#AskEventCaitlin: Friend as my Wedding Coordinator

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions to #askeventcaitlin this past month! We’re excited to dive into a very pertinent wedding-related question today – “I can’t afford a wedding planner and my friend volunteered to be my day-of coordinator – what does she need to do? #askeventcaitlin” 

Caitlin: As the economy still recovers, I hear all the time – “My sister is going to be my day-of coordinator,” to which I’ve often wanted to respond with “Wait! You have to know what she’s getting herself into!” 🙂 So to that end, for an answer today, I’d love to provide some tips and a checklist of steps for anyone who is either eliciting the help of a friend, or is going to be someone’s day-of coordinator.

– Timeline and Site Diagram creation. This may sound self-explanatory, but my theory with these documents is that they should be so detailed that they can be the ONLY documents needed for anyone to know everything they could possibly need to know about your wedding. The timeline should be detailed enough to know even what flavor of cake the bride and groom want, so they’re not stuck getting whatever the caterer brings them, when they really wanted that specialty flavor for which they booked the bakery! Your day-of coordinator should if not formulate these for you, know them like the back of their hand to make things smooth on the day.

– Become the main point person for all vendors and bridal party/family members. Your gal can’t coordinate your wedding smoothly if she can’t coordinate the vendors and all the people that make up your day, so she needs to be introduced to all the vendors beforehand, and ensure EVERYONE knows she’s the one in charge! If there’s a problem – they’ll go to her! She can solve it if everyone clearly knows her role.

– Coordinate rehearsal. If the bride leads rehearsal, who’s going to know how to do it at the wedding? The rehearsal is practice for your day-of coordinator too! Use the time to make everyone comfortable with how the ceremony should roll.

– Get all your stuff. Having your day-of coordinator in charge of your champagne flutes, card box, escort cards etc etc means she knows where they are to set them up, where to clean them up at the end of the night, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting them at home! I suggest the coordinator grab all your items from you at least the day before so you can rest easy knowing they’re in their hands already.

– Last but not least, have the age-old emergency kit! I can’t give away my emergency kit secrets, of course, but I can tell you that I use it at least three times at every wedding. Over-preparation is much better than under and your day-of coordinator should do some shopping prior to the wedding to be the true emergency go-to person on your wedding day!

If you want to hear more or talk more about this question thread, please do contact me and I’d be happy to discuss! Most important summary point – have your day-of coordinator friend do their homework for your wedding, and be as informed and in control as you are about the day, and they’ll do great!

“Ask Caitlin” will be posted at least once a month, but if I get swarms of questions, it could be more often than that. Submit your questions (anything about weddings or events – or even only somewhat related) via Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #askeventcaitlin, and you’ll be famous as I answer your question on my next blog post. If it’s something I don’t know, I’ll find a vendor professional who does!