There are many reasons why hiring an event or wedding planner is a worthy investment. Most importantly, they can instill peace of mind that your event is in capable hands. However, if you’d prefer to handle most of the arrangements yourself and don’t require the services of a full-time event planner, consider a “day-of coordinator” to ensure that your day goes smoothly.
What Is a “Day-Of Coordinator?”
Similar to an event or wedding planner, the day-of coordinator is meant to handle all of the details on the day of the function. This allows you to participate and enjoy the occasion without having to ensure that the party is running smoothly. This is especially important for the couple, who can relax and enjoy the day mingling with family and friends, instead of helping the caterer find a working electrical outlet in the kitchen.
Although labeled “day-of coordinator,” do not take this title literally. A day-of coordinator will usually get started a few weeks prior to the big day. You will most likely meet with the coordinator either in person, online, or via telephone roughly one month prior to the event. Both you and your fiancé will need to work through exactly what you envision for the event’s final production and be prepared to discuss this vision with your coordinator.
Keep in mind, day-of coordinators will only know what you tell them about the details of the event. This is why it is very important for you to provide a detailed timeline, list of vendors, and anything else you want the coordinator to be in charge of.
You can expect this person to arrive early for set-up and stay late for clean up; however, it always is a good idea to ask directly what his or her time schedule is, just to ensure you’re all on the same page.
What You Can Expect from a Day-Of Coordinator
Day-Of coordinators can be expected to handle setting up the venue and making sure everything is in the right place at the right time. They deal with any site or vendor issues that might arise, so you won’t have to.
Some typical duties may be:
- Setting up flowers and programs at the ceremony’s location
- Setting up flowers, decorations, place cards, favors, guest book, etc. at the reception venue
- Contacting vendors with day-of issues, such as finding out why the wedding cake is late
- Coordinating transportation for the bridal party, guest shuttles, valet service, etc.
- Helping to ensure the bride and groom’s honeymoon items are readied and secured for the couple as they make their way out the door
There may be some other areas that you’d like the day-of coordinator to handle for you as well. To avoid surprises, you might want to ask potential day-of coordinators the following:
- When will you officially start coordinating the event?
- Will you create an itinerary/timeline for me and other participants, such as the wedding party and my vendors?
- Will you bring an assistant with you?
- Will you be sure personal items will be returned or have a designated person at the end of the night gather items such as the cake knife/server, toasting glasses, etc.?
- How long will you stay after the event is over to be sure any last-minute issues are taken care of?
What Your Day-Of Coordinator Needs to Know
Before relinquishing all of your duties to the coordinator, be sure you are both well informed. Here are some must-haves your coordinator will need:
- A timeline of the day
- A detailed to-do list for setting up each venue (i.e. the chapel and the reception site)
- A list of all of your expected vendors. Also, be sure your vendors know who the day-of coordinator is and that this will be the go-to person who will handle all of the day’s arrangements
- A list of contact names, cell numbers, and emergency backup contacts
How Much Does a Day-Of Coordinator Cost?
This type of service is less expensive than a full-service planner, although more responsibility will be placed on your shoulders in the months leading up to the event.
Depending on when and where you plan to wed, costhelper.com reports that you can expect to pay about $1,500 for a day-of coordinator. This price will usually cover working with you on an event timeline, confirming all of the details with each and every vendor, and overseeing the entire event, from start to finish—everything from handling the schedule and flow of the entire event to ensuring any issues are resolved quickly and without too much fanfare.
Hiring a day-of coordinator can be a real stress reliever, particularly if you are hosting a large function and your event requires a lot of active participation. So plan carefully, choose wisely, and then prepare to enjoy your day!