Q: I’m about 6 months away from my wedding and things are starting to get a little crazy. There is so much to wedding planning that I’m now seriously considering hiring a wedding planner to help me with day of coordination. How does day of coordination work? What should I be expecting?
Great question! This is a question I get all the time, so I’m so happy you asked it. First off, day of coordination is a great service and one that I suggest all couples get if you can afford it. So, good on you for looking into it.
Now, to fully answer your question on how day of coordination works, I have to first say that day of coordination doesn’t work. Hold on, I know you now have a confused look on your face. Stay with me. The term “day of” is quite frankly horrible. I don’t know who came up with the term, but it’s the worst description of how the service works. What you need to know is that no one can just show up on the day of your wedding and pull off a smooth event. The process needs to start at least one month before your wedding in order for your wedding coordinator to have time to plan for what will be happening on the day of your wedding. Imagine a contractor coming into your house for the first time, he/she wouldn’t be able to start work that same day. They need time to plan, to scope everything out, have conversations with you to understand what you want and coordinate with your plumber and cabinet guys to discuss the plan. The same is true for a wedding coordinator.
So, we’re going to get rid of the term day of coordination for this post and use month of coordination instead. So, how does month of coordination work? The process will vary a bit from wedding coordinator to wedding coordinator, but essentially it starts with a conversation. This conversation is a chance for the wedding coordinator to understand what you’ve done thus far, what is important to you about the wedding and ask lots of questions to know what they need to do going forward. They’ll also ask you for all of your vendor contact information, contracts, documents and pertinent emails.
After the initial conversation will come the assessment. This will be a thorough review of everything you talked about and everything you sent. They will probably have additional questions for you, but most importantly they will have suggestions for you on items that you either overlooked and/or didn’t think about. There are lots to consider in order to ensure that the wedding goes smoothly and part of that process is making sure everything has been thought of, anticipated, planned for and discussed ahead of time.
After the assessment will come the actual coordination. This involves the wedding coordinator reaching out to all of your vendors and making sure everyone is on the same page and has everything they need. Your wedding coordinator will also finalize the schedule and floorplan and iron out any logistics that came up during the assessment. This is also when any last minute adjustments that need to be made happen. This process will take you up till a few days before the wedding.
The day before the wedding the wedding coordinator will handle the running of your ceremony rehearsal and go over the schedule and any last minute details. And then comes the wedding day! Your wedding coordinator will handle all of the setup and coordination with your vendors and make sure you and your wedding party and family are doing ok. They’ll be there to make sure you’re on time, that your guests are taken care of, and your ceremony and reception goes off without a hitch. They’ll take care of the details like handing out final payments, cueing your DJ and your toast givers, making sure candles are lit, folding napkins, making sure you have your bouquet for the toss, and so much more. After the party is done and everyone leaves happy (including you), they’ll be the ones to handle breakdown and cleaning up at the end of the night.
I could go into much more detail than what I just laid out, but that is the gist of how month of coordination works. What you need to know is that the biggest part of month of coordination is being able to handle and fix any and all problems that come up during the wedding day. This requires both a combination of good planning ahead of time and flexible onsite coordination on the day of. What this means for you is that you can expect to just sit back and relax! You can just be with your new husband/wife and celebrate with those you love. You won’t have to think or worry about a thing besides enjoying yourself.
(Photo credit: Milou and Olin Photography)
Sounds pretty great, huh? It sure is! As I said in the beginning of the post, if you can afford a wedding coordinator, it’s totally worth every penny.
But if you can’t afford a month of coordinator or are just feeling overwhelmed right now and aren’t quite sure what you should be doing or if what you’re doing is right, I’ve got something special for you! Check out Passport to Joy, our step by step wedding planning program just for couples like you.
If you want help and guidance to plan your wedding and make the process easier and happier, become a member today!