Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day of Coordination

Countless times a week I get the following email: "I am getting married at ..... , how much do you charge for Day Of coordination?"   

Confession: I don’t know how to do “Day Of” coordination.  Don’t get me wrong, I am good...no great, at what I do and I know how to tie everything together and make a wedding day go smoothly, but I have NO idea how to do that with only one meeting with the client, no venue walk-through, and no assistants. Yet that is what potential clients are asking me to do when they email me and want a “Day Of” coordinator for less than what a DJ charges or a quality cake costs.  IF I were to only do the bare minimum of a 3 hour meeting, 3 hours of paperwork/communication, 1 hour rehearsal, and a 10 hour assistant-less wedding day, these 17ish hours would not really benefit you, the client, and my reputation would be ruined because too much would fall through the cracks. My work would be mediocre at best and the possibilities of what could go wrong are endless.

I just don’t know how to do an incomplete job when my reputation is on the line.  Instead of 17 or 18 hours of bare bones (Day of), I spend 30-40 hours (Month of aka "Wedding Supervision") by doing a venue walk-through, contract reviews, two meetings, and I have assistants with me at every wedding that the Amber Events name is attached to.


This wedding season I provided a Wedding Supervision package where I discovered as I was reviewing the rental order that the rental company was not installing the chair covers. We’re talking 160 intricate satin covers that have to be tied on in a specific way. I asked the rental company how much time they estimate per chair? The answer: 1-2 minutes. That doesn’t sound too bad, but multiply 160 covers times 2 minutes: that's 320 minutes, or 5.33 hours. Since I caught this early the week of the wedding I was able to schedule my assistants to start earlier to take care of it. It took one assistant 4.5 hours to complete this task. I can imagine the fallout of what would have happened if I’d shown up alone as the “Day Of” coordinator.

So, I don't do Day Of coordination. My Wedding Supervision package, on the other hand, is pretty darn great.

photo by B & G Photography 

12 comments:

Beth Helmstetter said...

One of your best posts ever!

Lai of Orchestrated Occasions said...

Great post!

Becky Brock said...

Great post with such good points!!

Sterling Engagements said...

Amazing and so true! Definitely one of your best posts, but then again I tend to love all your posts!!!

Stitches by Katy said...

I totally agree with you. I have done "day of" weddings with assistants and it turns out just as bad. 4 weeks of prep, at least, is essential to coordinating a wedding day.

Jaime said...

Agreed! It's not possible, and "day of" planners will spend most of their time learning details, not executing them!

Fantasy Frostings said...

A wonderful post! After 30 years in the wedding industry, I am still surprised where some Brides try to stretch the budget. There are plenty of cost saving areas in a wedding, but "Day Of" coordinators are not one of them. A great Planner is priceless.

Amber Events said...

Thanks so much for the comments, everyone! The more educating we can do the better our business will be!

Beth said...

I've always heard that there's really no such thing as a "day of coordinator," and I've believed it! Your points make perfect sense and most importantly, common sense!

Beth said...

I've always heard that there's really no such thing as a "day of coordinator," and I've believed it! Your points make perfect sense and most importantly, common sense!

jesi haack weddings said...

oh my gosh, perfectly said.

Bethany said...

a GREAT post!