The use of an On The Day Wedding Coordinator has become quite a common thing. So much so, that I regularly see couples sending out enquiries for someone to do this work in the very early stages of their wedding planning process – sometimes even as soon as they have booked their date.
But do you actually need an On The Day Wedding Coordinator? Or is this just one of those things that couples see other couples doing and so think that they need one too??
Firstly, let’s take a look at what an On The Day (OTD) Wedding Coordinator does.
An OTD Coordinator is responsible for ensuring your wedding day is set up and evolves as you envisioned. This person(s) can be responsible for:
- coordinating your suppliers and setting up “things” for you prior to the start of your ceremony or reception. These “things” may include but is definitely not limited to your wishing well, signage, photos / memorial pieces, table settings, photo stations.
- assisting with logistics, moving items or packing away during your ceremony or reception. Some of these tasks may include clearing tables once dinner is done, moving signage or furniture, ushering guests to different spaces as your day progresses, bringing out the cake, clearing away a grazer.
- or it can be tasks associated with the end of the night, involving all things packing away.
Why hire an On The Day Coordinator?
There are two main reasons.
Weddings have so many moving parts, they aren’t cheap (!) and planning a wedding takes a considerable amount of time. Therefore, couples want to know that their vision and all the details that they have planned are going to be executed as they want.
The other main reason couples invest in an OTD Coordinator is because they want their family and friends to be able to enjoy this special day celebrating with them, rather than being tasked with oodles of jobs.
This latter reason is one that I fully respect. I appreciate that couples see the attendance of family and friends at their wedding as a privilege for them, the couple; not as an event that their nearest and dearest has to work.
Of course, people will offer to help out. But I have worked alongside countless family and friends who make comment about how important it is for them to relax and celebrate the day with the couple. Yes, it is your day but it is equally special for them too and I urge you not to forget that.
So it sounds like I need an OTD Coordinator?
Not necessarily! There are definitely advantages to using an OTD Coordinator, but they are also a waste of money for some couples.
As a generalisation, it would be valuable for you to invest in an OTD Coordinator if you:
- are having a DIY wedding where you are required to set up everything yourself.
- you are having a backyard wedding.
- there are many location changes at your venue that require modifying the set up.
- have contracted suppliers that deliver their items but do not set up.
However, generalising again, you probably don’t need an OTD Coordinator if:
- you are having a very simple wedding.
- your venue provides Event Staff (bar staff and waitstaff) and an Event Coordinator.
- you have contracted suppliers that place out their products for you.
- your wedding is straightforward in that once it is set up that is how it will be for the duration of your event.
A few more factors for you to consider:
Now that I have your cogs turning as to whether you actually need an OTD Coordinator, here are a few more things to consider before you jump in.
- You should not be booking in an OTD Coordinator as one of the first things that you do. Get your suppliers locked in and more of your logistics cemented first. This will give you a clearer idea of what tasks you need done and when. It may mean that you don’t need to spend money on someone at all.
- Right from the start, ask your venue the following questions:
- Is there an Event Coordinator or similar who will be onsite during my wedding?
- How long are they there for and what are their tasks and responsibilities on the day?
- Are there any additional event staff included in the venue hire?
- How many, when do they work during that day and what are their responsibilities?
- Seek suppliers who set out their products for you on the day or come with staff who will do this. Eg, is there a furniture hire company who will put your furniture in the places that you want? Will the florist place table florals on the tables? Does the cake maker deliver closer to reception time and will they place the cake out on the table?
- If you decide to use family and/or friends for assistance on the day, be mindful of the tasks that you give them. Can their tasks be done early in the day so that they have time to get ready and then enjoy the rest of the day?
There are many advantages of investing in an On The Day Wedding Coordinator BUT not everyone needs one. So I encourage you to put some thought into designing your day to avoid having loads of tasks that need doing. Additionally, figure out what exactly what needs to be done and when before you dive in to booking someone.
Need some assistance on where to start with your wedding planning? Don’t forget the first place is ALWAYS your budget. More information on how to do this is available in this article “The Most Important Thing To Do When Planning Your Wedding“.