From a wedding photographer’s POV, it’s the best gift a bride can give herself. 150 is not a small wedding, and if you have several vendors there is a lot to coordinate. It’s just not fair to saddle your family, bridal party, or friends with setting up your day or being responsible for the flow and what happens. People don’t consider WHO is suppoesd to handle setup. Those linens on the tables? They don’t put themsevles on. The candles on the tables? They don’t light themselves during cocktail hour. SO many little details.
Here’s the issue with using a friend/family/etc vs a DOC. Your DOC has already met with you prior to the wedding and you’ve discussed all the logistics, your wishes, and how things should go. They finalized details and times with your vendors. The day of the wedding, when there is a crisis, your DOC is going to handle it and make the best decision – and you won’t be bothered.
I see it TIME and again. When a family member or friend is doing the job, no matter how much you’ve gone over with them, at the first sign of crisis they run to the bride. They don’t handle it, because they’re worried they’ll make the wrong decision. That totally stresses the bride out and defeats the purpose of someone handling it. In addition, nothing EVER happens on time, because those who aren’t wedding professionals tend to have very poor time management and severely underestimate how long things take. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, it’s just how it always seem to go.
I can tell you as a bride, my wedding day would have been a disaster without a DOC. So many things went wrong in the days leading up to my wedding (including my hair dressers dad passing away 3 days before and she had to leave town…..I had 12 people who all needed hair done). My DOC had the situation under control and a replacement lined up before she even called me the break the news. The day of my wedding poured buckets, and my outdoor ceremony had to be moved. She took care of coordinating ALL vendors on the change of plans, setting up the backup ceremony plan, and overseeing all the logistics. She kept up on schedule, and everything organized and happening when it should.
Plenty of people just don’t care how the day goes. That’s totally fine for them. It was important TO ME that things go smoothly. Not only for my enjoyment, but for the comfort and enjoyment of my guests. Aunt Sally has no clue how to run a wedding, and she’s more of a hinderance than a help when it comes to your vendors. I can tell you as the photographer, when clients don’t have a DOC or planner a lot of the scheduling details (and keeping things on track) falls on my shoulders by default. I’m not having to not focus on my job to tell the DJ that it’s time for the cake cutting, or the garter toss, or the sparkler exit.
At the end of the day it’s your decision, but I’m 100% for a DOC. My DH didn’t know I booked one until 3 months after I did it. He complained and thought it was a totally unnecessary expense. After seeing how much work she did, and how many fires she put out, he sings her praises. Half the time when he tells people about her, you’d think he’d on board from the get-go and he’s now a wedding expert. Typical guy…lol.