Day of Coordination the last in the "Our Services" series.
Day of Coordination. Can I rename it the peace of mind package. What about "The Month Of" Package? Like many planners with a "day of" package, our services start much earlier than the wedding day! How much earlier? What does coordination even mean?! Good thing you're reading this.
Unlike our previous Full Planning and Partial + Extra Services blogs, we're going to have some bullet points. This is because after writing out our entire day of coordination duties, it was such a lengthy blog, you wouldn't want to read it. At the same time, I want to include so much of what we do.
Step One: Inquiry to Contract
I've received inquiries for our Day of Coordination (DOC) Services (which begin 30 days or so before your wedding date), a year and a half, to just over one month prior to their special day. No matter what the time frame, an inquiry will go like this:
- Inquiry e-mail from future bride or groom.
- Immediate inquiry response, stating our availability, and a small description of our DOC. Followed with asking if they'd like to meet in person, discuss more on the phone, or if e-mail is most convenient.
- Response from couple, requesting to meet in person (Patchwork does run on Dunkin), and what date is best for them.
- Date and time set. We meet and discuss more generally about our DOC services, but then personalize according to their vision for their wedding date.
- We end with showing a generic contract so that they are aware of our terms and conditions.
- Soon after I will e-mail their personalized online contract to them. So that they can review, sign, and even pay online.
- Just like that we've added another incredible couple to our calendar.
Step Two: From Contract to Rehearsal Day
Now timing is flexible depending on how early they have booked. From one year out, I offer e-mail consultations for any questions related to a Coordinators job. Until just over one month out where we get started doing:
- A catch up meeting. Here I listen to all of the incredible details that the couple has planned. I take notes, write down who their vendors are, get their ceremony order, and start sketching a timeline.
- Within a week, e-mails are sent to all vendors introducing myself, and making sure they are all up to date on the couples wishes.
- From the rough draft timeline, I create an official draft to send to the couple. Once approved (given a few changes), I send it to them, (they can forward to bridal party), and to all the vendors no later than two weeks prior to the wedding.
- Another meeting is scheduled, this time a final walk through the ceremony and reception site. (This can be done in the catch up meeting if schedules are crazy.) Here I can visualize where they want the dj to set up, where the cake table will go, I can help them set up a mock dining table to see how they'd like place settings, etc. etc.
- During the last week before the wedding (and all during the final month) I am available 24/7. From e-mails to phone calls/texts I strive to be available. It's the most stressful time, and sometimes you just need to hear, "It's all going to work out."
Step Three: Rehearsal and Wedding Day
With the rehearsal and wedding day finally here we get our emergency suitcase prepared, and we brief our interns. Depending on your guest list I, Candice will be the lead coordinator with one assistant for smaller weddings under 100 people. For larger, we have three assistants, making our team total of four awesome wedding professionals. Now bear with us, this bullet list might get lengthy.
- We (myself and one assistant) arrive a little early to rehearsal to meet with our couple once more (we have blocked two hours for Patchwork at rehearsals). If anything has changed at the venue sites, we take notes. We also greet the bridal party and family. When everyone is there we introduce ourselves once more, give a little pep talk and the Officiant takes over.
- Once it's time to line up, we give guidance to the desires of our couple. Once set, we cue the bridal party, music, etc. to continue.
- Within a run through or so, the bridal party is confident that the ceremony will run smoothly. As they prepare to leave to their rehearsal dinner, we say our so longs and give another little pep-talk to sleep well, don't drink too much, and we'll see them in the morning.
With the ceremony day upon us, Patchwork Planning is contracted for 10 hours. Many days are longer than that, and we charge an already discussed additional fee. Depending on the timeline, the day will continue like this:
- We arrive before (or as) make up and hair have already started. We say our hellos to the bride, and if the groom is in the area with his groomsman, we check in with them too. (And if hair/make up is off property, we just head to the reception site to start set up and get in touch with a photographer if they are with them.)
- Our team will head to the reception area and start on any kind of set-up previously discussed. (Set-up is always different for each wedding. IE. Sometimes we do place-settings, other times the caterers are directed to do it. Sometimes we put flowers in bud vases, and other times florists are there.)
- As set-up continues, I am there to greet vendors and show them where to set up as well. I'll be floating around to visit the bride and groom to make sure everyone is sticking to our timeline.
- If ceremony is on site, I'll attend to the ceremony site and make sure it's the way the couple has desired. If it's not on site, I will leave, with one assistant to go to the ceremony early enough to set up any programs, bubbles, etc. at the ceremony location.
- All in a timely manner, with a first look, or no first look, with same site ceremony/reception - everything is flowing smoothly.
- The ceremony begins with everyone in their places, and our cues. As quickly as it begins, they end, in a joyous recessional (one of my favorite parts of a wedding day).
- I get in touch with the rest of our team to relay to the caterers the ceremony has ended and cocktails will begin as guests arrive. I check in with the photographer as the family will begin photos followed by the bridal party. We clean up the ceremony site, and soon make our way to the already set up cocktail hour, and reception.
- Now the party begins, and with our timeline (which lists timing for everything such as, bridal party entrance, first dance, dinner time, toasts, cake cutting, parent dances, bouquet toss, etc), the night flies effortlessly.
- If there are any final payments or gratuities we handle them with care. And as the guests leave we continue clean up with the caterer. (Depending on many things, clean up goes as previously discussed. From piling all decor, to leaving it for the couple to do the next day.)
- With some big hugs, and maybe a quick shot of us with the couple, another wedding day was beautiful, and we had a blast.
We are so honored to work with all of our couples. To be trusted with one of the most important days of their lives, how can we not go above and beyond. Thanks so much for reading the last part of the Our Services series. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns don't hesitate to contact us. And if you haven't already, check out our Full Planning, and Partial + Extra Planning blogs.
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