You're planning your wedding and you keep hearing about "Day-Of Coordinators" and you're wondering what do these people actually do and do you really need one...and I am here to answer all your questions!
Firstly, we must distinguish between wedding planning and coordinating. Planning is all the beforehand preparation, like selecting vendors, design, etc. Coordinating is managing everything the day-of. The coordinator is the contact person for all vendors, ensures everything stays on schedule, manages any unexpected hiccups, etc.
Nowadays, when it comes to weddings, couples are taking the reins and doing the bulk of their own planning. With resources like Zola, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, there is a huge rise in DIY couples. I love and cater largely to DIY couples who are planning their own weddings; and it is so important they understand that although you may want to plan your own wedding, believe me you do not want to coordinate it. So many couples don't want to hire a full-time wedding planner to do everything for them. They want to be hands-on and enjoy every minute of planning their own big day. People tend not to realize the work, stress, and time that goes into planning an event, ESPECIALLY a wedding. And some couples think that because of all the pre-planning and meetings beforehand, that the day-of will go seamlessly and you can handle it yourself. No, no, no, please don't do it to yourself! For any event, the day of has so many moving parts and so many last-minute details and unexpected surprises. And no bride or groom wants to end up working on their wedding day. Some people consider just having a family member or member of the wedding party act as their day-of coordinator but that still means your invited loved one ends up working the whole day and goes from guest to staff. And even though they may be trustworthy, event management likely is not their expertise and they may not know how to handle the situations that arise. The main responsibility of a day-of coordinator is to ensure everything runs according to plan and to make it so that you and your partner don’t have to lift a finger and have a beautiful, stress-free day.
You should contract your day-of coordinator about three months before your wedding. In the time leading up to the wedding, you will have regular meetings with your coordinator, communicating your vision and expectations and providing updates on your progress. You will also look to your coordinator for minor advice and insight while planning your wedding. Your coordinator will also help create a detailed day-of timeline, so everything stays on schedule. Your coordinator will discuss timing, cues, and your overall vision for the day. It will be their job to ensure the DJ is playing the right music, the food is ready on time, the photographer is getting all the shots, the guests are happy, and everything in between.
So many DIY brides say they wish they had gotten a day-of coordinator for their wedding. I even had one for my wedding and my profession is event coordination! Being the bride already has its stresses the day of the wedding; there are so many things to do and people to talk to while staying on a schedule and somehow finding time to eat. You don’t want to add any unnecessary stress or anxiety to your day. Even if you are planning your own wedding, I highly recommend hiring a day-of coordinator. You’ll thank me in the end.