I’ve said it many times before, and I will say it many more times to come: please hire a Day of Coordinator. Make sure you check references and reviews. Be clear on what their definition of a DoC is…as it has recently become clear to me that not everyone defines it the way I do. I’m still trying to figure out if it is a regional thing – or just an unintentional misrepresentation from someone.
Magan was very excited when she found a DJ she really liked – this was very important to her as she knows a DJ can make or break a reception. And he was very good. He kept the crowd dancing, took requests, and had helpful suggestions (remember the Reflection Dance?).
And as if that wasn’t enough, he came with a Day of Coordinator! How lucky was that? Magan had been rather adamant since the beginning that I was to be a bridesmaid…she didn’t want me to have to work at her wedding (though officiating would have been allowed). So not having to find room in the budget to hire a separate DoC was a great bit of luck!
I accompanied Magan to her final DJ meeting with the DoC (his wife) in attendance as well. I suppose the first sign of trouble was when I introduced myself and brought out my big notebook about the wedding. Her eyes got quite large when she saw it so I had to explain that I had prepared a notebook for her like I do all of my clients. I provided her copies of my notes and the timeline we had created. And this is when her DoC asked me if I was a Month of Coordinator.
I’ve never heard that term before – so this is why I wonder if it is a regional thing. Do Dallas (and possibly other area) wedding planners have a sub-set that I don’t know about? Her definition of a DoC was simply someone to keep the timeline on the Day of. I don’t think she really expected to work in the capacity we had intended.
And based on the events of the day of, I would say I am correct in that assessment. We were warned at the meeting that her first responsibility was to help the DJ to set up and tear down – and that if she could, she would help after all that was done. Which is different from how I run things as my crew and I will set up for the ceremony and reception and we help tear down after it is all over. Luckily Magan and I had spent a couple of hours packing everything in Rubbermaid containers and making detailed lists of the contents and what they were for – with the intention of making everything as simple and easy as possible.
But that isn’t how things played out. When the Bridal party arrived at the venue almost nothing was done. In spite of my strict instructions to just be a Bridesmaid, I had to help get the ball rolling with set-up. Luckily a friend of Magan’s that wasn’t in the wedding party arrived shortly after we did and I handed over most of the set-up duties to her. Stephanie was a big help – I am extremely grateful.
Once the DJ was set, the DoC consulted with me regarding what needed to be done. Which is fine – I am glad she came to me instead of Magan. But she had the detailed notes of what was to be done…I don’t know why she felt the need to repeatedly consult with me throughout the evening.
After the reception everyone cleared out – I’ve never had that happen so quickly before (thank you Reflection dance). But that also meant that the only people left to clean up were Magan’s mom and step-dad, my husband and brother-in-law, and me. While we tried to clean up as quickly as possible, I still just barely made it to the bar before last call at the after party.
So please be clear with your wedding professionals on what your expectations are. Had we realized how little the DoC was going to be able to do during set-up and tear down, I would have brought a couple of my assistants to help us out. I suspect Magan is mostly unaware of these events – or the extent of them. Which is how it should be. But what if you don’t have a professional in your wedding party.
I want you to be a Carefree Bride too.