To share information that we hope you will find useful as you plan your wedding.
The bride says, “I’ve been planning my wedding for over a year. I’ve spent countless hours researching locations, flowers and dresses. I’ve listened to 20 DJs, touched 75 different table cloths and marveled at photographs of other weddings. I’ve selected every verse to be recited during my wedding ceremony, chose every song and the order that they should be played in and hand made intricate favors for each guest. All I need now is someone to pull it all together on the day of my wedding. Really, I don’t need any other help.”
Whether you are much like this bride, or just can’t figure out why anybody would care about all this, one thing is for sure – you are probably unsure about what a “day of” wedding coordinator does and why you might need one. You may have discovered that some venues require that you have at a minimum, a “day of” coordinator. You just can’t believe that someone would have a stipulation like that and are trying to figure out how to dig one up with the smallest impact on your wedding budget. Sounds like some kind of a wedding industry conspiracy.
Well, have we got something to say to you! There is a wedding industry conspiracy of sorts – the wedding industry has done a poor job in explaining this service and it’s not surprising that the brides and grooms are confused.
If you think about it, the phrase itself is confusing – “day of” wedding coordination implies that the coordination happens on the day of the wedding. In fact, to coordinate the activities on the day of the wedding, we start working weeks and months ahead of time. We prefer to say “coordination for your wedding day.” And that’s just the beginning.
We wanted to make this blog as informative and useful as possible, so we turned to the well known and respected sources of wedding information, such as The Knot. While most wedding industry professionals are busy running their small businesses as a creative outlet and a means of doing what they love, The Knot is a large established public company that virtually every bride in the US interacts with for wedding advice and information. The Knot has editors, photographers, researchers, marketing experts, writers and stylists generating an inordinate amount of wedding content.
We were hoping to find a whole section of useful information about wedding coordination. The search on theknot.com for “day of wedding coordinator”, “day of wedding planner”, etc. came up with nothing but links to companies who have paid to advertise in The Knot (yes, for a while, we were one of them!) After some serious snooping around the tools and checklists, we found one article written in March 2009 Wedding Planners: 13 Questions to Ask. More searches – Google, wedding bloggers, DIY sites – there was a stunning lack of credible information.
Coordination for the “Day of the Wedding” is one of a full range of services available to assist with wedding planning, design and coordination – more to come in a separate blog. For now, let’s see what “day of “ coordination is all about. First, we would like to dispel some myths.
All day of coordinators are the same – all I need to compare is the price. Are all the brides the same? Of course not! Neither are the coordinators. Each has a different background, style and personality. Our creativity, ideas and approach to making each wedding a stand-out should be very important for a bride to investigate. Yes, even for just the “day of!”
I need your service for just one day. Ok! When I arrive at your wedding a few hours early, you will pull out your bulging planning book and impart on me all the details that you’ve planned and organized for the past 12 months (somewhere between getting your hair and make up done and getting ready to see your beloved for the first time that day).
Then, I will spend the next few hours discussing the details with your photographer, caterer and florist (while the bridal party assembles and has questions about the processional, photos and toasts). What? The florist has not arrived yet? Sorry that you didn’t know that you should get your bridal flowers delivered two hours earlier for pictures.
Forgive the silliness, we just wanted to illustrate that the work of a coordinator that will help you pull all the details together on the day of your wedding actually starts weeks earlier and takes considerably more time than the 6 to 8-hour wedding day. On average, a coordinator for the day of your wedding will spend at least 30 hours prior to the wedding day – meeting with you, contacting each of your vendors via phone and email, developing a timeline, adjusting the timeline to reflect every last minute change, answering your questions….. In addition, it’s quite common to spend 10 to 12 hours on the day of the wedding. The coordinator is usually the first to arrive and the last to leave.
My recently married college roommate can do this. While attending many weddings as a guest and even planning your own wedding certainly gives you a better sense of what’s involved in putting on a wedding, it does not make you a professional wedding planner and coordinator. Please don’t mistake the fact that there is no special training or certification required to become a wedding planner with the idea that anybody can do it. There is no certification required to become a sculptor – does that mean that anybody can pick up a slab of granite and carve out a masterpiece?
No, it’s not rocket science, but professional planners have experience in food service, space planning, managing vendors, dealing with the inevitable last minute changes and unexpected developments and interacting with family and guests, particularly when everything is not running smoothly. A professional has the experience and knowledge to give you the type of wedding day experience that you deserve.
My day of coordinator also designs fabulous weddings – I got lucky to get two services for the price of one. Most coordinators and planners love the creative outlet that our jobs provide to design and create moments of joy.
We are expert in color and pattern selection, we are knowledgeable about flowers, we know our way around the kitchen and can develop menus, we get to know our clients so well that we can make recommendations for style and design that would allow the couple to shine as gracious hosts on their wedding day. However, if all you need is coordination for the day of your wedding, then you already determined that you don’t need our design and planning expertise. Our work is what allows us to sustain our small businesses and families, so even though it’s quite difficult for us to talk about pricing, we would like to be compensated for our expertise and talent.
Will you please run just a few errands on my wedding day? Delivery services and running errands is not generally included in wedding coordination. Our primary responsibility is to be on site to manage all the details, answer questions and play interference so that you can fully enjoy your day. We can always help by making arrangements for a delivery service or a courier – anything is possible when you help us understand all your needs ahead of time.
Coming Soon: Part 2 where we cover differences between full service, coordination for the day of the wedding and wedding day assistance.