If you’ve just started planning your wedding, one of the questions you might be grappling with is: do I need a wedding planner? While a full-service planner is a worthy investment whatever your circumstances, it isn’t for everyone. You may be on a very tight budget, for example, or perhaps you’re super organised and are loving the actual wedding planning (like I was!) and want to take care of all the details yourself. And yet, you still don’t want to spend your big day running around supervising vendors and making sure everything’s in place, do you? The good news is that there’s a happy medium, and that’s wedding day management, otherwise known as a Day Of Coordinator or On the Day Wedding Coordinator.
There’s a lot of confusion around what a Day Of Coordinator actually does (including the fact that it’s not just ‘on the day’, which is why I personally prefer the term ‘wedding day management’). People also often wonder what the difference is between this service and full or partial wedding planning. The answer is that, while a Full Service Wedding Planner handles everything for the couple throughout the wedding planning process, including the overall design of the wedding, budget management, booking suppliers, etc., a Day Of Planner focuses only on coordinating the logistics of the day to make sure everything runs smoothly and according to plan – something I love doing and have enjoyed providing for many a wedding in Essex, London and across the UK!
Here are some of the wedding day management tasks I handle for weddings as a wedding day management service:
Wedding Day Schedule and Preparation
Prior to the wedding, I meet with the couple so that I have a clear understanding of their plans and vision for the big day. I review the contracts of all the suppliers they have booked, then compile their contact details as well as what they have agreed to provide. Using this information, I confirm timings and build a detailed wedding day schedule that is distributed to the couple as well as the venue and all vendors ahead of time. I also become the vendors’ new point of contact so that brides and grooms (and mothers in law, and maids of honour!) can relax and enjoy the day!
Venue Set Up
Having liaised with the venue and other suppliers, I am on hand for all set up, including flowers, décor and seating. I ensure all vendors arrive, and that the ceremony and reception are set up just as the couple wants them. This includes placing any handmade or DIY details you have created.
On the Day Management
Throughout the day I am there to run the show so that the whole process is seamless and worry-free for the couple. This includes:
- Assisting the wedding party with dressing and sticking to hair and makeup and then photo schedules.
- Ensuring guests are seated correctly and on time for the ceremony.
- Making sure that music is played on cue and that any props for the ceremony (such as a unity candle) are in place.
- Guiding the wedding party through their duties at the ceremony and reception.
- Directing guests to the reception and managing transport.
- Making sure that food and drinks are served on time.
- Packing up after the reception and making sure that gifts and other items (like cake knives or personalised champagne flutes) are stored or transported.
Another benefit to having a wedding day manager is that they are on hand to prevent or discreetly handle any issues that might arise. Everything from helping groomsmen pin on their boutonnieres to finding stray family members for group photos, or from fixing broken dress straps to feeding coffee to the great aunt who had a little too much champagne! I carry a comprehensive emergency kit, so I’m ready for everything from headaches to red wine spills. Most importantly, having a Day Of Coordinator means that if something does come up, like the DJ being late or the bar running out of ice, the bride and groom are left undisturbed while I sort the problem out.
However well you’ve planned the event, wedding day management really can be a godsend. Just knowing you have someone there to keep everything running without a hitch can be a huge weight off your mind, and allow you to relax and enjoy the best day of your life as you should!