The wedding day coordination is how you know whether a wedding was actually well-planned, no matter how much the wedding cost. Have you thought about how your wedding event will be coordinated or who will do that? This post will walk you through why
If you’re hiring a wedding planner, they’ll take on that role. However, if you’re a DIY bride planning on your own, you definitely need to have a coordination plan in place – to ensure that your wedding will run smoothly without your involvement or worry.
Since the bulk of an event coordination work happens behind the scenes, the bride obviously cannot be her own wedding day coordinator. You need to hire or assign the wedding day coordination to someone.
Having a solid wedding day coordination plan is one of the best ways to ensure that your wedding will go as planned without ugly surprises.
Why Wedding Day Coordinator is a Must-Have
Even if you follow your wedding planning checklist from A to Z and have executed every single task, without having a plan of how to coordinate the day of the wedding and without a day-of wedding coordinator, there’s a huge possibility of an unexpected disaster. Do not risk your wedding day without a coordinator.
Most vendors always disappoint do not deliver as planned, even when monitored closely. Lack of a wedding day coordinator is likely to lead to unexpected disappointments by vendors and venue people. In this post, we’ll look at what a typical wedding day looks like, what you can do to plan the coordination of your wedding reception and who to assign as the wedding coordinator. Read on for tips on how to plan your wedding day coordination.
Wedding reception planning and coordination, especially on the day of the wedding can usually be jam-packed with things-to-do; it is complicated and very stressful. And you should not even think about being there. You have to reserve your wedding day for yourself and put on a mindset of going to your wedding to be a guest – to be pampered and not to get stressed.
The wedding day can be very stressful, with lots of running up and down. There’ll be a lot of calls and questions from the vendors and guests. Expect to be called from left, right and center to give directions and quench fires. A typical scenario is this:
The cake has arrived and the baker is asking where to set it up. The caterer is here and is asking where to setup. The DJ is here and has questions. Where’s the food? Where do you want this and that to go? The water and meat has run out, what should we do? The cake baker forgot the cake stand, who can you send to get them. Power has gone off and there’s no generator in the venue, how can we get one fast?
Obviously, those are not the kind of things any bride wants to hear or do on her big day. So, you have to hire or delegate somebody (NOT YOU) to run all that for you and generally coordinate your wedding reception planning tasks in the last months/ weeks leading to your wedding day, as well as the day of the wedding.
Your wedding coordinator is also the person to assign to answering the many questions that would come from your wedding service providers, the vendors, and out-of-town guests. That’s the person whose name should be on your R.S.V.P.
Your wedding reception coordinator should be a person who would not mind missing attending the wedding event, as s/he would be in the background quenching fires and resolving last-minute confusion when the main wedding reception is going on.
When Should You Hands-Off from Actively Planning Your Wedding?
You should not be planning your wedding forever. There should be a time for planning the wedding and there should be a time to stop and plan the coordination.
Once it’s a month or two to your wedding date, stop your involvement in the wedding planning and either hand everything off to a wedding coordinator/ planner or to a close family or friend. Dedicate the final months or weeks before your wedding to pampering yourself, so that you’ll look pretty and stress-free in your wedding photos.
Only a bridezilla plans the wedding right into the wedding day. And you know what happens to bridezillas – they get so heavily involved in planning their wedding, trying hard to get it perfect and later become so stressed that the effect shows in their faces in all their wedding photos.
In an extreme case like in the movie “Over Her Dead Body‘, the bride-to-be was still in the center of wedding planning on her wedding day and was killed in an accident by a delivery truck bringing stuff for the wedding. She never saw a wedding. So, the lesson is not to be obsessive about wedding planning.
What is a Wedding Coordinator Supposed to Do for You?
Wedding coordination is a type of partial planning of the event, whereby the event planner comes in later to take on the remaining roles. This arrangement is for hands-on brides who prefer to personally plan their own weddings. A wedding day coordinator is like the General Overseer of your event. This person will have all the timelines and to-dos of every vendor and will follow-up with them, oversee what vendors are doing and call them to order, manage any behind-the-scenes emergencies that may arise to ensure nothing gets ugly.
With a wedding day coordinator on ground, you can be rest assured that your wedding day will go as planned, so you can party away without any worry. If you have a wedding day coordinator, all you’ll just be seeing, as the bride or groom is that everything is going on smoothly.
As an about-to-wed bride or groom, you’ve put a lot of time into planning your wedding, and the reason is so that on your event will happen like dreamed and planned them. You have agreed the time to arrive and setup with your vendors and they all promised to do as planned. Think about it, on that D-day, you’ll be sitting on the high-table and what if the cake or venue decor people have not arrived on time? Who will be responsible to be following up and calling vendors?
What if the food is not being served to some and not served to others – and you’re there looking? Who will call the caterers or ushers to order? Who will be your personal person to coordinate things behind the scenes and ensuring likely emergencies don’t happen or quickly correcting any emergency or something that’s going out of the plan? That’s what your wedding coordinator team or person will do.
You should plan for that and appoint a few trusted persons to help you sort of ‘be your eye’ on your wedding day. If you will hire a professional wedding planner or a wedding day coordinator, you will be covered. If not, follow this guide to learn how to delegate tasks to others.
When is the best time to hire or assign a wedding coordinator?
The best time to bring on a wedding coordinator is the final months of your wedding planning. If you’re a DIY bride, I adviced that handing off to a hired coordinator at the final months of your planning is a great way to reduce planning stress and anxiety.
While they are usually referred to as ‘day of wedding coordinator’, their actual job starts way before. In reality, they are doing ‘partial wedding planning’ and not just coordination of the wedding day.
Bringing in a coordinator closer to your wedding date usually does not work, as the most of the vendors may not want to take orders from a ‘new person’. Between 1 to 2 months before your wedding is a good time to bring in a wedding coordinator. The earlier, the better – so that they have enough time to work with the other vendors.
Once they’re on board, the wedding coordinator will have joint vendors meeting with all vendors regarding the scheduled time of arrival and set up for each vendor, as well as inform them on how to operate on the wedding day.
It’s important to say that vendors and coordinators or planners work best together when they are hired around the same time. Some vendors make things hard for an event coordinator (that joins later), and this is a reason why some wedding planners do not like to take on wedding coordination roles.
Who Should Be Your Wedding Reception Coordinator?
Ideally, a wedding planner does the day of wedding coordination, and they handle it well. In the event that you cannot hire a wedding planner, you can still plan to have someone do that role for you.
If you find a capable person for the wedding coordinator role, you can go to your wedding ready to boogie till Mama calls, with the assurance that if anything ever goes wrong, there’s somebody able to take care of it without the guests knowing a thing. Now you know how to coordinate your wedding flawlessly and wow your guests – all without stress.
The best person to coordinate your wedding reception is a professional wedding planner. However, if you’re on a low budget and have helped people around, ask a couple of friends to work as a team, to coordinate your wedding reception. Be sure to make one person the team leader and the others assist.
Final Takeaway: Coordinating Your Wedding Reception
Let’s recap: If you have executed all your wedding planning tasks, there is no guarantee that every vendor will show up or deliver as planned and how you planned. Hire a professional wedding planner or day coordinator, or follow our tips above to assign a day-of wedding coordinator and know what this person should do.
Once you implement the tips, you will help achieve a flawless and wildly successful Naija wedding reception that you’ll have to beg your guests to leave, hours after the wedding party is over.
Now tell me in the comments – what are your plans to coordinate your Nigerian wedding reception and ensure you stay calm on your wedding day?