Post # 1
My day-of coordinator is suddenly backing out on me 30 days before the wedding. I don’t know what to do. She’s claiming I’m asking her to do tasks that aren’t suited for a DOC, mainly food-related.
Basically, I have a very small wedding (less than 40 people) at a no-service rustic venue and hired her to manage things I couldn’t throughout the day, like cueing, overseeing vendors, refilling self-serve drink dispensers, putting out the hors d’ouevres and restocking them, cutting & serving cake, putting out the smores and popcorn for late night snacks, help with cleanup & putting things in our car like gifts. She made me pay extra for her to have an assistant for 2 hours for food service related activities during dinner (putting food on platters, clearing plates).
Suddenly she’s claiming she isn’t in food service and never agreed to be restocking food all night. I have all the emails (thank God I don’t do phone convos for important stuff), and she said she’d “take care of the food, replenish the food,bring out dessert, possibly cut the cake, take care of coffee, beverages, maintain the beauty throughout the night, etc.” and that was before deciding later to charge me extra for an assistant for 2 hours for dinner service.
I don’t know what to do! It seems like she’s just going to back out on me no matter what and keep my deposit because she thinks I’m the one breaching the contract by asking her to do food-related tasks. I never needed the typical coordinator tasks like cueing for bouquet/garter toss, guest direction, bridal party direction, etc. and told her this before hiring her. We have a small very laid back wedding so a lot of the tasks I needed were help with food, which would be already prepared/plated all she has to do is put it out and restock it if it needs it.
Did I ask the wrong things of her? Does it matter that she agreed to these things and is now claiming they’re not within her range of tasks she normally completes? The deposit is non-refundable and she seems to be pushing the blame for her quitting on my “unreasonable” requests, and I don’t have time to find someone else. I’m freaking out 🙁
Post # 2
You’re not going to have any waitstaff? You need servers for the food, people to help clean, keep the place tidy. I agree with your DOC that your demands are excessive and i would also quit. Good thing is that you have 30 days to hire the much needed staff.
Post # 3
quickly looking at the duties, yeah, too much. Here I was thinking serving my family dinner was hard. Even having an assistant for 2 hours, I’m not sure if physically and logiscally it’s possible to do all that.
Post # 4
Wait, so no servers were hired ?…because that’s what needed to happen. This is the job of waitstaff, so if she made you pay for that then ask her to simply hire the servers. Problem solved.
Post # 5
ok so while she’s right… most of your food-related stuff are not DOC duties.. she should have just said so upfront. My DOC would not have done any of those things, but she would’ve told me immediately and suggested a few vendors she’d recommend to hire to do that task.
I’d just forward her the emails where she said she’d do it and write something short and simple basically saying “while I’d be very dissapointed if you went back on your word, I think its clear you’d be in breech of contract to do so. I cannot stop you from breaking the contract, but would expect my full deposit back so I can find someone who will provide the services I need.” Then take that money and hire some much needed waitstaff.
But, if you still want someone else to be running point with all the over vendors, handling setup and cleanup, keeping you on schedule, etc… then you probably should keep your DOC and not ask her to do non-DOC stuff. Maybe ask her to cancel the assistant since you’re hiring waitstaff anyway, and go from there..
Post # 6
I wish she hadn’t agreed to these things up front. It sounds like she needed the timeline before accepting my payment, as it seems the timeline is what upset her as it seemed more food-service oriented than she expected.
I understand now that it’s not in the typical realm of a DOC’s tasks. My caterer refused to let me hire their staff for anything but buffet-style service, and I felt family-style would be much nicer as we have rustic tables with bench seating and getting up and down with plates would suck. I was so happy when my DOC said she’d do it, but I guess she feels now like she’s going to be waitstaff and I’m guessing that feels “beneath her” as a DOC professional. I can understand that, still frustrating though.
Where do you look to hire waitstaff? I’m 30 days out and have NO idea where to start looking! I’m too afraid to try Craigslist or Thumbtack, I definitely want professionals.
Post # 7
It does sound like a lot but she agreed to do it. Unless you’ve added a lot of things on at the last minute, she is out of line quitting on a bride a month before her wedding.
Forward her the e-mail and ask her what is different now from when she said she originally agreed. Try to come to a resolution with her (hire more staff or get your deposit back fully). If she won’t work with you to fix the problem, tell her you’ll have no choice but to leave her negative reviews. It’s unacceptable to back out on your job in this way.
It’s not your responsiblity to know what the standard DOC responsibilities are. This woman agreed to do these things, even if they are not what another DOC would typically do.
Post # 8
And does anyone know if I really NEED a DOC? I’m not having a typical wedding, and hired a DOC because I needed help with the stuff I mentioned before. My ceremony and reception are all at the same location. I don’t have a bridal party, the guest list is under 40 right now, I don’t need cueing except for my string quartet, my DJ has a timeline to make a few announcements, no garter/bouquet toss, no special dances, no special ceremonies, no planned toasts. I only have an officiant, photographer, DJ, quartet, caterer (drop-off), and cake baker (drop-off) as far as vendors go (no florals/rentals/hair/makeup/etc.). I’m a very DIY bride and have the venue a day before and day after so all setup, decorating, cleanup and teardown I’ll be doing myself with the help of my family.
If I keep her as my DOC, what WOULD she be doing for me? Watching my gift table? Cueing the quartet? Is that really worth having someone for 9 hours? I contracted her for 9 hours because I thought she would be doing all the restocking I had requsted.
Post # 9
Oh and the reason I originally looked into hiring a DOC is I want to have a sparkler sendoff and thought it’d be easier if I had a DOC helping organize people and light the sparklers haha!
Post # 10
Also your original post said hors d’oeuvres and now you are saying family style…meal? Or just family style hors d’oeuvres? Because assuming 8 guests to a table, you’re asking her to oversee at least 5 tables? And are they hot or cold? Either way, I could see maybe agreeing to it if it was “here is the extra veggie tray – could you put it on the buffet” but not family style. And there are food safety issues that she could be liable for as your vendor for taking that on. My guess is it isn’t “beneath” her – she just isn’t qualified (particularly if she’s never waited tables before or taken a food safety class to ensure food is kept at the proper temperature) and you are asking her to do the work of at least four to five people including her own job. The recommendation is 1 waitstaff per 20-30 guests for a cocktail reception and 1 waitstaff per 10-15 guests for family style. So at a minimum that is two (and up to four) waitstaff you are asking her to be in addition to her actual job.
At this point, dig out the yellow pages and cold call every catering/bartending company, event planning company, and culinary school program in your area. Last ditch effort is change your plan to buffet and hire from your caterer. Having adequate and trained staff is far more important than family style vs. buffet.
Post # 11
sorry if I wasn’t clear. She originally agreed to do all the hors d’ouevres and drinks, and later agreed to also do the family style dinner if I paid extra for her to have an assistant, which I did. She’s now backing out of both, even though the guest number went down (she originally agreed to both for 60 guests, now we’re less than 40 guests).
I don’t know if it matters, but we only have five foods for the family-style dinner – lentil loaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, mac & cheese, and grilled vegetables. So each of the 5 tables will get two platters and two bowls plus a gravy boat. The food just needs to go from the already set up chafing dishes to the platters and then to the tables. And all the hors d’ouvres are all set up and plated, she just needs to remove the saran wrap. She originally seemed to think it was manageable for her and her assistant, and I thought so too. But now she’s freaking out.
Post # 12
This is the timeline I sent her and she freaked:
<u>Goal Time</u> <u>Event/Task</u>
1:00pm Help decorate & setup
- Help us with final decorating touches & setup
- Get the rings, marriage license, boutonnieres, flower girl basket/petals, vendor payment/tip envelopes
2:00pm Guest arrival prep
- Direct guests with parking, gifts, bathrooms, etc.
- Oversee cake vendor delivery & setup
- Oversee quartet arrival & setup, tender payment
2:45pm Pre-ceremony prep
- Cue quartet to begin prelude music
- Greet officiant & give him the rings, tender payment
- Cue parents & flower girl to standby for lineup
- Make sure boutonnieres are pinned on properly
- Make sure flower girl has flower basket with petals
3:00pm Cue ceremony
- Cue quartet to play processional music
- Cue groom & mother/father procession
- Cue flower girl procession
- Cue bride & father procession
- Place hors d’oeuvres out
- Fill beverage containers (ice, fruit, drinks)
- Fill B&G water pitcher
- Place alcoholic drinks in ice in metal tubs
3:30pm Dinner prep
- Direct catering delivery
- Place salt & pepper, bread & butter on tables
- Place champagne bottles on tables
- Place B&G sparkling drink on B&G table
4:00pm Reception & Dinner
- Begin plating & serving dinner
- Open bottles of champagne/sparkling drinks
5:00pm Coffee & cake prep
- Clear dirty dishes from tables
- Brew coffee
- Place creamer & sugar pots out
- Put spare mugs, saucers, spoons out
- Bring cake to B&G table for cutting
- Return cake to cake table
- Plate & serve sheet cake
7:00pm Post-dinner setup
- Pack up cakes
- Set out stuff for smores & popcorn snack bar
- Turn on/check auto-on LED votives/string lights/spot lights
- Activate & hand out glow stick jewelry
- Assist guests with lining up on porch for sparkler sendoff
- Hand out & light sparklers
Post # 13
I agree with her that these aren’t really jobs for a DOC and that you need wait staff… however, if she agreed to all of this then she should at least give you your deposit back imo because you wouldn’t have hired her if she had of told you she wouldn’t be able to do that and you could have sought out wait staff instead.
Post # 14
I hired a friend (not invited to the wedding). She and her husband did almost everything you have listed, as well as a few other tasks. She is very organized and reliable, so I knew I could trust her. I made a very detailed list and timeline for her. She came to the rehearsal and helped set up the day before. Like you I didn’t need a full on DOC.
For waiters, maybe look into hiring local Girl Guides, Scouts, or other not for profit. They appreciate the donation, and in the case of the kids, get valuable experience.
Post # 15
That’s too much for 1 person. Definitively hire a team of wait staff ~ 4 people to oversee everything.