It is common to brush off a day-of coordinator in cutting budget costs, thinking you can do it yourself or having a family member or friend do it; many people often think their venue planner is a day-of coordinator. I constantly come in contact with couples who thought they knew how to plan their small wedding and then scramble at the end of the process because they didn't think of the little details, or the venue planner is only helping with the venue setup. Oh sure you can create your vision, you know exactly what the final product is going to look like, the song your dancing to, where you are getting your cake from, and that sparkler exit..wooo yasss honey. But who is setting up every detailed centerpiece in that final vision? Who is gathering all your guests for the cake cutting? Who is lighting all the sparklers and more importantly making sure they are put out properly after the happy couple leaves?
"I hadn't even thought of that when planning my wedding"
If you want a stress-free wedding day like you deserve......please consider finding a day-of coordinator.
So What Exactly Does a Day-Of Coordinator Do?
Every coordinator provides a little bit different service in their packages, but mainly they keep the day on track so you, your partner, your wedding party, your parents, and your friends, can enjoy and celebrate the day with you. This job sounds pretty simple right? "My second cousin once removed is helping to make sure everything is out, in place, and ready to go on the day of the wedding..." gurlllll... if you're are inviting this person to your wedding, it is so they can celebrate with you, not work, and let me tell you a good wedding coordinator works for you and your guests the entire day. After a full wedding day I am so sleepy and fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.
"I don't want my family to have to be responsible for setting everything up and stressing when they should be relaxing and enjoying the day as well."
I commit to serving my couples and their guests the entire day; ensuring that all vendors arrive on time and calling them if they don't - without bothering the couple because they are enjoying their day. On the day of your wedding....
I am a meteorologist
I am a dog checker-inner
I am a DIY DJ
I am a coffee errand-er
I am a dress bustle-r
I am a donut display maven
I am confetti cleaner upper
There are so many things a coordinator does on the day of the wedding that will leave you completely stress-free and most likely end up saving you money in the long run. Have you read your venue and catering contract thoroughly? Often times catering is responsible for taking out the trash at the end of the reception... but what happens if they forget a bag? The couple will end up getting a charge for that trash, when a coordinator should take a final look around the reception space to cleanup and take out anything leftover. The rain storm that popped up 5 minutes before your outdoor ceremony start time? A coordinator will run through puddles in the rain to grab your beautifully decorated arbor for the indoor rain plan (coordinator tip: don't have a rain plan? come up with one - even if its providing every guest with an umbrella).
A coordinator will breakdown decorations and flowers at the end of the ceremony or reception and load them into your car. A coordinator will bag up leftovers of food, dessert, and alcohol for you to bring back to your hotel for a late-night snack. A coordinator will keep your marriage license safe throughout the event and make sure it gets signed and sent off. A coordinator takes away the guess work from who's going to stop partying to do the dirty work.
So what about before the wedding? I see couples on social media completely oblivious to all the work that goes into planning your dream wedding. So how does a day-of coordinator alleviate that stress that month prior?
"The stress of a wedding will mess with your brain that’s for sure. Freaking out now because I am so unprepared."
Bri By Design's day-of coordination package, along with many coordinators, include a month lead-up time. A wedding is not put together over night and professional coordinators understand that. Bri provides worksheets for every couple at the time of contract signing, whether that be 3 weeks in advance or a year in advance. We strive to get your planning off on the right foot and part of that is knowing what the final product logistics will look like. A day-of coordinator pulls all the last minute details out of your head and places them on paper, so they don't get lost. Asking questions throughout the process, you'll often find things that you forgot (like the legalities or waiting periods behind marriage licenses!) or the placing of the gift table in the floor (because someone will bring a gift even if they are asked not to).
A coordinator will also keep the rehearsal on track! You wouldn't think a rehearsal could take that long for a 15 minute ceremony right? When one person isn't leading the way and parents and groomsmen are putting in their 2 sense, a 10 minute practice-walking rehearsal can easily turn into a 1 hour fiasco that ends in nobody knowing where they are supposed to stand the next day. And don't forget the grand entrance run-through. (Coordinator's tip...do a walk-through of the reception, not just a ceremony, to ensure the bridal party knows exactly what is happening, at what time and where they are supposed to stand for toasts and significant dances).
"I wanted a pretty laid back/low key wedding day, and I think that my vision is getting lost..."
So how do you find that top notch professional coordinator in your budget?
Finding a coordinator in your budget
I'm going to let you in on a little secret... sites such as Wedding Wire & The Knot require wedding professionals to pay for a good listing. There are wedding professionals paying between $90 - $500 a month to be listed on these types of sites in the high rank spots. The pros you see first are more expensive because they are shelling out what you are paying them, in marketing over the year - just from that one site. I'm not saying these pros don't deserve to be charging high dollar, (most of them have been in the wedding industry for multiple years & are absolutely killing the game), but that doesn't mean there aren't other great, coordinators in your budget.
If you're searching straight by location on these sites, start on the very last page and work your way back. Double check the left column and tick the "Day-Of Coordination" box. Many high dollar companies take minimal or no day-of coordination couples because they can make more money on planning an entire wedding.
Make your search even more concentrated by choosing a budget.
Being flexible on dates gets you a wider range of coordinators to choose from but if you're set on a date make sure to check that availability box.
Have you tried getting away from these sites all together? The badges are nice but if you're on a budget try a coordinator that has experience but may not be as established. Thumbtack.com is a great place to find coordinators that are getting established and the website's purchase model is much more vendor friendly! Just be courteous to these coordinators! They get charged for every lead they accept - if you don't hear back from a coordinator it might be that you contacted 5 and they didn't want to invest the money they didn't have a good chance of return on. Another helpful Thumbtack hint - check the professional's bio. Often times they will have their website in their bio and it doesn't cost them anything to respond to potential couples from their website contact submissions!
Don't forget the good ole' google search! Again, this may be cause for a little bit of digging, as those who appear first are often coordinators who have the time or opportunity to invest in a great Google SEO marketer (or have the knowledge themselves). Explore multiple results on your google search! Again, it doesn't cost coordinators anything to respond to potential couples from their website contact submissions, and it's great for website traffic, which increases their google search ratings!
Think Small Business
I am a wedding coordinator but I am a female small business owner. The investment you make in hiring me, is an investment into my small dreams and into my family. Doing your research on multiple companies drives traffic to a small business owners website. Asking for a consultation allows a small business owner to practice their skills. Hiring a boutique wedding coordinator allows them to earn an income through following their passion. Large planning companies have amazing experience and amazing event planners working for them, which is awesome for someone who can afford it or who is having an extravagant wedding; But when you find a coordinator that is a one person business, you are supporting a small local company and someone's passion.
Regardless if you hire a small coordinator or a large company coordinator - a coordinator is one secret to making your big day run exactly how you want it to, surrounded by the people you want to celebrate with!
Run through the ceremony AND the reception at the rehearsal, especially with larger wedding parties.
Do your research to find the right coordinator that vibes well with you, within your budget.
A coordinator with passion is one who will do anything in her power to make your day just as special as her own!
Our Philosophy here at Bri By Design is that achieving that stress-free feeling on your wedding day should not come at a hefty price. I provide stellar wedding coordination services at prices that are affordable for the DIY bride. Bri By Design gives you that personal touch feeling with the professionalism of a large corporation. Our boutique mindset creates a real-life relationship between Bri and every couple she works with. You don't need to sacrifice quality for affordability, and Bri believes every bride deserves to feel like a queen on their wedding day.