What Are Day-of Wedding Coordinators and What Do They Do?

Whether you chose to plan your own wedding or hire a professional, chances are you'll be overwhelmed on the big day. How can you expect to get married while also managing the logistics of your event? Here comes the day-of coordinator. These talented vendors can alleviate stress and even conceal problems that arise, allowing the couple to focus on enjoying their wedding guests and savoring every moment of their special day.

The day-of coordinator is in charge of ensuring that all pre-planned events go off without a hitch. They also serve as the point of contact for vendors, diverting questions and concerns away from the happy couple and their families. Unlike a wedding planner, who envisions, curates, and books the wedding, this type of professional ensures that everything runs smoothly and in real time.

Cost of a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator

The cost varies according to the day-of coordinator's responsibilities. Someone who simply oversees a wedding day will be less expensive than someone who assists the couple with last-minute details in the weeks leading up to the big day. The cost varies depending on the number of locations, the number of hours, and the expected guest count.

Wedding Planner vs. Day-of Wedding Coordinator

A wedding planner is someone who works with a couple to plan their wedding months or years ahead of time. They book the caterers and the band, work with florists and the venue to create a vision, and ensure that invitations are sent out on time. Rather than doing any original planning, a day-of wedding coordinator is in charge of ensuring that the vision and scheme are carried out correctly. They may not create the seating plan, but they ensure that place cards are correctly numbered and placed in the appropriate location.

While the day-of wedding coordinator works with the couple less closely than the wedding planner, they should still be brought in early to help anticipate and smooth over any problems that may arise. We recommend hiring one at least six months before the wedding day because it allows the wedding coordinator enough time to identify flaws in the planning and/or design and have it corrected before the wedding day. They are also suitable for pre- and post-wedding events such as rehearsal dinners and brunches.

Responsibilities of the Day-Of Wedding Coordinator

Handling Logistics

The primary responsibility of the day-of wedding coordinator is to ensure that all wedding logistics are handled. For example, if there are 200 guests, this person ensures that there are 200 chairs at the ceremony and reception.

Creating and Following Timelines

Another important job of the day-of wedding coordinator is to create a detailed timeline for the day and ensure that everyone, from the couple's family to the vendors, adheres to it. For example, if hair or makeup is taking longer than expected, this person will step in to speed things up. They also ensure that guests are seated on time so that the ceremony can begin, and that photographs are taken on time so that the couple can get to the dance floor.

Getting in Touch with Vendors

The primary point of contact for all wedding vendors is the day-of wedding coordinator. They are the on-site manager, supervising vendor work and ensuring that it is completed in accordance with the contract. All vendor questions can be directed to the coordinator so that the couple does not have to deal with them.

Problem Solving

Putting out fires and troubleshooting problems on the day of or right before the wedding is one of the most difficult but important jobs of the day-of wedding coordinator. If the bar runs out of tequila, someone forgets to bring the rings, or there is a power outage at the venue, this person is in charge of figuring out what to do. Again, the goal is to relieve the couple of all stress.

When You Need a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator

DIY Weddings

If a couple is planning their wedding on their own and needs someone to oversee their work on the big day, they often hire day-of wedding coordinators. This professional can swoop in and ensure that all of the couple's hard work is realized while they enjoy their wedding day. The day-of wedding coordinator can also assist the couple in ensuring that no pieces of their wedding are missing, particularly small details that non-professionals may overlook. Sometimes couples have a lot of loose ends, and I end up having to plan the wedding for them in a short amount of time.

Unusual Locations

While staff at traditional wedding venues understand how to pull off weddings flawlessly, some couples get married in locations that have never hosted a wedding ceremony or reception before. For example, a person's home or a national park could fall into this category. A couple getting married at a non-traditional wedding venue should hire a day-of wedding coordinator to ensure that the venue is properly set up for their festivities.