What in the world do “Wedding Day-of Services” mean?
We are hoping that this post will be informative an enlightening about the role of a Day-Of Coordinator at your wedding, and clear up any confusion you may have. Many planners offer quite a few wedding packages like Full Service, a Partial Service, or a Day-Of Service, but Day-Of Service is by far the most confusing term…so let’s clear things up.
Full Service Planning is pretty self-explanatory…it is what it says. Most planners will help in every aspect of planning your big day. Big details and small details, they’re involved. For those overwhelmed, ‘Jesus take the wheel’ brides, this path is one that you may want to consider. We will be the hand holding, dress shopping, and mother-in-law interference playing friends that you need.
A Partial Planning Service has agreed upon aspects of the planning process that will help you with your big day. This service is really for the couple that needs help navigating through the timeline of getting to their wedding day, but still wants to be very hands-on with the decision making process. So now that we’ve got the definitions of those services clear, let’s move on to the confusing one.
So some questions that we hear in conversations with an inquiring couple for Day-Of Services include (we will answer these a little bit further into the post):
- But I have done everything so you don’t need to call my vendors because they said they would show up. Just be there to make sure that they do.
- I just want your team to set up and tear down and make sure everything happens on time, I’ve done all the hard work.
- My DJ is going to coordinate so we don’t need you to make an itinerary. Just make sure it all works out.
So let’s get down to it…Day-Of Planning Services… seriously, it is a confusing term…we know! Those of us in the wedding industry have never favored this term because we know that there is no such thing as just showing up on your wedding day. Some planners may call it Month-Of Services for this reason, but we have also found that this term causes confusion. Yikes…we can see it now…having a planner just show up the day of your wedding and trying to run with it – could you imagine??
The reason day-of planners get involved on the wedding day is because they want it to run smoothly. To do this they like to be prepared and at-the-ready (most are Type A individuals). Just showing up on the wedding day would be the exact opposite of what a wedding planner would plan to do for you…it would actually be very stressful for even a professional if you think about…and YOU don’t need that stress either! You have put so much into the planning of your wedding day so in reality you DO NOT want a “Day-Of Planner” (going off of the term) to just show up that morning and try to run with your precious wedding day. So…this means prep and lots of it for your Day-Of Service. Yes, even for the role of Day-Of wedding coordinator, it requires time, thought, and planning that happens before the wedding day.
For Day-Of Services, wedding planners start several weeks out meeting with the couple, getting contracts of secured services and items, touching base with all vendors and getting cell numbers for wedding day communication. There are many hours spent developing a detailed timeline and sometimes back-up timelines in case mother nature wants to change her mind. We have seen it first-hand…those darn nor’easters and hurricanes. Hours get poured into this Day-Of Service…for you, for your big day, and you should want it that way. Planners are here to serve you!
Here is how we respond to those statements above that confused couples say to us:
- You really do need us to call your vendors. We are all human and can easily make mistakes. Having a day-of planner follow up with a wedding vendor to confirm delivery time of items or services is like having extra insurance for your wedding day. We could bend your ear on how many times there has been a small discrepancy in what the couple “thought” and what the vendor was going to do (wrong dates, wrong colors, wrong location, wrong time etc.). Getting everyone on the same page makes your day simply flawless and perfect. If we don’t call to confirm and there is a mix-up with the couple’s agreement with the vendor, we would be the ones trying to fix it at the last minute (that can cause heart palpitations…trust us) and it would ultimately be on us. So as to cover our bases and stand by our professional reputation, we must connect with your wedding vendors.
- Yes, planning your wedding is hard work and we applaud you for the time and dedication you have put into the planning process. That is all the more reason why you want us to execute your day flawlessly. Creating the timeline and connecting with vendors, setting up (sometimes in under two hours around the same time you are getting ready for your ceremony at possibly another location), making sure events happen on time and making the evening flow perfectly without any lows, packing up and cleaning up, all take time. In fact, it’s a minimum of about 20 hours of work for us. Work we pour into your wedding because of your hard hours of planning. We promise you, you wouldn’t want less than that kind of dedication for your day-of service. We care about your day as much as you do, and want to be aware of every last planning detail – the hours you spent on that Pinterest board finding the perfect shade of coastal blue, the lengthy cake tasting until you decided on the buttercream frosting, the e-mails back and forth with the florist until your centerpieces were just right – we want to make sure that these months, perhaps even years of planning will all come together for you on one day.
- We love working with deejays and bands. They are truly artists that ensure folks at your wedding reception have the time of their life celebrating y’all! Can a deejay or band put together an order of events for the reception (first dance, toasts, bouquet/garter toss)? Sure. (We will just say, as a small precaution, that it is VERY obvious when it is a seasoned professional verses a newby in the industry who, if they have to, develop the order of events. So please, please choose wisely and go with a seasoned professional because it makes a HUGE difference in the flow of your reception…but we digress). We are confident in saying that you can ask professional wedding bands and professional deejays if they would prefer having a, at a minimum, day-of coordinator present at your wedding, and they would say emphatically, yes! They need to focus on their music, and you want them to. Coordinators can walk around the reception room, they can know when a special family member (mom, dad, grandma etc.) has stepped out, and quickly get them back in the room for your cake cutting. Coordinators can know if something has happened with the bride’s dress and she needs to excuse herself from the reception for a bit which may delay the next event on a music professional’s timeline. The day-of coordinator is the go-between for communicating with the band or deejay if something needs to get pushed up or pushed back. This keeps your music professional entertaining your guests without having to focus on outside details that could distract. We know they would tell you that they would prefer having those extra eyes, ears, and assistance so they can do what you paid them to do without skipping a beat (no pun intended…okay maybe..ha!).
So to wrap this up, a day-of coordinator takes care of most every aspect of your wedding day so it runs smoothly (they don’t just set up decor and leave). This requires prior planning and coordinating with all of your vendors. It requires hours of time and energy for your big day. It takes a seasoned professional to be both type A on the timeline, and then to roll with the punches and be flexible on your wedding day. If you choose not to have a Full Service Planner or even a Partial Planner, please do not leave your wedding day to chance and mishap by not securing a professional Day-Of Coordinator. A coordinator wants to see all your hard hours of planning brought to full expectation on your wedding day!