Brides, Why you should hire a Day-of-Wedding Coordinator!
Welcome back to our final series of 3 blogs (continued from 11.6.17) discussions about Day-of-wedding Coordinators! Again, this process is base from the point of view coming from our certified event planners and their experiences working with brides. Our utmost goal is to provide 4-5 hours of services, your money’s worth and the NO-stress event.
Brides, here’s what to expect when you hire a day-of Coordinator. Someone that will be there to assist you on your big day! Coordinators, this blog is for you to pay attention into details.
Have a Signed Contract that includes all the agreed terms and conditions. I recommend having to discuss all the details of responsibilities and contract signed with bride or mother of bride for at least 3 months before the wedding date. With the signed contract, it’s Official.
Ask the bride to provide you with her list of vendors, already hired or contracted. It’s official, time to work! Get the list of vendors and their contact of information. Connect with the venue owner and other wedding pros that you’ll be working with in behalf of the future bride and groom. This is also another opportunity to assist the bride if she’s still in need of expert’s advice and connections in hiring reliable vendors for her dream day.
Schedule the final wedding planning, 2-3 weeks before the wedding day. During this time, everybody is getting excited. Wedding planner, venue owner, day-of-coordinator, should be sitting down with the bride, groom and their family (if involved in the planning). This is the opportunity to discuss all the details of the bride/groom’s vision of their very important day, including all other areas of wedding planning, like who will perform the venue setup, packing/cleaning up of the reception site, etc.
Ask the bride to provide you her day of wedding timeline for rehearsal and ceremony. In the past, I’ve personally assisted most of my brides in getting the Timeline for their rehearsal and day of wedding. Some brides may decide to work on their own, and that’s okay. Make sure that the Coordinator gets a copy during the week of the wedding, or by no later than 5 days before the big day. This will give room for any last minute changes.
Conduct the Rehearsal practice, if at all possible and I do highly recommend doing so with the Ceremony Officiating or Minister. Rehearsal practice on the day before the wedding is important. Good time to gather and meet the bridal party. In my entire many years of coordinating a wedding, I only had one that opted to NO rehearsal, due to a decision from the mother of bride. She was cutting her daughter’s wedding cost. Obviously, the processional on the day of, and other details did NOT go very well according to her wishes. My team did not have room to execute our job properly, according to what we are hired as day-of-coordinator. In order to maintain smoothness and no stress wedding day, I personally won’t allow this to happen ever again and never to make the same mistakes!
Arrive at the wedding venue, 2 hours before the Ceremony starts. It’s crucial to be at the ceremony and reception sites to ensure that all the people (paid or not) involved in working for the couple are present, and are there setting up on time according to the timeline. Introduce yourself to other vendors (most especially those you haven’t met prior) like the DJ/Musicians, catering director, photographers, videographer and all others that you’ll be working with directly on that day. Ask how you can assist them to make their job go smoothly.
During the hour before Ceremony starts, the most challenging hour of our job. Let the bride know that you are there for her as an extra eye and to also calm things down. Making sure that at this time, the coordinator have already talk or seen by the florist or if the bride have ordered them on their own; find out where are the flowers, corsages and boutonnieres. Get them distributed and pinned during this time, before the guests starts arriving. Assemble the bridal party for the processional. Assist the photographer with before ceremony photos, check in with the bride, keep her calm; and get her ready for her walk.
Start the Ceremony on time, if at all possible. A few minutes of delay is okay, sometimes traffic and accidents happens that will cause delay for some of the important guests’ arrival at the venue. Adjust the timeline, and again talk to the bride/groom that everything is being coordinated with other vendors on site. Ask wedding assistants and ushers to help welcome the guests.
Day-of-Coordinator’s final 2 hours after the Ceremony exit. Main responsibilities are the following: Assisting the photographer during after ceremony photos. Head over to the reception site to ensure the cocktail hour (if any) is going as plan. Assist guests and be there to address questions like finding the restrooms, finding their seats, etc.
Orchestrate the introduction of the bridal party and the newlywed with the DJ/Master of Reception Ceremony. Assist with first dances, who will give the blessings, releasing tables during dinner time and the wedding’s most traditional toasts.
Stay near the bride’s side and make her comfortable and happy around this time! After the wedding’s traditional toasts are done, most day-of-wedding coordinators makes their exit after the first course; and now off the clock unless they are paid to stay overtime. But make note that the coordinator and the day of working team must be included to eat their meal before they leave.
Most millennial brides are now letting go some of these traditional activities during the reception like the bouquet/garter toss; and the presence of a day-of Coordinator is not necessary unless you are paid overtime to be there, including during the Cake cutting; of which most Catering director handles this part of the ceremony. NOTE TO COORDINATORS: Should the bride ask you to stay, you will bill her overtime. Don’t be afraid to tell her so and make sure it’s in your contract.
The final 2 hours are when some of the Challenges mostly occur. During the FINAL wedding planning meeting, make sure to clear up with the bride all of the important details involved like if she wish to have an after the ceremony group photo with all the guests present; what time will the dinner starts; when to put out the dessert table; details about her final exit at what time; and who will be responsible with packing/cleaning up at the reception site. As I’ve mentioned above, these are just a few details that are crucial; and needs to be addressed during the final planning meeting session with the couple, their family and most importantly with the mother of the bride.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS: I would like to reiterate, and I mean this is an important note for the success of any event. Day-of-Coordinators are not Slave. We go above and beyond to the call of our duties with the utmost goal to make the dream day a reality! We are responsible to ensure that the special event goes on smoothly and less stress for the people who are celebrating a very memorable event in their life.
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Happy Wedding Planning!