Do you need a Day-of Coordinator? | The 530 Bride

 Image via Draper Photography

Image via Draper Photography

 

WHAT IS A DAY-OF-WEDDING COORDINATOR?

Brides often ask "what do you do exactly?"

Well, unlike a full-service wedding coordinator, a “Day-of” coordinator is for brides and grooms who want to do most of the planning themselves, but when their wedding day arrives, they need a professional to execute all of their hard work. 

When couples ask a friend or family member to take on this stressful task, that person will not be able to enjoy the event as a guest, and will end up feeling like “event staff.” 

In most cases, your “volunteers” have little experience in the role of event planner. They often end up feeling overwhelmed as they try to keep on top of everything that must be done to ensure that the day runs smoothly.

The following is an outline of some of the typical tasks that your coordinator would handle on the day of your wedding:

Two Weeks Prior to Wedding Day

Meet with bride and groom to present timeline. Go over any arrangements the couple have previously made with vendors, and update timeline accordingly. 

One Week Prior to Wedding Day

Confirm final details with vendors prior to wedding day. Make sure that all vendors have contact information. Send vendors a copy of the final timeline and make sure they have directions to the ceremony and reception locations.

Please Note: A day-of-coordinator will not re-negotiate any terms in contracts with vendors at this time, or at any other time prior to, during, or after your wedding day. All agreements should be finalized prior to the wedding.

Rehearsal

  • Distribute wedding timelines to wedding party and immediate family
  • Work with wedding officiator to choreograph wedding ceremony, processional and recessional
  • Alert wedding party as to where they need to be the following day, and at what time

Pre-Ceremony 

At brides “getting dressed” location:

  • Facilitate on-time arrival of hair and make-up stylists 
  • Coordinate hair and make-up schedule with bridal party and stylists and ensure that hair and make-up is completed in a timely fashion
  • Make sure personal flowers i.e. bridal bouquet, bridesmaid”s flowers and father of the bride’s boutonnière arrive on time
  • Make sure photographer arrives on time and has all wedding accessories for initial photos, and coordinate with bride, and wedding party for photos
  • Ensure that transportation arrives on time and instruct wedding party as to when to depart for ceremony
  • Assist bride with putting on her wedding gown
  • Maintain Bridal Emergency Kit (just in case)
  • Kit Includes such items as stain sticks, hairspray, safety pins, a sewing kit, scissors, Static Guard, deodorant, straws, Band-Aids, snacks, and many other things you may need on the wedding day
  • Communicate with best man to make sure groom is getting dressed and on-time
  • Make wedding party aware of any last minute details
  • Communicate with transportation driver and maid-of-honor/best man while bridal party is on the way to the ceremony location

Ceremony

  • Set up programs and other ceremony items
  • Ensure that ushers/groomsmen arrive on time
  • Ensure that personal flowers i.e. flower girl bouquet and groomsmen boutonnières have arrived at ceremony location
  • Ensure that ceremony musicians have arrived and direct them as to where to set up
  • Confirm the ceremony sound and music is queued
  • Act as a liaison with the ceremony officiator and decide what cue will be used to signal the start of the ceremony
  • Communicate with bride and groom so that they know how much time remains before the start of the ceremony
  • Line up the bridal party for their entrances down the aisle
  • Cue ceremony musicians when bridal party is ready to begin processional
  • Gather family and friends for after ceremony photos

Prior to Reception

  • Greet vendors and instruct them as to where to set up i.e. wedding band, florist, and caterer
  • Arrange escort cards
  • Make sure reception flowers/décor is set up according to flower order
  • Ensure that all rentals, such as tent and lighting are set up properly and troubleshoot as needed
  • Meet with catering staff to confirm food timeline
  • Set up guest book and pen, champagne flutes, cake cutting utensils
  • Set up table numbers/names and menu cards
  • Set up amenities baskets, hand towels, candles etc. in bathrooms

Reception

  • Ensure proper flow of cocktail hour food
  • Look over dining tables and make sure they are set up properly
  • Help guests locate their escort cards and dining tables
  • Locate bride and groom and instruct them to stay to the side of main dining room until they receive cue for their introduction and first dance
  • Cue DJ/band when the majority of guests have found their tables and bride and groom are ready to be introduced
  • Cue band, photographer, and videographer when important events take place at reception i.e. first dance, cake cutting, toasts and parent dances
  • Cue best man and father of the bride when they are about to be announced for toasts
  • Alert catering staff to pour champagne just before the toasts
  • Be aware of timing of catering service and make sure people are served promptly
  • Distribute final payments/gratuities to vendors at the end of the evening (no negotiation in the terms of vendor contracts will be handled by coordinator at this time)
  • Prevent & fix any problems that may arise during your event
  • Remain easily accessible through the entire event in case there are any details you would like attended to
  • Set up favor table towards the end of the evening
  • Pack up gifts/cards, miscellaneous ceremony and reception items and have them ready to be taken to a family members car at the end of the night
  • Coordinate reception departure transportation

No two weddings are ever the same, we take your specific needs and concerns and determine what tasks are required to ensure your event runs smoothly.  Have questions? Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. 

Need a coordinator, but not sure that a day of package is right for you? Hop over to our services page to read about our other package offerings!