Event M.D. Interview with Day-Of Wedding Coordinators
In the first post of the Wedding Day Series, we explored the options for wedding execution and choosing the right day-of team. I mentioned Event M.D. - a new day of wedding coordinator service - started by Meredith Palmberg and Dixie Burgess in Florida. I asked Meredith and Dixie to answer a few questions to give some more information to couples interested in choosing a day-of coordinator. I hope these real experiences will help you decide if this is the right choice for your wedding execution team.
Day Of Wedding Coordinator: Event M.D.
Why is it important for a bride/groom to have a day of wedding coordinator?
There are so many moving parts to a wedding day! Some you may not even be aware of! And, the most important part is that the bride and groom, their family, and their friends have a stress-free and seamless day! The last thing the bride or groom should be doing is steaming a bridesmaid's dress or answering a call from the venue because the florist is late. A day of coordinator can help put all the pieces together, troubleshoot when necessary (there will always be an issue, or two!), and serve as a primary point of contact for vendors and guests. Our only job is to ensure the irreplaceable emotions of a wedding day are both enjoyed and cherished, in the moment, by the couple and the people they love.
Can you tell us one of your nightmare stories from a wedding, and how you were able to fix the problem?
The best day of wedding coordinators are those who shine when an issue arises and thrive on problem solving! With that said, issues always arise during the course of a wedding day. There is no amount of planning or preparation that can prevent this from happening. Rehearsals can be an important part of the wedding process, especially when there is a large bridal party or a complicated processional. One of our recent weddings had both! To make things more complicated, when we showed up at the venue to prepare for the rehearsal we quickly realized we had a major problem. The venue had double booked the space! There was no way a rehearsal could take place there. We had just 30 minutes to contact all rehearsal attendees, find a new location, and setup the space to emulate the venue's layout. Before we contacted the bride and groom (and the Mother of the Bride!) we took five minutes to take a deep breath and come up with a plan. By the time we told them the bad news we had a solution, and we were ready to make calls as soon as they approved. (Tip: we make sure to get cell phone numbers for the whole bridal party. This is a great example of why that step is so important.) In the end, we were able to implement a plan B, work through the rehearsal, and the processional and ceremony went seamlessly the next day.
How do you work with a DIY bride to get all of the details they have worked on to make sure it is executed as planned? How many meetings do you typically have with the DIY bride to get this information?
Working with a DIY bride is so much fun because the end result is a truly personal and unique wedding day! And, in the era of blogs and Pinterest, we are finding this style of wedding preparation to be more and more common. We try to jump in as early as possible with the DIY bride to understand her vision and the components she will be taking on. We frequently check-in on progress over the course of planning through email and phone conversations. One month prior to the wedding we design a "decor game-plan" which segments each part of the wedding plan and creates a list of it's elements, including any DIY projects. We review this document again two weeks out at our final in-person meeting. When executing day of, we use this plan to properly carry-out the DIY vision while working within the confines of the venue.
What is the most important detail do you like to know from the bride/groom about the plans for their wedding?
When we meet with a couple, we first ask about their non-negotiables; meaning, what are the three components of their wedding that they are not willing to compromise on. This piece of information is key because it allows the couple to discuss their priorities with each other (you'll be surprised how many have not had this conversation, yet!) and their answer helps to guide future planning decisions and the budget. Non-negotiable can be anything from the ceremony location, the food, flowers, photography, the guest list size, music, etc!
What is your #1 piece of advice for brides considering a day of wedding coordinator?
Follow your heart, listen to your gut and use your head! You are entrusting this individual with one of the most important days of your life, if it doesn't feel right, just don't do it! Make sure you select a day of wedding coordinator you can have open and honest conversations with. This isn't about sparing feelings or compromising, this is about you and your fiancé! Likewise, make sure they can both visualize and articulate your vision. This is an essential component of the selection process, as they will be your eyes and voice on the big day while executing the plan and coordinating with vendors.
Special thanks to Meredith and Dixie from Event M.D. for sharing with us! Have a question for Meredith and Dixie? Ask in the comments!
About Event M.D.
Meredith and Dixie are both event professionals at the University of Florida. They both discovered their love of weddings by helping friends with their wedding plans. Combining the first letter of their first names, Event M.D. was born. Meredith and Dixie would love to help execute your day of wedding plans. Contact Event M.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org.