What You Need to Know About Day-Of Coordinators

The hiring process, tasks, and additional tips on what to expect from a DoC.

What You Need to Know About Day-Of Coordinators

Photo: Gabe Aceves Photography

Once you’re engaged and enter into the world of wedding planning, you’ll quickly learn that there are quite a few terms and positions with which you were previously unfamiliar. No matter how many weddings you’ve attended in your lifetime, getting to pull back the curtain and see the production side of everything will give you a different perspective. Though you may be aware of the bigger choices to be made – venue, dress, etc. – there are plenty of nuanced elements that also require your attention. For example: you likely know about professional planners, but how much do you know about day-of coordinators for weddings?

If you’re confused about this topic, here are the things you need to know about this wedding professional:

-   They’re actually month-of coordinators. Though the common term is “day-of coordinator” – or, more colloquially, “DoC” – these planners often do their work for about a month leading up to your special day.

-   Consider hiring if you’re mostly planning alone. Many brides and grooms hire a DoC in lieu of a full-on wedding planner. The main difference between the two is just time: planners are typically hired around the start of the process to help with ideas, meetings, bookings, and every other aspect of the wedding you might think up. If you have experience, solid help from your partner, time to devote to research, meetings, touring, tastings, etc., bringing a DoC on board will be the perfect way to ensure things go off without many hitches when you tie the knot.

-   When interviewing DoCs, ask questions. How many hours do they offer on the day of your wedding? What is their pricing like? What packages do they have available? What is an example of their usual tasks before the wedding and on the day of? Also, it’s important to read any reviews from unbiased sites and trust your instincts on how you feel when you meet them.

-   Some are strictly DoCs, and some offer many planning packages. Many full-time wedding planners have DoC packages, but there are some coordinators that only offer month-of services. Do your homework – and interview everyone – before you hire.

-   You should have all major details in place before hiring. Seeing as it’ll be about a month away from your event, all of the big vendors should be booked and everything should be well on its way to coming together when you start the hiring process. If not, be sure to discuss with your DoC: some will take on the role of planner for you and help you book, but they will likely charge you an extra fee.

-   Their first order of business will be contacting your vendors. Once hired, your DoC will be your new point of contact for vendors, so they’ll want to reach out to everyone and introduce themselves to make the transition smooth.

-   They will review your vendor contracts. However, they won’t try and alter or renegotiate your solidified agreements.

-   They will create a timeline for your wedding. This will help everyone know when to arrive, when to depart, when to start doing this, when to stop doing that, and more.

-   They’ll want to visit your wedding location(s) with you. It will help them get a good sense of what you imagine for the day, which they can relay to your vendors.

-   When it comes time to rehearse the wedding, they’ll take charge. Talk to them about the personalized elements of your ceremonies – they will draw out a plan and make sure the practice run goes smoothly.

-   On the day of, they’ll run the wedding like a planner would. Hopefully with a stylish headset! Sit back, relax, and let all of the details fall into place.

-   Some venues offer DoC services, but they may not be the same. Your venue could offer a DoC, but chances are, this person will be less involved than an independent coordinator. It is important to ask your venue – and the coordinator themselves, if you can – the aforementioned questions, as they may not be willing to do all of the things that an independent planner does.

Find out how to manage your wedding as an introvert, discover some of the main responsibilities of the groom during planning, and read up on how to use social media properly for your nuptials.

Opening photo by Wollwerth Imagery; Wedding Planning & Design by Kelli Corn Weddings & Events