When I first meet with a bride, I ask her to tell me what she is looking for in a planner/coordinator. Many brides already have a vision of what they want for their wedding and have already begun the planning process. They just need some guidance and someone to pull it all together. A lot of these brides are looking for a “Day of Coordinator” which is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. While many of us have “Day of Packages”, there is truly no such thing as only a day of coordinator, unless you are wanting someone to come in and do nothing but line up your bridal party and send them down the aisle. I would not be doing my job if I showed up on the day of a wedding and acted like I knew what was going on. I need to do my homework for every wedding, no matter how big or how small.
For Brides that purchase my “Day of” package the work begins at least 30 days out. I like to have a power meeting at the 30 day mark and sit down with all the decision makers. That means, the Bride, Groom, Mother of the Bride and anyone else that will be making decisions on how the big day comes together. We go over timelines, the processional, the vendors, what is expected from each vendor plus a lot more in depth information such as what the tables will look like, what are the special concerns, what is most important to the Bride or how they would like tough situations handled. At this point, I hope my bride has enough confidence in me as the expert to allow me to make suggestions on etiquette and procedural matters that may have been overlooked. Once we complete this meeting, my work really kicks in. I start contacting all the vendors and letting them know I am on board and ask them to keep me posted with their progress. We go over each vendor’s responsibilities for the big day so there are no misunderstandings. A first draft of a timeline is usually sent to the bride based upon the initial input from the vendors and our planning meeting. It is very rare for a timeline to make it the first go around. There are usually 5 to 6 drafts before it is in final form. By the time the big day arrives, it is not uncommon to have already put in over 20 hours of time for a “Day of Package.” On the day of the wedding we usually are on site about 3 hours before the ceremony to coordinate all the vendors’ deliveries and set up. We remain onsite throught the entire event to assist with any mishaps and to make sure the timeline is adhered to. Once the party is over, we are gathering up the Bride’s personal belongings, loading their gifts and collecting any rental items that need to be returned. So the next time you are shopping for a planner/coordinator and ask for their “Day of Package”. Make sure you are not just getting someone to show up and direct your wedding ceremony then leave. There is a HUGE difference!