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What to Expect when You’re Expecting (to Hire a Day-Of Coordinator)

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February 22, 2021

Currently searching for a day-of coordinator to swoop in and bring all of your carefully crafted wedding plans to life? Hoping to have someone step in on your big day following many months of your own planning but confused about how that would look? Maybe you’re not finding a true day-of coordination package available from many planners but instead finding a wedding management offering. For a full break down of these terms and what to expect, read on!

While many wedding and event planners offer packages for “day-of coordination,” the title is actually a misnomer. Very few (if any) professional event planners are willing to act as a TRUE day-of coordinator. In the purest sense of the phrase, a day-of coordinator would be completely uninvolved until the actual day of the wedding and would suddenly be in charge of a couple’s plans with little to no understanding of how they were made, what the couple was going for, or how everything should come together. Instead, a professional will want to be involved in the planning process a little earlier (or a lot earlier) than the actual day of the wedding. Therefore, many event planners are changing the package title to Wedding Management. 

Whether a planner still refers to their service as Day-Of Coordination or Wedding Management, nearly all of the basic wedding planning packages will include somewhere from four to eight weeks of assistance before the big day. This number can seem excessive to many couples who are hoping to take care of much of the planning themselves; however, a month or two of lead time is typically necessary to become familiar with an event, its logistics, and all vendors. These packages still allow a couple to handle all of the in-depth planning themselves, but once the reins are passed to their planner, they can rest assured that their hired professional is fully looped in and ready to bring their dreams to life. 

Still wondering why four to eight weeks are necessary for your planner to get a handle on all of your wedding plans? Here’s a brief overview of what you may be able to expect during that time when purchasing a Wedding Management package.

Initial Consultation and Site Visit – While much information can be relayed via phone or email, a planner will get their best sense of you as a couple and what you’re dreaming of for your wedding day through an in-person meeting (or video call if in-person isn’t possible). Also, regardless of whether they’ve worked at your wedding venue or not, they’ll want to walk through the space with you to get a feel for exactly what you have in mind in terms of flow, floor plan, etc.

Review Contracts – Your planner will want to know exactly what each vendor has promised you and how they’ll deliver. Therefore, they’ll want plenty of time to review each contract to know exactly what to expect. This will also give them time to identify issues or resolve oversights. 

Identify Issues or Weaknesses with Current Plans – Event planners are by definition professionals in the field of planning events (duh). And most couples who are coordinating their own weddings are doing so for the very first time. Therefore, there are bound to be several items that you’ve overlooked or failed to identify. With a good amount of lead time (like 4-8 weeks!), there’s plenty of room to make corrections or small shifts as need be. 

Meet and/or Touch Base with All Vendors – Although wedding planners and vendors work on lots of weddings at any given time, each one is unique with its own challenges and special considerations. Therefore, your planner will need time to touch base with all of your contracted vendors to walk through what they’ll be providing and how that will happen on the actual day of your wedding. All of this information will also come into play with your timeline.

Build Your Custom Timeline – The timeline is where all of the individual pieces of a wedding plan come together to make a whole. Your planner will think through every moment of your wedding day to ensure that everything comes together seamlessly. They’ll know when each vendor should arrive, when individual items should be set, and when to take action if things aren’t happening as they should. A professional timeline makes all the difference in the world when it comes to a perfect, stress-free wedding day.

Week Of Vendor Confirmations & Timeline Dissemination – After the timeline is created, your wedding planner will touch base again with each individual vendor. Your planner will fill in any missing items with each vendor, notify everyone of updates, and confirm receipt and understanding of the timeline. The planner will also be able to procure emergency cell phone numbers for the actual individuals who will be responsible for any deliverables from each vendor – something that vendors are sometimes reluctant to share with inexperienced planners or couples.

Rehearsal Management – Having a third party (aka a wedding planner) to wrangle your family, wedding party, and any present vendors makes everyone’s life easier at a rehearsal. The planner will be able to get you in and out while making sure that everyone is confident about their roles for the wedding day.

Day-Of Duties – From set up through final break down (depending on your wedding planning package), your wedding planner will be onsite to make sure that any hiccups are professionally handled and that everything goes according to the well-scripted plan!


Even if doing the heavy-lifting of wedding planning on your own, bringing in a professional planner to manage the big day – at least four to eight weeks out – will result in a smoother, all around less stressful day to remember for you and your partner. 

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