If you’re engaged, and if you’re reading this we assume you are (except for… hi, mom!), you’ve probably thought about hiring a wedding planner in some capacity. With so many available services, we’d like to lead you through some of our most requested wedding packages and what you need to consider before committing to one.
First up – “Day of Deluxe” which is our Wedding Day Management package (aka “Day-of” or “Month-of” Coordination).
Perhaps you talk to friends, do a quick google search or hit up Pinterest, and quickly you hear about a “day-of wedding planner”.
In fact, industry-wide, one of the most requested wedding planning services is “Day of” or “Month of” coordination but what exactly does that mean!?
Before we get into this, it’s important to know that, like any industry or any business, the exact specifics and details of this will vary from planner to planner. The big picture behind this package is more than likely accurate for all reputable wedding planners in the Edmonton and Alberta area, however, we are outlining team SBWE’s process and package and not speaking for others and how they handle this service.
First of all, let’s clear up a couple of common myths when it comes to this service, and this is true for any professional planning service.
1. The Wedding Coordinator is there for the wedding day only.
The term “Day-of Coordination” is highly inaccurate and misleading. You might be thinking “ummm, what?!” and we understand why; it really is a term that is so widely used and frequently heard but it’s just not accurate. The truth is, we absolutely CANNOT do a good job managing your wedding day by just arriving the day of the wedding.
“Who is who? What is happening next? Where are the rentals coming from? When is the first dance? Why is this important to the couple?” are all crucial questions in order for your wedding coordinator to execute the day you have planned properly. The answer to these questions simply cannot be determined by showing up on the wedding day only – at least not until it’s too late.
2. A Wedding Day Coordinator only does set-up.
Also false. While a Wedding Coordinator will (or at least should) always assist with setting up for your ceremony and reception, the actual full set- up is a whole other service in and of itself. Often times much of this service will be performed by the rental companies, florists and / or venue, however, wedding planners (us included) also offer set-up services for those weddings which require it. But, Wedding Day Management is NOT just setting linens and lighting candles. A true Wedding Day Coordinator is too busy directing vendors, confirming details and managing the carefully drafted timeline (more on that below) to put 100% of their attention on set-up only.
So, what the heck is Wedding Day Management?!
Glad you asked! Here is an outline of OUR process for this service.
Once you sign that contract and pay your retainer, we set you up with our amazing project management software (it’s pretty darn nifty!). It is there that all of our communication moving forward will happen.
While our actual service is not in effect until 8 weeks prior to the day, we are happy to offer vendor recommendations and answer quick questions for our clients through the system from the moment you sign that contract.
We provide you with specific checklists to assist you in your wedding planning process – a great tool if you don’t have us for the entirety of your planning journey.
We also offer a complimentary 2-hour consultation at any point in the planning process to our Wedding Day Management clients. You bring your questions (anything goes!) and we will provide answers. Most clients come with a long list of questions already prepared to make the most of their time with us. We often spend a lot of time talking logistics and design during this consultation, an added bonus for those planning their own wedding. We recommend this consult is booked for approximately 6 months prior to the wedding, when a natural lull happens, however we are here whenever you feel the need to have a longer discussion.
8 weeks prior to the wedding is when magic really starts to happen. We have a very lengthy and detailed meeting where we go over all of the details of the work you have already put into planning this amazing day. Our team will lead you through very specific intake documents; we also ask for all of your contracts to date.
At this point, we take the role of full-service planner for you. In other words, you step back from vendor communication and we handle the last details to ensure a smooth finish to the planning process. You also have full access to us for unlimited communication and consultation – yay!
When required, we visit both ceremony and reception site with you to review the floor plan and determine further venue details that affect the wedding day.
We review all of your vendor and service provider contracts, in detail, to ensure that what you have booked is actually what you need. Do you have enough / the right size of linens? Is your transportation booked for the appropriate length of time? How about the photographer? When do all of your rentals have to be out of the venue, and did you book pick-up appropriately, etc.? We update anything necessary with the vendors & keep you updated for anything that affects budget or overall wedding day flow.
By 4 weeks out, our team will have drafted a very detailed and in-depth production schedule starting a few days before the wedding (depending on details) and ending for any last rental returns or pick-ups. Once you approve it…
This production schedule is then sliced and diced for vendor, emcee, usher, bridal party, etc. specifics and individual communication is provided to each party by us. We hold hands and work closely, in collaboration with the vendors to come together and make your day an amazing one! By doing this, we ensure that everyone is 100% on the same page which ultimately results in a smooth day and transitions throughout.
We attend and, if necessary, run your rehearsal – a part that we feel is very important for the success of the ceremony and bridal party / parent comfort.
On the wedding day, among other things:
while you are sipping bubbly and enjoying the day, we are there behind the scenes ensuring things are set up how they should be, putting out any fires that may arise, managing the timeline and communicating with vendors – all in preparation for your arrival.
checklists, timelines and details in hand, we’re opening your doors, fluffing your dress, drying off bouquets, pinning boutonnieres, directing guests and vendors, and making sure you’re hydrated and happy
we’re making best friends with your emcee(s) ensuring the reception program is executed according to plan
and so much more!
PS: While our standard Wedding Day Management package does not include take-down, many clients choose to add this as part of their service with us to further alleviate any stress from themselves and their friends / family. We will cover the details of this during another blog post but please get in touch if you have any questions with regards to the specifics of this.
The Benefits of the Wedding Day Management Package
For those who like to, planning your own wedding is fun! Choosing vendors, designing your own wedding and selecting all the details can be a highlight for many.
Lower cost service than full planning
You have professional guidance along the way when needed
Insurance that the day you spent months, or even years, planning gets executed as you have envisioned
Experienced wedding & logistics professionals creating a timeline with all of the little intricacies that are usually not considered
No need to purchase a wedding day emergency kit – ours is the bomb and gets a workout during every wedding day. Need some static spray? We’ve got you covered! Mom’s dress seam busted during an epic dance move? Fear not, we’ll fix it. Earring back fell off right before the ceremony and is now lost in the limo seats? All good, no need to go searching – we have extras!
Professional and experienced staff, acting on your behalf and with your interest 100% in mind, so that you can enjoy the day!
With years of experience and a lot of weddings under our belt, we are equipped with the knowledge necessary to make any judgment calls needed on the wedding day should anything arise (and something always does).
OK, YES I need this! So, when should I book you?
Most of our clients book this package 8-12 months in advance but some do as early as 18 months prior to their wedding day.
As always, if you have questions, get in touch and we’re happy to chat.