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By shenandoahweddi731, Feb 17 2015 10:05PM

Here's the deep dark secret no one in the wedding industry wants to admit....

A "Day of Wedding" Coordinator does not exist. Period!

I don't know where the term "day of coordinator" came to be because it's a complete misnomer. It just isn't possible to show up on the wedding day and coordinate a wedding properly.

I receive emails frequently from brides who ‏''‏just need a day of coordinator." They explain that they just want someone to handle the rehearsal and wedding day. I happily explain my wedding coordination services -- why I provide a "Month of" service.

Here's what's really involved for a wedding professional to successfully coordinate the "Day of Wedding" events.

Once booked to coordinate a wedding

- The bride receives an itinerary questionnaire to complete. This form gathers all the essential details for the wedding -- bridal party, vendor, ceremony and reception details.

Approximately one month before the wedding

- Have a meeting with the bride at the venue(s) with the site coordinator/catering manager. The purpose of this meeting is to "walk-through" the details of the wedding day. We finalize floor plan, timing, logistics & all of the fine details.

- The bride brings the completed questionnaire and copies of all of their vendor contracts to this meeting. We review the questionnaire and fill in any blanks so there are no surprises on the big day!

Two weeks prior to the wedding

- The vendor confirmation and itinerary creation process begins! This involves calling all vendors to: confirm contracted product/service to be provided, contact details, arrival/departure times and much more. using the questionnaire and the information gathered from the vendors,

- A detailed wedding week itinerary is created which includes all vendors’ contact information, bridal party information, a detailed timeline and floor plans.

- Wedding week itinerary is sent to all vendors. I follow up the day after it is sent to confirm receipt and accuracy of the itinerary.

"Day of Wedding" duties

- Actually begin the day BEFORE the wedding with the rehearsal.

- I, along with the officiant, conduct the rehearsal.

- On the event day, I arrive 3+ hours prior to the wedding depending on the amount of setup and when the vendors will begin arriving.

- My job on the wedding day is to ensure that the day runs smoothly and is stress-free for the couple and their families. In that effort, I setup client-provided decor items, assist vendors, double-check that everything is as it should be and handle any issues that may arise.

- When ceremony time arrives, I direct the bridal party, officiant and musicians.

- If needed, I transport decor items to the reception site.

- When it's time to get the reception party started, I coordinate with the venue/caterer, photographer, entertainment, etc. to ensure that the evening flows and is enjoyed by all.

- After the couple leaves the reception, I assist in gathering all of the couples belongings, gifts, cake, etc.

From the month-before site meeting until the last item is cleaned up, this job requires approximately 25 hours. Every one of them is necessary to ensure that the wedding day is the joyous celebration that the bride wants it to be. All of the time and effort that goes into this process is the reason that my service is described as Full-Service Wedding Coordination.

So, there really is no way a wedding planner can help ONLY on the "day of" the wedding. Would you want someone to just show up and handle your wedding day without doing all of the work beforehand?

Contributor: Amy VanMeter is an award-winning event planner serving clients in the northern Shenandoah Valley, Leesburg, Middleburg, Purcellville and Warrenton areas.

Amy VanMeter Image Courtesy of Julie Napier Photography
Amy VanMeter Image Courtesy of Julie Napier Photography

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