Image by Vanessa Norris Photography via Wedding Day PA

With engagement and wedding season in full swing, a lot of brides may be asking themselves whether they need that extra help on their wedding day. In the last couple of weeks, I have had an influx of requests from brides asking for help with their wedding usually a couple of weeks out.

Here are some tips for you if you are considering a day of wedding coordinator.

What is an on the day wedding coordinator?

There really is no such thing as an on the day wedding coordinator. Most of my clients contact me a couple of months or weeks before their wedding and we have about 2-3 face to face meetings. I take over the supplier management a month out of the wedding day and attend rehearsals, so technically we should be called month-of wedding coordinators.

As a day-of coordinator, we do just that: We coordinate the logistics of your wedding day to make sure that everything that you have spent months planning runs exactly how you envisioned. From the arrival times of the florist, limo pick up and drop offs to packing all your gifts and goodies at the end of the night, the day-of coordinator will take care of it all.

What kind of couple should think about hiring a day-of coordinator?

I strongly recommend that every couple that is planning their own wedding hire a day-of coordinator. Planning the entire wedding without a coordinator is already stressful enough, so the least you can do is hire someone who can handle the stress of the day. Our ultimate goal is for every couple to have a stress-free day and not worry about anything.

What should a couple look for when researching on the day wedding coordinators?

Just like any vendor, ask for reviews and maybe contact details of some of the brides/grooms they have worked with. Ask to see an example of their contract and check how many hours they will actually work. Also keep in mind the overall experience during the meeting, do you feel comfortable around the person, what kind of vibe do you get?

What kinds of tasks should a couple expect from the day-of coordinator?

When your day-of coordinator comes on board, she or he will be the new point of contact for your vendors. They will introduce themselves to your vendors and get an idea of what to expect on the wedding day. Also, the coordinator will review your contracts and understand exactly who is doing what and when. She will create your day-of timeline, which will break down all the details regarding arrival times, setup and breakdown. This one is very important: Your coordinator will do a site visit with you, and discuss all of the details you have planned, to get an idea of how you envision the space on your wedding day. The day before your wedding, your coordinator will run your rehearsal, and on your wedding day, she will be there to run the show! For me, it’s sometimes a 15-hour day, and we’re there to make sure that each hour of your wedding day is worry-free and seamless. Depending on your arrangement with your coordinator, she will pack all of your goodies up at the end of the evening (cake knives, flutes and gifts).

What kinds of tasks should a couple NOT expect their day-of coordinator to take care of?

Well, this really depends on the coordinator. As solution oriented people, once we are on board we usually want to do anything and everything we can to make the last moments of planning a breeze. If you hire your day-of coordinator a month before the wedding and you still do not have major planning details in place, such as a photographer or caterer, you should anticipate an additional planning charge to get these last minute details in place.

Do most wedding planners offer an on the day service?

There are wedding planners who are strictly day-of coordinators, and there are others who offer many planning packages, including day-of coordination. One is not necessarily better than the other.

What if the couple’s wedding budget is really tight?

Don’t let the price tag keep you from contacting a day-of coordinator. If you find one that you like but it’s out of your budget, consider reaching out to them anyway. Be honest about what you are able to spend and how impressed you are by their work. You may be surprised by their response.

Any final words of caution?

Some couples choose to forgo a day-of coordinator because their reception venue includes a coordinator. Although this may sound similar to a day-of coordinator, beware: It is not exactly the same. It’s important that you identify exactly what your needs will be on wedding day and know ahead of time exactly what your venue coordinator is able and willing to do. Keep in mind that they may not be able to call the limo driver who is running late, or assist the groom who can’t find his shirt.

Ms Gingham says: I wish I had you to help me at my wedding Sharon! In hindsight, a much needed resource on the day!

Sharon of Wedding Day PA says: “On the day wedding coordinator. I love all things wedding!”