Our couples and wedding party/family have even said this for themselves.”
“Always ask the specifics of what your venue coordinator will (and will not) be doing for you the day of your wedding/event and months leading up to it. Often items the venue coordinator is just that — a venue coordinator. They will oversee venue related items such as unlocking/locking the doors, ensuring the setup of tables and chairs is taken care of, etc. Whereas a day of coordinator (like us!) will oversee and take care of YOU. Venue coordinators don’t tear down your decor at the end of the night while you’re still on the dance floor or coordinate with vendors if something goes wrong. “
“A wedding planner is someone that is there for you from the very beginning when you are newly engaged. Your planner will help guide you and find the right vendors to make your wedding vision become a reality. They will also keep you on track throughout the planning process and stay within your budget. A day of coordinator on the other hand is someone who comes in the weeks leading up to your wedding day to handle the day-of details and perfectly execute all the planning you’ve poured your heart and soul into over the last year!”
First of all, be sure to look for someone who is experienced. While anyone can claim that they can plan your wedding or be your day of coordinator, there is much more to it than one might think. It can be a stressful (but rewarding!) job and you definitely want someone overseeing the details that knows what they’re doing. Especially on the wedding day as surprises may arise and if your planner is experienced, they’ll be able to handle any wedding day emergencies with a calm demeanor. You’ll also want to find a planner who’s personality and style clicks with yours. If you hire a wedding planner, you’ll be working with them very closely during the planning process. Most times they become your best friend after everything is all said and done! Communication is key. You definitely want to work with someone that responds to your emails and/or phone calls within in a timely manner. Finally, look for someone who is genuine and honest. You want to be able to trust the person you are working with because you only get married once, right?!
Definitely ask how long they’ve been in business. Being a day of coordinator can be a stressful job and you definitely want someone with experience who knows how to handle the stress and problem solving skills that come along with the job. I would also ask if they have liability insurance as many venues are starting to require that any vendors working in their space must have this anyways. I’d also ask if they’ve worked a wedding in your venue before. It definitely helps when we can say we’ve worked a wedding at a particular venue as we’re better able to understand the flow (and just know our way around!) Ask them to describe a time they had to deal with a wedding day emergency and how they handled it (again, being able to handle stress is a biggie!) Finally, ask what happens if there is an emergency and your day of coordinator is unable to attend your wedding on the day of. Trust me, life happens and it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in place just incase!