Day of Coordinator – What You Need To Know

Photo by Eden Ingle Photography

Why do you need a Day of Coordinator?  As for High Point Farms, you are required to have one but let me give you plenty of other reasons to support this requirement and what all they are expected to do.

Wedding day is a culmination of many months and often more than a year’s worth of planning.  There has been an investment of money, time, effort, and expectation of this special day that is worthy of an overseer to make sure that things run smoothly.  Many details have been combed over and over as planning has turned into a major production for this one particular day.

Photo by Imago  Photography

Though you have had the advice and sometime support of your bridesmaids and often your parents (and others), the day’s particulars inevitably fall on a day that you are supremely occupied with pure enjoyment with the necessity to delegating the tedious task of timelines, vendor arrivals, processions, and more to somebody else.  Not just somebody else, but somebody who has the mind for details and the experience to know when something isn’t right and the energy and where with all to coordinator all of the many actors of the day into one continuous goal.

Photo by Shine Photography

Here at High Point Farms, we want that wedding vision “dream come true” ending at the night’s end for you.  We even have tried to make your wedding planning easier in general than some venues  We have a great line up of preferred vendors that are tried and true; we have extra services that we offer; we have all of the tables and chairs included in the package; we provide set up prior to your wedding and clean up at the night’s end; and more, so most of our brides handle many of their pre-wedding plans themselves without the need of an actual wedding planner.  But, again, on the day of your wedding when you and your mom should be enjoying the day prepping and primping, the last thing you need to be pondering is “did somebody bring the sparklers,” or “did the bartender ever arrive,” or “does the DJ know how to announce us,” or “who will find the petals for the flower girl,” and so much more.

Photo by Kenzie Stephens Photography

So you, the bride, can have your mind on what is most important that day plus because we have the 10 plus years of experience to know that often the make or break success of a wedding day relies on a quality coordinator, we have been requiring our brides to secure one for their day. We, indeed, do offer this as an option for our brides and I will mention this again later, but the key element is to find a “qualified” coordinator – not your Aunt or not a bridesmaid’s mother unless they have many weddings under their belt and are prepared to be on task for the whole day.

Photo by Sara Van Senus Photography

Let me highlight some of the most important aspects of what is required of a good coordinator:

  1.  Know the full details:  You cannot oversee what you don’t know.  You cannot make sure everything is set out if you don’t know what is to be set out.  Each aspect of the day, the timeline, the vendors, the personal items, and even the venue rules should all be clarified, identified, and documented.  A good coordinator knows what questions to ask, when to delegate, when to step in, when to improvise, and when to call in the help.  Experience counts for something and on wedding day, it is a key element.
  2. Vendors:  Have the name, the contact info (definitely a cell number), and their ETA for each of your vendors.  As each arrives, make contact with them and direct them to their set up area.  Go over any specifics and details with them so you know you are on the same page with them. Troubleshoot any questions that they have.  Make sure that they are aware of what is expected of them while they are here and before they leave.
  3. Volunteers:  Often there are family or friends who are helping to decorate, bringing personal items, dropping off beer, or even playing the role of a vendor (officiant, DJ, etc.) for the day.  Make sure you know who they are ever as much as if they were a true vendor.  Often they require more help since they are not professionals and may need some additional help and guidance for them to do their tasks. Many hands make light work unless there are too many hands in the cookie jar and no one knows details.
  4. Clear instructions:  Whether talking details with the vendors or clarifying procession instructions to the bridal party or to cuing the DJ, it is crucial to give clear and precise instructions and often repeat them during the day.
  5. Keep hourly tabs on the bride:  Most of the time, the Coordinator hovers around the barn to oversee vendors and all of the hub-bub surrounding the venue.  Checking in with the bride hourly as she is being primped and prepped will help reassure her as well as alert you to any of her concerns.  Make sure you both share cell numbers so that the coordinator can be found easily should an issue arise.
  6. Know bartender and drink details:  There are dozens of details that surround the whole subject of the beer/wine and the bartender; who brings what, when does the bartender arrive in order to begin chilling the drinks, when are drinks allowed, when does the bar close, who handles the drunk obnoxious guest, whose car gets the left over drinks, etc.  I could go on with this topic.
  7. A 3 ring circus:  Often it feels like a three ring circus as you juggle overseeing not only the bride and bridal party and the various vendors but also the guests.  Funneling smokers to the smoking area, making sure that children aren’t destroying the flower gardens, and helping to solve issues from guests or family like finding Aunt Fran’s lost earring or to finding out if there is any peanut product served on the menu.
  8. Make sure at the night’s end, that the vendor’s don’t exit until they have completed their final tasks, that the sparkler send off didn’t light the barn on fire or singe the bride and groom, and that the personal items were all collected properly and secured in the designated vehicle.  Stay to the very end to complete your task.

Photo by Bri Sanders Photography

A good coordinator needs an organized cheat sheet, a sharp mind that can handle lots of details under pressure, a smile that can assure one and all, and very good shoes to help you maintain an eleven and a half hour shift.

Photo by Eden Ingle Photo

So your mom can be a “mom” and not a coordinator and so that you can have a successful day knowing that your details are being handled, High Point Farms does offer Day of Coordinator services as an option for only $800.  We know the venue, the space, the guidelines, the drill. Besides the “day of details” as described above, we also include in our Coordinator package the following extras:

  1.  We offer a pre-planning meeting to go over general wedding visions, listen to concerns and offer ideas or suggestions, and give an overall jump start to a bride’s wedding planning.
  2.  We help to establish a general timeline.
  3.  We offer a wedding checklist that includes general details and items that each bride needs to make sure she has acquired, delegated, or dismissed; i.e. bar napkins, proper pen for her sign in apparatus, a cake knife, etc.
  4.  We will contact each of your venue vendors ahead of time to go over any specific details that pertain to them so that if there is any troubleshooting, it can be done prior to wedding day.  This not only helps your vendors, but confirms their ETA, and assures the bride that all of her vendors are on the same page with the details.
  5. And… Offers of our golf cart chauffeur to whisk you and your photographer off to various places around the farm that are a bit further away from the barn to not only capture some of those extra special location shoots but to spare your feet from the trek.

 

~ Margie