If you’ve taken a peek around my website/social media at all (or you’ve talked to me IRL), you might have noticed that I don’t offer “Day of Coordination” and be wondering why. The reality is that I am absolutely not a day of coordinator.
I show up on your wedding day, you hand me your timeline and all of your details, and I make sure things are set up correctly and that your timeline is followed after you have done all of the planning and logistics. Quite frankly, that sounds like my worst nightmare.
How do I establish a line of communication with your vendors? Or make sure the timeline flows in a way that makes sense? How do I tell you “hey, 30 minutes isn’t enough time for hair and makeup for four people”? How do I get to know you before I’m part of such an important day for you? I can’t. I would be unprepared, awkward, and unaware of most things going on if I just showed up day-of.
Okay, we’re getting somewhere. I’m no longer just showing up with zero context of the day. Here’s what I think of when I hear the phrase “month-of coordination”: Starting 30 days before your wedding, I take over the wedding planning process so that you don’t have to worry about it. I’ll take care of anything that hasn’t been handled up until that point. Maybe we’ll have a meeting or two, but in general, I’ve got things from here.
That’s better, right?? Only marginally. Realistically, there are some things that you will have to have your hands in during the last month before your wedding if you haven’t hired a full-service wedding planner. You (or whoever was originally in charge) will still need to take care of things like RSVP management, final catering and rental orders, and rehearsal dinners. You should probably start the logistics, such as your timeline, a bit more than a month before your wedding.
Now I know that this isn’t what most day of coordinators or month of coordinators do. But language is important to me, and I don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea. I want couples to understand that they are hiring me for a specific service, not for a period of time.
Wedding management is the hero of our story and what I personally offer instead. When I hear that, I think of a manager who has a set of tasks and job responsibilities that aren’t tied to a time constraint. This means I have a specific list of services that fall under my umbrella of “management,” such as timeline creation, logistics, and execution. So much better, right?!
I can pop in two months before your wedding to start working on your timeline so you have something to present to your photographer when they ask what you have so far. Plus I can introduce myself to your vendor team early on so they can ask me any questions they have. Then I can attend your final venue walkthrough, even if it’s six weeks before the big day. I have the flexibility to actually manage your wedding without planning it from start to finish.
Do I actually do anything differently as a wedding manager vs. a day of coordinator? Probably not. Many wedding planners offer day of coordination, but their service offer is very similar to my wedding management. However, there are absolutely day of coordinators out there that truly do show up on your wedding day without working with you beforehand. Make sure you know which service you are hiring before you sign a contract.
With true “day of” service, you will be responsible for gathering load in and breakdown times from vendors, understanding and communicating venue policies and procedures, creating the timeline, communicating all of the logistics with your vendors (timeline, parking info, load-in and breakdown instructions, venue policies, etc.), and coordinating your ceremony rehearsal. Plus handling any last minute logistical things that may pop up from various vendors and the wedding party.
Again, language is important to me. I want my couples to know that not only am I available to them prior to the day or month of their wedding, but that my value is not tied to the time I spend working on their wedding, but the actual service that I provide.
Renee Dalo has been leading the charge to change the language of what we do and has been an amazing resource for myself and countless other planners. For any fellow wedding planner friends who offer day of coordination or month of coordination, I highly encourage you to read her blog titled The Myth of Day of Coordination. You can even just google “day of coordination Renee Dalo” to find more information and podcasts about the topic.
I usually call myself a wedding planner, since that’s my job title, but I won’t be upset if you call me your coordinator, truly! You could also call me your wedding manager. Or your best wedding friend. Or a lifesaver. One of my brides called me an angel before. If your uncle pulls out his cellphone during the ceremony, he might disagree with you, but that’s beside the point. If you haven’t hired a wedding planner/coordinator/manager yet, you just need to call me! Seriously! Head over to my contact page, drop your info, and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
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