Your wedding day has many pieces and vendors to coordinate. You want to enjoy your day, not stress about whether a delivery or setup went off without a hitch. Many couples think the solution is to hire someone to help keep things organized on their wedding day, also known as a Day-of Coordinator.
What is a Day-of Coordinator?
The idea of a Day-of Coordinator is that they come in on your wedding day to help run the show. But to understand all of the elements and make your wedding day run smoothly, a professional coordinator needs to prepare. We need to communicate with your vendors to craft a smooth timeline that works for everyone. We need to know your priorities for the day so we can help allocate time to what’s important.
You probably wouldn’t go into a test without studying and expect to get an A. Similarly, we would never arrive on your wedding day without an understanding of every element and a game plan to bring it all together.
That’s why many wedding planners, including our team at Havard Events, don’t offer our services as a Day-of Coordinator. Instead, we offer Month-of Coordination.
Should I Hire a Month-of Coordinator?
Still want to do most of the planning yourself? A wedding coordinator is a great fit. Leading up to your wedding, we will review your plans with an expert eye. Then, we will execute all of your hard work and planning on your wedding day. Having a professional to handle the logistics is absolutely essential to the enjoyment of your day.
Looking for more help? If you want someone to help design your day and find and book vendors, this service is called “Full Planning”. At Havard Events, we offer coordination, partial planning and full planning.
When Should I Hire my Coordinator?
To execute a successful event, most coordinators need at least 4-6 weeks leading up to your wedding to prepare. This gives us time to coordinate timelines, vendor schedules, and more. But be aware that our schedules book up much earlier than that.
Ideally, hire someone as soon as you have selected your venue and your date. But be sure to find your coordinator no less than 6 months prior to the wedding. Month-of coordination is required by many venues and is a popular service. If you have a specific coordinator in mind, reach out as soon as possible, since we often book dates over a year in advance.
What Does a Month-of Coordinator Do?
Create Incredible Timelines
Once every detail is defined and accounted for, we create a detailed timeline. The timeline spells out who is doing what, when, where and how. It includes names, contact information and addresses, as well as name pronunciations. Our timelines also have floor plans with details about linens, plates, napkin folds, a key for meal choices, and more.
The timeline is the script for the wedding day. It is an essential piece of a smooth and stress-free experience for you and your guests. We manage the timeline on your day, ensuring all vendors arrive on time and execute the plan and their contracts.
Answer Your Questions
We are very familiar with wedding etiquette and can provide answers to all of your concerns.
This includes questions like how to tell your friends that kids are not invited, how to make a sibling not in the wedding party feel valued, or how much to tip your vendors.
Consultations like these are a huge part of our service.
Using experience as our guide, we carefully review your plans to make sure you have not omitted anything important. We’ll make sure you bring the marriage license, order enough centerpieces, obtain liability insurance, add high chairs for children, or order enough alcohol.
We look for areas where something may go wrong or is risky and develop a backup plan. We create well thought-out rain plans, floor plans, and communicate rental needs to the caterer. And we connect all the dots to create a seamless day.
For example, we check to make sure you have arranged transportation from the location where you’ll be getting ready to the venue. And we make sure there is enough time and enough artists allotted for hair and makeup so the day does not start off behind schedule.
Good plans, a pretty vision and a great timeline are of no use unless they are carefully and repeatedly communicated to the venue, vendors and bridal party.
Everyone must understand their part in the production and be able to work together to create your wedding vision. We begin communicating with you and your venue and vendors as soon as the coordination period starts and continue communicating until the door closes on the venue at the end of the evening. In our experience, most problems occur when details have not been properly communicated or the communication was not received. So we triple check to make sure all of our communication is received, read and confirmed.
Back up Your Backups
Wedding professionals spend hours developing and maintaining relationships with venues and vendors. We learn about their guidelines, styles, pricing and logistical needs. We work with them on the wedding day and see first-hand how they perform.
As wedding planners, we are the repeat customers, because we refer venues and vendors over and over to our clients. This means when you have an emergency or need something special, they will promptly return our call and help us.
For example, the DJ of one of our couples canceled 2 weeks before their wedding. Because of our professional network, we were able to call another excellent DJ who was able to step in.
In another case, we learned 6 months before another couple’s wedding that their venue had closed and their wedding was canceled. Due to our relationships and extensive knowledge of local venues, we were able to find 6 venue choices with availability and comparable pricing and amenities.
Enable You to Enjoy Your Day
On your wedding day, we are the single point of contact for the venue coordinator, the vendors, bridal party and the guests. No one wants to bother the bride and groom or the mother of the bride with tons of questions that arise on wedding day. The coordinator will understand all of the details and can handle the questions so you can stay blissfully in the moment.
You have spent months or years selecting the perfect venue and vendors. You developed the color palette and design vision, carefully selected the menu, sent the perfect invitations and found the perfect outfit. You’ve invested an incredible amount of time, money and emotion into your plans, and of course you want everything to go exactly as planned. A wedding coordinator (not just a day-of coordinator) is the best insurance that you will have the wedding you planned and paid for.
To meet and exceed your expectations, we invest many hours into the preparation and execution of your day. We double and triple check every detail throughout the preparation period and on the day of the wedding. And on your wedding day, we take care of everything so you and your guests can focus on having the time of your life.
Next up, read our tips for a smooth wedding day timeline.
Havard Events & Design is a boutique wedding planning and design studio serving Washington, DC, and beyond. We specialize in timeless designs, obsess over the smallest of details, and create events that feel as good as they look.