Wedding Planning Pages

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day Of Wedding Planner Duties

A "same day" or "day of" coordinator will typically tell you what's included in his or her services. 

After all, you have to know what's included - not only to see if you're getting good value for the service but also to see what else you'd be responsible for.

For example, a "day of" package by a planner could include:

1. Initial meetings with the bride and groom
2. Attending the rehearsal
3. Overseeing pre-ceremony events

This can include helping the bride get dressed, ensuring the groom will arrive at the ceremony venue on time, arranging pre-ceremony photos, coordinating hair and makeup schedules, making sure bouquet and boutonnières arrive from florist, coordinating transportation to the ceremony and reception.

4. Overseeing the ceremony

This can include guest book placement, making sure programs are given to guests, ensuring the bridal party and family members have boutonnieres and bouquets where applicable, coordinating with florist to take flowers to the reception if it's at a separate location, helping with photo scheduling, and providing a bridal emergency kit.

5. Overseeing the reception

This can include supervising the vendors, providing final head counts for caterer, ensuring reception room set up is completed properly including tables, linens, cutlery, china, menus, decorations, centerpieces, setting up of cake table, guest book table, and gift table, preparing photographer and videographer for taking special photos and videos, putting wine on tables, welcoming and seating arriving and late guests, coordinating gifts and money, checking lighting, and overseeing any last minute details or emergencies.

The “day of” coordinator is also on hand to handle the unexpected including party crashers, directing traffic, arranging emergency deliveries, late arrival of key suppliers, and more.

The “day of” coordinator won’t be involved in organizing the reception events including the speeches and entertainment and activities.

That’s the task of the Wedding MC who prepares his or her agenda, including MC Speeches, well before the big day.

In its white paper, Debunking the Myth of the "Same-Day" Planner, the Wedding Industry Professionals Association indicates that a “day of” coordinator can expect to spend anywhere from 45 to 60 hours of preparation and on-location time. It also suggests newlyweds should budget from $3,000 to $6,000 for a "day of" coordinator.

Advantages of a “same day” coordinator

1. You have someone who is knowledgeable about wedding procedures and oversees the day’s events
2. Reduces stress especially for the bride and groom and their families who want to make it a memorable occasion for everyone
3. Takes the place of a full time planner if you’re planning the wedding yourself to save money
4. Possibly less expensive than a full time planner

Disadvantages of a “same day” coordinator

1. Adds cost to the overall budget especially if you’re on a tight budget (but well worth it if you find a good planner)
2. Has less involvement in the total wedding planning than a full time planner

If you're planning your own wedding and you’ve never thought of having a “day of” coordinator at your wedding, it’s something to consider to ensure your day is a perfect memory instead of an unforgettable disaster.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day Of Wedding Planner - The Bride's Close Advisor For Her Wedding Day

Many brides and grooms choose to plan their own wedding.

Day Of Wedding Planner. Photo credit: A. Farid
Sometimes this is to save money.

But often it’s to inject their own personalities and styles to make it something special and memorable.

On their special day, the last thing the bride and groom need is chaos and people being stressed out because something wasn’t properly planned or they didn’t know what to do or what to anticipate.

That’s why the newlyweds need a knowledgeable professional to handle coordinating all events and personnel including:

1. Vendors

2. Venue and catering staff

3. Bridal Party

4. Wedding MC

5. DJ or band

6. Bride and groom’s parents

That’s where the “day of” (also known as a “same day”) coordinator or planner comes in.

She or he will be your “behind the scenes” director as your special day progresses.

If you’ve ever seen Wedding SOS you’ll instantly see that one of the duties that Jane Dayus-Hinch performs is that of the “same day” coordinator.

She plays the role of the bride and groom's fairy God Mother who grants three wishes. In actual fact, she does much more than that in making sure the wedding and reception go off without a hitch.

A “day of” coordinator doesn’t just show up the day of your wedding and make sure everything runs smoothly.

In fact, even though it’s descriptive and differentiates from a full-time wedding planner, the title and role of the “same day” or “day of” coordinator is often misunderstood simply because the planning takes place anywhere from four to six weeks before the event. More accurately, this type of planner should be thought of as a coordinator leading up to the marriage.

The “day of” coordinator has to prepare well ahead of time to ensure your wedding day runs smoothly.

She or he needs to know what’s been already arranged by you and your groom.

She or he can’t just drop in on your special day and be expected to know what’s been planned, who the vendors are and their schedules, and where everything is.

Your “day of” coordinator will consult vendor contracts and coordinate vendors’ services on the day of the event, review your guest list, create vendor and wedding day timelines, inspect and walk through both the ceremony and reception venues, attend your rehearsal, as well as attend to last minute details.

The Rehearsal

Even at the rehearsal your coordinator will offer advice and note down important details such as where the bridesmaids, maid or matron of honor, best man, groomsmen, and ushers will stand and in what order the bridal party will enter the ceremony venue before the processional as the bride walks down the aisle.

The Ceremony

Your special planner will also help with coordinating the ceremony.

She or he will help with your bridal gown train, direct when people are to walk down the aisle, and ensure special requirements such as unity candles are on hand.

The Reception

Your “day of” coordinator has to have intimate knowledge of your reception venue.

She or he can’t be expected to arrive at the reception without any prior planning.

Your reception is the biggest event of the day where you and your guests will celebrate your marriage.

Prior planning is extremely important to make this a party to remember.

She or he has to know who to contact if there’s a shortage of chairs or tables or the meal setup is behind schedule, direct the DJ to his or her area for setting up audio and lighting equipment, whether children will be attending and where they will be seated, where guests – including important dignitaries or family - will be seated, and many more last minute details.

Your planner will also consult with the Wedding MC who is responsible for directing the reception.

On the day of your wedding, your coordinator will be at your reception making sure name cards, champagne toasting flutes, cake knife and server, favors, gift and guest book tables, and other final details are attended to.

The "day of" or "same day" planner is a welcome addition to help plan your special day to ensure you can sit back and relax and not worry about the small - but crucial - details at your ceremony or reception.