A few weeks ago, I detailed what I would’ve done differently planning our wedding. One of the items on the list set off a bit of a tizzy on Twitter. That item was #2, “Not hired a day-of-coordinator.” I’ve drafted an entire post about why I didn’t like having a day-of-coordinator, but I realized that some additional context might be needed before I actually publish that post.
One of our main reasons for not liking our coordinator, or really a lot of the other vendors, is their continuous statements like, “Oh, don’t you worry about a thing, we just want you to sit back and relax on your wedding day while we do all the work.” They are, of course, trying to sell you their services. They also come with a lot of pre-conceived notions about couples and weddings. They are also not your friends.
Any time Ken or I even hinted or suggested doing something on our own on the wedding day, vendors would jump in immediately to claim they could save the day. “We don’t want you to have to think about anything on your wedding day. We’ll take care of everything.”
Flickr User Soukup
For detailed oriented folks, like me and Ken, that is a really infuriating statement. Because, here’s the thing, we WANTED to do stuff on our wedding day. It was something we had been planning for THIRTEEN MONTHS. It was very important to us to see it through to the end. But no, folks told us that this would be “impossible.”
I had been thinking about this issue for a long time. I even wanted to write a blog post on this topic before the wedding. But I thought to myself, “let’s not be presumptuous!” Maybe it is, in fact, impossible to do anything on your wedding day.
Well, it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s fun!!
Here’s a rundown of what Ken and I did on our wedding day:
- Set up iPod deejay equipment (Ken did)
- Moved flatscreen TV outside and set up slideshow (Ken did)
- Set up lighting equipment in pavilion
- Troubleshooted (Er, troubleshot?) our DIY Photobooth
- We made our own deejay wedding announcements (first dance, cake cutting, father daughter dance, etc.)
- We reminded the pastor to give the blessing
- We made sure that the guitarist got his payment
- We made sure the ceremony got started on time
- I added firewood to the fireplace during the reception
- We pinned our own corsages and boutonnieres
- I answered questions that the caterer had when she asked if I wanted a final copy of the invoice.
- I reminded people to refill things like the cider when I realized it was low.
- I did my own makeup
- Drove our own cars
- Played with our niece and nephew in the morning
- I changed my dress mid-reception
I found none of these things “annoying” to do on the wedding day. In fact, it made me feel like I played a role in ensuring that the event we had planned for 13 months progressed smoothly throughout the day! It was FUN!
Most importantly, we interacted with ALL our guests at the reception, something we were led to believe would be virtually impossible if we were doing things like self-deejaying or controlling our own lighting system.
And in retrospect, I had a ton of free time the morning of the wedding. In fact, I dorked around on Facebook and Pinterest for a good amount of time. I was so worried about it being hectic that morning, and I ultimately ended up relaxed and quiet.
It was actually MORE distracting just sitting around. At least if I had other projects, maybe I could’ve kept the jitter level down. I could’ve also made my own bouquet, like A Practical Wedding or Big Day for 10K (something I considered way back, but buying flowers wholesale wouldn’t have made any sense since I didn’t have any bridesmaids that needed bouquets and we didn’t have floral centerpieces. And also since I thought that actually GOING TO THE STORE on my wedding day would be impossible). Or I could’ve spent the morning at the venue instead of at the hotel and set up everything myself and then just gotten my hair and makeup done after I had set everything up.
So, in a few days, I’ll post the full “Why I hated having a day-of-coordinator” post. But hopefully this post gives some better context that the whole “no-way-you-can’t-do-anything-on-your-wedding-day” type attitude is not for everyone, and neither are coordinators.
Melissa, congratulations on your marriage and it’s wonderful to hear how much fun you had on your wedding day – that’s what it’s all about! My husband and I own a wedding and event planning company (http://momentsbywayne.com) and one of our services is day-of coordination. Our experience has helped us formulate our point of view – every couple is unique and special, and their wedding day should be a reflection of the two of them. While for some that may mean complete pampering from head to toe, for others it means doing many things on their own. There is no right or wrong! Our job is to support our clients so that their wedding turns out to be everything THEY dreamed of. Some couples (clearly you are not a part of this group!) simply get lost in the details of doing everything themselves, so much so that the day of their wedding is a blur, after they’ve spent all that energy and money. That’s a shame! For those that may need the help, hiring the right professional may be a good option. Much like for some people who just don’t know how lay out their landscaping, hiring a landscape artist is useful or even a car mechanic for those not very comfortable around car engines.
Sounds like you are off to a good start, partnering with your husband and having fun. I couldn’t think of more important ingredients for a happy marriage!
[…] Making this statement goes against everything I had read about on wedding blogs. Those bloggers tell you that hiring a day-of-coordinator is a great investment. Those same sites tell you that hiring a coordinator will allow you to sit back and relax on your wedding day. Well, as I talked about earlier this week, sitting back and relaxing was not for me. […]