Signature Strategies: Is Day-Of Coordination Really Just Day-Of?

As event planners, Allie and I know that it is important for us to stay up to date on industry standards, popular services, past and present traditions, religious customs, wedding trends, and the millions of do’s and don’ts that fall in between. Luckily for our clients we are constantly learning in order to remain one step ahead so that our clients can take solace in the knowledge that they have hired some experienced and educated wedding planners.

It is valuable to us (and wonderfully refreshing) when our clients are also in the know, or eager to learn. We want our clients to have a vested interest in understanding the wedding industry and all of its standards so that as a team, we can build something amazing together, and most importantly, deliver beyond expectations!

For these reasons, Allie and I have created a series of educational blog posts to be shared once a month! This series will cover popular topics and address couples’ most frequently asked questions. We want to provide future and current clients alike with a powerful source of knowledge and a landing place for all those questions that come up throughout the wedding planning process. With that being said, we are excited to introduce our Signature Strategies Series!

So, if you are a newly engaged couple trying to figure out exactly WHAT wedding planners do, and IF you need one, we hope this can help. Most wedding venues and workers within the wedding industry advise investing in a month-of wedding coordination package. But what exactly is a month-of wedding coordinator, exactly what services do they provide, and are they really that valuable?

We know that most people have heard of day-of coordination before, but we believe that this day-of service can be misconstrued. The expectations can be quite unrealistic considering how much time goes into making sure ONE DAY runs smoothly. And you’re probably thinking “ I have heard of the term day-of coordinator used all the time! What do you mean it is unrealistic?”

It is often underestimated the extensive amount of work that goes into executing a flawless event. The expectations that someone who has not been involved in the planning process, is expected to show up, review the client's timeline (if there is one) and roll with the punches. This may be slightly unrealistic. If a day of coordinator arrives onsite, he or she would have no background knowledge of the vendor services that were contracted for, communications, details, etc. The coordinator may not have created a day-of timeline to know the schedule of events, given vendor contact information, delivery/pick-up details, arrivals/departures, etc. The planner would have no knowledge of what time vendors are arriving or where the unloading space for them is, nor where to direct them upon arrival. They do not know these things because one does not simply arrive on the wedding day, without this background knowledge, and execute successfully. Learning the ins and outs of an event takes time in order to run smoothly. So, simply showing up on the wedding day without having done any homework or familiarizing the process, could be a one-way ticket to a wedding disaster.

We understand that full planning is not for everyone, and that is totally okay! However, if you choose to involve a planner or coordinator, it must happen prior to the night before so that things may go the way you envisioned them too.

Getting married should be one of the happiest times of your life! Allie and I know that, the wedding planning process and wedding day can still be stressful. Especially after you have spent months planning this day on paper. But what happens when your cake is late or your DJ doesn’t show up? What happens if your guests get lost or your caterers truck breaks down on the way? How are you, the bride, supposed to handle all of these problems while you are having your hair and makeup done to walk down the aisle?

Cue the month-of coordinator.

These dreaded scenario's above are the reason that we suggest, at the very least, month-of coordinator. Maybe you are a hands on bride that loves this whole planning process, and that is great! (Believe us, Allie and I are all for organized brides.) But you still need a PROFESSIONAL to help run your day for you, not your mom, maid of honor, or best man. Your month-of coordinator should also not be just the venue coordinator who may have no knowledge of the planning in place leading up to the special day. i.e. when the florist will be arriving? When everyone should be cued for the processional, etc. Trust us when we say that this person should be an experienced coordinator who has invested one whole month into checking contracts, communicating with vendors, creating and reviewing timelines, double checking seating charts, and assisting with final layouts. It should also be someone who knows how to solve any and all problems that may arise on your wedding day (and handling without you even knowing).

When couples are considering their wedding day support, they don't necessarily need someone to just set up and strike; they need someone with the clients background in order to execute certain decisions made throughout the planning process to carefully execute the big day.

So, now if you are convinced that you need at least month-of planning to avoid Aunt Denise telling Uncle Tommy that it’s okay for him to wear his sunglasses down the aisle, or to ensure that your good friend Larry isn’t behind the bar mixing drinks in his underwear. Here is some of what a month-of planner can do for you!

1. Vendor Coordination: Checking contracts, facilitating and distributing final timeline to key people, making sure all vendors are accounted for on the wedding day (including providing vendors with arrival times, locations, and approved vendor loading areas/docks and parking zones.)

2. Timeline Development and Management: Creating a feasible wedding day timeline and keeping everyone accountable and everything on track.

3. Event Coordination: Making sure all aspects of the event captured on the timeline are cued at the right times. (Meaning, making sure that the band doesn’t start playing your first dance song while your photographer is in the bathroom, missing this important photographable moment.)

4. Event Set Up and Strike: Don’t break a sweat. Let us set up the day so that you can stay looking pretty.

5. Advice and Etiquette: How to handle vendor gratuity, how to assign seating, advice on vendors to hire, etc.

Allie and I believe that the wedding couples should be the guests of honor at the wedding. You deserve to leave all the stress of the day, and all the tiny details to seasoned professionals while you enjoy every moment of your big day. Let Of Joy Signature Events be your personal event boutique and stress reliever, to ensure your day is as perfect as you have dreamed it to be!

Click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab on the top to reach out to us today!