I am not going to sugar coat it. One of the hardest items to DIY for your wedding is a Day of Coordinator. I speak from personal experience, as I had my cousin’s fiance coordinate my wedding. Don’t get me wrong, she did an amazing job. But after being in the wedding industry for so long, I appreciate the difference between a DIY coordinator and a professional Day of Coordinator. But, this post is not about why you should hire a professional. It is about to DIY the best damn Day of Coordinator for your wedding!
Choosing Your DIY Day Of Coordinator
Lets start with who not to choose: Yourself, your future spouse, anyone in the bridal party, any family members in formal pictures. These people are very important on the day of your wedding and they cannot be in two places at once. Your maid of honor cannot be in the bridal party pictures and giving direction on the table centerpieces at the same time.
You will want to choose someone who is very organized and is not afraid to tell people what to do. *ahem* I mean, kindly direct people with a stern voice if needed. Also, you should also be able to trust this person. You want to relax on your wedding day, not try and mico-manage your Day of Coordinator. The Day of Coordinator should be a real go getter. Someone who is not going to sit around until someone asks a question. Someone who is going to solve problems before you know they exist.
Make a Binder
Just like when you were in high school. Go out and grab a three ring binder, a three whole punch, and some three ring tab dividers. This will be your hub of information for your Day Of Coordinator. They will live and breath by this binder the day of your wedding, so fill it with more information than you think they need. But be kind enough to organize it well, so they can find the information. A table of contents would be extra helpful. Here are some key pieces of information to include:
- Vendor Name & Point of Contact
- Vendor Phone Number
- Copy of agreements
- Florist – List of arrangements, bouquets, boutonnieres, and other flowers and who gets the florals day of (bouts – groomsmen, fathers, ring bearer, grandparents).
- Photographer – Photographer timeline and shot list.
- Bar – Drinks they will be serving and when. Special drink list.
- Caterer – Meals they will be serving. Meals for vendors details.
Day Of Timeline
- When each vendor will arrive
- When the bride/groom will arrive
- Set up timeline
- Photography timeline
Set Up Information
- Set up timeline
- List of supplies
- Set up info and instructions
- Venue set up map
- Sample photographs of table designs (if you are doing DIY design)
- Processional/Recessional order
- Copy of Vows
- Copy of Ceremony (if you wrote it yourselves)
- Music to be player
- Any special seating arrangements (reserved rows)
- Timeline of reception
- Songs for each activity (first dance, mother/son dance, etc.)
- List of who will be giving toasts.
- Any special events they will need to help coordinate (dollar dance, sparkler exit, etc.)
Whew. That was a lot. But the better you can set up your Day of Coordinator, the less you will have to deal with on your wedding day. Which brings us to my next point:
Call Anyone But the Bride or Groom
This is a two part tip. Part one: Give your Day Of Coordinator information to all your vendors before the wedding! Ideally 2 – 4 weeks before the wedding if you can. Let them know they can contact you until the day of the wedding, then to contact your Coordinator. Provide them with their name and phone number.
Part two: Have a contact list for your Day of Coordinator with you at the very, very bottom. The most helpful contacts on this list would be anyone who helped you plan the wedding, make/plan the decorations, etc. This is where you list Mom, Dad, Maid of Honor, Best Man, etc.
Have a Meeting With Your DIY Day Of Coordinator
I know your schedule will be jam packed before the wedding. But it is ultra important to treat your Day of Coordinator just like any other vendor. Have a meeting with them about 1 – 2 weeks before the wedding. This doesn’t have to be anything formal. Take them out for coffee or invite them over for dinner one night. Go over everything in the binder. Go through the wedding day and the flow of the wedding day. Let them know about anything important, like if you have family members that don’t get along or if you are doing a surprise dance during the reception.
Have Them Attend the Rehearsal
What better way for your Coordinator to get a feel for the wedding than to attend the rehearsal?! This will also give them a chance to meet key players in your wedding, like your parents and bridal party, if they have not already met. They will also get to see the venue and you can explain in person how everything should be set up, show them where you will be getting ready, etc.
Relax and Enjoy
Whew, that was a lot of work to get someone ready to coordinate your wedding. Now it is time for you to sit back and reap the rewards. Enjoy your wedding day to the fullest knowing everything is taken care of and you are in good hands.
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