Many couples claim their day-of coordinator was the most important person at their wedding. These talented vendors can take away any stress, even hiding problems that pop up, so the couple can focus on enjoying their wedding guests and taking in every moment of their wedding day.
What Is a Day-of Wedding Coordinator?
A day-of wedding coordinator is a person responsible for making sure the wedding day or weekend is executed perfectly. His or her roles include overseeing vendors, managing the timeline, and overcoming any last-minute challenges that arise during the festivities.
The day-of wedding coordinator is also the point person for vendors, so questions are diverted away from the happy couple and their families. Unlike the wedding planner who envisions and books the wedding, this person makes sure the already created plan is pulled off seamlessly in real-time. Read on to find out what they do, how much they cost, and whether you need to hire one for your wedding.
Day-of Wedding Coordinator Cost
“The cost ranges based on the number of locations, the number of hours, and the expected guest count,” says planner and coordinator Shollah Oshikanlu. She charges anywhere from $800 to $3,000. Costs vary depending on the day-of coordinator’s responsibilities. Someone who just oversees a wedding day will cost less than someone who helps the couple plan last-minute details weeks leading up to the big event.
Meet the Expert
Shollah Oshikanlu is a wedding planner and day-of wedding coordinator in Atlanta with over 10 years of experience.
Day-of Wedding Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner
Wedding planners are the people who work with the couple to plan their wedding months or years in advance. They book the caterers and band, sketch out the vision with florists and the venue, and make sure invitations are sent out on time.
Rather than do any original planning, day-of wedding coordinators are responsible for making sure the vision and scheme are executed properly. They may not make the seating plan, for example, but they make sure place cards are numbered correctly and placed in the proper spot. For Oshikanlu, her job is simple: “The day-of coordinator is responsible for the flawless execution of the already-made plans.”
While day-of wedding coordinators work less closely with the couples than a wedding planner, they should still be brought in early to help anticipate and smooth over any problems that might occur. “I recommend hiring one at least six months before the wedding day because it gives the wedding coordinator enough time to identify flaws in the planning and or desire and have it corrected before the wedding day,” said Oshikanlu.
It’s important to note that the wedding planner can also serve as the day-of coordinator. But a couple can also opt to plan the wedding themselves and just hire a day-of coordinator to run everything on the day of the event. The day-of wedding coordinator can be brought in just for the wedding day or all the wedding festivities including rehearsal dinners and brunches.
Day-of Wedding Coordinator Responsibilities
Master of logistics.
The day-of wedding coordinator’s job is to make sure all the logistics of the wedding are handled. If there are 200 guests coming, for example, this person makes sure there are 200 chairs at the reception and dinner.
Stick to the timeline.
One of the most important jobs of the day-of wedding coordinator is to create a detailed timeline for the day and to make sure everyone, from the couple’s family to the vendors, stick to it. For example, if hair or makeup is taking longer than expected, this person will step in to hurry up the process. He or she also makes sure guests are seated on time to get the ceremony rolling and that photographs are taken in a timely manner so the couple can get to the dance floor.
The day-of wedding coordinator is the contact for all wedding vendors. He or she is the manager on duty, overseeing their work and making sure they do their job according to what was contracted. All questions can be fielded to them so the couple doesn’t have to deal with them.
One of the most challenging roles the day-of wedding coordinator plays is to put out any fires or troubleshoot problems the day of or right before the wedding. If the bar runs out of tequila, if someone forgets the rings, if there is a power outage at the venue, it is this person who figures out what to do. Again, the goal is to take away all stress from the couple.
When Do You Need a Day-of Wedding Coordinator
Many couples hire day-of wedding coordinators if they are planning their wedding themselves, and they need someone to oversee their work on the big day. This professional can swoop in and make sure all the couple’s hard work comes to life while they are enjoying their wedding day. The day-of wedding coordinator can also help the couple make sure they aren’t missing any pieces to their wedding, especially small parts non-professionals might overlook: “Sometimes couples have a lot of missing details, and I end up having to basically plan the wedding for them in a short period of time,” Oshikanlu continues.
While staff at traditional wedding venues know how to seamlessly pull off a wedding, some couples are getting married in venues that have never had a wedding (perhaps someone’s home or a park?) Couples using non-traditional wedding venues should get a day-of wedding coordinator to make sure the venue is set up properly for their festivities.