Post # 17
I planned my wedding by myself and delegated the reception set-up to a friend. Although the reception looked good, it didn’t look great. It wasn’t what it was supposed to be. My friend disregarded the list I provided her with, made a last minute change to my design, and assumed that I wouldn’t mind. I minded. I don’t regret not having a DOC (my wedding came in $1200 under budget which is a blessing after what just happened to my stock portfolio. In view of what happened to that portfolio, it’s a good thing I saved the extra $ by not having a DOC……). On the other hand, if I had a DOC, the reception would have looked the way I wanted it to. 5 years from now, I probably won’t care because the reception turned out fine. However, it is only 3 weeks after the event, so I’m still a little irritated. Therefore, my vote is go with the DOC *if* you can swing it. :o)
Post # 18
Had our September 6 event. Convinced Darling Husband to hire one (prior to knowing that our venue required one) and was he ever relieved after the fact.
If it is within your budget or you can squeeze it, go for it.
She and her assistants helped me arrange details and specifics before, during, and after the wedding.
She ensured that the right favors got to the right people, the right things such as guestbooks, props, decor, got set up correctly. She contacted vendors and took over everything a month out from the wedding. I didn’t have to worry about a thing. She created timelines and logistics for everything and was the complete liason. I woke up on the morning of the wedding and all I had to worry about was what my bridesmaids and I were going to goof off about.
I didn’t hear about any hiccups the entire wedding day although I know there were some. If I needed something or wanted something, all I needed to do was call them over and they would get things done.
Everything from last minute song changes, request to the caterer, etc. She managed loading-in and loading-out of all vendors.
There is a misconception that an event manager at a venue or a catering manager/director is a replacement or sufficient of a coordinator. This is NOT the case. They will not go out as far to do the things I described above (especially taking over and handling all the details). With that said, I also had a catering manager (AND director, AND the owner came and they all closed shop that day for our event), AND a venue event manager as well as venue electricians, etc..
With that said, we had a really complicated government venue (the 27 page contract was a hint), so it may not be really necessary for everyone. I want to reiterate if you have the luxury or the budget to fit it in, go for it.
Post # 19
I would recommend check with past brides who have used the same venue you are & see what they did & what their experiences were. Thats what I did. I emailed past brides and asked if they had their own coordinator or not. I received helpful pointers about what they wished had been done differently for their day at the site. Many said they recommended someone besides the venues DOC for a variety of reasons- & many expressed due to the venues needs how beneficial a coordinator might be. Ultimately I hired a wedding coordinator. Besides the input I received, it came down to the fact that (although all my friends and family said they would LOVE to help out where needed) I wanted my family and friends by my side relaxing enjoying the day with us- I didn’t want anyone to stress out getting things done on our behalf. So I did the research and found a coordinator who has been very helpful, was within our budget, and also respects our overall budget goals (meaning won’t try to get us to spend more than we wanted).
Post # 20
I have to agree with some of the other posts – having a day of coordinator was the best money we spent also. It gave me total peace of mind and I can honestly say that I got really enjoy myself at my wedding and didn’t feel as though I was "hosting" the entire night. She made sure all of our guests were happy and handled the little things that came up throughout the night. Looking back I do wish that I had hired her to help me full time but I think that is more because I planned my Colorado wedding from NYC, where I live which was difficult. I don’t think a full time planner is necessary for everyone but I highly reccomend getting a DOC.
Post # 21
Thank you for all your responses! I really appreciate it!
My question is for those people who hired a Day of Coordinator, how much did it cost you or will cost you? Just so I know if it is something that will fit our already small budget =D
Post # 22
Well- I found someone who can do services al la carte. So to make it manageable for us- we hired her to do a contract review (she will do contract negotiations if she saw something that she knew we could get more within our budget), get bids for party rentals, unlimited email and telephone correspondence (included), two in-person meetings prior to wedding(one for event design and conception/walk-thru of venue, the other a final meeting regarding the timetable for the day of), wedding dress rehearsal, since our wedding is a destination wedding we’re able to use her vendor book (since we don’t know all the vendors near our location), day of coordination for five hours (even though I have the venue booked for seven). And she will contact & keep up with all the vendors leading up to the wedding so everyone is on the same page (her references say she was impeccable with making sure vendors kept to what they said they would- to the point that if a vendor didn’t the coordinator would follow up after the wedding to get monetary reimbursement for the bride for breach of contract from any said vendor). Since we booked her ten months in advance I think we get a little more use of her for the money. Overall= $1,850. And I think from what I have seen on the boards we will be giving her gratuity. She would have cost more had she done the leg work- which we’re capable of doing: like making appointments with vendors, interviewing vendors, making my own appointments for hair, makeup, accomodation research, etc etc.
Post # 23
Just like you, because of a limited budget, we hired a DOC for my sister’s wedding which’s about $2,500. But as far as i know, the price range is wild. I have a co-worker that hired a friend to do it just for $1,100. Before we decided to hire one, we thought we could plan the wedding on our own, but it just got too tedious with so much details to take care of. But one other thing i think i can really share with you is this site called le viette (leviette.com), they sell towels made to look like real desserts, very elegant-looking while useful. My sister and I adore them and have decided to place those "dessert towels" on the guest tables at the wedding. while looking exquisite, they’re also great gifts for the guests to take home. hope the info. i provided is helpful!
Post # 24
I just got married in May in a building at a park and wrote the entire ceremony myself. Our rehearsal had to be at our rehearsal dinner site because we couldn’t get into the actual space on a Friday night without a considerable fee. I wrote an extremely detailed "script" (for lack of a better term) well in advance of the rehearsal. In addition to the actual flor of the ceremony, I included phone numbers for all of the vendors, lists of who got what flowers, timelines for after the ceremony, etc, and bestowed the title of "wedding coordinator" on the girlfriend of the best man, who has also become a close friend. She completely ran the show day of, and it didn’t cost me a cent (well, we bought her a gift that we gave at the rehearsal, but other than that…) She was honored to be given such responsibility and did a great job with everything. If you have a close friend or sister who wants to help out in some way but isn’t in the bridal party, this is a great way to include her and to save yourself a TON of money and worry.
Post # 25
I am planning my whole wedding myself, although we are also having a 2 year engagement so I can take things one day at a time for the most part. I think if I had a year or less to plan (and I"m in graduate school and work, among other things) I would definitly need a coordinator! I think it depends on what type of person you are and what else is going on in your life.
Post # 26
I am a very organized person and a perfectionist. So hiring a DOC was a must! Unfortunately one piece of advice I can lend is make sure that you meet with more than one DOC and get referals. I had originally hired a DOC and 6 months after hiring her I emailed her to bounce a few ideas off of her. To make a long story short I had to sue her to get my money back becuase she moved out of state and disconnected all her previous forms of contact information.
Our new DOC is AMAZING I actually plan on working with her after the wedding. Since I have become wedding obsessed!!
Post # 27
Shay! Thats great you found someone amazing! I’ve heard of horror stories about wedding coordinators! (Which looks like you also found a bad one!) I know someone who went through 2 DOC and then gave up because she could do better then either one of the DOC’s!