WHAT IS A DAY-OF-WEDDING COORDINATOR?


​If you thought that "Are you hiring a wedding planner?" was a "Yes" or "No" question, think again. There is a happy medium between hiring a full-service planner and winging it all on your own, and that is the day-of coordinator. Unlike a full-service wedding coordinator, a “Day-of” coordinator is for brides and grooms who want to do most of the planning themselves, but when their wedding day arrives, they need a professional to execute all of their hard work. 

An often poorly understood concept, the day-of coordinator can be a life saver for couples who don't have the budget for a full-service planner; couples who thought they could do it all alone and then realize, close to the wedding, that they were wrong; and couples who actually manage to plan it all alone, but then wisely realize that they shouldn't leave the day-of nitty-gritty in the hands of their mother or maid of honor. 


Too often, brides rely on family and friends to help carry out plans on the day of their wedding. By asking a friend or family member to take on this stressful task, that person will not be able to enjoy the event as a guest, and will end up feeling like “event staff.” In most cases, your “volunteers” have little experience in the role of event planner. They often end up feeling overwhelmed as they try to keep on top of everything that must be done to ensure that the day runs smoothly.

Tasks that NorCal Event Staffing handles:

Two Weeks Prior to Wedding Day

Meet with bride and groom to go over timeline. Go over any arrangements the couple have previously made with vendors, and update timeline accordingly. 

One Week Prior to Wedding Day

Confirm final details with vendors prior to wedding day. Make sure that all vendors have our contact information. Send vendors a copy of the final timeline and make sure they have directions to the ceremony and reception locations.

Please Note: A day-of-coordinator will not re-negotiate any terms in contracts with vendors at this time, or at any other time prior to, during, or after your wedding day. All agreements should be finalized prior to the wedding.

Rehearsal

Distribute wedding timelines to best man and maid-of honor
Work with wedding officiator to choreograph wedding ceremony, processional and recessional
Alert wedding party as to where they need to be the following day, and at what time

Pre-Ceremony 

At brides “getting dressed” location:

Facilitate on-time arrival of hair and make-up stylists and instruct them as to where to set up hair dryers, brushes and any other equipment they have with them
Coordinate hair and make-up schedule with bridal party and stylists and ensure that hair and make-up is completed in a timely fashion
Coordinate any food deliveries and set up and clear all meals
Make sure personal flowers i.e. bridal bouquet, bridesmaid's flowers and father of the bride’s boutonnière arrive on time
Blot personal flowers with paper towels and distribute to wedding party
Make sure photographer arrives on time and has a “must shoot” list
Gather bride, bridal party and immediate family for photos
Call out names on “must shoot” list for photographer
Ensure that transportation arrives on time and instruct wedding party as to when to depart for ceremony
Assist bride with putting on her wedding gown
Maintain The Wedding Sitter Bridal Emergency Kit (just in case)
Kit Includes such items as stain sticks, hairspray, safety pins, a sewing kit, scissors, Static Guard, deodorant, straws, Band-Aids, snacks, and many other things you may need on the wedding day
Communicate with best man to make sure groom is getting dressed and on-time
Make wedding party aware of any last minute details
Communicate with transportation driver and maid-of-honor/best man while bridal party is on the way to the ceremony location

 
Ceremony

Set up programs and other ceremony items i.e. guest book, unity candles, kiddush cups, wine or yarmulkes
Ensure that ushers/groomsmen arrive on time and are ready to pass out programs
Ensure that personal flowers i.e. flower girl bouquet and groomsmen boutonnières have arrived at ceremony location
Alert ushers/groomsmen as to when to begin escorting guests to their seats and remind them as to how to be a “proper” usher
Ensure that ceremony musicians have arrived and direct them as to where to set up
Confirm the music that ceremony musicians will play during the ceremony, as well as start times for each piece of music. Determine what hand signals will used to cue musicians
Act as a liaison with the ceremony officiator and decide what cue will be used to signal the start of the ceremony
Communicate with bride and groom so that they know how much time remains before the start of the ceremony
Handle any emergencies that may arise
Line up the bridal party for their entrances down the aisle
Cue ceremony musicians when bridal party is ready to begin processional
Gather family and friends for after ceremony photos

Prior to Reception

Greet vendors and instruct them as to where to set up i.e. wedding band, florist, and caterer
Arrange escort cards
Make sure reception flowers/décor is set up according to flower order
Ensure that tent and lighting are set up properly and troubleshoot as needed
Meet with catering staff to confirm food timeline
Set up guest book and pen, champagne flutes, cake cutting utensils
Set up table numbers/names and menu cards
Set up amenities baskets, hand towels, candles etc. in bathrooms

Reception

Ensure proper flow of cocktail hour food
Look over dining tables and make sure they are set up properly
Along with catering staff, encourage guests to join bride and groom for dinner at the end of cocktail hour
Help guests locate their escort cards and dining tables
Locate bride and groom and instruct them to stay to the side of main dining room until they receive cue for their introduction and first dance
Cue band when the majority of guests have found their tables and bride and groom are ready to be introduced
Cue band, photographer, and videographer when important events take place at reception i.e. first dance, cake cutting, toasts and parent dances
Cue best man and father of the bride when they are about to be announced for toasts
Alert catering staff to pour champagne just before the toasts
Be aware of timing of catering service and make sure people are served promptly
Distribute final payments/gratuities to vendors at the end of the evening (no negotiation in the terms of vendor contracts will be handled by The Wedding Sitter at this time)
Prevent & fix any problems that may arise during your event
Remain easily accessible through the entire event in case there are any details you would like attended to
Set up favor table towards the end of the evening
Pack up gifts/cards, miscellaneous ceremony and reception items and have them ready to be taken to a family members car at the end of the night
Coordinate reception departure transportation

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Day-of-Wedding & Event Coordinating