Sunday, July 20, 2008

When Hiring a Day of Wedding Coordinator

A lot of brides are finding it necessary to hire a Day of Coordinator (DOC) for their wedding day. And rightfully so. I get a ton of last-minute inquiries, requests, and downright begging from brides every month. It's due to the fact that most ladies don't realize how much goes into setting up for that day and once they are in the throws of putting together their timelines and To-Do lists they wonder who in the world is going to do all of this and do it on time and do it well. Mom can't do it...she'll be too busy. A bridesmaid or two?, they'll be getting hair done and hanging out with the bride. An aunt or cousin?...maybe, but will they really do it how you envision? That's where the frantic email or phone call comes in to me.

But there are also tips in hiring someone like me to do this for you. I am your go-to gal that day for your set-up of both ceremony and reception sites. And more than likely your go-to gal for YOU that day as well. But I'm a one-woman show in most cases and sometimes brides forget that I can't be in two places at once. I can't be sitting in a room with them helping her dress, take care of any mending or re-pinning of hair-do's, or removing stains at the same time I'm supposed to be downstairs scattering rose petals, tieing chair ties, lighting candles, etc.

For those of you that still have time before your wedding, here are some real things to take into consideration when you have a DOC:

1. DO have a timeline of the day for your DOC
2. DON'T call your DOC at 7am the day of the wedding to ask if she knows where your shoes are. She doesn't know. She's more than likely never seen your shoes and certainly has no idea where they would be.
3. DO inform all your vendors that you have a DOC that day that will be following up on set-up, etc.
4. DON'T tell all your vendors that you have a WEDDING PLANNER that took care of everything. They are two different things and unless you hired a WEDDING PLANNER to plan your event, odds are your DOC is going to know only the details you shared with her. And as many questions as DOC's ask of you prior to the day, there are still likely things we don't know. But if you tell your vendors that we know EVERYTHING, we look like asses when we don't. Please share.
5. DO give your DOC a detailed To-Do list for setup of each venue. Your DOC didn't plan your wedding, you did. We need as much detail as possible to make it what you envisioned for months. Simply telling your DOC that everything is in the boxes is probably not enough.
6. DON'T assume your DOC is going to make financial decisions for you. It is not your DOC's responsibility to pay vendors their final payment, tell the caterer it's ok to make 20 more meals b/c extra people showed up, etc. When we ask for a day-of contact for financial purposes, this is why.
7. DO make sure you like your DOC, trust your DOC, get along with your DOC. If you don't it's not an ideal match for your perfect day.
8. DON'T question your DOC time and time again. If you ask us a question we are going to give you an honest answer based on our experience. We're not kidding. You hired your DOC for a reason, let her do her job.
9. DO let yourself relax and have fun. Again, you hired a DOC for a reason. If you can't relax and let it go, you shouldn't have hired one. You're just making unnecessary work for yourself.
10. DON'T tell your friends & family that your DOC is a "friend" or "cousin of a friend" that is just helping you out...unless you've informed your DOC of this first. We'll put on a show if we know about it, but if we don't and someone asks who we are, we're probably going to tell them that we are your DOC for the day.


Anonymous said...

My daughter's wedding day two years ago was picture perfect, and in retrospect, I truly had but one regret - that we didn't hire you for a longer period of time! The last minute details and decorating consumed far more time than I anticipated and could have used an extra hour or two for a little relaxation and mother-daughter time. (srpro)

Ainsley said...

This is fuuuuunnny. Maybe you should add "If you hire a wedding planner for Day-Of services a long time before your wedding, DO NOT expect them to refer vendors and provide input at every stage of your planning..b/c YOU DIDN'T PAY FOR THAT."

Anonymous said...

Great post! I love the refreshing honesty that tells it how it is! I've been in the business for a while and this was one of the best "tell it how it is how-tos" I've read!
Loved it.

Que Sera Sara said...

Well said!!! I've only done two DOC events and I'd love to do more, but of course, the families made all these mistakes. And yes, the caterer was ticked off at me for not authorizing more food, and expected me to cut the cake for 350 guests because he had enough of the confusion. Oy. I'll save this list and say a prayer before the next event - thank you so much :)

Rowena said...

Very funny and honest :)

Christa Terry said...

Hilarious! It's amazing what brides will ask their DOC for - when the fact is that the DOC is there to perform a pretty specific function.

Amy/Aprons and A-Lines said...

I just stumbled on this blog, and as a fellow coordinator, I couldn't agree more with your checklist! I'm definitely bookmarking your blog. I'd love to network with more planners/coordinators and trade war stories. :)

Anonymous said...

Is it common for a day of coordinator to be asked to 'take care of' setting up chairs? Groom & bride do not want to pay a set up fee for this. In my opinion, not part of day of agreement. Any ideas on what to do?

Anonymous said...


kennady said...

It is a great and useful information for engaged couples when hiring the wedding planner for their wedding. If they are willing to plan the wedding, they may use the wedding app and can plan the wedding successfully.

Sarah said...

I'd also love to know what to pay a family friend who is going to be my DOC. She has a great personality for this and I completely trust her to be detailed, decisive, firm, and yet fun. She has no formal experience. What would be a reasonable dollar amount to say "thank you" to this wonderful person? And are there etiquette rules regarding writing her a check versus buying her a gift card?