If you ask most seasoned wedding designer/planner/coordinators what they think of the phrase "Day-of Coordinator" I think their response might be a light hearted chuckle followed by a "you have no idea!" (Insert sarcasm here.)
The reason I say if you ask a seasoned wedding professional is because if you've been in this line of work for long, you know that "day-of" means "week-of" which really means "month-of". The reason why? Keep Reading.
Scenario: You've been at this planning for 5-10 months now. You may have loved every minute, you may be itching for it to be over, but somewhere along the way, you've developed or designed a style, a feel, an atmosphere, an idea of how you want your day to go. You might have acquired personal decor pieces of your own and you might have arranged to borrow some. You might have planned a surprise for your groom or for your guests. You've instructed the band to NEVER play, "_______" and you know that you specifically want a bite of _____ and a drink of ____ that night.
... but none of that can happen smoothly (I.e. we can't know if these two vases are antiques borrowed from Aunt Suzy and these seven linens are my mom's church friend) if you just turn over your "planning key" the day of the wedding to a person you've just met.
That's why (mostly industry-wide) we've made the move to change the phraseology from "day-of" to event management (or something of the sort) because you want to turn over you planning far enough in advance and have the time to accurately explain what you want to happen and when (and to receive sage advice about the order of operations) on your wedding day.
Just like most professional photographers would never give you their raw images (because that's only half the job), you will be hard pressed to find an amazing, veteran planner who will just show up the day of the wedding because that too, is only part of the job. Photographers take pride in their unique ability to edit their photographs accordingly to their style/why you hired them just like wedding planners pride themselves on the ease with which a wedding flows,the creative use of space of a venue, the thoughtful extras both to the bride and groom, parents and guests that truly turn an event into an experience.
But if they aren't given the opportunity to know your vision, get a grasp on the personal decor you are bringing and allocate staff appropriately to set it up, get your vendors point of contact and confirm your orders, etc. They are at the mercy of the day and have lost the ability to pro-actively plan, and that's what we do best.
Event management means you still get to design your wedding. You've just hired someone to help you cross the finish line.
At Meg Owen Events (and I'm sure other event firms), we like to sit down with you a month prior to your wedding and let you completely brain dump ALL the details and vendors that are collecting space in your brain (trust me, we can take it and also trust me, you'll feel instant relief knowing someone else knows the plan.) From there we can form our questions to you to fill in transportation, logistic, detail or decor holes we don't yet know. (Usually you'll leave thinking, "I would have never thought of that".)
From there we'll create an itinerary that would rival the Inauguration Ball I'm sure. It's long. It's detailed. It's the master manifesto of this great event! We'll meet again a few weeks before your wedding and fine comb that schedule. We'll make decor drop off plans, pick up plans, down to who's bringing home the top tier of your cake plans. From there, we are open to all last minute questions, concerns, the occasional freak out moment :) until the wedding rehearsal. We'll get the guys in line and make sure everyone knows the plan for the next day. And while the girls are getting their makeup done, we will surely be at the reception venue. Tying chair backs, dropping linens, placing chargers, fluffing florals, alphabetizing place cards, sound checking the band and SO. MUCH. MORE.
There's a WHOLE list of what else is coordinated in the day of the wedding because that paragraph above? Is only about 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. And on the average wedding evening, I'm not home until 2:00 a.m. if that gives you a sense of the time, coordination and brain power that goes into these 16-20 hour days.
So while you will see us the bulk of the "day" on your wedding day. We've been working behind the scenes the month of to make sure everyone is ALREADY on board and ALREADY knows the plan BEFORE the day ever gets there. You've designed it, we've confirmed and advised on it and now we're here to manage it.
All too often I see the "day-of coordinator" being thought of as the luxury piece to a wedding at the end but after having enough weddings under my belt I can say, plan for one in the beginning. Make room in the budget for an event manager. They are the reason so many professional pictures go off without a hitch, so many first dances are expertly cued, so many surprises go off without a hitch and they are also cake topper fixers, drivers if your getaway car breaks down, train bustlers, stain busters, broken strap menders, crowd control, the "bad guy" when needed and the person you want to hug (after your mom of course) at the end of the night.
Did MOE save the day for you at your wedding? (Or did you have an equally fantastic coordinator and manager save you?!) Tell us!
If you need an event manager for your already existing fantastic event, we are filling up our calendars for 2018. Reserve your date (firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Contact Us page because once it's gone -- it's gone!