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Margaret
Master September 2015

Day of Coordinator...?

Margaret, on January 3, 2015 at 8:06 AM Posted in Planning 0 23
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With every vendor we talk to/book, they ask if we are having a day of coordinator. I started telling people we were considering it so I didn't get looks of surprise when I said no. We don't have the budget for a DOC- we are stretching it as is. My question to you is: is a DOC really necessary? Did you have one or wish you had one? I always thought planners and DOC were for super fancy, rich people weddings (no judgement, just what I had grown up thinking), so I never thought to have one at ours.

Thinking back at the last couple of weddings I have attended:

- one used a family member as a DOC although there were only maybe 3 vendors to coordinate because it was an all inclusive venue.

- one hired a planner or DOC and she was less than friendly towards the guests and I felt like she rushed the B&G through events, especially the cake cutting.

CONT'D

23 Comments

  • Margaret
    Master September 2015
    Margaret ·
    • Flag

    - one used a friend who is great with planning and organizing (like, part of his job). He was friendly towards guests and the evening seemed to run smoothly.

    Am I going to miss a DOC if I don't hire one? What if I asked a family member who is good at that kind of stuff (like the friend above) and would enjoy it? All of our vendors are separate: venue, caterer (will deal with our outside cake), officiant, photographer. My vendors are making me nervous about not having one, but we just can't afford it.

    • Reply
  • JustMarried'14
    Master September 2014
    JustMarried'14 ·
    • Flag

    We had a very trusted co-worker of my mother (essentially, my mom's right-hand at work) be our DOC. We paid her a few hundred dollars. SO WORTH IT! We had a very DIY wedding, but there were still lots to coordinate the day of.

    We had a great time rehashing all the things that *went wrong* that neither my mom or I knew about until after.

    • Reply
  • FutureMrsChang
    VIP September 2015
    FutureMrsChang ·
    • Flag

    Date Twin!

    Okay, here is my opinion. I think having a DOC can work very well in your favor. Since you did mention your budget is tight already and you're feeling a little nervous about not having one maybe you can look in to the planner/coordinators who have hourly services? Maybe they can create a very detailed timeline (so all your vendors will have a hard copy to go off of). I have heard a lot of DJs can also offer you some assistance with making sure your wedding day goes as planned. Our DJ offers us a full day coordination with his package, but we have a planner ( I am to lazy to do research).

    Also, maybe you can have someone who wouldn't mind overseeing things. Honestly, I think I would research a hourly rate DOC and see what they can do for you- maybe somewhere you'll find a great deal just for a timeline and like I mentioned before make sure you hand one out to each vendor and I think you DJ can be a big help with making sure the reception part flows as you want it to and maybe even your officiant?

    I really don't have the greatest advice, but from what I read and learned I think it's important to have at least a timeline to keep all vendors on the same page. Good luck and I hope I helped a little Smiley smile

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  • songbird
    VIP March 2014
    songbird ·
    • Flag

    Whether you hire a DOC or draft a very organized friend who understands large parties, you need to have someone "in charge" the day of... otherwise, everyone will be calling YOU (or your mom, or the groom.) They will need a timeline and should work to keep everything on track. The vendors will need their contact info and they will need the vendor contacts. There will be minor crises that you need someone to solve and not tell you about until later... days later.

    A good friend did not have a DOC (or designate.) I remember standing in the bridal suite, answering phone calls from the vendors (the florist was the WORST offender with 6 in an hour.) With the second phone call, I started refusing to hand the phone to my friend. Instead, I put slippers on and a shirt over the bridesmaid dress, took the brides phone, and gave it to her aunt (bride chose the aunt to have the phone) with instructions to do what she "thinks is best."

    My sister had her wedding at a venue that was almost all-inclusive (everything except the florist and the musicians.) My "auntie" helped out (she throws HUGE parties for her business 2-4x per year) and worked with the event captain at the venue on the day of. It worked out well.

    We had a wedding with quite a few moving parts so I elected to hire a DOC (who actually took over for the last 6 weeks.) She was worth her weight in gold.

    • Reply
  • Heather A
    Master September 2014
    Heather A ·
    • Flag

    The price of my venue included a DOC she was a godsend and I am SO glad I had her. She set everything up, took care of any issues, made everything run on time.

    If my venue didn't have her I would have hired someone. If you don't have a lot of extra budgets you could always see if a local college or someone would do it cheap. But you never know what will come up that day and you really don't need the added stress

    • Reply
  • annakay511
    Master July 2015
    annakay511 ·
    • Flag

    Our venue provides a DOC so I'm kind of surprised the ones you've been looking at don't!

    • Reply
  • Margaret
    Master September 2015
    Margaret ·
    • Flag

    Do you think it would be weird to ask a family member to do the coordinating since it sounds like I really need that go- to person? Does anyone have experience with that?

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    May 2020
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    A good one (not a family member) is worth every cent. A cheap one (or an inexperienced one) is a waste of money and will probably make you more stressed out than just winging it.

    Weddings now are so complicated that virtually no one can control all the moving parts and enjoy the day.

    • Reply
  • Monique  Wilber
    May 2020
    Monique Wilber ·
    • Flag

    I have been a wedding guest and also been a "friendor." Let me tell you, it is absolutely no fun for any guest to have to do stressful work (because they want your wedding to be perfect! Hopefully, anyways - are you sure?).

    Just an hour ago, I quoted a DIY bride who needs a DOC. Reason being? Someone needs to be there to accept the delivery of the drop-off catering, set it up, keep it safely hot (but not overcooked), set up the food display, the beverage display, the appetizer display, refresh all those things, check the restrooms periodically to make sure they are stocked, help set up table decor, set up ceremony chairs, instruct the ushers on doing the flip of chairs to tables, be cleaning up the food area throughout, scoop the ice cream to go with the mini pies made by the groom's mother, pack all the leftover food into containers and get them into the fridge timely for food safety, take out the trash throughout the wedding, set up recyclable containers and empty them, take recyclables out of the venue, and help clean up. Did I mention she needed me to be master of ceremonies as well, and to round up the wedding party for photos, and help the photographer? Even a small, DIY wedding needs some help.

    Can you imagine asking Aunt Betty to do all that?! I'm happy to do that; it's my job, and I have a lot of experience to do that. But for someone that is a "guest" to do that? That hasn't done it before?

    A lot of the cost is time and labor - well, this is all time and labor and experience and skill - 10 hours, 2 people I have to quote a price not only for myself, but for at least one assistant for this bride's small wedding. I have to pay for liability insurance, and for Worker's Comp insurance, and all the other overhead costs that comes with being in business - so - the assistance does not come inexpensively.

    Regarding the friend whose DOC "rushed her through the events" - it could be that the DOC was keeping to the predetermined timeline...and doing her job, even though the bride felt rushed. It's just perception.

    Best wishes to you!

    • Reply
  • Monica SC
    Master October 2015
    Monica SC ·
    • Flag

    I have no need for a wedding coordinator but yes, I need a DOC. I only have one BM and zero family that I can trust to help make sure things go smoothly on the day-of. Also, I want everything set up and broken down correctly and in a timely manner. I don't want to be bothered at all-I am paying someone else to handle the problems.

    None of the venues we looked at provided a DOC. They have on site coordinators, but that's not the same thing. Those people will greet the cake delivery person and send them up the elevator but they are not showing the delivery staff exactly where we want the cake set up. They will however make sure it is not blocking a fire exit!

    • Reply
  • Bill and Diane
    Beginner May 2015
    Bill and Diane ·
    • Flag

    The best advice that I got was that your DOC is not a guest. And it should be someone that knows what to do,not to mention someone that has some serious cajones-because they will need to deal with problems and complaints.

    • Reply
  • Alicia
    VIP July 2016
    Alicia ·
    • Flag

    We got lucky and mine is included with the venue. I don't know that it's totally necessary though. I've been to weddings with DOC and at the end of the night me and my family were the ones helping clean and tear down. And helping the wedding move smoothly. I think you'd be fine without one as long as you make a detailed play by play!

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    May 2020
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    This is a very timely post for me; we're considering starting a new biz that would offer a very finite period of time and scope of coordination, basically;

    -a one hour call with the couple to get a grip on their wedding plans, vendors, and timeline

    -calls to confirm with all the vendors on the week of (you'd be amazed how few planners/coordinators call me or even return my calls the week of)

    -on site from the time the MUA's are almost ready to leave , through the ceremony, until the DJ has finished announcing the couple.

    All the 'did they show up' details and setup details will be taken care of, there will be no asking the couple anything that day, payments will be made if necessary, and timing in the beginning of the day, when it's crucial, will be taken care of. The cost will be several hundred dollars, but less than full day of or full planning. Basically, we'll get you set up and down the aisle.

    Does that sound like an appealing idea? We're still in the planning stages of this.

    • Reply
  • Kaegurl
    Master June 2014
    Kaegurl ·
    • Flag

    Yes, worth every penny. We had a 45 person wedding. I didn't ask a friend or a guest because your DOC will miss out on so many things by running around ensuring everything is perfect. I wanted my guests to enjoy the day so we hired one. I found one that was $550 - and this was her hobby so she worked out of her home. She was fabulous!

    Mine arrived early at the venue and did all the prep work - set-up/tear down. She greeted guests, handed out programs, ensured our vendors arrived on time. She assisted me in the bridal suite and did small errands. A week before she contacted all our vendors and solidified times, CC'ing me one every email. Before the wedding we spoke numerous times and met to go over mock-ups.

    • Reply
  • Margaret
    Master September 2015
    Margaret ·
    • Flag

    Celia- that sounds like a great service.

    You guys have made me realize how important it is to have a DOC. I have been crunching numbers this morning and trying to figure out some wiggle room in the budget. I know it varies widely by area, but does any one mind sharing what they spend for a DOC and what services they provided? Just so I can get a ballpark number of how much I should come up with.

    • Reply
  • P
    VIP May 2015
    Private ·
    • Flag

    ^^^ I think it is normal what they did. I contacted a couple back in Spring to get an idea of how much it would cost. Some gave me their price some told me to contact them when it is closer to the date. I am in the DC metro area, I had quotes ranging from $350 (no experience just started out) to $2000.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    May 2020
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    Rosemary, you are more than welcome to contact me privately and I'd love to talk to you. The whole idea came from the frustration of my officiants; arriving at venues with no one to really take charge of things and bridal parties who were disorganized and running perpetually late. In many cases, this isn't really their fault; there is so much to keep track of that anyone would be frazzled.

    • Reply
  • P
    VIP May 2015
    Private ·
    • Flag

    Margaret, use this website http://www.costofwedding.com/ to get the expected price range for DOC. Good luck!

    • Reply
  • Emily & Rob
    Dedicated November 2015
    Emily & Rob ·
    • Flag

    I wasn't planning on having a DOC but I got scared when I started thinking about how many moving parts there were going to be on the wedding day... I found my DOC on craigslist. She was starting out on her own and charges WAAAAAY less than any other coordinator I found. She has great reviews and so far she has been awesome as someone that gets super excited about all my little details that no one else seems to care about Smiley smile

    ETA: I'm paying her $450 and my contract is for: Vendor Confirmation, Reception Set-up and Decorate, Place and arrange chairs for Wedding Service, Coordination and assistance for Rehearsal and assistance if needed by bride of any final details. I have unlimited phone/email access, 2 hours on rehearsal day and 8 hours on day of wedding.

    • Reply
  • Kelly Snyder
    May 2020
    Kelly Snyder ·
    • Flag

    A DOC is great to have. You don't want to be bothered on your wedding day with calls from vendors, wondering of you are staying on time and setup of everything. Most DOC services are actually more month of than just day of.

    • Reply

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