So, I know your thought process. You're fresh off your engagement and you dive head first into wedding planning as you slowly, but surely, start knocking things off your To-Do list. You think to yourself, 'I've got this in the bag. Who needs a wedding coordinator?' Um, YOU do! Just ask Francesca of Pure Luxe Bride. Francesca and her husband, Justin, offer day-of and full-service coordination to Lowcountry Brides and have joined us today to tell us what you REALLY get with a day-of coordinator and why you just can't go with out one...
What is a DOC and why do you need one?
The DJ has been booked, deposits made, and dress chosen. If you’re a bride (or groom) undoubtedly you’ve put forth much blood, sweat, and tears in the planning department. But there may be something you have not thought of. How are you going to ensure you’re able to enjoy every last minute and detail of your wedding day?
That’s where we come in. As a husband + wife planning team, we’re blogging to give you a glimpse of the benefits of hiring a day of coordinator (DOC). Because once all of the plans are made and the big day arrives, the bride should be carrying around a bouquet of beautiful flowers and not a clipboard.
Obviously it’s easy (and yes, self-serving) for me to defend hiring help for your wedding day. More often than not, a coordinator can be seen as an extravagant and unnecessary expense, something that only brides with platinum budgets can afford. I’m here to tell you, this isn’t the case. No matter the overall budget or size or venue, a DOC is someone who caters exclusively to the bride and groom, acts as the point person for the day, creates and oversees the timeline, performs crowd control, and is immediately on hand to put out any fires quietly without anyone the wiser. There are however, some DOC companies out there that have no previous experience in events (just their own wedding), aren't licensed or insured (these are biggies to be sure to ask when interviewing around!).
Instead of worrying if the florist remembered to deliver the toss petals or if the mother of the bride has enough tissues in hand, a DOC covers these little details and so much more. More importantly, a DOC relieves the pressure off friends and family from feeling like they’re working your wedding instead of celebrating. You and your loved ones can kick back and rest assured that any possible mishap, snafu, and hiccup will be taken care of (e.g. the groomsmen are late, the flower girl is bordering on the verge of an epic tantrum, or you’ve run out of champagne). Aunt Susie may be great at details, but she should be out on the dance floor doing “The Twist” and not running around loading up the decor and card box. It may be hard to do, but allowing parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents to sit around responsibility-free is a gift!
More importantly, having someone at your side who has done this countless times before allows nothing to fall through the cracks. All of those little things that you never would have thought of? Well, we’ve seen them time and time again, so we know exactly what to look for.
But let me clue you in on another myth about DOCs. There is actually no such thing as a “day of” anything. Any reputable coordinator will tell you that she starts coordinating the final details of your wedding at least a month out. There are vendors to contact, coordination of deliveries, set-up, break down, and going over every little detail with a fine toothed comb to ensure nothing has been overlooked (and believe me when I say it happens…quite frequently!). Scheduling all the “major players,” letting everyone know where to be and at what time, and gathering contact names, cell numbers, and emergency backup contacts can’t be gathered on the “day of.” It all takes time and logistical know-how.
And what if your venue already has an event coordinator? Though valuable to the reception site, the venue’s coordinator will not be smoothing your train as you head down the aisle, will not cue toasts and special dances, and will not make sure grandpa knows to get in a picture. A venue coordinator’s job is to make sure their building and staff are under control, though they work great in combination with your DOC.
We are equipped with all the information so all the questions on the wedding day go to us instead of distracting the wedding’s VIPs. Not only does a coordinator help the bride and groom by taking care of all the little details for them, a DOC is there to help all other wedding professionals, first by providing them with a wedding day itinerary and then by being the person to make sure the events run on time, pointing out details that are important to the couple (especially to the photographer) and answering any questions on the fly.
Knowing that we DOCs can make someone’s wedding day stress-free and relaxed is an immensely rewarding experience. There’s nothing better than witnessing a first look, seeing the face of the groom as the bride walks toward him, and taking in the proud, happy smiles of the guests spinning on the dance floor. And while our work is often long and grueling, I firmly believe the majority of us cannot think of anything else we’d rather be doing.