Do You Need A "Day-Of" Coordinator?

-by Lisa of Elegant Event Design

Is the answer to the question above obvious? How long did you spend planning your wedding? 6 months? A year? More? Odds are that you invested a lot of time, money, energy and stress into this one big day. My question for you - why wouldn’t you want to enjoy it?

Sadly enough, nothing is perfect. Would you rather enjoy your hair and make-up session with your Bridesmaids, Mother and Sisters, or spending the time on the phone with questions from vendors, speaking with your fiancé - who is still at the hotel because the limos are late, dealing with the florist - who delivered red, yellow and orange bouquets that are supposed to be white, or perhaps decorating your reception site? These are just a few of the vast number of issues that come to light on a wedding day?

I hear couples say - “but we have a coordinator that comes with the ceremony/reception site. Why would we need someone else”? Let me take a moment to list the many reasons…

1. Who is in charge of the entire day in total? Who knows your wedding, and will know what you want?
2. How many couples is your reception site coordinator dealing with on a daily basis? When calling not only caterers, but florists, reception site coordinators and photographers, they tell me that they work on weddings taking place in the next week or two. Well…if your wedding is not immediate, who is answering your questions and responding to your needs? What is the result of this on you? More stress and anxiety?
3. Who is going to be the “point” person who is in charge of knowing the limo drivers cell phone number, so they can be contacted when they are late? Or negotiates with the florist when they deliver the wrong order to the wrong place? Who is going to coordinate how to get those flowers to the right place? Who is going to advocate for you when the reception site places something in the wrong place, or does not adhere to your detailed set up instructions?
4. Who is going to make sure that all the last minute details leading up to your wedding are taken care of? Who is going to make sure that you have applied for your marriage license, have prepared the place cards correctly, and makes sure that all of the people involved in the wedding knows what’s going on - prior to the day they show up at the rehearsal.
5. Who is going to speak with the vendors personally to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on, hammer out any last minute details, and make last minute confirmations, while you are enjoying lunch with your Bridesmaids, or making trips to the airport?
6. Who is going to make sure that shuttle buses arrive for pick-ups and drop off’s at the right place and time?
7. Besides you, who is going to know your wedding so well, that she/he can make decisions while you enjoy your guests and reception? Who is going to make sure things run just as your envisioned they would run?
8. Who is going to know what you want for set-up and clean up while you are preparing for your day or are saying goodbye to your family and special friends?

After answering some of these questions, you will see that a day of coordinator is not a luxury, but a necessity.

Now, in terms of price, coordinators are all across the board - just like everything else. For example, in the DC Metropolitan area they arrange in price from $0.00-$2,200.00. A lot of the price depends upon their training, experience, and the time that they have been in business. Often, coordinators looking to start a business and build a portfolio will offer to do your wedding for free, or for very little cost. Coordinators that have been in the business for a long time and have many clients will charge more. It’s important to find someone who’s character and style matches your own, since he/she will be decorating and running the event per your wishes. I would recommend contacting 4-5 coordinators via email and meet with 3 based on their style and the responsiveness to your questions via email or phone. I firmly believe that time is money. Meeting with 10 coordinators in person takes too much time and effort. You should be able to find what you are looking for after doing your research and meeting with 3-4 different firms.


Anonymous said...

Great article Lisa! And I couldn't agree with you more. I've worked with several brides now as a photographer and the process is so much smoother if there is a coordinator the day of the wedding.

One of my good friends is planning her own wedding and I'm trying to stress to her the importance of having someone there the "day-of" just so that she won't have to deal with it.

The last thing a bride should be handling on their special day is the demands of everyone else!

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