- by Lisa
Great question! It’s the job of a day-of coordinator, to keep everything organized and running smoothly on the day of your wedding. Your coordinator is the point of contact for your vendors, hotel concierge and guests if questions/problems arrive on the day of the wedding. While your coordinator is responsible for the rehearsal and wedding day, he/she must do a lot of pre-work (prior to your big day) to be successful at her/his job.
I encourage couples considering a professional coordinator, to contact 2 or 3 as early as possible. The advantage - you can take advantage of all of services, knowledge and expertise early in the planning process. After all, the better the coordinator knows your wedding, the better they can advocate for you on your wedding day. Your coordinator will be your point of contact for logistical, procedural, and etiquette questions. Some might offer you vendor referrals within their “day of package”, allowing you access to the best vendors in the area. Your coordinator will keep you on target with what needs to be done as your big day approaches. They might give you customized timelines, or track your progress so that all tasks are being completed on time and in the correct order. Of course, if you hit any bumps along your journey, whether large or small, your coordinator can be your partner in helping you to smooth things out – making the process a lot less stressful for you.
About a month prior to your big day, your coordinator will begin working with you and your vendors to create a detailed and customized timeline. When done, this timeline will become the “bible” for your day – telling your vendors, your coordinator, and your wedding party “what happens when”. It’s very important to keep all of your vendors on the same page. Typically, this document is distributed 1-2 weeks prior to your wedding to wedding party members and vendors. The week prior to your wedding, your coordinator will complete all last minute confirmations with your vendors. It is his/her job not only to ensure that all of your vendors have maps, transportation itineraries, and directions; but also to make sure all details are attended to, and everyone knows what is to happen on your wedding day.
Most “day of “packages include rehearsal coordination – in which the coordinator will work with your officiant to make your rehearsal run smoothly and quickly – so that you can enjoy your guests/family members and rehearsal dinner with little stress worry. On your wedding day, he/she will be there to help set up and make sure everything is per your requests. Your coordinator is there to answer questions, field emergencies and make sure everything runs as you want it to run. Your coordinator will line-up your wedding party, cue musicians, make sure pictures run smoothly, manage the change-over (or cocktail hour) make sure your reception runs smoothly (and all vendors are present for the big moments), and will help clean up and make sure your important wedding materials and memories (gifts, guest book, pictures) get back to you safely.
Just like anything else, every coordinator is different. Some will not meet with you more than 6 months (or less) prior to your wedding day (all the time or during specific “peak” months) and some limit hours on the rehearsal/wedding day. Other coordinators will allow you to contact them anytime, and some will give you unlimited hours on your rehearsal and wedding day. Generally, coordinators range from $500.00-$2,500.00 – which is based on level of service, experience, training, and demographics. It’s important that you find someone who will fit your needs, personality, and budget.