(Closed) Day of Coordinator (DOC) – Did you hire one or wish you did?

posted 12 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
805 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

It’s truly a personal decision based on your circumstances.

I have hired a DOC and so far she has been helpful when I needed vendor recs etc… For example, she just gave us the info for a florist who does amazing work, but only part time. I like her advice because all the vendors she tells me about, she has seen them in action at weddings.

For the day of our DOC will be bringing me and Bridesmaid or Best Man breakfast at the hair salon. She will also be the person who is our contact person/problem solver with vendors, sets up our DIY centerpieces, sets up our card box, guest book, gift table, memory table, makes sure the guys are ready with bouts, can find Aunt Marge for formal pictures etc,will make sure that all of our presents are collected and delivered to us.

I am probably not capturing all that she will do, but basically she is going to keep me sane and allow me to just be the bride on the day of. Without a DOC, if something goes wrong with a vendor, you are person dealing with it.

Post # 4
1255 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

TOTALLY wish I had.  I had an on site coordinator, which I foolishly confused with a DOC. y the time I realized the difference, it was too late (aka the week of the wedding.)  There were just a lot of little things that I ended up having to delegate to others that she’d have taken care of.  Bringing things from our hotel to church, church to reception, getting Bridal Party members where they needed to be, etc.

Post # 5
8375 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

We had an on-site DOC and also an assistant. they were plenty. We had very helpful bridesmaids and family members to transport all our stuff. I actually had a friend, who was my guest book attendant, assemble centerpieces with one of the bridesmaids husbands. So….i definitely asked for help and people were gracious to help. If I didn’t have such ready to help friends at hand, a DOC would have been necessary. Then again, we DIY’d EVERYTHING which made it tough.

Post # 6
548 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

A coordinator will make sure the overall flow of the day is smooth.

My venue actually provided me with a wedding coordinator, and I would have been lost without her! From tracking down needle & thread to reattach a groomsman’s button, to calming my nerves, fixing a decor snaffoo, and cueing individuals during the ceremony…she was a great asset to our day.

It will relieve so much stress, knowing someone else has it all under control.

Post # 7
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Some of the best wedding money we spent, hands down!  Our venue offered an on-site person as well, but they weren’t going to do nearly everything we wanted (especially in regards to helping to stage some items the way we wanted or getting things into our car after the reception, directing the bridal party, helping store bridal party belongings, etc…).  It’s a lot of little things you may not even be thinking about.  I didn’t have to worry about a thing the week or day of the wedding.  We also had a destination wedding so it was helpful to have a local resource to use as well for vendor recommendations, etc… 

Our DOC provided vendor reccomendations, built a VERY comprehensive timeline and worked with each of the vendors on it.  Confirmed vendor arrivals the day before the wedding (trust me, this isn’t something you want to be doing) and oversaw the rehearsal.  She and her 2 assistants worked on setting up some of the decor items we wanted at the reception (this was in addition to the rental companies, she was on hand to make sure everything was set-up how we envisioned w/ the rentals, flowers, etc…)  We had our ceremony in another location than the reception so they oversaw the rental companies delivery and set-up of the chairs there, did decor set-up, etc… Oversaw the drinks/snacks we had for the wedding party since we were taking additional pictures after the ceremony.  She had her own “emergency kit” for dress repairs (my bustle broke), band-aids (someone got cut).  I had also put one together but hers was super handy….it’s not something you want to be digging out when you need it, it was simply nice that there was someone there that would take care of EVERYTHING you could think of or want.  The list could go on. They also would have put the rain plan into action if needed.  The peace of mind having a DOC brought to our wedding day was SO worth it.  The on-site person at the reception site only would have done so much and I am very glad I went through what I wanted/expected with the on-site person at the resort so I knew ahead of time that they wouldn’t provide everything I needed/wanted.  Make sure you fully understand what they will/won’t do. 

Post # 8
884 posts
Busy bee

I hired a DOC and it was THE best money I spent on the wedding.  I had so many details (DIY programs, chalkboard menu, favors, moo cards, signing tiles, lanterns, and on and on) and she and her assistant made it happen even though they couldn’t get int the venue to set up until a couple of hours before the cermony/reception.  She even helped me bustle my dress when my mom couldn’t remember how to do it.  Coordinated all my vendors so I didn’t have worry about them showing up and if there were any problems, I honestly didn’t know anything about it.

They were OUTSTANDING!  I can say that enough.  We had an “on-site coordinator” that came with the venue who was essentially worthless and if I hadn’t had our DOC, I shudder to think how things would’ve turned out. 

Post # 9
1088 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We hired a DOC and it was one of the best decisions we made. We also had on-site coordinators through our venue, but I just didn’t trust them. They were amazing, but they’re not paid to directly serve you on your wedding day. My coordinator did everything I could possibly think of. In addition to the usual setting up, coordinating vendors, etc., she did:

-Wedding Day errands in the morning (pick up some supplies and cookies at the bakery).
-Coordinated our first look with the photographer to make it special and intimate
-Eagle-eyed the entire venue for onstructions that could possibly ruin photos, like parking signs and such. It was awesome.
-Coordinated the entire flow of the day, everything from speeches at the reception to the cake cutting to acting as our DJ/Emcee, to the first dance timing, etc.
-She showed our photographer to the people we wanted photographed. I was never bothered by it, and was very thankful for that!
-She added so much to our decor that I would never have thought of. She happened to have fake maple leaves in very rich fall colors, and she scattered them everywhere, including our aisle. It was amazing.

Basically, she was my personal assistant for the day, and it was amazing. She had a very calming influence and it was worth the money alone just knowing she was there if something came up. My wedding party got to relax with me that morning and everyone else appreciated that, too.

Post # 10
2385 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

I hired a DOC. I don’t trust my venue coordinator to get it right, and I want someone OTHER than me to keep the other vendors in line. 😉

Post # 11
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2021

We didn’t have a DOC. Our venue had a wedding coordinator who was super helpful. We also did a lot of the setup (guestbook, place cards, ect) on the Thursday before our wedding since they didn’t have another event going on. I thought everything went really smoothly. I could see where it would be really helpful to have a DOC if your venue doesn’t have someone in the background to make sure everything is set up and going the way it’s supposed to.

Post # 12
25 posts

its well worth it definitely. I think my DOC did an ok job. I would have done a better job though 🙂 Im a Planner/Coordinator myself but of course needed someone to help me at my own wedding since i wasn’t available lol.

Post # 13
106 posts
Blushing bee
Post # 14
106 posts
Blushing bee

My biggest regret was not hiring a DOC.  I didn’t realize how much I really needed one until a few weeks before the wedding, and it seemed like planners offering DOC services charged almost as much for DOC services as had I hired them as event planners from the beginning so I didn’t think it was worth the money since I had already done so much work on my own.  It would have been worth every penny.  (I had an on site “coordinator” which was worthless).

The problem with some venue coordinators is that their top priority lies with the venue and their coordination services are usually limited.  A day of wedding coordinator that you hire should be your advocate and approach the day with your wedding as the priority.  (A venue coordinator sees pew flowers and looks for the approved pew holders that won’t mar the pews and says “phew, the flowers got here so I can check that off my list”, a DOC sees pew flowers and knows if the florist brought the flowers and colors you wanted.)

In your situation I’d talk to the coordinator your venue is providing to get a comprehensive list of what they do and don’t do.  You may have gotten lucky and she’ll handle more than mine did.

Ask yourself the following questions.  If the answer is you, your parents, or a member of the wedding party, then you need a DOC (these people deserve to enjoy the day, not be stressed working).  If you aren’t sure, ask your venue coordinator if they take care of these.

Who will greet every vendor (which will likely arrive around the same time as each other and during the time you & your party are busy getting ready for/taking pictures before the ceremony) and tell them where to put what?  Who will call the vendors if the vendors don’t arrive on time?  Who will monitor the vendors to make sure everything is set up correctly and fix it if it’s not?  Who will give the toasting flutes/cake knife/first tier cake box to the caterer?  Who will distribute the bouquets/boutonnieres/corsages?  Who will make sure people are where they need to be for pre-ceremony pictures?  If it rains, who reminds you to arrange for extra umbrellas and designate someone to act as a shuttle driver if family or the wedding party are walking from the hotel to the ceremony for pictures?Who will set up the reception tables (place cards, favors, menu cards, disposable cameras)?  Who will set out the guestbook?  Who will give the programs to the ushers, make sure the ushers are in place at the time they need to be, and help them if they have questions about seating?  Who will make sure the groom and his party are accounted for & in their room before the ceremony?  Who will make sure the parents know where they should be and what they should be doing before the ceremony (mine got nervous/overwhelmed & flaked)?  Who will monitor the flow of people to make sure you and your fiancé don’t see each other?  Who will tell you the status of your guests’ arrival and let you know when everyone is ready to line up?  Who will make sure everyone lines up as they should when they forget everything you practiced at the rehearsal?  Who will cue the musician?  Who will cue your party when they should process?Who will guide your party as to where they should go after the recessional to wait for pictures?Who will make sure your guests move in the direction of the reception?Who will help coordinate your “grand entrance” to the reception?Who will the caterer check with throughout the night to confirm that the schedule for dinner, toasting, and cake cutting is still as planned?Who will watch the clock to keep your reception activities on schedule?Who will coordinate adjustments to the schedule or flow of the reception if things don’t start on time or don’t happen they way you expected?Who will deal with any catering or DJ issues during the reception?Who will distribute any farewell bubbles/rice bags?Who will make sure things run smoothly after you and your husband leave the reception?Who will monitor to make sure your guests aren’t forgetting their favors on their table when they leave?Who will make sure any things that need to be picked up by vendors at the end of the night don’t leave the venue and are ready for pick up (e.g. large vases)?

So many little things you don’t thing about until you start putting together a Day of Wedding itinerary or until you realize on the day of that your parents and wedding party can’t seem to remember all those things you spent so much time practicing, planning, & discussing.   Did I mention I regret not hiring a DOC? 🙂

Post # 15
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969


Just in case . . .

Post # 16
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010 - Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery

@ShellyT – thanks for the advice!!!

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