Choosing the Right Wedding Execution Team

Over the next few weeks, The Delightful Details will be featuring posts focused on your wedding day. To start off the series, we will discuss the different options available for your wedding execution team from professional wedding planners and day of coordinators to family and friends. Check back for new posts each week or subscribe (enter your name and email in the pink box to the right) to receive something delightful in your inbox!

The Right Team On Your Wedding Day

So the big day is almost here! You've got the fiancé. You've got the dress. All the delightful details are in place. Now, how do you make sure that everything goes just the way you planned on that day?

I fully believe that on your wedding day neither you or your soon-to-be-husband should be burdened with any of the execution. There are a few different ways you can ensure that you will remain stress-free and enjoy all of the bliss on your wedding day. Choosing the right execution team for the day of your wedding can make all the difference.

Here are some key points to consider when making this important choice. After all, you are trusting the most important day of your life in the hands of these people!

Wedding Planner

If you are already working with a full-service wedding planner, it is likely that his/her package includes day-of execution. The wedding planner's primary job on your wedding day is to make sure that all of the plans you dreamed of will be fully realized, and most importantly, that any issues that arise are handled seamlessly. It is important to discuss with your wedding planner how you want issues handled on your wedding day. Do you want to be consulted about decisions that are made to resolve issues? Or is there someone in your family or wedding party that can step-in on your behalf?

Often times professional wedding planners have relationships with vendors from previous jobs. He/she can also recommend vendors to you based on these relationships. Your wedding planner should have already met the vendors and venue staff prior to the day of the wedding either through these relationships or on a site visit to review the details. Planners who have worked with your vendors frequently will have a much more streamlined dynamic that could make things go more soothly on your wedding day.

Because your wedding planner has been entrenched in the details from the very beginning, he/she will have their own system for keeping track of all the moving pieces. The typical documents include a vendor contact list, timeline of events, venue map for setup, detailed minute-by-minute list of tasks to be completed. Every planner uses their own system to stay organized on your wedding day.

Depending on the range of services provided, full-service wedding planner prices can range from $3,000-5,000. This is a line item that every couple can't always fit into their budget. There are other affordable options.

Professional Day Of Coordinator

A trend that has seen more interest from couples is the day of coordinator. With the popularity of Pinterest and the DIY-bride, the traditional wedding planning services are not as high in demand. Personally, I wanted to do all of the planning for my own wedding because that is what I do professionally. I had all of the tools at my disposal to do the job myself. Even if you do all the pre-wedding work, you still shouldn't have to worry about executing the plan on your wedding day.

A professional day of coordinator can work with you to get all of your details for your wedding day organized to be easily executed by their team. Again, I do think it's important to discuss with your day-of coordinator how you want issues handled and who they should work with to resolve the problem.

Many day of coordinators will use the same tools that wedding planners use, but because they weren't involved from the beginning, you will need to provide details to help them understand how all of the pieces you've worked very hard on will fall into place.

Meredith Palmberg and Dixie Burgess are event planners in their day jobs, and they have started a new day of wedding coordinating company called Event M.D. Seeing a new demand for day of coordinators in the wedding industry, Meredith and Dixie put their professional know-how to work for their brides.

A day-of coordinator can help put all the pieces together, troubleshoot when necessary (there will always be an issue, or two!), and be a primary point of contact for vendors and guests. Our only job is to ensure the irreplaceable emotions of your wedding day are both enjoyed and cherished, in the moment, by the couple and the people they love.

- Meredith and Dixie, Event M.D.

The pricing for day of coordinators varies, but is typically around $1,500. You can expect to meet with your day of coordinator 3-4 times in the months leading up to your wedding day.

Family and Friends

The most affordable option for executing your wedding day would be to ask family and friends to help with set-up, vendor point-of-contact and clean-up. I am lucky to have many friends who are event planners or production managers that understand the intricacies of executing a plan for an event. They also know my Type A personality and the consequences if they didn't get things right (I kid, I kid!).

In order to make this effective, you must be highly prepared to communicate all of the details to your family and friends. You've spent months agonizing over every detail, but you won't be with them on your wedding day to make sure everything is done as you were expecting. So set them up for success with a lot of information. The best part is your plans will be executed with an extra dose of love!

Kelley Adamec is elated to have been asked by a close friend to be the day of coordinator for her wedding. As we talked about all of the details she would need to know about prior to the wedding, she started to become overwhelmed. Kelley helped execute her sister's wedding, but she said "There's a lot of pressure to make sure everything goes 100% right for my close friend!"

I shared with Kelley the Delightful Details' Event Planning Guide to help her organize all of the times, locations, contact information and order of events into one document. The bride can help fill in these details based on her planning to arm Kelley with all of the information she will need to make her wedding day go smoothly. We will check back with Kelley in January after the wedding to see how she did!

If you are expecting your family and friends to do any setup, provide clear instructions with photos and a venue map. Most people haven't assembled a centerpiece before, so visuals can be a huge help. Try to pre-assumble as much as possible to make it easier to simply place items in specific locations on your wedding day. Also, label and provide an inventory of items you are bringing into the venue and what needs to be returned after the wedding. Clean up can be very hectic at the end of the night and items can be lost very easily.

The more you can communicate your expectations to your family and friends that are helping out, the more confident they will be in executing your plans and the less disappointed you will be if something is not done to your liking.

Having a designated day of coordinator, whether professional or family and friends, you will be able to focus your energy on taking in all of the memories of your wedding day. Choose whichever option works best for you and your fiancé, and of course, fits within your budget.

Continuing the Wedding Day Series this month, check back or subscribe to receive new posts for a delightful wedding day!

~Lori

Share in the comments which option you chose and why to help others trying to make their decision!