As a former event planner, I know the importance of day-of-coordination (DOC). While I always loved running events, I know I do not want to experience all the stress and running-around of orchestrating an event on my wedding day. It's very important to me that I, and my family and closest friends, get to soak in the day and not feel like we're running around with our heads cut off.
Initially, I was looking into hiring a day of coordinator. At first, I looked into professionals. I quickly ruled that out as too expensive. My next approach was to look for an old university friend who was a fellow social programmer for a different faculty and see if they were interested in DOCing for a cheap rate. However, given that our wedding is two hours away from Ottawa, making this worth someone's while was kind of tricky.
I was at a complete loss of what to do until something wonderful happened.
A mutual friend of ours, Maxime, got engaged. Not only that, she and her lovely man decided they were going to plan their wedding in just 6 months so that they could also get married during summer 2012. They were also planning a rustic budget DIY wedding. In fact, you can check out Max's wedding planning and budget-savvyness on her blog: Saving Some Money. She pulled off her 120 person wedding for just over $7000!
Now don't get me wrong–we love Max. But she probably wouldn't have made the cut for our guest list. She played improv with Dan in university and was a 101 guide for me when I ran 101 (Frosh) week for the Faculty of Arts. We always had fun when we hung out, but were not terribly close. In the same manner, we would not likely have made her wedding guest list either.
We were two brides, very interested in running rustic DIY weddings but both knew we wouldn't be able to tackle the logistics of our event on the big day. I proposed a bride share of day of coordination service. In other words, you run my wedding if I run yours! We agreed to take care of the accommodations and food for each other, but each would be responsible for their own travel.
Now, I know what you're thinking: “This is one of the biggest days of my life. I can't possibly just hand it over to a distant friend.” While I understand your initial concern, I think there are a few key factors to consider if you decide to go this route:
- In what capacity do you know this person? I knew Max was a great reliable volunteer from working with her on 101 week.
- Does this person have any experience with running events? I had seen Max coordinate improv weekends from 30-40 people.
- Does this person have the same mentality as you? I knew Max's wedding-approach was budget-savvy (even more so than us!) and she has a similar vision
All of these questions helped me decide it would be a good match!
Two weeks ago, we had the joyous experience of coordinating Max's wedding. We ran her cabin check-in (the event was at a campground), decorated the venue, ran errands during the day, set-up two ceremony sites (weather dependent!), coordinated the timing and music for the ceremony, liaised with catering staff and DJ, ran the bar, and cleaned up. While we were exhausted by the end of the weekend, it was a blast and it felt wonderful to make the bride and groom's day go smoothly!
Max and her hubby (Teaville) will be executing all of these tasks at our wedding! It is such a relief to know we have such fantastic people to depend on for our big day!
How do you plan to handle day-of-coordination for your wedding?