Take it from the Pros
I recently had lunch with a new old friend (as Gonzo once said “there’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.”) and we had a really interesting conversation. She is a caterer – and a very good one at that – and she told me that as of last May she requires all of her couples to use a Day of Wedding Coordinator. And no, the venue coordinator does not count.
Of course this was music to my ears. I’ve been trying to educate couples for years on the necessity of a Day of Wedding Coordinator. Too often as a DoC I am one of the last wedding professionals they hire – because suddenly they have money in their budget. OR maybe they finally realize there is just too much going on wedding day.
But if hired early enough in the planning process I can do so much more for you! Need a photographer? I have a list that I love to work with – I know they will do a great job for you and they might even give a little bit of a discount because they love working with me. Need a DJ? I’ve got a list of those too – and caterers, and florists, and and and…
The point is, I care about your wedding day just as much as you do. I want it to be just as perfect as you do. And the best way for me to ensure that happens is to work alongside pros I know and trust. You know what else? We all want to be on each other’s referral lists – so we are all going to do the best jobs we can. We all work together to make ourselves look good. And by doing that, I can ensure a Carefree day for you.
So why doesn’t the venue coordinator count? Because far too often the venue coordinator only cares about the venue. It doesn’t matter what he or she is called – if they work for the venue then they don’t work for you. An outside DoC – like me perhaps? – works for you. My job is to make sure everything goes according to your plan. Not according to how the venue has done it hundreds of times in the past.
I’ve even worked at venues with the rare fantastic on-site coordinator – but she still doesn’t do everything I do. In fact, she loves it when I am working a wedding with her because she knows it will be fantastic. And that makes her look good. And ultimately that leads to happy and Carefree couple.
It also made me wonder about other pros I know – so I posted a status on Facebook to find out. Do they require a DoC – or even ask if their couple has one? And what is their number one reason for recommending a DoC? Below are their unedited responses.
“Do you like your mother in law? Would you like to keep from killing her? Then get a DoC” – JL – Catering
“ I find if the venue doesn’t provide one and the DJ doesn’t want anything to do with anything other than music then they help tons.” MM – Photographer
“ I always ask, they often don’t. The venue coordinators often aren’t as involved as DOC. I love when they have DOC because those are the people who make sure your decorations are out, the top tier of your cake is saved, you belongings get in the right car, etc. DOC write amazing timelines (SO I DON’T HAVE TO!) and also look out for your vendors. I’ve had coordinators keep me hydrated during weddings and I’m sure I would have been sick if they hadn’t handed me water bottles every hour!!” SW – Photographer
“I like them, so I don’t have to do the work. The more I can stay on top of things with the help of a DOC, the better quality photos they will have. No one EVER stays on a timeline without one, they look to the Photog and the DJ and that’s not easy for us to do.” TR – Photographer
“It makes the day flow so much better having someone there who is not a friend or family member to do the things that need to be done, and the things that the friends and family have not even THOUGHT about needing to be done before and during the wedding. If brides just knew how much easier the day is when they have a DOC, they wouldn’t go without one!” DG – Wedding Planner
“ These days, I find myself in the dual role of DJ and coordinator many times. Although I do enjoy wearing both hats, a good DOC adds that extra touch of professionalism and continuity that makes for a better all-around team effort, plus, the DJ can concentrate on perfecting his entertainment package without shifting gears as much.” MM – DJ
“When talking to my customers about their cake and DoC is similar, I explain that I am helping them make their wedding day memories and you get what you pay for. What kind of memories do they want, stress or stress free?” BM – baker
“I always ask “Who is your coordinator?” not “Do you have a coordinator?” as I think that all of my couples should have one, to whatever level they think they need. And it sure makes my job better (I always tell them that the benefit for me of great professional vendors is that I can focus on my own job and responsibilities and not worry about anyone else’s). I also do a good amount of education how someone good is not really going to just do “day of” as you really want them working with you in the past 2-4 weeks to: check all of your vendor contracts to be sure that nothing is missing (I had one couple not order plates, from anyone – they thought the caterer was bringing them, but not at their price, and a real coordinator would have noticed that it wasn’t in their contract nor in the rentals list) nor duped (as why pay for two vendors to provide the same thing, like a ceremony sound set-up from the venue as well as the DJ); work with your vendors to provide a knowledgeable and couple-specific timeline (so that there is time allocated to the things that are that couple’s priorities, not just a generic couple); to gather all of the items needed for that day and your set-up, and to understand what you want done with them all; to make the day flow smoothly without you or your friends or loved ones having to jump in to do so, but rather to stay as the guests they are supposed to be; to work with your vendors as the ringleader and single point of contact, who knows your priorities, so that you aren’t bothered with any issues that day; to put our wedding day fires (like the shuttle vehicles that dropped off the wedding party at the venue and then went home, rather than going to the hotel for the guests, so folks had no way to get to the venue, or like the makeup artist who just doesn’t show up that day so a substitute on a summer Saturday needs to be found and sent to the hotel); and to ensure that all of the important items, like gifts and details and cake or leftover food, goes to wherever it should.” BN – Officiant
So don’t just take it from me – listen to the pros who know!