Trending Now: The Day Of Wedding Coordinator

The day-of coordinator is the essential wedding vendor you never knew you needed!

One of the hottest trends in wedding planning right now is the use of a day-of wedding coordinator. A day of coordinator, also known as a wedding day coordinator, can really assist wedding couples in so many wonderful ways on the actual day of their wedding.

In addition to using Allseated to design wedding floorplans and seating charts, hiring a day-of coordinator will help to alleviate a lot of the stress associated with your wedding planning process. Day-of-wedding coordinators are very helpful in the final months/weeks of planning as well as reduce the pressure often associated with day-of logistics. A wedding couple should be able to enjoy their special day, not worry about their planned details and their execution on the day of the wedding!

Quite often people confuse wedding planners with a day of coordinator duties. A day of coordinator for weddings is actually quite different from a wedding planner. Even though the day of coordination is not necessarily a new type of service, it’s important to share what day of wedding coordinators do, especially for those couples who are planning a wedding themselves.

We spoke with Carla Friday the Founder of Details Made Simple to learn more about a day of coordinator duties and why hiring a day-of coordinator could prove to be the service you never knew you needed for your big day!

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What is the difference between a wedding planner and a day-of wedding coordinator?

A full-service wedding planner basically handles everything for the couple, from start to finish. A wedding planner’s tasks include the overall design and vision of the wedding, keeping the couples within their budgets, contract negotiations, the hiring of vendors, as well as execution of the event vision on the day of the wedding.

But what does a day of wedding coordinator do? A wedding day coordinator will jump into the process a few weeks to a few months prior to the big day, usually to help those couples who are planning the wedding themselves. Yes, there is help for those couples who are planning their weddings on their own!

A day of wedding coordinator will be logistically focused and available to you to get everything organized as you lead up to the day of the wedding. They are there to take over on the day of the wedding to ensure that all details that are planned by the couple, are executed to perfection. As we like to say, a day-of coordinator is essential for any couple who wants to do most of the planning themselves, but when their wedding day arrives, they need a professional to execute all of their hard work and planning. Having a professional such as a day of wedding coordinator there to handle the logistics is so essential because a wedding couple should be able to enjoy themselves at their wedding and not worry about anything! Think of a DOC as your very own wedding day insurance policy!

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As a day of wedding coordinator, at what point in the wedding planning journey do you come into the process?

For us, our packages start at the 3-month mark. While we offer day-of coordination, we believe in getting the initial process tart earlier to alleviate the stress of trying to put details together too close to the actual day. We have couples who book our services a year or more out from their wedding date because they already know the value of having a day of wedding coordinator and want to ensure we are available for them on the day of the wedding. We also have couples who call us closer to their wedding, like two-three months out let’s say, which usually happens as their stress begins to mount and they realize they just need help. They start to worry about all the details, logistics and realize they have no idea how it will come together in the end, so hiring us helps to alleviate that 100%!

 

 

 

What is the difference between a Venue Manager, a Maitre d’, and a Wedding Day-of Coordinator?

While each one can play an important role in the overall success of an event, sometimes it can be confusing to understand what function each person is responsible for (and what they are not), so here’s the skinny on who does what!  

The Venue Coordinator 

The Venue Manager or Sales Manager is typically the person who gives the initial venue tour, reviews contract details and sells the package for the wedding. The manager usually supervises the many departments and staff that play a part in making an event successful at the venue. Usually, once the contract is signed, wedding details are handed over to the Maitre D’ who will be there on the day of the wedding.

A lot of the time, the venue manager is not there the full day, if at all on the day of the wedding. Their main role is to set up the venue details leading up to the event, then have those contracted details taken over by the Maitre’D that’s assigned to the wedding that week. A Day-of Coordinator ensures that a lot of those contract details get carried out, as they will be there the whole day working alongside the other vendors making sure everything is going smooth. The DOC also attends the finals meeting at the venue to help confirm details and timings for the day.

The Maitre d’

The Maitre d’, who is sometimes referred to as the Captain or even the on-site Event Coordinator, is the person who manages the onsite catering staff to make sure all goes well on the catering side of the wedding. In essence, he or she is the person who directs communication between the kitchen and the reception space allowing for a great dining experience. The Maitre d’ assigns the table orders and meal delivery to the wait staff keeps the chef on time and manages the meal flow throughout the night.  This is the person who will manage and answer any meal-related issues or questions for the guests, as well as ensure that the guests of honor are well fed. The Day of Coordinator works directly with the Maitre d’ to ensure proper timing of the day’s events to keep the schedule on time and stress-free (with the Maitre d’ directing the venue staff and the Day of Coordinator directing the wedding or event vendors).  We work hand-and-hand with the Matri’d that day, providing them with the timeline and important details that they may not have seen yet, confirming seating lists and table counts, etc.

Often, the venue will say that the Maitre d’ can handle a lot of the tasks that a Day of Coordinator would normally do, telling the couple there is no need to hire a DOC. However, there are a lot of things that are outside of the scope of their role and they will always take care of the venue responsibilities first a that is their job. Your DOC works for you, not the venue, and helps with so many things leading up to the wedding that a Matri’d would simply not do. For example, timeline creation, vendor management, identifying any hole in your planning process, or missing things that are essential for a well-run wedding day.

Many times, the venue also comes with a Bridal Attendant. This person exclusively handles the needs of the couple, the family, and/or bridal party tables.  The Bridal Attendant ensures that the VIPs are well taken care of and have lots to eat and drink throughout the night. Sometimes they may be in charge of setting up the escort cards and basic wedding items as well as bustling the bride’s dress if needed. Both the Maitre d’ and Bridal Attendant is usually assigned to a wedding the week of the event and don’t meet the couple for the first time till the day of the wedding. Not the worst thing in the world, but you will have been working with your DMS Coordinator for a few months by the time your day comes, they know your wedding better than you do at that point and are able to communicate any details that the venue staff may need. We pride ourselves on working extremely well at all venues with the onsite staff and other hired vendors. Our goal is to allow everyone to play their roles, not step on any toes and work as one big team for our couples. However, we are also ready to step in when need to ensure things go a planned if things start to get crazy!

While the onsite venue staff can surely handle setting up your wedding items, they don’t really know you on a personal level as must as your DOC does. So they may not understand exactly how you want something set up and styled for example and have it set up just like the wedding the night before. We got you covered there.

If you are planning the wedding yourself (Ie; no wedding planner), having a Wedding Day Coordinator is ESSENTIAL. Think of us like the “Master of Logistics” and the one to carry out your already planned wedding vision as if it were you that day!

 

 

What to expect from a Day of Coordinator:

  • Wedding day timeline creation for the entire day of the wedding.
  • Be the point person for vendors – so questions are diverted away from you and your family.
  • Help identify any flaws in the planning or any detail that may be missing
  • Provide Wedding Management and oversee the entire event.
  • Works with current Covid restrictions or socially distant guidelines related to any state mandates at the time, ensuring your wedding is set up properly for everyone’s safety.
  • Make sure pictures run seamlessly and on time.
  • Direct and line up your bridal party for the ceremony.
  • Cue musicians and entertainment.
  • Work with your officiant to make sure your rehearsal runs smoothly.
  • Coordinate the change-over (or cocktail hour).
  • Oversee that your reception runs and looks as planned, cross-checks seating and table setup.
  • Set up and style all of your details and decor.
  • Triple confirms that all vendors are on time and present.
  • Hands out final payments/gratuities.
  • Make sure that all your important wedding materials and memories get back to you and so much more!
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY – Is your support system on the biggest day of your life!

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What does a day of coordinator do to help the couples who are choosing to plan their own weddings rather than hire a full-service wedding planner? 

Details Made Simple will take the day of coordination a step further in these situations to help guide our couples through their planning process. We become a resource for them and remove some stress as they know we are just a phone call or text away! From the time of the contract, we do monthly check-ins, provide amazing vendor recommendations, give advice and guidance through their planning process while providing wedding day management on the day of the wedding. Our main goal is to ensure that our clients feel like actual guests at their own weddings!

Organization and attention to detail are key! This is the first-time process for most wedding couples so they are truly flying blind through the planning. With this in mind, we always recommend helpful ways to simplify planning including the use of AllSeated. The guest list, floorplan design, seating arrangements, and timeline tools are invaluable throughout the planning process.

As the wedding day approaches, we construct a detailed timeline and run of show for the day of the wedding, confirm and manage all wedding vendors, and become their point of contact. We monitor and set up the wedding details, organize the bridal party and family for the ceremony as well as do damage control for anything that might come up on the day of the wedding. Think of the day of coordinators as your own personal wedding day ninja! Basically, we take the wedding you have spent the last year or so diligently planning to come to life and without a hitch!

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As a day of coordinator, do you offer different levels of service? For example, if a couple is working within a tight budget, is there a package available to them?

Yes, we have a day of wedding coordinator packages to fit most budgets! The Peace of Mind Package is perfect for the couple who has completed their planning (or plans to do so) and is looking for a Wedding Day Coordinator to execute their vision and those services typically begin 1-3 months out from their wedding date.

We also have a bigger option where service starts a lot sooner called the VIB Package. This option is for the bride who needs more assistance. Maybe they are out-of-state or extremely busy in general and need help with a few projects. We do a ton of DIY-heavy weddings (we love DIY)!

Either package can be valuable for non-traditional weddings venues such as backyards, barns, vineyards, or even large weddings with many cultural elements and logistics. At these types of weddings, they may not have a traditional wedding staff, like a Maître’ D or Bridal attendant, so we tend to play many roles on the day of the wedding and get hired to make it all happen seamlessly and on time.

We also offer Destination Wedding Coordination services. With this package, we will help you to get organized while providing support as you plan your perfect wedding abroad. We can even be on-site to ensure all is going smoothly.

In today’s climate, we feel that it is so important to be transparent with our clients. For this reason, we list all of our package information and pricing right on our website. We have many little extras and add-on options such as ceremony rehearsal assistance, additional wedding coordinators, or DIY projects assistance, which can be added to any package to meet the needs of every client.

So, remember – keep it simple, if you are planning the wedding yourself – do yourself a favor and hire a day-of coordinator asap! It will literally be the best investment you make for your wedding….and your sanity!

Details Made Simple is now servicing amazing couples in New Jersey, New York City, Philly, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and beyond. Visit their website to learn more!

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FAQs

Why hire a day of wedding coordinator?

In addition to using Allseated to design wedding floorplans and seating charts,hiring a day-of coordinator will help to alleviate a lot of the stress associated with wedding planning. Day-of-wedding coordinators are very helpful in the final days of planning as well as reduce the pressure often associated with day-of logistics. 

What is the difference between a wedding planning and day of wedding coordinator?

A full-service wedding planner basically handles everything for the couple, from start to finish. A wedding planner’s tasks include the overall design and vision of the wedding, keeping the couples within their budgets, contract negotiations, the hiring of vendors, as well as execution of the event vision on the day of the wedding.

But what does a day of wedding coordinator do? A wedding day coordinator will jump into the process a few weeks to a few months prior to the big day, usually to help those couples who are planning the wedding themselves. Yes, there is help for those couples who are planning their weddings on their own!

At what point in wedding planning process does a day of wedding coordinator get involved?

A day of coordinator really comes into the process depending upon the needs of the couple. We have couples who book our services a year out from their wedding date because they already know the value of having a day of wedding coordinator and want to ensure we are available for them on the day of the wedding. We also have couples who call us closer to their wedding, like two months out let’s say, which usually happens as their stress begins to mount and they realize they need help.

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