Don't worry: I didn't know either. In fact, a friend introduced me to the term “day-of wedding coordinator.” That story aside, below are the main functions I perform as a day-of wedding coordinator.
Create a vendor and Wedding VIPs contact list. This is a directory of all names, phone numbers, and emails (as applicable) of any vendors and Wedding VIPs (a.k.a. family and friends involved in the ceremony). See what this looks like.
Make a timeline. The main focus of this timeline is your wedding day but I also include any due date for vendor payments as well as timings for events leading up to your wedding (arrivals of family, the rehearsal, etc.). As soon as you book me, I create a skeleton of this timeline. Then, I develop it toward a final product due to you two weeks before your wedding. You review that and submit any changes. I then send a customized version of the timeline to all of your vendors (the week before your wedding) and to your Wedding VIPs (the week of your wedding).
Review all contracts. I ask any new client to send me all of their wedding-related contracts. I review these and let you know of anything that catches my eye. I add the details to the contact list and timeline.
Correspond with vendors. You're responsible for booking and working with your vendors in the months before your wedding; however, as soon as we finalize the timeline, I send a customized version of that to each vendor. I introduce myself (if you haven't already) and review any outstanding questions or concerns. See examples of these types of emails.
Send a monthly check-in. Every month until the month of your wedding, we'll have a regular check-in. This is typically an email (although phone or in-person are also options) where I note, in order of priority, what's on my radar in relation to your wedding. It's a time for us to check-in with each other and make sure we're on track. It’s also the big difference between me and other coordinators.
Attend your final walkthrough. If you’re getting married in the Portland metro area, I’ll come along to your final walkthrough. If you’re not, I’ll be sure to prep you and the venue to make that meeting the most efficient possible. Get an idea of the questions to ask at a final walkthrough.
Run your rehearsal. If you're having a rehearsal, I will be there and provide all attendees a hard copy of their customized timeline (what I also sent via email earlier in the week). We'll review those details and then I'll lead the charge on walking us through the processional and other ceremony details.
Do all things wedding day. I've done a good job if you're not tied to your phone on your wedding day. I will handle all details — from last-minute champagne runs to final teardown. As I tell my clients, "I will do anything you need on your wedding day, as long as it's not burying a body."
Serve as a sounding board. I've been to a a lot of weddings. Whenever helpful and wherever asked, I will offer you my opinion and advice. My goal: to help you make the choices that will create the day that you want.
Provide an excuse. A bonus to hiring me? I'm the perfect neutral party to act as an excuse when wedding planning gets heated. My only caveat: Just tell me so we can keep our stories straight.
How is this different from the competition?
Good question. Here is my breakdown of the different “tiers” of wedding planning professionals and what they usually cost. I’m most like the middle option.
What's this going to cost me?
I believe that the wedding industry is annoyingly opaque about pricing, which is why I publicly post my fees.
Here's what you can expect to pay me:
A non-refundable deposit due upon booking ($250)
The balance due two weeks before your wedding ($1,250 to $1,750)
Total: between $1,500 and $2,000 (depends on the size, date, and location of your wedding)
Maybe you don't even need a day-of coordinator (not everyone does). But if the tasks above sound like things you'd rather not do and if you’re in a place where it makes sense for you to pay someone, hire me. I'll get the job done so you can enjoy yourself.