09 Apr Day of Coordinator vs Full Service Planning
The initial consultation between the planner and the client serves to set the groundwork as to what the client is expecting from the planner. The client may be the bride, the groom, the mother or father of the bride, the mother or father of the groom or any combination of these people. In most cases, this will of course be the bride.
When a wedding planner first meets with a client, the conversation should consist of simply explaining the packages available and briefly discussing the type of wedding the client wants. Typically, a wedding planner is hired for either Full Service or Day-of Coordination, and it is imperative that the planner fully explains to the client what is included in each of their packages.
Day of coordination involves taking care of all the logistical details of the wedding on the day of the wedding itself.
Full Service planning involves everything included in Day of Coordination plus a lot more! A Full Service Wedding Planner is going to help you managing a budget, vendors, venues, and all the nitty-gritty details that go into planning a wedding.
So in order to know exactly what a wedding planner does, you’ll need to know the difference between both forms of wedding planning services.
We’ll start with the simplest of the two.
Day of Coordinator
Most brides have looked forward to their wedding day since they were little girls, and many refuse to let anyone else plan the details of their wedding other than themselves! Having said that, these brides also recognize that their wedding day should be about enjoyment and bliss, not stressing over every detail going according to plan and choreographing each segment of their wedding to perfection. In this case, they’ll need some help.
Since these brides have already taken care of all the pre-wedding preparations, and all they need is help on the day of their wedding, what they’ll be looking for is a Day of Coordinator. And of course, being the business-savvy wedding planner that you are, you’ll offer this service to your lucky brides!
So let’s go over exactly what is included as part of your duty as a Day of Coordinator.
As a Day of Coordinator, our first responsibility will be to look over the contracts for each vendor the client has chosen to hire. We will then will contact the vendors approximately one week prior to the wedding and introduce ourselves and ensure we hav accurate day of contact information for each of them.
To ensure for a smooth wedding day, your wedding planner will create a detailed timeline, incorporating the photographer’s timeline, DJ or band’s timeline and their own timeline for the entire duration of the wedding. The bride, groom, their families, the photographer and DJ will approve the timeline to ensure everyone is in sync. After, a copy will be handed out to everyone in the wedding party at the rehearsal, as well.
The wedding planner will ensure that everyone who is in the wedding party or will be escorted in to the ceremony attends the wedding rehearsal, if possible. The phrase “Day of Coordinator” is a bit of a misnomer as they will be in charge of the wedding rehearsal as well. Rehearsal dinners usually takes place one or two days before the wedding. This is your last chance to hammer out all the scheduling details with the bride and groom, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
On the day of the wedding, your wedding planner will arrive at the venue early enough to supervise all vendor set-up and answer any questions that may arise. Planners should ensure that the bride, groom, DJ/band and photographer are all informed in advance of each event (grand entrance, first dance, cake cutting, garter toss, etc.).
The wedding planner will be the liaison between all the vendors and the bride/groom on the day of the wedding. This will enable the bride/groom to enjoy the day with their friends and family instead of having to chase after vendors. After all, that is why you hired us! It is the wedding planner’s duty and privilege to ensure that the client’s vision is implemented.
Once the time for the ceremony approaches, the wedding planner should begin distributing the personal flowers and ensuring everyone is in place according to the timeline. They are responsible for ensuring each person in the wedding party (ushers, greeters, etc.) are fulfilling their responsibilities and that guests are being treated properly. Once it is time for the ceremony to begin the wedding planner (or their assistant) should be ready to queue the music and keep the processional flowing as planned.
After the ceremony is complete, the wedding planner will ensure the guests are quickly ushered to the reception venue and the wedding party is at the appropriate place for photos to begin. This is one of the most crucial and overlooked segments of the wedding, but if executed correctly it will ensure a smooth and timely start to the reception.
Even after everyone clears out, planners should make sure all of the client’s personal property and wedding gifts are properly packed and secured in a vehicle, hotel room or storage room.
Full Service Planner
Of course, not all brides envision their wedding as Disney fairy tales, or perhaps they have but are too busy with their careers and just can’t be hassled with the details of planning their perfect wedding, so you will ask us to take care of them each step of the way.
As mentioned, Full Service wedding planning is comprised of everything included in Day of Coordination in addition to months of planning and perfecting prior to the big day.
Let’s get started!
In some way or another, the budget will affect every decision of the wedding. Very early in the planning stages, the wedding planner will initiate a detailed discussion with the client as to their budget for the wedding. Some clients will handle the budget themselves and some clients will want or need our assistance. Before considering any venues or making appointments with any vendors, you must be certain that everyone agrees on the total budget for the wedding.
Despite its importance, don’t think the budget is set in stone, either. As the bride and groom evolve and change, so will their plans for their wedding. They may eventually realize that the wedding is too great of an expense and may need to reduce their budget. Or more commonly, they may realize that their dream wedding is going to cost more than they had realized and this will raise the budget. The wedding planner will keep up with these changing expectations and craft their proposals accordingly.
Once the budget is agreed upon, it is time to begin researching venues. Comparing venues can be one of the most complicated jobs a wedding planner has to do. But, it is also where they can be provide the most value to their client. Each venue you are considering will probably include different rental items, price their food and beverage differently and may figure tax, tip and service charges at different rates.