Day of Wedding Coordinator: What To Expect?

Are you thinking of hiring a day of wedding coordinator? You might be wondering what they actually do and whether you’ll need one for your big day. During your ceremony and reception, there are so many details and logistics to consider to make sure that your dream wedding comes true. A lot of brides ask family and friends to help coordinate the day, but the lack of experience can make things overwhelming for both of you. So this is where having a professional wedding coordinator is essential. Their role is to take the stress away, handle any last-minute mishaps and make sure that everything runs seamlessly. Think of your day of wedding coordinator as your own personal fairy godmother!

Don’t leave any final details to chance on your big day! Keep reading to discover what to expect from a day of wedding coordinator, and why you might need one.

Differences between a Day of Wedding Coordinator and a Wedding Planner

People often confuse a wedding coordinator and wedding planner, but each plays a very different role. A wedding planner will be with you from the very start of your planning process to help you define your vision and find the right vendors. They will work closely with you during the year or months leading up to your wedding day. A wedding planner’s main tasks will involve scheduling vendor meetings, coordinating transport and hotels, and helping you manage your wedding budget as well as other logistical elements.
On the other hand, a wedding coordinator focuses on the actual day of the event. They will handle logistics but within a much shorter time frame. Therefore, it’s best to hire a wedding coordinator a month or so before your wedding so that they can identify potential issues early on and tie up any loose ends. Ultimately, your wedding coordinator will play an active role during the day to make sure everything stays as planned!

Organizing Logistics

The main advantage of having a day of wedding coordinator is that you can relax knowing that an expert is in charge of the logistics during the day. Although you might have reliable people who would love to help you, bear in mind that they’re also guests and will want to celebrate in your joy. They’ll want to be with you, watching everything happen rather than having to be on their phone solving problems. In some cases, the venue and caterers will be willing to help out with a few basic issues, but ultimately they’ll have to carry out the role they’re being paid for.

So the best option is to find a professional with plenty of experience, to make sure that everything is in order. Some of a wedding coordinator’s main logistical tasks will include, making sure guests know where to go, sending everyone down the aisle at the right time, making sure the rings are in the right place, and checking everyone knows what transport they have to get. They’ll also be the person in charge of details you’ll be too busy to think about, such as assigning people to clear up when the reception finishes.

Talking to Vendors

We recommend hiring a day of wedding coordinator at least a month in advance so that they know exactly what the plan is for your big day. This way they’ll be able to liaise with your vendors and offer any suggestions or additions. They can also check in with vendors to confirm any pending details and payments and to make sure that they know who the go-to contact is on your wedding day. Most importantly, your venue will need to know who the person handling any issues, questions, deliveries and the set up will be.

wedding reception
Photography: Odessa James Photography | Design & Planning: Parade Wedding Planners | Florals: Flowers Living | Catering: Lincei Catering

Preparing a Backup Plan

You’ll find that a wedding coordinator is super helpful for creating backup plans, especially for a non-conventional wedding. If you’ve opted for an untraditional venue, a DIY wedding, weddings planned in a short amount of time, or even a very large wedding, there’s a higher risk of issues arising. Sometimes couples get married in venues or locations that have never had a wedding before, such as a family member’s home. This is where a wedding coordinator is essential, as they’ll know exactly what to do to make sure your day runs smoothly. For example, they’ll know how to set up decoration in a non-traditional venue, how to arrange seating, how to organize transport to reach special venues and much more.

Organizing Your Bridal Party & Managing Guests

The day of wedding coordinator will have the responsibility of directing the bridal party, including the family, officiant, groomsmen, bridesmaids and the bride and groom. Another important task is making sure that the wedding guests know where the ceremony is taking place, where to park cars, where they should sit or wait to be seated, and where to pick up a program. This will also be involved in greeting guests, or explaining to ushers how to manage this process.

wedding planning tips
Photography: Rebecca Carpenter

Creating a Timeline

Another task to expect from your coordinator is organizing your wedding day timeline. They’ll review the different starting and finishing times during your ceremony and reception. Then they’ll set up a detailed schedule to make sure everything flows perfectly without you even realizing it! Your guests will also appreciate knowing when everything will be taking place.
Other timeline details your coordinator will look over include, confirming when your vendors arrive, checking that favors have been placed in the correct place, organizing decoration set up, confirming that music is played at the right time, and overseeing any announcements. They’ll also get a list of who will be making toasts, how long each toast should be and if needed, (politely) cutting people off if they run over.

Conducting a Rehearsal

The day of wedding coordinator will discuss the ceremony order of events with the officiant. This includes any important religious parts of the ceremony. Then they’ll walk you through how everything will run during your wedding rehearsal. You can also count on them to tell your bridal party and family members where they should be, what is expected of them and when they should be at each point. From the processional to the recessional, it’s essential that everyone is on the same page. It saves you having to figure out these details by yourself.

wedding reception
Photography: Halo Wedding | Design & Planning: More than Weddings | Florals: Ottavia Bosco | Venue: La finestra sul fiume

Solving Unexpected Problems

Most brides will say that the key reason to hire this role for your special day is troubleshooting. A day of wedding coordinator will know exactly where problems might arise before they actually arise! The biggest challenge on your wedding day and what worries most brides is having to solve problems during the day. This puts a big strain on you and takes away from you actually enjoying one of the best days of your life. Think of it as risk prevention! No one expects there to be a problem on their wedding day, but it’s best to be on the safe side. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief knowing that someone is in charge of anything, big or small, that crops up.

Prep Personal Items & Getting Ready Location

Another helpful part of having a coordinator is that they’ll help you prep your personal items and ‘getting ready’ location. After making sure your vendors have arrived on time, they’ll head to where you are to make sure you have everything you need. This includes making sure your hair and make up team know the schedule, and sticks to it! They’ll know how to help you with any wardrobe issues, such as getting into your dress, attaching your veil, and removing stains. It’s also a good idea to let your coordinator know of any sentimental items you want to have with you on your day so that they can remind you, such as your grandmother’s necklace or a special note from your dad. Most coordinators will have an emergency kit on hand too! They’ll have a handy pack of essential items that brides might need during the day. For example, band aids, a mini sewing kit, mints, nail files, tissues, and wardrobe tape.

wedding details
Photography: Nastia Vesna & Maksin Gladky

Now that you know what to expect from your day of wedding coordinator, you can relax knowing that someone will be in charge of any unexpected problems. Now, all you have to do is savor the unforgettable memories you’re going to make! For more tips and guides for your special day head to WedBoard. You’ll find help for all aspects of your wedding, from How To Choose Your Bridesmaids to Stunning Tablescapes For Every Style.

Featured image: Halo Wedding

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