Continuing my tale from yesterday, here is an example of my previous point: A couple of weeks ago I worked as a day-of coordinator on a gorgeous vineyard wedding. It was fully catered, with a DJ, florist, professional cake company, and a wedding party of 14. The bride was uber-organized, with lists upon lists and very specific directions for everyone – the folks giving toasts had even been given time limits. You’d think with all of those people – most of them professionals – and all of that careful planning and organization that everything would run smoothly without outside help. But when I arrived, the cake had been delivered early – a full 6 hours before the reception – and was already beginning to sag in the middle. I found out that morning that the flowers in the bouquets weren’t going to last outside for more than an hour, and we had 2+ hours of pictures scheduled before the ceremony – outside of course. The DJ’s playlist – before today a bit of a mystery because he hadn’t asked the bride and groom for their preferences – turned out to be mostly hits from the 1990’s. Since the entire bridal party consisted of people in their early to mid-twenties - let’s just say there needed to be some changes made.
Were all of these problems solved? Yes. Could the bride and groom or their families have solved them? Of course. But I can do it faster, more efficiently, and I’m not going to be resentful that I missed half of Aunt Mary’s toast while I eliminated ‘Marky Mark’ and ‘The Funky Bunch’ from the DJ’s playlist.
What if you don’t have a bunch of vendors to worry about? What if you’re having a family planned, family run event? Wouldn’t the presence of a coordinator be pretentious, or worse, cost you a lot of money for nothing? Not necessarily.
The beauty of having family cook all the food and do all the decorating is the money you save, but the crux of it is they can end up feeling overworked and resentful and in many cases disappear onto the dance floor when they should be cutting and serving the cake. To be honest, I often work the hardest at family run events. From big things like giving the wedding party their cues to walk down the aisle and manning the buffet, to little things like moving the gifts from the ceremony site to the reception site during the ceremony. Or calling in emergency port-o-potties because that got left off the to-do list and the family hosting the event doesn’t want 150 people using their guest bathroom. Little things.
My baby sister is getting married next summer, and I’m going to be honest with you, I’m on the fence as to whether she needs a coordinator. Their guest list is only around 75, and I’ll be there, and heck, I’m a professional coordinator now, but I’m also in the wedding party. I can’t cue everyone down the aisle. I don’t know if I can even run the rehearsal, since I’m supposed to be standing there looking pretty and not ducking around making sure everyone is lined up properly and aren’t blocked by pillars and/or trees. And you know what… I will be resentful if I miss one of the toasts because the DJ thinks it’s 1991 or the caterer wants to go home so she’s clearing the buffet 20 minutes into dinner.
As my mother likes to say, weddings have become a production. Even the smaller ones have rituals and traditions that need planning and organization. Luckily most people like that about weddings, but it does mean you might need some help. So in the midst of all the pressure the magazines are putting you under to have the perfect wedding with all the expensive trimmings (those $25 a piece hand-wrapped gourmet chocolate favors that you and your bridesmaids stayed up all night making…are mostly going to end up left on the tables for the servers to throw out, FYI), consider putting a day-of coordinator into your list of vendors to interview. The cost is small compared to the benefits, believe me.
In the end, someone has to make sure things such as ‘port-o-potties’ are picked up at the end of a wedding, and you really don’t want that person to be your new mother-in-law.
-Kelly Averett - Day-Of Coordinator, Muse
For more information on Muse – A Wedding & Event Planning company based out of Portland, Oregon, visit www.eventmuse.biz. Thanks for stopping by!