You're in the thick of wedding planning and it's starting to get hairy. Maybe you've hired an event planner, maybe a day-of coordinator, maybe a friend willing to lend a hand, or maybe you're going hard at it by yourself. If you're in the latter two camps, you may be thinking, “do I need to hire a day-of coordinator?”
Wedding planners and day-of coordinators can be a saving grace when you want to focus on having a blast on your wedding day and not setting up, tearing down, dealing with fires, fielding phone calls from lost relatives, and generally having to carry the tasks yourself. They do it for you!
The benefits of a day-of coordinator are pretty obvious, but since I recently had my own Chicago wedding, I got to see them first-hand. I wanted to share my own tale of bliss hiring Chicago-based wedding planners, An Event Less Ordinary. They are an Offbeat Bride preferred vendor and made my wedding weekend quite literally stress-free — outside of getting a wicked cold which they couldn't have prevented… though they'd probably have tried if they could!
Here are a few of the benefits, hidden and otherwise, that I discovered when I hired a day-of coordinator for my wedding…
They're your go-to when you get worried
During wedding planning, both you and your partner are going to have that panic moment: what if X, Y, and Z go wrong? Our go-to whenever we wanted to just chill out and keep perspective was always that Carolyn and Kaitlin will have it covered. Hiring professionals when it comes to wedding planning means that they'll know WAY more than you do, know matter how much you know. I'm a wedding blogger and I still had so much to learn. And honestly? I think I didn't even need to learn much about what happens on the day since my day-of coordinators took care of so much and shielded us from all things stressful.
Your other vendors will breathe easy
The other people who will be breathing sighs of relief during your wedding planning with a coordinator? Your OTHER vendors. I can't count the number of times my photographer, venue/caterer, DJ, or whoever seemed super relieved when I told them who we hired as our day-of coordinator.
Obviously that bodes well for who we hired in general, but it's going to be a real boon when your other vendors know they'll have a solid source to go to for questions, problems, and any fires that need putting out who ISN'T the couple themselves. Nobody wants to go report some issue to the couple while they're taking photos or enjoying their wedding.
They give gold stars
This is a pretty me-specific bonus, but I think it might apply to a few of you as well. I love getting “gold stars” for doing a good job at, well, anything. So having a resource on whom I could bounce ideas or get some affirmation on some choice I'd made was ultra motivating. An event planner will be great at keeping you motivated to get things done and affirm your ideas when you're hesitant or need some advice — very dope for offbeat weddings in particular where your choices might deviate from the norm.
They know what can go wrong, even when you don't
We had one vendor in particular who was fairly new to the wedding scene and didn't realize how the schedule would go on the wedding day itself. I barely even knew that any of that was going down let alone have to deal with it myself. Our veteran coordinators took care of it sight unseen and I never would have known that anyone was new to anything.
They take all of their expertise to guide all aspects of the wedding, from vendors to schedules to wedding parties to timing to EVERYTHING. Being able to completely focus on having fun and enjoying the experience of the day without having to even imagine worst case scenarios was amazing.
They do tons ahead of time
In addition to pre-planning meetings with your coordinators prior to the wedding weekend, your day-of coordinators aren't just working on the day itself. That's why most of them call themselves “month-of coordinators” or something similar. There's really no way they could tackle a wedding day without having the full scope of it all prior.
Carolyn and Kaitlin from AELO met with us to create our wedding day schedule, communicated with all of our vendors, dealt with all of the legal contracts and permits and all of that stuff I still don't know much about, all in the weeks leading up to it. It's all work you'd have to do yourself otherwise and it was such a load off during those last few hectic weeks. In fact, I kept remarking about how NOT busy I felt during the last week before the wedding. Our publisher Ariel even noticed how often I was online getting work done instead. Chalk that up to our coordinators.
They supply THE GOODS
You won't have to make an elaborate “oh shit kit” for emergencies. You should still pack anything you-specific like medications or specific supplies you like to have on hand, but for mints, stain removal, safety pins, and all those little emergency doo-dads that come in handy on a wedding day? Your day-of coordinators will have those covered, probably in a big roller bag that'll be at the ready in your getting-ready area.
We grabbed a couple of mints before the ceremony and lint rolled a suit without having to give it a thought.
They find your missing phone
Okay, this is another me-specific one, but it's a good one! I had my vows and my toast stored on my phone. Sometime between the ceremony and when my toast started, I had either not grabbed my phone from someone or put it down somewhere. As soon as toast time started, I panicked looking for it. But there was Carolyn, calming me down and somehow finding it and sliding it right at my seat at the reception. Where was it? I don't know! How did she find it? I don't know! But that's what they do: fix shit.
They're stealth ninjas
Near the end of the night, we were dancing like fools with all of the youngins. I vaguely recall them cleaning things up, putting our decor carefully back into the boxes, and putting everything we needed into the car. By the time I realized it, they were done and we had no delays in just jumping into the car and hitting the road as soon as we wanted to leave.
The alternative here is cleaning it all up yourself at the end of a long night, which frankly sounds like an almost impossible feat based on how much my feet hurt. My coordinators got it done without us even seeing them do it. It was the absolute best.
They're your advocate
Just like with many aspects of your life, you've got to be your own advocate, right? But when it comes to your wedding, sometimes you can have someone do that for you. Day-of coordinators act as your advocate in all ways so that you don't have to. You can communicate your needs and desires ahead of time, determine what can and can't be accomplished, and then just know that your coordinator team will do everything under the sun to make your wishes happen.
Not everything can go perfectly, of course, but unlike a venue coordinator who primarily works on behalf of the venue, your coordinator is YOUR champion. And that's peace of mind that's so worth it.
If you're interested in how my wedding went down with the kick-ass planners at An Event Less Ordinary on my side, I'll be blogging about it soon, I promise.