“Day Of” Wedding Coordination
“Do you offer ‘day-of’ wedding coordination?”
Yes! But – there is nothing “day of” about wedding coordination if done by a seasoned professional. “Month of” coordination has found its way into the wedding lexicon, and it is a little better of a description. But let’s discuss this further. Here is how I describe everything included in this service:
The package includes unlimited emails and phone calls, so from the time you hire us you can always feel free to bounce ideas off of me and ask questions. Your lead coordinator will be assigned 2 months before your wedding date.
Eight weeks before the wedding I ask that you send me all of the other vendor contracts so that we can begin to familiarize myself with your wedding details and compile information on the wedding. At this point, if I notice any glaring red flags, I will point them out to you.
Six weeks before the wedding we will have an in-person meeting to write the wedding day timeline, which is usually 6+ pages long and includes a vendor contact sheet. We will also help you with a floor plan for your wedding if your caterer has not done this already. At this 1.5-2 hour meeting, we will ask a million questions, half of which you won’t know the answer, but that is OK- we still have plenty of time to nail down all the details.
Thirty days before the wedding we will do a walk-through at your wedding venue with your caterer to confirm the layout and flow of the wedding.
Two weeks before the wedding we email the other vendors to introduce ourselves and give them a draft copy of the timeline.
One week before the wedding we will have our final in-person meeting to review the timeline one more time make sure no detail is overlooked. Then we send out a final version of the timeline to the other vendors, ensuring that they are up to speed with all your details.
We attend the wedding rehearsal and help run it as much or as little as needed (if your officiant can’t attend, we can run it all), and introduce myself to the wedding party and family members. We will also bring abbreviated timeline print outs for each member of the wedding party.
On the wedding day, we arrive at the getting ready location about an hour before the photographer arrives. This allows us to check on hair and makeup progress, tidy up the room for the photographer, and organize details such as shoes, jewelry, stationery, and more. We usually leave just as your first look to begin set up as early as your venue will allow. We oversee the other vendors at set up, answer their questions, and make sure they are executing the terms of your contract. We help set up your personal items at the ceremony and help greet your guests if needed. We cue your ceremony musicians and direct the wedding processional. We make sure everyone safely leaves the ceremony location and we remove your personal items. During the reception, we direct guests to the various places they need to be, and we work with your photographer and entertainment to cue you and your VIPs for toasts, dances, and speeches. We manage timeline changes, minor hiccups, and sometimes major emergencies like calling an ambulance because of an allergic reaction or a fall on the dance floor. We are there until the end of the night, packing up your personal items, wedding gifts, and make sure all guests depart safely. We also make sure that the vendor breakdown is going smoothly before I depart, usually 10-12 hours after I first saw you on your wedding day!
Whew! Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it is! And it should be – you are probably putting hundreds of hours into planning your wedding, so the person responsible for executing your carefully made plan should be fully immersed in all your wedding details! Because you only get “one take” on your wedding day.
What I have yet to mention is that we almost always bring an assistant with me, sometimes two, on your wedding day to help from the time of set up until the guests begin eat dinner. Your lead coordinator will invest about 40-50 hours of time into your wedding, and the assistant coordinator is on-site at your wedding for 6-8 hours. For all of this, the fee begins at $4000 for 2022 events.
Does this sound like not enough help for you? You are busy with your career, or grad school, or maybe you don’t live locally, and you are realizing that pulling off an awesome wedding might be more likely with some professional help. Or maybe you just want to know what other services we offer. Here you go!
“You are out of my budget”
No, we are not the least expensive option there is. There will always be a less expensive option. But will you get what you want or deserve? Will a budget-driven choice make your life (and the lives of your vendor partners) easier or harder? I think, for the amount of experience we bring to your wedding day, and the time we will invest, we charge a fair rate for wedding coordination. Allow us to explain.
Janice has been working on weddings in the DC area since 2002. Not a typo. 2002. She founded Bellwether Events in 2006, and since 2006 she has worked on 200+ weddings (and dozens of other types of events.) She has learned some very, very valuable lessons, some of which she turned into a book about weddings. She has lost power, cut cakes, been soaked to the core with rain, climbed on ladders, practiced breathing techniques with anxious grooms, and picked up tents demolished by hurricane-strength winds. She has refilled generators, bustled 100+ dresses, set up candy buffets, and schlepped tables and chairs. There is no question that Janice has surpassed 10,000 hours in this field, achieving the status of an expert event planner.
If you are looking for a ‘day of’ wedding planner in the Washington DC area, I’d love to hear from you and help you with your big day! I think you’ll join the ranks of my other “day of” clients who regularly say that I was the best investment they made!