Frequently Asked Questions
In order to allow your friends and family to enjoy and share your day with you,
it is highly recommended to hire a coordinator to take care of all the details, large and small.
Photo: Christine Tustin
Photo: Justin Critz
Photo: Emily Magers
What is a day-of-wedding coordinator (DOC)?
As a day-of coordinator, (also called a Month-of Planner or Coordinator), we coordinate and manage the schedule of your wedding day to make sure all details that you have planned runs exactly as you visualized. From arranging tables to directing the caterer to begin dinner service to signaling the DJ for the first dance, and packing up gifts and wedding stuffs at the end of the event, the day-of coordinator will take care of these tasks.
At what time during the process should I hire a day-of coordinator?
My recommendation is that every DIY couple that is planning their own wedding hire a day-of coordinator. 60 days before the wedding is very helpful. If you decide to hire one earlier in your process, you may be able to get suggestions and/or recommendations, saving you time and money.
What questions should I ask when interviewing
potential Day-Of Coordinators & what qualities should I look for?
Most (if not all) Coordinators have a free consultation, that meeting is important in determining if the work relationship will fit well. Ask what their day-of package includes and that includes number of hours they will work for you on the big day. I believe it is important for you to feel comfortable with the person; would you work well with this person? Do your energies work well together? Does your instinct say they are trustworthy? Are they just as excited about your day? How well are they communicating with you initially?
Be mindful that it's not always the questions you ask the potential planner, but your overall experience during the meeting. What is most important is that you are sure this potential planner is truly listening to you and understanding the vision you've already created for the day. Remember, once all your own planning is done, your day-of coordinator becomes your voice and the one who executes your vision.
What duties & responsibilities should a couple expect
from the day-of coordinator (DOC)?
It depends on the DOC and what you have discussed and agreed upon. That could include introducing themselves to your vendors and becoming the person of contact, it also could consist of contract review, distributing final payments in addition to directing all vendors on the day of the event. Some perform more services, some perform less. It really depends on where in the process you bring on the DOC and what remains to be completed before the event. It is important to be clear on what your needs and communicate them to your DOC.
The DOC will create your day-of timeline, which will break down all the details regarding arrival times of all vendors, supplies, etc, as well as setup and breakdown. Your coordinator should do a site visit with you (whenever possible), and discuss all of the details you have planned, to get an idea of how you envision the space on your wedding day. Depending on you and the coordinator arrangement, they will pack all of your wedding-related stuffs (cake knives, flutes, gifts, etc), distribute the tips and/or final vendor payments.
What duties the DOC will and will not do really depends on the coordinator. Just be sure you clearly communicate items/issues you still need in addition to what you want done. Be prepared for additional charges if all details are not in place or the DOC has to perform outside of the agreement.
What's the biggest myth(s) about day-of coordinators?
I hear two fairly regularly; that you don't need one and that they are expensive. I strongly recommend that every DIY couple that is planning their own wedding hire a day-of coordinator. You have spent so much time, energy and hard-earned money, hire someone to run the day so you can enjoy your friends and family. You can find a DOC that is within your budget.
What should you do if your wedding budget is really tight?
Please don't let that keep you from contacting a day-of coordinator. There are many out there in varying price ranges. Be honest about what you are willing to spend; oftentimes DOCs know of other DOCs that may be more affordable and in your price range.
Any other suggestions or things to avoid?
Please do not ask family members or friends to coordinate your wedding day. You do not want to taint your relationships with people you care about because they were in charge of one of the most important days of your life. If something were to go awry, it will affect the relationship. And remember, your family and friends are guests of yours and you want them to enjoy themselves on your day.
Whiskers & Willows Photography
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