Dana Hookanson, Owner | Lead Event Planner
What is a day-of wedding coordinator?
Updated: Feb 24, 2021
Photography by: Massart Photography
Do I really need a day-of wedding coordinator? What IS a day-of coordinator? What do they even do?
Truth be told, a lot of people don't know the difference between a wedding planner, a day-of coordinator, and a wedding consultant. I decided to write this blog because time and time again I would get brides coming to me with most of their vendors already booked and thought that since they had that part of it planned, that they no longer needed a wedding planner. Once I explained to them that there are in fact a lot of other components and the actual wedding day can be rather hectic then they understood the day-of package I offer. So I decided to create a list of the top ten things day-of coordinators do so that brides like you can see what someone like me actually does!
Below are ten things that a day-of wedding coordinator job entails:
1. Create a Timeline
Typically, a day-of coordinator will work with you starting about 3 months leading up to your big day. They will create and finalize a timeline with specifics to ensure that everything you want to fit into one day, happens. This timeline is the holy grail for your wedding day.
2. Attend & Run Rehearsal
The night before your wedding traditionally you will have a ceremony rehearsal and maybe a rehearsal dinner. The day-of coordinator will attend this and essentially run the rehearsal. Making sure that everyone knows where to be, what time, what to do, and where to stand when it's show time!
3. Execute Timeline
Throughout the day you will need someone to make sure that everyone is staying on track. It's a lot to juggle for someone trying to focus on getting married, and you certainly don't want your mom running around like a headless chicken when she should be sitting next to you enjoying the day as well. The day-of coordinator will make sure that everyone is moving along from activity-to-activity, the vendors are staying on track, and that everything happens that you had hoped. Lets face it, the day flies by and there is SO much to pack into one day. Someone's got to stay on top of everything.
4. Detail Checker
Were the tables set up the way the bride wanted them to? Are all the glasses polished? Are the ceremony chairs straight? Did the DJ set up where he was supposed to on the dance floor? Is the reception space set up according to the seating chart?
As a day-of coordinator this is all your responsibility! Making sure that everything is flawless and exactly how the bride and groom imagined!
5. Body Mover
This one might sound a little silly, but it is SO important to the entire day overall and making sure everyone stays on time according to that timeline. We move your bridal party from the getting ready location to the ceremony site, then we get everyone in order, we move guests to the ceremony site and help them find their seat. Then, after the ceremony, we move guests to the cocktail hour space, the bridal party will then get moved to photos. When the cocktail hour is ending, we make sure everyone can then start to make their way to their seats in the reception area. That includes getting everyone gathered at the bar, to their seats so that the next formality can happen, and on time. The last thing you want to do is have the DJ say "last song" at 10:50pm and feel like you didn't do everything you had hoped.
6. Personal Items
Card box, table numbers, photographs, cake knife + server, escort cards, toasting flutes, you name it - anything the bride and groom brought themselves decor or item wise, needs to get set up by someone! We set up all your items where you wanted them and how you want them put out. And then, come the end of the night, someone has to break them down, pack them up, and make sure nothing gets left behind, misplaced, or broken, especially, those sentimental items.
7. Go-to Gal
Bride needs a drink? Maid of honor can't find a safety pin? Dad doesn't know what table he's sitting at? I am your gal! Aunt Carol doesn't remember what she ordered? Your cousin's plus one can't find the restroom? I'm your girl! If anyone - bride, groom, guest, vendor of any sort, etc. has any questions - they come to me, because, let's face it ... you're kind of busy getting married!
8. Vendor Liaison
THIS. This might be one of THE most important tasks of the day as your day-of gal. If you vendors have any questions, need any help, or need a little help staying on the timeline, we do it all!
9. Getting you Married!
Now let's get you married! I will help get you down that aisle and married when the time comes. Making sure you get to your ceremony on time, no guests see you before you walk down the aisle, fluffing your dress before you start walking, making sure the musicians know their cue to change the music, you name it! I am there to make your grand entrance flawless.
10. Making sure you enjoy your day
It's the day you've been dreaming about since you were a little girl! The hard part of planning it all is in the past, the day is finally here. Now, sit back, relax, and sip that champagne! Do not worry about a single detail. I tell all my brides, the day will FLY by. Enjoy every second!
As your day-of coordinator we take the stress away and let you enjoy watching everything come together!
Photo above from October 2021 Fall inspired styled shoot, vendors below:
Venue: Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI
Planner: Dana Marie Weddings & Events
Photographer: Audrey, Massart Photography
Florals: Michelle Jeanne Floral Design
Rentals: Uniquely Chic Vintage Rentals
Models: Courtney Botelho & Helio Dante
Bridal Boutique: Melissa Ashley Brides
Makeup Artist: Jenna Irving
Hair Stylist: Cassandra Broccoli, RI Wedding Hair
Stationery: Pencil & Ink Design
Calligraphy: Cookie Calligraphy Co.
Desserts: Kerri Cupcake, Sweet Indulgence
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