We've already waxed poetic about how event planners can save you money, save your ass, and be your wedding savior, right? But maybe you're still thinking it's just too expensive or you have someone on your guest list who can wing it. To play devil's advocate, we talked to one of our own Offbeat Brides and beloved vendors, LA-based Jessica Carrillo of Art & Soul Events, to see why hiring a wedding planner (or in this case, a “wedding day manager!”) may be the decision you'll totally be happy you made.
Let's talk about what the heck wedding day management even is and why you might totally need it.
What the heck is “wedding day management?”
Jessica has been moving away from “day-of coordination” in favor of “wedding day management,” which is more like partial planning for the couples who want day/month-of coordination rather than full event planning. It's a step up from just a day, which allows Jessica and her team to really know all the ins and outs of the day and be prepared to handle all the moving parts… of which there are MANY.
Jessica gave us some great insights into what wedding management can do, how it differs from what we used to think about “day-of coordination,” and how having one on your team while planning and on the day will de-stress your life in ways you never even imagined:
As a day-of coordinator I can say that day-of coordination is way more than just day-of. We have two in-person meetings with one or more at the venue. We really love for our couples to keep us in the loop along the way, so that when the wedding day comes, we know everything about everything. We liken it to “downloading your wedding brain.” We also create and manage the timeline. Generally, we come in and really take charge the month before the wedding:
- reviewing all vendor and venue contracts
- contacting vendors about arrival and departure times
- sending the timeline to key vendors
- locking down the order and timing of events
- we run the rehearsal
- set up decorations
- place flowers, pin boutonnieres, fluff dresses, give pep talks, bring cocktails and water, hold speeches in our bras, bustle dresses, sneak you off to let you pee, grab you when a wedding guest is talking to you too long, refresh your lipstick, or grab you a mint…
We are your personal day-of assistant all while executing your wedding vision.
So having someone dealing with the contracts and details is the biggest load off we can imagine, but then having someone there for all those big worries you're imagining in your brain (which, let's face it, aren't all out of the realm of possibility), is exactly what most of us need to plan a big event without losing our minds.
Why do I really need a wedding day manager?
One thing that I've always been cognizant of was not leaning too heavily on friends, family, and other guests to put in tons of work, put out fires on the wedding day, and end up not enjoying a party I'd plan for their enjoyment. A wedding day manager allows your guests to be just that: guests at your wedding. Can you do it all yourself? Of course you can. But the risk is that you spend your day cleaning up messes, looking for staff to help, and generally ending up a little less in-the-moment because you're acting as a full-time host. A wedding day manager can take all of that off of your plate so that you can boogie down in peace. Here's Jessica's take:
As a coordinator we plan, plan, plan, and cross all t's and dot all i's. After all of that planning, it is amazing how much we also do on the fly. A great coordinator will be organized and prepared, but they will also be flexible and able to easily adjust and accommodate for the unexpected. After each wedding we work on, I think to myself, “how would they have handled this without us?” And the couple usually doesn't even know about all the little fires we put out along the way.
I'm genuinely emotionally invested in the success of the wedding I'm managing. Wedding planning is my passion, not something I just do. I'm really accessible and I love getting to know my couples on a personal level. I want to know what makes them happy, what their concerns are, family dynamics that could impact the wedding, favorite foods, preferred beverages, color/style/theme preferences, etc. Professionally, the success of a wedding directly impacts my business, unlike a friend or family member who may be put in charge.
Insider advice makes all the difference
You're here on a wedding blog, so we know you have questions about planning and need support. That's where wedding day managers totally shine. They've got hookups, connections, and have seen it all go down… in many ways, in many places. Let's hear from Jessica about why industry expertise can save money and make wedding magic:
I also feel like my couples really lean on me for emotional support along the way. They may be stressed about budget concerns and then I'll give them my top five tips to reduce the budget, for instance. I also spend a lot of time with my clients empowering them to have an authentic wedding by making their own wedding rules. “This is your wedding. You make the rules. Be bold and do your thing.”
I also have the professional connections of amazingly cool and unique vendors, a library of resources to forward and link to, a professional certification, blog features, and a big ass wedding of my own under my belt which allows me to really relate. Oh and I'm the Lovesick LA co-sponsor, the co-leader of The Rising Tide Society, and I run a Facebook group for LA Wedding Vendors and Creatives.
Dealing with venue managers
Do venue managers love working with Jessica and her team at Art & Soul? Oh hell yes they do. And here's why:
In my experience, the venue managers LOVE us, because we make sure everything is on-time and organized, and everyone knows when and where they are supposed to be. We take the pressure off of them so they can do what they do best. I really love working with venue coordinators too, because they generally have a great staff and work like a well-oiled machine.
If you have a venue coordinator and you are trying to decide if you need a day-of coordinator/wedding day manager, here is what I recommend. Just get a bid from a day-of coordinator and take it to the venue coordinator and just ask if they will cover all of the responsibilities listed on that bid. If not, then you will at least know where your gaps of coverage are.
Now that we know what a step up in responsibility a wedding day manager can be, how they'll make your day a serene dream for you, and why Jessica of Art & Soul Events is the crème de la crème, we think it's time you got in touch with her. But wait: we can make it even more affordable:
Namedrop us when you get in touch for a $300 discount through the end of January 2016. Hurry and get your date in her calendar.
(Note: This special discount is for a limited time and cannot be combined with any other offers, including any discounts listed elsewhere on the site.)
Ready to make Jessica your wedding planning bestie? She's already ours. Hell, Jessica is even planning the wedding of another of our fave vendors, photographer Evangeline Lane! When a trusted vendor trusts another vendor… then we know it's on point. Go say hello and get all your questions answered.