What Is A Day-Of Coordinator & Do You Need One For Your Wedding? Here's What To Know

Picture this: The dress has been selected and tailored, the invitations sent, the vendor booked, and the vows written. Finally, the big day has come. Your mind is fluttering with a flurry of anxious thoughts. Does everyone know when to walk down the aisle? Will the bridesmaids know when to start walking down the aisle? Will the flowers be arranged as planned? Fortunately, there’s a particular professional that can eliminate many of these worries: a day-of wedding coordinator. So, what is a day-of coordinator? And do you need one? No matter how organized of a bride you are, the reality is that it can be immensely helpful to have someone on hand to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. And that’s precisely what a day-of coordinator can do.

First off, it’s important to note the difference between a full-scale wedding planner and a day-of coordinator. While a full-scale planner will be involved in every aspect of the planning process from start to finish, a day-of coordinator focuses only on the details of the wedding itself. That means they aren’t involved in hiring vendors, choosing the venue, booking the DJ, or negotiating contracts. Rather, they focus on making sure that the ceremony goes smoothly, and everything and everyone is in the right place at the right time.

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According to Bridal Guide, a day-of coordinator’s responsibilities might include conducting the wedding rehearsal, assisting the wedding party with dressing, guiding the bridal party through the processional and recessional, double checking details (placement of menus, favors, cake placement, lighting, etc.), assisting with photo schedules, and collection of gifts. And as for those inevitable snafus — a day-of wedding planner can seriously save the day if, say, the maid of honor disappears right before the speeches, or the groomsmen forget their socks.

There are many benefits to hiring a day-of coordinator, whether you’re planning a more intimate affair in your parents’ backyard or an enormous bash at a lavish hotel. One of their primary duties is to draw up a minute-by-minute wedding schedule, which is given to each vendor and every person in the wedding party. This is a rather time-consuming task, and by handing it off to someone else, you can focus on other (more exciting) matters — like which vintage-inspired hairstyle you’re going for, or what songs you want the live band to play at the reception.

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Plus, a coordinator who has been involved in numerous weddings is bound to think of some key details to include in the schedule that you might not have considered. A day-of coordinator will usually take charge of the rehearsal, which means that you can simply enjoy the experience and spend more time with your family and friends ahead of the big day. And on the day of the wedding, the coordinator will make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be. The last thing you want to be worried about when you’re about to walk down the aisle is tracking down a bridesmaid who’s MIA or your mother- and father-in-law for some family photos.

The day-of wedding coordinator remains involved throughout both the ceremony and the reception. During the ceremony, they might make sure the guests are seated properly and promptly, that entrances are timed as planned to the music cues, and that everything occurs as scheduled in the program. At the reception, they will make sure that any meal courses are served on time, that guests know where they’re seated, and that gifts are placed in the right location. They’ll also organize the toasts, special dances, etc.

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Obviously, a day-of wedding coordinator can take a lot of the weight off when you’re preparing to say your “I do’s.” As you prepare for what could potentially be one of the most momentous and memorable days of your life, you already have a lot to think about. Some couples may find that their budget doesn’t allow for a full-scale wedding planner, or that they simply don’t need one. A day-of coordinator presents a perfect compromise, allowing you to take control over much of the planning process and then handing the reins over on the big day. So, do you need one? If you feel overwhelmed by handling all of the logistics on the day of the wedding, it’s definitely a good idea. Without a doubt, the most important thing is that you are able to relax and be in the moment as you cross this life-altering milestone with the one you love. Certainly, a day-of coordinator can help you to do just that.