Photo: Kelly Balch Photography
If you want to know what makes my blood boil, it’s the term day-of coordinator. The term day-of coordinator is a complete myth, misnomer, and overall, a unicorn! A coordinator DOES NOT just show up on the day of your wedding, know what’s going on, snap their fingers, and make it happen. You will begin working with this vendor a minimum of 1 month to 8 weeks prior to your wedding day. In those final weeks, they will connect with your vendor team, clarify any foreseeable logistical concerns, confirm guest count + meal selections with your caterer (and the venue), create a detailed wedding day timeline (from start to finish – not just from when you arrive at the venue), and assist with the set-up and breakdown of the event. Doesn’t sound like a one and done kind of thing now, does it? This is why hiring a coordinator is an investment, and well worth it.
Just because you’ve booked your vendors, purchased decor items, and are organized does not make you a wedding coordinator (nor does this mean you shouldn’t have one). And no, your “venue coordinator” is not the same thing as having hired a coordinator. Did you know that the venue coordinator arrives a few hours prior to the event, stays through the Grand Entrance, then leaves. They do not handle the set-up of your decor items, they do not coordinate with all of your vendors, and do not make sure all of your items are packed up safely at the end of the night. Your coordinator will be with you though, and the point of contact for all vendors, guests, and yes, even the venue coordinator. I have come across many couples that have waited until the last minute to hire a coordinator because they didn’t think they needed one. They realized they wanted to enjoy every moment of their wedding day and be fully present without having to work or make your family or guests work as well. Remember, they are here to celebrate with and for you! Forcing your wedding party into duties that will make them bitter will only cause your experience to go downhill and really give you the nickname “Bridezilla”.
Now, let’s talk money + investment. A good, experienced coordinator is not cheap (and nor do I think you would want that). The average cost of an “experienced” coordinator within the Southern California area is $2500+. Have you seen coordinators that offer $500 day-of coordination, and think that’s good enough? Well, understand you are taking a major risk, will be their guinea pig, and you get what you pay for! This goes for everything in the booking process for any vendor! When investing in an experienced coordinator (or vendor), you are investing in a “true” business that is licensed + insured, has years of experience backing them, can bring clarity to your questions, fully ensure the day will run smoothly, and provide you with complete peace of mind.
When it comes to your wedding day, you plan to only do this once – this is why quality over quantity is key to a successful experience.