You may be asking yourself, What is a Day of Coordinator and do I need one? The short answer is, yes you do need one and here's why... Unlike a full-service wedding planner, 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.
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.
The following is an outline of some of the tasks that a Day of Coordinator handles on the day of your wedding:
One Week Prior to Wedding Day
Meet with bride and groom to present timeline. Go over any arrangements the couple have previously made with vendors, and update timeline accordingly. Go over floorplan and decor.
Confirm final details with vendors prior to wedding day. Make sure that all vendors have contact information. Send vendors a copy of the final timeline and make sure they have directions to the ceremony and reception locations.
- Meet with Bridal Party at the ceremony location and do a complete lineup and mock ceremony so everyone walking the aisle the next day will know exactly what to expect and where to go
- 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
- Confirm with the wedding couple the final floorplan and layout for set up in the morning.
- Go over with the bride all of the decor details and anything she has brought with her to be set up, escort card, candles, guest book, specialty champagne glasses, cake cutting sets ect.
- Assist in the execution of set-up and ensure to follow desired floor plan for reception area, ceremony, welcome table and bar
- Greet arriving vendors and instruct them where to set up, DJ/Entertainment, Florist, Rentals, lighting, photographer, catering, hair and make-up
- Ensure all Decor details are in place as discussed with the wedding couple
- 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 and menu
- Set up guest book and pen, champagne flutes, cake cutting utensils
- Set up table numbers/names and menu cards, ensure seating chart is correct
- 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 boutonnières for the boys arrive on time and distribute accordingly
- Make sure photographer arrives on time and has a “must shoot” list
- 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
- Set up programs and other ceremony items i.e. guest book, unity candles, sand ceremony
- 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
- 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 be used to cue musicians
- 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 & have drinks ready for the bridal party
- 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
- Make sure appetizers are saved for the wedding couple and bridal party if they have been busy taking photos during cocktail hour
- Help guests locate their escort cards and dining tables
- Locate the wedding couple and bridal party and instruct them to stay to the side of main dining room until they receive cue for their introduction and first dance
- Line up the bridal party for entrances and be sure DJ/entertainment have the list of names
- Cue band when the majority of guests have found their tables and bridal party is ready for introductions
- 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
- 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 dessert and cut the cake
- Pack up gifts/cards, miscellaneous ceremony, and reception items and place them safely in your room
- Coordinate reception departure transportation
For our brides here that work with us at Caribbean Catering, I offer Day of Coordination to our brides for $500. quite a value considering all that goes into it! I highly recommend having one for your wedding day whether it be me or one of the other wedding planners in town such as, Julia at Blue Water Weddings or Trinity at On Fly Girls, it is an invaluable service that will give you the peace of mind that all the details will come together just as you envisioned. Contact us at Caribbean Catering for more information about this and all of our services.