The Wedding Guild Series: Day-Of Wedding Coordination Doesn't Really Exist, But Month-Of Coordination Does!
At Michelle Leo Events, it is important for our team to stay up-to-date on industry standards, popular services, competitive pricing, past and present traditions, religious customs, all things wedding trends, the millions of do’s and don’ts, and all that falls in between. And yes, that’s a lot to cover! Luckily for our clients, MLE is constantly pushing limits and breaking boundaries in order to remain one step ahead, ensuring our clients have hired one of the most experienced and educated planning teams around.
Likewise, it’s truly valuable to MLE and oh so refreshing when our clients are also in the know, or maybe in the dark but eager to learn! We hope our clients have a vested interest in understanding general industry standards so that collectively, we can build something amazing together and most importantly, deliver beyond expectations!
For the above reasons and more, MLE has created a series of educational blog posts to be shared a few times each month. This series will cover a variety of popular topics and couples’ most frequently asked questions. Our goal is to provide current and future clients alike with a powerful source of knowledge and a landing place for all those questions that come up throughout the planning process. With wedding season just around the corner, we thought it the perfect time to kick off The Wedding Guild Series!
*Fun Fact: 90% of engagements happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day!
If you’re one of the those newly engaged couples trying to decide WHAT a wedding planner does and IF you need one, MLE’s FAQ section can help address that. At very minimum, MLE (and most wedding venues) highly encourage couples to invest in a month-of coordination package. To expand your knowledge of what a month-of wedding coordinator is (and isn’t) and how MLE’s month-of service might be exactly what you’re looking for, we invite you to read on as MLE presents our first post of the The Wedding Guild Series:
“Day-Of Wedding Coordination Doesn’t Really Exist, But Month-Of Coordination Does!”
You’ve heard it before. People constantly refer to a certain service as “day-of coordination” which is quite unrealistic considering how much time goes into making sure ONE DAY runs smoothly. The MLE team does their best best to avoid using the term “day-of coordinator” because this type of service simply doesn’t exist.
You: “What the heck? I’ve heard the term “day-of coordinator” used all the time! What do you mean it doesn’t exist?”
Us: “We know. Believe us, we know. People throw that term around like it’s a thing and it drives us crazy because it’s NOT. Even other wedding professionals throw around the term “Day-Of Coordinator” and we die a little every time they do. So here’s the deal… the REAL deal…"
It’s a common misconception as to the extensive work that goes into executing a flawless event. Expectations that someone who hasn’t been involved whatsoever in the planning can show up the day of and run an entire wedding smoothly simply isn’t realistic. That day-of coordinator has no background information on what vendor services and/or products were purchased (or the reasoning behind why). They haven’t created the day-of timeline to know what milestones should be cued and when. They have no clue what time the florist is arriving or where they loading dock is nor do they have any idea who is walking with who down the aisle. They don’t know these things because one doesn’t simply show up on wedding day with all of this knowledge and successfully execute. It takes time to learn the ins and outs of an event (especially one you haven’t planned yourself) in order to run things smoothly. Showing up on the day of the wedding expecting to run things smoothly when you haven’t done your homework or spent time familiarizing yourself with the event itself is a one way ticket to disaster.
MLE understands that some brides elect to forego hiring a full-blown wedding planner for one reason or another (maybe the budget doesn’t permit a full-service planner, or perhaps the bride really wants to manage the entire planning process and has the much-needed time it takes to do so). And that’s okay! Full-service planning isn’t for everyone. However, involving a planner or coordinator must happen more than just the night before or the day of the wedding in order for things to actually go down the way you’ve envisioned.
Getting married should be the happiest time of your life! And yes, even with a good planner at the wheel, it can be a stressful time. There are a lot of things to get RIGHT, especially after you’ve worked so hard to plan the perfect event on paper. But what happens when the florist is late and the cake doesn’t show up? What if your guests get lost or worse, the charter bus you’ve hired to transport guests from their hotel to the ceremony site breaks down? And how are you, the bride, supposed to fix all of these problems while you’re getting your hair and makeup done before you walk down the aisle? And do you really expect that your maid of honor, best man or mother has the expertise to start giving the commands to make sure the event runs its course as planned? Chances are, they’ll be just as stressed as you are and while they may be great problem solvers, they’re most likely inexperienced in event planning.
This isn’t the movies, this is your wedding day. Mom isn’t going to start running around in her heels and head set like J-Lo in “The Wedding Planner” and pull things off when your cake is in a crumpled mess in the corner or your DJ is MIA.
Cue the Month-of Coordinator
The nightmare scenario above is why, at bare minimum, MLE encourages couples to hire an experienced month-of coordinator. Maybe you’re a very “hands-on” bride and love the whole planning process. Even if that’s true you still need a PROFESSIONAL to run the day for you (this means someone who isn’t you mother, maid of honor, best man, or any other family member or guest. Your month-of coordinator also shouldn’t be some random person who works at the venue and literally knows nothing about all the outside vendors and services you’ve hired. Trust us when we say that this person should be an experienced planner who has invested at least ONE MONTH checking contracts, communicating with vendors, creating and reviewing timelines, double checking seating charts and assisting with final layouts, as well as someone who knows how to solve any and all problems that could pop up on wedding day.
And then there’s the whole “you get what you pay for” thing (and it’s so true!). Managing all of the details that go into an event - especially something as big and significant as a wedding - is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of skill, experience, knowledge and preparation. Hiring someone who is inexperienced to be in charge of your big day is too big a risk to take, in our opinion. Invest in someone who will make your life easier, not more stressful. Remember, MLE does this day in and day out, wedding season after wedding season. We’ve “been there and done that” and have pretty much seen it all. Why wouldn’t you want an expert by your side to help you make your big day, the best day ever? Having MLE as part of your team is like having the secret weapon that ensures a successful, smooth event.
In conclusion, when it comes down to it, clients need more than just set-up and strike; they need someone with an understanding of the history behind certain decisions made throughout the planning process to carefully execute the big day.
You guys, we can’t say it enough. At very MINIMUM, please hire professionals who offer “month-of coordination” services (if not more).
You: Okay, you’ve convinced me! I need at least a Month-Of Coordinator to help me make sure Aunt Sarah doesn’t tell cousin Joey that it’s okay to wear sunglasses when walking down the aisle, and to ensure Uncle Ralph isn’t behind the bar mixing drinks for guests in his underwear. But WHAT exactly do I get when I hire MLE for Month-Of Coordination?
Us: "We’re so glad you agree that, at bare minimum, a month-of coordinator is the way to go. And we’re so flattered you’re interested in MLE!"
To answer your question, here’s a list of the many goodies included in our Month-Of Service:
- Vendor Coordination: Checking contracts, facilitating and distributing the final timeline to key people, and making sure all vendors are where they should be on wedding day (including providing vendors with arrival times, locations, and approved venue loading and parking zones).
- Timeline Development and Management: Creating a feasible wedding day timeline and keeping everyone and everything on track.
- Event Coordination: Making sure all aspects of the event captured on the timeline are cued at the right times. (This means making sure the band doesn’t start playing your first dance when your photographer is taking a bathroom break and will miss photographing an important moment).
- Event Set Up and Strike: Don’t go breaking one of those pretty, manicured nails. Let us set up the pretties so you can stay looking perfect.
- Advice and Etiquette: How to handle vendor gratuity, proper dinner etiquette, how to assign seating, etc.
- Access to the MLE Preferred Vendor List: All MLE clients have access to our preferred vendor network (LONG before our 30-day engagement). No matter what level of package you purchase, we prefer our clients be “in the know” about which vendors we love working with because they’re THAT good at what they do.
We believe that you should be the guest of honor at your own wedding. You deserve to leave the stress of the day and all the nitty gritty details to a team of seasoned professionals while you soak up every moment of your big day! Let MLE be that stress relief to make sure this happens and your day is as perfect as you’ve dreamed.
You: "So how do we get started?"
Us: "We’re so glad you asked! Contact us HERE!"