Post # 1
So from the moment we got engaged there was no question in my mind that I would hire a day of coordinator to execute my vision and make sure things run smoothly the day of. I’ve started interviewing different coordinators and their prices are a bit higher than I expected but not outrageous. My mom however is getting more and more adamant that we really have no need for a coordinator and that every vendor will just know what to do if we express it to them before hand. I think she is REALLY over simplifying things. We are having a large wedding at a large venue and there will be a mix of the venue providing things, vendors providing things, (outside caterer) and us doing some DIYs. How is all that going to get pulled together if not for a coordinator?
So ladies, what was your experience in regards to a DOC? Are they “necessary”
Post # 3
Not having a DOC was one of my biggest regrets. It was up to me to coordinate everything/everyone. When someone went slightly wrong at the reception, I had to chase down the vendors and inform them. I spent all night fielding requests from people, finding people, collecting gifts…etc. I would recommend that everyone get a DOC (or at least a close friend who can do all the dirty work for you!)
Post # 4
WE hired one and not only was it totally worth it, I really regret not getting her involved sooner for full-on planning. I designed my wedding so that I “wouldn’t need” a DOC, but at the end of the day couldn’t get comfortable with the idea of not having one.
On your wedding day, no matter how much you tell people ahead of time about the schedule, everyone is going to need directions. There has to be someone giving orders who isn’t an integral part of your wedding like a Bridesmaid or Best Man or Mom. That’s the exact reason I ended up contacting and hiring our DOC, but she ended up contributing so much more than that and I immediatley felt so much more comfortable.
Post # 5
Do you have a super organized friend (or two) who could act as coordinator? We had a “coordinator” that was part of our venue. She understood my vision and we emailed COUNTLESS times – and then 2 weeks before the wedding, she informed me that she would not be in town for my wedding. GAH!! My ‘coordinator’ ended up being the person who ran the ceremony part. Needless to say – the reception had ‘flaws’ in it – where what I wanted was not communicated – but it was nothing major and I was the only one that noticed. The lady we did have working with us – did a good job of keeping us on time (but my photog and myself did that as well).
It kind of depends on how organized you are and how much detail you are taking care of – and how much communication your vendors need.
I really do think there has to be someone in charge. Our DJ also offered to be that type of coordinator (for the flow of the reception) and I think that would have been fine. I also had friends help do some of the set up (or, should I say, make sure the setup was what I had envisioned).
If I was getting married at a venue with no coordinator – I have a couple friends who are good at event planning that I would have enlisted. I don’t think I would have dropped serious bank for a DOC.
Where are you getting married and how large of a wedding are you planning?
Post # 6
From the sounds of your wedding, it seems like you could benefit from a DOC. I think they work best for large weddings where there are lots of things and details that need taking care of.
I did not have a DOC, and I had a small wedding of about 50 guests at an informal venue (private property). HOWEVER, I did have a family friend act as a “go to” person so if there were any problems on the day of, they would deal with it. And there were. The table linens we rented were a mix of ivory and white, some had stains on them, we were given the wrong tables, and the caterer had lots of issues. Did I want to be stressing about this on the day of, even though my wedding was small? No way! So even if you don’t hire a DOC, make sure you have a “go to” person that understands you vision and can advocate for you on your day, so that you don’t have to.
Post # 7
We didn’t hire one but our venue provided one.
Little things will come up that you will want a DOC to be able to do. She knew how to set everything up the day of so none of our family had to go out to the venue prior to the ceremony. At the reception, she checked with us multiple times to make sure we had what we needed (one request was to turn down the a/c).
It was worth it for us to handle the logistcal stuff so that family didn’t have to. I think its less about executing the vision.
Post # 8
We hired one because a friend of ours told us it was her only regret. Her mother wasn’t able to enjoy the wedding because everyone kept coming up to the mother of the bride with questions.
Post # 9
My friend who used to coordinate weddings, was my DOC. And 100% I am SOOOO glad she was there! I don’t even want to think of what would of happened if she wasn’t! She was such a hustler and did an AMAZING job!
Post # 10
We had one and I am SO glad we did. She honestly probably didn’t do a TON (although maybe she just made it look like everything went so well that she didn’t have to do anything!), but just having her there and knowing she was the point person for everything took a huge weight off my shoulders. She came up with our detailed day of timeline and she was the one who confirmed all details the week of the wedding with our vendors. So actually, she did do a lot. I highly, highly recommend it. We paid $500 for her services, and I would have paid more to have her there.
Post # 11
We used DH’s aunt as our DOC. She was an event planner for years and she offered to help us the day of the wedding and it was SO much help. She was so much help and I felt less stressed that everything would come together plus it took stress off my mom and she was able to enjoy the day.
If you have someone in the familiy or a friend who could do this, ask them!
Post # 12
@oracle: We’re getting married at the Park Plaza and we’re expecting about 160 people. But we have a million vendors. we have THREE different caterers. Yup you read that right. One is providing the dinner food, one is providing the cocktail hour stations and one is doing the dessert table. Not to mention the other vendors that need to be coordinated.
Post # 13
My parents got us one as a gift. I’m a bit split on the whole thing. We had our wedding at my fiance’s grandparents’, so everything was up to us. We had to set up and take down most of the stuff, and coordinate all of the vendors. Therefore, my mom thought it was necessary.
I was happy and also not happy with the coordinator. I honestly felt like having her added an extra element of stress leading up to the wedding, because I had to make copies of everything to give to her, make up and send her an itinerary, send her phone numbers etc. It was just another person for me to be dealing with.
On the day of the wedding, she helped transport some stuff. She was helpful at the rehearsal with getting people in order. She helped set up a bunch of our stuff, and did a lot of cleaning up. Because I didn’t have time to make a million and one lists and instructions for her, some of our stuff did not get done/set-up (we had water dispensers that didn’t get set up until my dad said some people were asking for water, and I noticed they weren’t out etc).
Overall, I was happy she was there to do some stuff that otherwise I would have had to do or have my family do. I think a full coordinator there from the start of planning would have reduced my stress a lot more, as I wouldn’t have to fill her in on everything I did, but that was not an option! If I had done a wedding at a hall where they do most of the stuff and I didn’t have to get all the vendors etc, I don’t feel I would have needed one.
Post # 14
@Meowkers: 3 different caterers sounds AWESOME 🙂 – but – YES – it definitely sounds like you need someone. If your mom is not wanting to pay for it – then start thinking through a friend or two that might be that DOC type person. I remember when I was getting ready my florist showed up. They looked at me like – where do I go. It didn’t even dawn on me that they couldn’t figure out where to go (since I was in the chapel and the reception venue seemed clear (to me) but they just needed simple direction (like – go up there, down that hallway, up those stairs). It’s the tiny stuff that you will NOT want to deal with and it was so nice to just point them to ‘x’ person and have the knowledge that it will be taken care of. Come the day of the wedding you’ll want to just have this carefree – not worry about details – type attitude. Because really – at that point, it’s just up to how it all pans out and you shouldn’t have to be inundated with questions or clarifying things to people. It should all be about you and your groom and experiencing the joy of the day.
Post # 15
Our caterers also came with a DOC, and I absolutely, 100% would not have wanted to do it without her! We DIY’d most things – we didn’t have a florist, for example, so our centerpieces, all the decor, etc had to be put out. It’s a huge job, and it takes a lot longer than you think it will! She was so essential to my family actually being able to enjoy the day instead of spending jours setting stuff up for us/meeting vendors. Priceless.
Post # 16
Mr. A bought me a DOC as a present. I believe he spent $500 and I am so excited to have one!