You’ve managed to plan your own wedding but need to hand over the reigns on the big day, who do you turn to? Do you use your venue’s on-site coordinator, your maid-of-honor, or hire a day-of wedding coordinator? (Hint: it’s not your maid-of-honor). This is a question that frequently comes up in the planning process, and the following article will answer it.
Your venue might offer an on-site coordinator which can be helpful, but what they do is different from what a wedding coordinator will do. Most on-site coordinators are extremely helpful in knowing the best layouts for their venue, assisting vendors with directions and set-up, and set-up of tables and chairs (if set-up is already included with your venue). They are a great resource for questions regarding your venue specifications, guest flow, and immediate area outside of the venue for things like traffic and parking. They can be there early to open the venue for your vendors to get in, and may even allow you to make requests for their help in specific areas. While this is extremely helpful, there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that most on-site coordinators will not do.
For instance, the on-site coordinator may not be around for your rehearsal, ceremony, or even major parts of your reception. A lot of on-site coordinators strictly assist with the venue and vendor set-up, but do not oversee the actual events of your ceremony or reception. The onsite coordinator may even help light all of your candles in the reception hall at the right time just before guests arrive, but they may leave once the last part of the setup job is done.
A day-of wedding coordinator will work in conjunction with your on-site venue coordinator as well as provide more behind the scenes work. A day-of coordinator will travel with you, even if your ceremony and reception are at different locations. The day-of coordinator may even start their services the week leading up to the event, by calling and confirming all the vendors and setting final timelines. The day-of wedding coordinator will help keep your bridal party in check and on schedule. They que music, lights, doors, guests and wedding party. The wedding coordinator can help with setup and ensure correct deliveries from vendors, as well as be the main point of contact for guests and vendors. Wedding coordinators are also used to making last minute executive decisions since they know all aspects of the wedding day plans and what the wedding design and vision is.
Wedding coordinators usually go above and beyond what is expected, and take care of details most people don’t even notice need taking care of. For instance, wedding coordinators can even help plan the day after the event by putting the proper people in charge to make returns (attire, decor rental, linen etc.) and take the couple’s gifts to an appropriate location. Wedding coordinators can distribute any remaining balances to other vendors or help the caterer know what to do with the left over food.
Day-of coordinators do so much on the day of a wedding, that it is nearly impossible to list everything that they oversee. Every wedding is unique and requires day-of coordinators to tailor what they do on the fly by utilizing their planning expertise to anticipate and participate in the needs of that particular couple’s day. Even the most prepared couple will end up needing help coordinating some aspect of the day. You never know, you might forget to give your DJ the CD that you mixed yourself for your first dance, or be left with no one to open the reception hall double doors for your big entrance. By hiring a day-of coordinator, the majority of the stress is taken off of you, and your friends and family. Allowing everyone to focus on the parts of the day that are important to them.
Just in case you were thinking of using your maid-of-honor (MOH), here are some reasons why hiring the pro is a better idea. Your MOH might be the best planner you know, but there will be things that she can’t do because she will be standing next to you. She won’t be able to que the bridal processional or the flower girl. She won’t be able to tell the church operator that the lights need to come on at an exact moment of your ceremony. She won’t be able to open the door for your grand entrance since she will (more than likely) already have been announced. And she won’t want any added responsibilities for the reception since she is focused on giving her best MOH toast. Most of all, she won’t want the additional responsibilities because she won’t want to let you down, and she wants to be in the moment with you to help celebrate your big day.
If you’re in the Kansas City area and need day-of wedding coordination, contact Pinpoint Event Planning, LLC. If you are located outside of the Kansas City area, The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Thumbtack are good places to search for a day-of coordinator.
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