What “Day of Coordination” is (and NOT)
Countless times a week I get the following email: “I am getting married at ….. , how much do you charge for Day Of coordination?“
Confession: I don’t know how to do “Day Of” coordination. Don’t get me wrong, I am good…no great, at what I do and I know how to tie everything together and make a wedding day go smoothly, but I have NO idea how to do that with only one meeting with the client, no venue walk-through, and no assistants. Yet that is what potential clients are asking me to do when they email me and want a “Day Of” coordinator for less than what a DJ charges or a quality cake costs. IF I were to only do the bare minimum of a 3 hour meeting, 3 hours of paperwork/communication, 1 hour rehearsal, and a 10 hour assistant-less wedding day, these 17ish hours would not really benefit you, the client, and my reputation would be ruined because too much would fall through the cracks. My work would be mediocre at best and the possibilities of what could go wrong are endless.
I just don’t know how to do an incomplete job when my reputation is on the line. Instead of 17 or 18 hours of bare bones (Day of), I spend 30-40 hours (Month of aka ” Iris package”) by doing a venue walk-through, contract reviews, two meetings, rehearsal and I have assistants with me at every wedding that the Bella destinee name is attached to.
Last wedding season, I provided Iris package where I discovered as I was reviewing the rental order that the rental company was not setting up the chairs or putting the covers on the chairs. We’re talking 150 intricate satin covers & sash that have to be tied on in a specific way and each chairs weight more than 10 pounds. I asked the rental company how much time they estimate per chair? The answer: 1-2 minutes. That doesn’t sound too bad, but multiply 150 covers times 2 minutes: that’s 300 minutes, or 5 hours. Since I caught this early the week of the wedding I was able to schedule my assistants to start earlier. It took two assistants 2 hours to complete this task. Talk about an intense labor! I can imagine the fallout of what would have happened if I’d shown up alone as the “Day Of” coordinator.
Don’t be misled into thinking that a Day Of Coordinator will (or should) show up on your Wedding Day, magic wand in hand with nary a thought for the details prior to her arrival. If you are paying more than several hundred dollars for a reputable Day Of Wedding planner, chances are you WILL get what you are paying for and you will NOT regret it!
If you decide to go for a Day Of Coordination package, be sure you are asking the important questions of potential planners:
- When do you officially start coordinating my wedding?
- Are you willing to look over all my contracts to be sure I am getting what I am expecting?
- Will you be contacting all my vendors?
- What kinds of details will you be asking them for?
- Will you create an itinerary/timeline for me, my wedding party and my vendors?
- Will you be present for and coordinate the details of the rehearsal?
- Will you be bringing an assistant with you on the day of my wedding?
- Do you bring an emergency kit with you on wedding day?
- What kinds of items/how many items are in it?
- Will you personally take responsibility for personal items like the cake knife/server, toasting glasses, etc and make sure they get back to us at the end of the night?
- Will you stay until the VERY end of the reception, after we are gone, to be sure any last minute issues are taken care of?