Friday, November 22, 2013

What to Expect from your Day of Coordination Wedding Package

If you have made the decision to hire a wedding planner to manage your Day of Wedding Coordination, congratulations, you are now a BLISS bride.   More and more brides feel the stress of the wedding day, and elect to let a professional take over to fine tune the details, and oversee the execution of those details on the day of their wedding.  Service is subjective.  What should you expect from a planner for retaining their Day of Coordination service? Here are some tips:

Define Expectation:
Remember they are being retained to oversee your day of details.  It means that you as a bride will coordinate and plan the details leading up to the wedding.  A good wedding planner will organize your details for a flawless execution.  Planners work with a plethora of forms that detail every segment of the wedding.  Have the planner show you her forms, which will be utilized in executing your event. 

Hours of service:
A day of coordination package must include at least 11 hours of service.  Typically 1 hr is reserved for rehearsal and 10 hrs are for the day of event.  Use the time wisely.  Planners are extremely important during the beginning of the day.  If your ceremony is planned for 2pm and your make-up hair, vendor set up and pictures are scheduled for 11:00a.m., retain the service from 10:30a.m. to 8:30p.m..  If you are not done with the important details by 8:30p.m. consider adding a couple of hours to the package.  An Event Assistant is typically included in the package.

How to choose the right planner:
There are some great seasoned planners, that may cost more, and then there are some planners starting out in the business that charge less.  I personally would want the best to take care of my wedding, especially when so much is invested in it.  I would want someone with experience, so that when it came time to make hard decisions they will draw from their experience and make the right one.  I would want a leadership quality so that clear directions are given to the vendors, and excellent service to my guests.  But most importantly, I would want to make sure that they have a well trained event support team, so that my event is not dependent on just one person.

A traditional day of coordination package can cost from $2500, for an experienced planning company, to a $1200 for a novice.  If your event is a sophisticated, detail driven and vendor loaded program, I would opt for an experienced planner.  The $1300 will be well worth paying for if it means the best are orchestrating your event.  Some ethnic events, with traditions and cultural influence, may require longer hours and multiple days.  For such events expect to pay slightly more, the size of the event can impact the price.

What not to expect from a planner:
Planners are there to oversee your vendors, in making sure that they are performing as they have been contracted to do, also making sure that Aunt Mae gets her low sodium vegetarian meal and your Bridesmaid is not lost when it comes time to take pictures.  Resourceful Planners are experts in all arenas of wedding planning. However they are not florists, photographers, cake decorators, chair cover installers, butlers or bellman.  They are quick to get a team that will deliver these types of service, but cannot be expected to put together your centerpieces on the day of your wedding.  However, some planners may be able to offer such services for additional cost.  Remember you are paying at least $1200 to your planner. If you are using her to add flowers to the table, or move wedding inventory from church to reception venue, you are definitely overpaying. Let your planner manage the other vendors to most effectively accomplish these tasks.

Your wedding day is about you and your groom.  There should not be any need for a bride to micromanage her vendors, or stand by the placecard table assisting guests to find their escort cards.  If your budget allows, at a minimum hire a “Day of Coordinator.” I promise you that you will look back at your wedding day and know the second most important person on your big day was your Wedding Planner.

BBFN (Bridal Bliss for Now)


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