Hiring for the day-of de-stresses the bridal processBy Laurie Higgins
Even if you elect to have your wedding at a venue that offers planning services, it’s still a good idea to hire a wedding planner who works directly with you. A lot of the best wedding planners offer day-of coordination as part of their package and with good reason: it takes a lot of pressure off the bride.
“I’m honest with couples that there are certain places where you don’t actually need someone from the outside,” says Jennifer Chagnon of The Pink Polka Dot in Falmouth. “But if you’re having a large wedding with a lot of moving pieces and are working with lots of different vendors, even the best venues are not going to help you manage all of the outside things. We help juggle everything and put all of the pieces together.”
For Chagnon, the most important part of day-of coordination is a really detailed timeline for how the day will flow. An itinerary is the best way to ensure that the wedding will be successful. Once it’s in place, the planner is just executing and troubleshooting. “The timeline is kind of like the Bible for the day,” she says.
She recommends that even couples whose budget doesn’t include a planner create a timeline so they aren’t making last-minute decisions. “The last thing you want to do is micromanage on your wedding day,” says Chagnon.
Mauryn Kkira of Creative Wedding Solutions in Boston does all the micromanaging so her clients don’t have to do anything but relax and enjoy. Her team shows up at the venue as soon as it opens and oversees setup. Kkira also ensures that vendors deliver what they actually promised, which doesn’t always happen.
“Most people don’t understand that they have made these plans over a long period of time and the companies they are working with are working with multiple other couples,” she says. “Of course you would expect they would all have it down to a system, but in reality you need somebody to be your eyes and ears.”
One of the biggest reasons to have a day-of coordinator is that there are a lot of things behind the scenes that have to get done. If you don’t have a coordinator, those tasks fall on someone, usually the mother of the bride or the maid of honor, which means they can’t relax and just be a guest. A day-of coordinator is one of the best gifts a couple can give themselves and their guests.
“It’s kind of like being a hostess,” says Kkira. “When you’re a hostess, you’re ‘on’ the entire time. If you have planned everything yourself, there is a different kind of problem that develops because you’re the one that knows everything and how it is supposed to be, which means that everyone is going to come to you for every single thing.”
The reality is that no matter how carefully you plan, something is bound to go wrong. Having your wedding planner there all day means that when problems arise, someone is there to fix them—often without the couple even knowing a problem existed.
“Most of what makes it successful is being ridiculously over-prepared, and being over-prepared means having people there to anticipate that something might go wrong,” Kkira says. “Their job is to run and fix it so nothing actually does go wrong.”