Why You Need a Day-Of-Wedding Coordinator
words by // Eve Green
The terms wedding planner, wedding designer, and day-of-wedding coordinator are just a few of the titles for wedding professionals who will make your bridal life run smoothly! While not all couples can afford (or have the need for) a full-service wedding planner or wedding designer, we cannot think of anyone who couldn’t use the services of the day-of-wedding coordinator.
First, let’s break down some of this wedding lingo. A wedding planner generally offers full-service planning that may include (but is not limited to) budget planning, handling logistics, and serving as a liaison with wedding vendors. A wedding designer is essentially a stylist who will create a visual design concept for your wedding that includes everything from the invitations and florals to table linens and decor. Day-of-wedding coordinators typically begin their work about 30 - 60 days prior to the wedding. Their role is essentially to coordinate everything having to do with the actual wedding day. A day-of coordinator will not only plan your wedding day timeline, she will coordinate with the vendors, oversee setup, and ensure everything runs smoothly throughout the event from the ceremony to reception.
To shed some light on exactly why you need a day-of-wedding coordinator, we spoke with expert wedding consultant and event planner, Brooke Lauber-Cobb from Bee for the Day.
What kind of tasks can a couple expect a day-of coordinator to perform?
We serve as a liaison between the vendors and the couple. While tasks vary from wedding to wedding, we handle all the issues and logistics relating to the wedding day and the few days leading up to the wedding. This often includes coordinating the rehearsal, getting the bridal party down the aisle, assisting guests with seating at the ceremony, directing guests to the reception, and offering driving directions. We also create a timeline for the day of the event; coordinating with vendors regarding arrival and delivery times. We have a suitcase of emergency kit items on hand and are prepared for any last minute DIY setups. We say there isn't a job that we don't do . . . unless it's illegal or immoral. We help the bride with making last-minute decisions, passing out payments for vendors, and will even give her vendor tip suggestions.
Our services can also include directing photos, running errands, and picking up items that need to be taken to the reception. This alleviates our clients from having to pay a transportation fee from their florist or designer and/or bakery. Finally, we can wrap up items for the couple to take home and have even been available to return rental items for the couple and deliver their gifts to their hotel suite or load their gifts into their cars before the couple departs from the reception.
What kind of tasks should a couple not expect a day-of coordinator to perform?
We are coordinators, not designers. We can help with simple DIY but as far as elaborate decorations, we leave that to the professional wedding designers. We oversee all of the event; whereas designers handle only the decor, such as lights, rentals, and florals.
How soon before the wedding do day-of coordinators start to plan the logistics of the wedding day?
Traditionally we like to meet with our clients 60 days prior to the event to establish a day-of timeline. This allows us to verify that everything is confirmed down to the last detail. Planning 60 days in advance also gives us time to add any vendors or offer recommendations to the event timeline. Typically, the closer to the wedding date that you hire us, the more planning you’ve done on your own.
What's your secret for staying calm under pressure?
Knowing that a bride has confidence in us and is trusting us to handle the event for her is where our ability to stay calm under pressure comes from. When we have our bride's complete confidence and trust, that allows us to feel empowered to make decisions on her behalf. Decisions that she would herself be comfortable to make, but doesn't have to because we can serve as her mouthpiece.
What types of services does Bee for the Day offer?
Sometimes, our clients simply require someone to manage their wedding day. Other clients may need us to be involved throughout the entire planning process up to the wedding day. We offer services to fit any situation, from full-service wedding planning to day-of coordination.
We can come on from the beginning and make recommendations for you as far as what vendor to use or hire and then help you locate venues, and determine which rentals you will need. We also attend the rehearsal and wedding on the day of to run, direct, and execute the plan for the day.
Wedding coordination is all in a day's work for experienced professionals like Brooke and her team. We are lucky enough to have some firsthand knowledge about just how much brides need and appreciate their services. Kelly Henry owner of Toledo Wedding Guide, who was married one month ago tells us . . . .
“Sixty minutes after saying our I dos, my new husband looked at me and asked: "What would we have done without Brooke?" And he is absolutely correct!!! Having Brooke at our wedding allowed for us and our entire family to enjoy our wedding day. We were able to put our full trust in Brooke and not have to think of a single thing the entire day or night.”
We highly recommend every couple consider a day-of coordinator. If your venue offers a venue coordinator, you should still consider hiring your own wedding coordinator because they are not the same thing. A venue coordinator will oversee the operations of the venue itself, including their staff and operations. Your day-of-wedding coordinator will oversee everything for the entire day, from start to finish.