So today I have a bit of information to share with you all: Day-of wedding coordinators don’t exist!
I know, I know… a day-of coordinator is what everyone (myself included) says that you at least need to have for your wedding day to run smoothly. But the reality is that in order for a wedding day to run smoothly, a coordinator doesn’t just work for the day of the wedding. So in essence, we really shouldn’t be referring to these coordinators as “Day-of”!
Think about it- would you want someone walking into your wedding on the day-of when they have no idea about anything that is supposed to happen? Definitely not, right? Having a wedding coordinator for the day of your wedding is of course something that I highly recommend, but you must realize that for a coordinator to successfully carry out your wedding day, they need to be able to work BEFORE your wedding day too. Well thankfully, there is an alternative to a “Day-Of” Coordinator – a “Month-of” Coordinator!
Month-of coordination certainly isn’t a new concept, because it’s pretty much how the former “day-of” coordination service has been done for some time. Essentially, all of this is just a matter of recognizing that the term “day-of coordinator” isn’t correct. Wedding planners all over have decided that starting their coordination services 4-6 weeks before a wedding is enough time to get everything figured out and organized. This means that you hand over just about everything to your coordinator, and then they take over for you. You’ve done the planning up until this moment, and now your month-of coordinator is going to handle the rest. Vendor confirmations, creating your timeline, making sure everyone knows where to be, making sure you’re not forgetting anything- all of these are definitely things that you want done in the weeks before your wedding day, not on the day-of or the day before! And what makes it even better is that you get to enjoy the weeks leading up to your wedding!
Image by Alexis June Weddings
I asked some of my wedding planner friends about their thoughts on month-of coordination, and they had some excellent insight:
“I always tell clients (both potential new clients and those that are retained) that day-of coordination doesn’t really exist. The best way to illustrate my point is to tell them that the last thing they want is for someone to literally come in the day before (or even day of) your wedding and try to interpret your months and months of planning and execute it to a tee. The benefit of having a month of coordinator is have someone there to help you in those last 30 days when everything is hectic and stress is at its highest point. Head counts are due, floor plans need to be finalized, payments ate due, wedding party members (and family) are driving you nuts with questions, etc. it’s exhausting and it’s always nice to have someone that you can hand off many of the items to. It is also the critical time to develop and solidify a wedding weekend schedule. I like to be able to develop a special relationship with my clients through the planning process, which allows me to be understand their needs, wants, likes, dislikes, etc. so that they feel comfortable coming to me throughout the process, but more so in those last 30 days.” – Kelly of Just Save The Date Events
“I think it’s important for my couples to realize that it’s impossible for someone to effectively run an event if they are just doing “day-of.” We can’t know the details, the vendors, create a timeline, backup plans, and fully pour into the event if we aren’t putting in the hours before hand with the couple, the vendors, the venue, and fully understand every aspect to create the special day.” – Emily of Emily Grace Design
“As planners, we know its more than just day-of services. There are many moving parts to the wedding day and we take the time to learn and build a relationship with the couple and even family members at times. Jennifer and I like to reach out to the vendors to introduce ourselves and discuss what they will be providing for the couple along with their arrival and strike times. This helps us in creating the timeline for everyone. We also like to review the contracts to know what each vendor will be providing for the couple. There are venues that we haven’t worked with before and we like to visit the venue and meet the event manager or catering manager to build that relationship up just in case there are hiccups that we need to help resolve together. I know we all want to keep our couples at ease and stress-free on wedding day:) We meet up with the couple and venue staff to do a walk thru of the venue about a month or so before wedding day to make sure we have the floor plan set the way the couple would like along with placement of personal decor pieces. Jennifer and I like to attend the rehearsal the night before to meet the bridal party along with family members, so they know our names and faces if anything arises and need help. We normally collect any decor items, escort cards, cake/toasting sets and programs etc that evening as well. For the rehearsal we make sure everyone knows the entrance, special reading/song times along with exist and knowing where the cocktail and reception locations will be held. We like to help everyone feel comfortable and confident knowing the events of the wedding day and know that we are their go-to person for any questions or concerns.” – Natalie & Jennifer of Burkle Events
And let me add- as someone who has done “day-of” and “month-of” coordination, I can most certainly tell you that things go so much better when your coordinator knows all of the nuances of your wedding. Because how else will you be able to have the day that you’ve dreamed of if you don’t let someone know about your plans and expectations? :)
So tell me- are any of you planning on hiring a “month-of” coordinator? How are you going to make sure your wedding day runs smoothly?
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