No Day-of Coordinator – how does the day go smoothly?

posted 1 month ago in Logistics
Post # 2
4098 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I didn’t hire a day of coordinator, but my aunt volunteered to be a “go to” person the day of if issues arose so that I wasn’t having to deal with problems while I was also trying to get ready. She ended up having to take care of small issues, but nothing major. Our families were super helpful in getting everything set up and taken down decor wise. Do you have anyone in your family you could ask to do something similar? We were lucky that our families jumped in to help without us having to ask. I know a lot of people aren’t as fortunate.

Post # 3
716 posts
Busy bee

You need to appoint a “go to” person. Someone who can just have the list of things that need to be accomplished and who is okay with telling people what to do. Like PP said, you need to ask someing in your family or friend group to do that. And try not to make it an immediate family member (parent, sibling, anyone in the bridal party), as they will be busy doing other things. 

When my sister got married, one of her good friends didn’t make the cut for the bridal party, but she was appointed as the “go to.” She had the full list of things that needed to be done (decorations moved, candy bar set up, etc) and who could be depended on to do those things. At the rehearsal, my sister briefed everyone what their roles would be. She had the list of how the processional would happen, what time to get the DJ to announce the first dance, etc. Vendors had her cell phone number. She even helped my sister hold her dress while she peed. 

Find that person! Someone will be fantastically happy to do that for you, I’m sure!!

Post # 4
1890 posts
Buzzing bee

I agree with others that if you don’t have a day-of coordinator, you need someone to step up and volunteer to be the “big picture” person.  If you don’t have anyone looking out for vendors showing up on time, directing traffic, etc., odds are things won’t run smoothly.  It’s a lot of moving parts and you want to be able to enjoy the day and focus on being in the moment.

Post # 5
30 posts

I had a very small wedding, so no need for this service. But I have been a part of weddings that had a coordinator and some that didn’t. The ones that didn’t either were very disorganized or had a friend or family member doing A TON of work. Please don’t “voluntell” someone to do this. If someone volunteers, that’s fine. But if no one volunteers, please use a vendor. 

Post # 6
995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

View original reply
@sclohe:  I would suggest hiring a day of coordinator ASAP if it’s in the budget!

Post # 7
1737 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

Being the go to person is a lot of work, and there’s a reason it’s a paid position. Having gone thru a mildly hectic 9 guest wedding with no DOC, complete control over the venue (family home), only photographer and officiant as (fantastic and timely) vendors, and very supportive, efficient family, I still say a DoC would have been worth it.

I suggest that you make the investment.

Post # 8
4902 posts
Honey bee

If you decide to not hire someone then the person who sets up your ceremony and your ballroom and tells you and others where to be and when is.. you (and the person you are marrying).  All that is your own responsibility then and wear a watch.

It’s possible to do it yourself it you get a lot of things set up in advance and ready to go and are extremely organized and punctual with a hint of “if something doesnt get done like centerpieces on the tables then so be it” attitude who can let pressure roll off your back.  If that doesnt describe you or seems beyond your capabilities then I suggest you start looking and hire someone to be a day of coordinator.  It’s not going to just happen to work out – it’s not magic.  Party planners and event coordinators and day of coordinators exist and make money because there is a lot of moving parts to making a large event or party successful and seem easy to everyone else attending.

I’m also on the don’t voluntell/ask your dearest to do it team.  They should just be able to relax and enjoy the party as well.  If you’re not on board with hiring a full day coordinator you could at least see if anyone has any high school or college age kids or nieces or nephews looking to make some cash and hire them to do your set up.

Post # 9
410 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

We did not have a day of coordinator, and everything went pretty smoothly. However, a lot of the work was taken on by myself and our families. We had a plan nailed down ahead of time and my whole family knew what that plan was. We also had a very casual wedding and got married in a park, with the reception at a neighborhood rental space in my parents neighborhood. My family also did all of the reception set up and decor (which was quite minimal). Because it was in their neighborhood, we were able to physically see the space ahead of time and discuss how to set up tables and chairs, etc. We had a Dj which helped with announcements and keeping things on track (though I regret hiring him, and would have been better off spending the money on a day of coordinator/staff to help set up and clean up). So it is doable but it will be more stressful and depends on how complicated/formal your plans are. I think it could be worth the money, depending on the price and your budget!

Post # 10
61 posts
Worker bee

I would highly recommend getting a DOC. We had a small-ish wedding (60 people) and were originally going to forego having one because we assumed our families could help.  But our families weren’t able to help day of (for various reasons, including having to be with their kids), and we had enough stuff to deal with the day of ourselves, and didn’t want to burden a friend with coordinating. Having a DOC made the lead up to the wedding and the day of much less stressful!

Post # 11
2094 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t know many who have hired day coordinators. Most always, there was another friend or family member designated for questions or to handle issues, and the bridal party helped to set up any reception or ceremony spaces that morning, or it was covered by the venue. 

Post # 12
824 posts
Busy bee

We had coordinators and other staff in our budget from the beginning because we didn’t want friends or family to have to work at our wedding. As already stated above, there’s a reason why it’s an actual job with a title and pay. In our case we ended up choosing a venue and caterer that included the staff and services we wanted.

When our friends got married a few years ago (my SO was a groomsman), they didn’t have a coordinator or any staff besides the caterers and the people from the rental company who set up and broke down the tables and chairs. All the decor was set up by family members and then taken out by the members of the wedding party and their partners who were still at the venue at the end of the wedding.

We weren’t even asked ahead of time about helping with the breakdown – we were just at the venue entrance talking when a couple of aunts came out with boxes and told us matter-of-factly there was more stuff that needed to be brought back to the hotel. So those of us remaining went back to the reception hall to pack up boxes to carry back to our cars. One groomsman even went back to the venue the next morning to take down the ceremony arch that had been left behind.

It wasn’t a ton of work (besides the arch), but it rubbed my SO and I the wrong way, so we made a note to be more organized when we got married. We didn’t want our wedding party to have to do anything other than be involved in the ceremony, nor did we expect anyone else we knew to be honored and excited to be the day’s runaround person rather than a regular guest enjoying the event.

So I agree with PP to avoid “appointing” or “voluntelling” a friend or family member to coordinate the event. I think anyone who would be invited as a guest should be able to attend and enjoy as a guest. If someone offers unprompted to take on that role then cool, though I would expect that most people who offer “to help” on the day are looking more to help with decor before and after, rather than manage everyone during the event itself. I think having friends and family help with the setup or breakdown is fine if they offer, provided that you still do the coordinating yourself in terms of giving them direction before or during. 

Aspects like the ceremony I think can be easily coordinated by the couple anyways. We had our ceremony all mapped out ourselves (when to walk in with music cues, where to stand, etc) before we had the rehearsal with the coordinator; she ended up just nodding to the wedding party to remind them when to start walking as we had planned. 

Post # 13
4682 posts
Honey bee

Things don’t just work themselves out on their own. Take the money you were going to pay the Stylist and get a DOC. Don’t ask your friends or family to work your wedding for free. 

  • This reply was modified 1 month ago by zl27.
Post # 14
6176 posts
Bee Keeper

Our venue came with a DOC but after seeing everything they did, worth every penny.  If you can afford it absolutely hire someone soon.  

Post # 15
10656 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

View original reply

Well l would get  one ASAP if you can afford it. If not yes, maybe one of your guests will be the go to person. Be very careful how you approach this however. A pp talked about a guest who ‘didn’t make the cut’ to be in the wedding party but got to spend the day being a fixer instead. Idk how she felt about it, but not everyone would find it much of an honour, so be careful not to put anyone on the spot and making them feel bad for refusing . 
Get a DoC  l reckon. 

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