Post # 1
My florist is going to set up the centerpieces and I had asked some of my friends to set up the other items at my reception – placecards, head table decor, favors, etc. Then I got to thinking that I shouldn’t make all my friends do these things and perhaps I should hire a coordinator. Plus, who will tell the caterer when it’s time to serve dinner, cut cake, etc. And then who will tell the DJ to announce those things to the guests? I’m not going to go over to every vendor and say “ok, let’s start dinner now, tell the guests”. If I give these people a schedule that says dinner starts at 5:30 will they just announce it on their own without someone prodding them?
So I was thinking I should hire a DOC to manage the vendors and do the decorations my friends were going to do. But when I told my friends this, one of them seemed ok with it (she didn’t seem too excited to help in the first place), but the other seemed sad because she said she was looking forward to putting out the decor (and she always wanted to be a wedding coordinator she said). They said they still want to do it, and that it gives them a good excuse to buy pretty dresses to wear for their special roles! Another friend who was there, who wasn’t initially asked to help out, said that she could talk to the caterer while at the wedding and let him know when to start things. Apparently she used to help plan banquets when she was in college so she knows how to boss caterers around she said.
I don’t know about all this. I just want to make sure things are done right. And I’m not sure if friends will be able to do all this because they may be busy socializing and being wedding guests.
I feel bad telling them I don’t need them now and that I’m going to hire a DOC.
What should I do? Hire a coordinator, or trust that my friends can do it right?
Or maybe give my friends some things to put out so that they still feel like they have a role – like the placecards and gift table items, and then hire a coordinator to the do the rest?
Post # 3
I think the final decision is yours depending on how you feel about getting all the details in place. But I’m not doing a coordinator, and I can tell you how we’re handling things.
Some friends are setting up the place cards, etc. at the reception site. I helped do set up for a wedding last year, and I really liked feeling like part of the process. I had lots of fun at that wedding and I felt really involved.
We designated a couple to be our MCs. We will give them a list of announcements and times for dinner, cake, etc. We also gave this schedule to the caterer. The MCs will meet with the caterer during set up so that they can communicate during the evening if the schedule needs to be adjusted.
I decided not to do a coordinator, even in the imaginary universe where I could afford one, because I wanted things to feel casual and I think it’s fine if guests know that we’re doing it ourselves.
If your friend wants to be a wedding coordinator, you could ask her if she’d like to be in charge, and get her a gift or something. She might actually like that.
Post # 4
I think having a DOC is very much a personal preference but I would utilize the expertise that your friends have. I mean, they’re eager to help and have experience with large parties? I think you’re set. However, if it’s going to make you feel better then having a coordinator it could definitely be worth it to you.
Post # 5
I know that my friends would help in a heart beat but I want them to relax and enjoy the day. I am leaning towards a DOC too. I think that it help make everything run smoothly and I don’t have to be the one bombarded with questions or issues on the day. Something to consider is that they cost money and they’re not too cheap.
Post # 6
yeah the one I would go with is $400 for 4 hours of time (basically 3pm to 7pm).
So I’m trying to think do I want to pay $400 for peace of mind, or go with my friends and be slightly worried that it might not turn out too well? I wish I could just be the easy-going person that I normally am, have my friends do it, and not worry about it not turning out perfectly. But wedding planning has turned me into a stressed out freak. I totally understand how Bridezillas are born now.
Post # 7
I wish we had gotten a DOC. But if your friend is excited to do it, and willing to take on the responsibility then great! Just make sure she knows exactly what she will be asked to do, and give her an out if she thinks it is too much.
Post # 8
I have a DOC and she’s SO worth the money we’re spending. We have her for the whole day, and we spent $800. She’s truly amazing. I also have friends and family who are very organized, but they’re all in the wedding party, and I wanted to let them just enjoy the day with me, rather than having them worry about all the details.
Honestly? If your friends have never done anything like this before, I would hire a DOC. PLanning banquets in college is slightly different than a wedding. But then again, I’m a control freak to a certain extent, and really didn’t want to trust anyone but a professional with this stuff. On top of all the decor, there’s so many other things to work out like music cues with the DJ, first dances and toasts, if you’re doing anything else during the reception like the anniversary dance or money dance, ceremony music, etc. There were so many things our DOC brought up that I just hadn’t even thought about her doing it. She’s literally taking over for the day, and it’s the most amazing feeling!
I would ask your friend if she wants to be a guest, or the DOC for the day. If she REALLY wants to be in complete control, maybe consider having her do it, but making it clear that she really won’t be able to enjoy the day as much, and that deep down, you’d rather her be there for support, but in a professional capacity.
Post # 9
Oh, also forgot to add: Recently at a family member’s wedding, the Aunt and Uncle of the groom were the master and mistress of ceremonies. When it was all said and done, they said they enjoyed doing it, but that they would have rather been just a guest to really take in the day, rather than worrying about timing and everything. Just something to think about 🙂
Post # 10
I second Miss Chapstick. I had an aunt who ran my uncle’s wedding last year and while she was more than happy to do it but she was so stressed and didn’t get to enjoy the day. I originally was going to go with family members to help with the big day, but the more I thought about it the more I thought that I really want people to relax and enjoy the day. Coordinators are expensive tho, so I understand your hesitation, my coordninator only started her buisness about a year ago so she’s only $300 for DOC. Try looking on craigslist or for buisnesses just starting up, they may cut you a deal for helping them to build their portfolio.
Post # 11
I think everyone should get a DOC if their budget allows it. Having one allows you, your friends and family to not worry about a thing that day.
I have been planning and managing events for over 12 years and I had one just to not stress about anything that day.
Try looking for newbies to the business, you’ll get a good deal.
Post # 12
Well I did find some newbies. But the problem with newbies is that they seem like they aren’t outgoing enough. They all seem like they don’t know what they are doing and can’t take control of a situation. Did you pay for people like that? I feel like I could be a better coordinator than they could. Maybe after my wedding is over I should go into this business.
I’d rather pay $150 extra for the more experienced person who seemed like she was in total control when I spoke with her on the phone and even gave me more ideas of what needs to be done on the wedding day. That’s a way to sell yourself! Compared to the other people whom I had to tell what needed to be done and ask if they had any suggestions as to how to do it (they really didn’t have any ideas!).
Post # 13
since you’re getting married in a little over a month you may want to try to contact the local coordinators to see if there are any new planners in the area or if they are running any specials. i am on both sides of the fence with this one. if your friend has always wanted to do this then maybe you should pay her to do it and let her take full control, but has she done anything like this before? what about scheduling and timeline and those type of issues, will you hand her a timeline and tell her what time everything needs to happen or is that something that she’ll do herself? i think if you broke everything down in an hourly fashion, what needs to be done where, and if you have taken pix of the mockups and given them to her so she’ll know what everything is supposed to look like then everything will be fine…