Think you got your wedding on lock? Think again. If there is one wedding gift you should give yourself, it’s the gift of actually enjoying planning and being a guest at your own wedding. And there’s no one more capable of giving that to you than a wedding planner. Even a day of wedding coordinator will ease the burden of the logistical nightmare that is planning a full-scale wedding. With more decisions to make and more things to do than you likely realize, a wedding is a production. Every production needs someone in charge, and that someone should NEVER be the engaged couple. Who is going to make sure your limo arrives on time? Who will be at the church to direct the florist where to put the arrangements? Who is going to pack all of the gifts into your car at the end of the night? Didn’t think of these things, did you? It’s cool, it’s cool. But we know someone who did! Meet Heather of Day Of Pittsburgh! In today’s guest post, this Pittsburgh wedding coordinator is sharing allllllll the things a day of wedding coordinator can (and will!) do for YOU!
From Day Of Pittsburgh…
When newly engaged couples hear the words “wedding planner,“ an image of Jennifer Lopez (with headset) or David Tutera pops into their head. Frivolous. Bossy. Expensive. Not for me.
What if I told you there’s a category of wedding planners for people who don’t want one? We’re called day of coordinators, and like the name suggests, we’re here to make your day THE BEST DAY. No headset necessary!
How is a day of coordinator different from a wedding planner?
Easy: We’re not your wedding planner! You and your boo have full control of your budget, choosing a venue, hiring all the vendors you love (we’ll totally name drop our favorites if you need), and adding your personal touches to the decoration and vibe of the day.
What can a day of coordinator do you for?
Pretty much everything else! You make the plans, and we’ll execute them. I’ve coordinated over 30 weddings since launching Day of Pittsburgh, and while no day is the same, they each have one thing in common. At their core, weddings are an event.
And guess what every event has?
An event coordinator! There’s always a ringleader with answers, the point person for emergencies, a “woman behind the curtain” pulling all the strings. Without them, the event won’t happen.
We all know a wedding isn’t just any event; it’s an event where the hosts are getting married. What host wants to be the person behind the curtain on their own wedding day? I sure wouldn’t.
Oh! You have a family member or friend who’s going to be in charge?
Are you sure? Are they sure? It’s also pretty impossible to be a guest and a ring leader.
Before mom, your super organized sorority sister, or (please, no) you volunteer as tribute, take a look at what a day of coordinator can do for your wedding.
It’s not just one day.
We’re good, but we’re not psychic. While “day of” is in the title, we get to work way before your actual wedding day, typically 3 – 6 months out. Worst case scenario: We’ve come on board within two weeks notice. Best case: We’ve had couples hire us two years in advance.
Four weeks from your date, we’ll meet up to build your wedding day timeline, create and tackle the to-do list, and check in with your vendors. Day of Pittsburgh also offers a site visit at your venue – I’m a visual learner!
In addition to all of the above, here are some real things I’ve helped with, pre-wedding day:
- Research and recommend breakfast delivery near the hotel
- Edit and proofread the officiant’s ceremony script
- Navigate the UBER v. hiring a limo conundrum
- Confirm the DJ will supply a wireless mic for the ceremony
- Ask the venue for wiggle room on sparkler exit/slideshow projection/confetti guns
- Make sure vendor meals are included in your catering order
- Create your wedding photo shot list
- Learn how to bustle your dress
- Menu tasting (Pull my leg, why don’t you!)
- Discuss the pros and cons of a first look
- Settle the real dishes v. disposable debate (Life Hack: If the food is good, no one cares!)
- Recommend how much pipe and drape to rent
- Answer as many emails, texts, and wedding day questions as you can throw at me
- Attend and direct your ceremony rehearsal
TL;DR: We’ll take your vision and serve it on a platter for you.
We’ll make sure every vendor, decoration, and cookie is accounted for, and add our two cents when asked. The more we prepare together, the smoother things will go on your day, and the less we’ll bug you in the moment.
On your wedding day, it’s us behind the curtain, and you in the spotlight! We’re your ride or die, and will go above and beyond for you.
Keep scrolling for the details we deliver:
- Check in with all vendors
- Deliver breakfast/coffee (Can you write “Bride” on the cup, please?)
- Pick up miscellaneous wedding items…I’ve done linens, cake, cookies, batteries, belts (!)
- Point person for bridal party, family, and emergency needs
- Facilitate hair/makeup, photographer, and transportation arrivals
- Bring cooler of beer onto party bus
- Set up/place any ceremony decor or items
- Confirm space is clean and organized
- Get all guests on the shuttle to the church
- Drive the bride to the ceremony (I’ve done this three times, and I take song requests!)
- Station the ushers with programs at the entrance
- Pin boutonnieres
- Get grandparents their corsages
- Confirm the best man has the rings
- Line up bridal party
- Cue music
- Cue everyone down the aisle
- Fluff the bride’s train and say “Have fun!”
- Remind guests of the unplugged ceremony policy (as nicely as possible!)
- Coordinate receiving line
- Wrangle guests for family portraits
- Collect any decor and bring it to reception space
- Deliver hors d’oeuvres and cocktails to wedding party during photos
- Flip ceremony space into reception space
- Make sure band eats dinner
- Light candles
- Confirm photographer gets detail shots of the reception space
- Bustle your dress
- Oversee vendor arrival and setup
- Plate cookies
- Set out place cards and favors
- Manage DIY projects
- Make sure the high chairs are at the correct tables
- Keep flow of reception on time and handle any hiccups
- Coordinate surprises (boudoir photo gift, ice luge, late night Chic Fil A delivery…yep, done that.)
- Line up wedding party for grand entrance
- Grab the maid of honor’s favorite lipstick left behind at the hotel
- Work with band/DJ/MC to coordinate speeches and special dances
- Fetch the bride and groom champagne
- “Yes, Aunt Karen, your cookies are out.” (Repeat five times.)
- Switch out the bride’s heels for dancing flats
- Grab dinner and cake leftovers
- Check on the babysitter and kiddos
- Dim the lights for the dance party
- Coordinate bouquet/garter toss, dollar dance, group photo, etc.
- Orchestrate grand exit
- Distribute payments and gratuities
- Deliver gifts and cards to appropriate car or final destination
- Pack up cake cutters, cake topper, guest book, champagne flutes, and other valuables
- Oversee event breakdown in accordance with the venue
- Final sweep to collect any left behind personal items (phones, jackets, jewelry…I’ve seen it all!)
- Pack up all the leftover alcohol
- Pack up all the leftover cookies (so.many.cookies.every.time.)
- Drive the newlyweds back to their hotel
Shall I go on? Because that’s a condensed version of what you get when you hire a day of coordinator.
If you don’t have one, who will do all of these things? Many of our tasks may seem small on their own, but having that women (hi!) behind the curtain to handle them – and so many more “day of” dilemmas – adds up to a stress free, organized wedding day for everyone. We will extinguish the fires before you even smell the smoke.
I’ll be the first to admit it: The wedding industry is booming with unnecessary cash grab “must-haves.” But if you invest in anything, make it your peace of mind. We’re not your wedding planner. We’re your advocate, your boots on the ground, and your freedom to eat, drink and be married! Every couple deserves that.