I am a DOC and here is some advice I can offer you:
1. If someone doesn’t list their prices up front, they are waiting to find our your budget to they can raise (or lower, if you’re lucky) their prices for you. Personally, I list all my pre-made packages upfront and it doesn’tmatter whether you have a $10,000 budget or a $50,000 budget, I don’t base my prices off of your budget like most. But I do consider discounts for REALLY budget weddings.
2. You need to be clear about what a DOC does. DOC stands for “Day of Coordinator.” Which means the DAY OF YOUR WEDDING. If you are hiring for them to do anything but basically show up that day and for your rehearsal the day before, you are not technically hiring a DOC, you are hiring a planner. Because that work isnt DAY OF. Be clear with your coordinator what package you are hiring them for.
Many DOCs charge upwards of $500 but have packages that include all kinds of other things like timeline creation, guest list follow up, vendor follow up, etc. And you are paying for these services, they aren’t “included” in the day of package. But most brides who call ME legitimately only need someone for that specific day and for the rehearsal. I offer for them to buy extra hours at a discount should they need the timeline creation, vendor follow up, bugging those last few guests who refuse to respond, etc, or I offer WOC and MOC packages for brides who want more, but most who call me, they need me for the day of and don’t want to pay for all of those other things that they have done or will do themselves. These brides have done it all, and want someone to handle their wedding, but don’t need someone to help them plan it.
Just be clear about what you need, and don’t pay for services that you don’t.
3. Going over contracts? What do you mean by that? By the point a DOC, WOC, or MOC comes into play, it is by far too late to try to renegotiate anything, at least not without major financial penalties from the vendor for changing your contract. If it’s so that the coordinator can learn what is in the contract, that’s another story. I require my brides to create a wedding binder with timelines, copies of contracts, design elements, and more. We meet one week prior to hand over the binder, discuss last minute elements, and I spend the week reviewing everything on my own time, so as not to take up yours on the already busy week. But they sure can’t help you get better rates or free services, unless they see something fishy in the contract, but hopefully, you caught the stink before you ever signed the contract.
4. You should ask if their agreement includes the rehearsal because many do not include the rehearsal and charge extra for coming on another day for rehearsal.
5. You must be prepared to offer him/her and any assistants vendor meals and parking reimbursement.
6. Ask their background in events. Sadly, many DOCs become DOCs after planning their own wedding and think they can do someone elses. Some can. Most cant. Personally, I don’t have a yelp page with reviews yet, but I have 10 years in the catering, wedding, and events industry (with photos to prove it). And you can call my companies whom I coordinate for and otherwise work for (whom I still work for, but I have branched out to fill in with DOC work). Some planned their neice’s quincenera or their nephew’s bar mitzvah or their parent’s 25 anniversary party and think they can do it professionally. Are you ok with knowing that?
I was at an interview for a photographer who wanted to hire DOCs to enhance their business, and they had no idea what a DOC is or does, vs a WOC or MOC. I listened to the girl interviewing before me (hey, they were in a Starbucks, not an office) who’s experience was planning kids birthday parties. And they loved her even though her clients were 5 year olds. (They forgot they were supposed to interview me too, after waiting 2 hours for my appointment that kid planner obsconded from me, so no, I do not work with them, nor did I interview, after hearing their low standards and knowing their clueless behavior towards planning and coordinating). Just be prepared for varied backgrounds, regardless of whether you are hiring someone on their own like me, or someone from a company, you will get the gambit.
7. Ask how many hours they provide on the day. Ask if they charge by the hour and for what services outside of the contracted DAY OF price. Ask what circumstances they might charge you outside of your package, and ask if they will call you before doing any billable work.
8. Ask how they get paid and when.
Just some basic information to help!