We originally shared a blog post about Jessica Dum Wedding Coordination back in 2014 after we decided to have Jessica as the day-of coordination for our own wedding in May 2015 at Mustard Seed Gardens.
5 years later and we still love JDWC. Within that 5 year timeframe, Jessica has added 4 lead coordinators to her team! They’re a powerhouse team of ladies and absolutely adore them and their passion behind the JDWC business. We felt so relieved and in such great hands having them coordinate our wedding day and since then have witnessed their talent at many weddings we’ve photographed.
Hiring a day-of coordinator our wedding was one of the best wedding planning decisions we made, so we wanted to give our couples a little more insight into the benefits of hiring a coordinator for their wedding day, so we asked Jessica to share a bit more about their purpose, their business, who they are, and what they do to serve their clients. Read on to hear from Jess!
What exactly is a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator?
As a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator, we do just that; we coordinate the logistics of your wedding day to make sure that everything you’ve spent months planning runs exactly how you envisioned it. From the arrival times of your vendors, decorating and setting up your ceremony and reception venues to packing up all of your gifts and items at the end of the night, a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator will take care of it all to ensure that your plans are carried out smoothly.
What are the main benefits of having a wedding coordinator on your wedding day?
There are so many benefits to having a Wedding Coordinator on your wedding day! Everything from confirming your vendors are arriving on time, acting as a liaison with the venue, catering manager, entertainment, photographer, parents and bridal party, to discretely handling any problems that may arise and managing the timeline. They pull the pieces of the puzzle together and ensure all of your plans are executed exactly how you envisioned so that those closest to you are able to focus all of their attention on enjoying the day itself without worry of the details.
What tasks should a couple expect from a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator?
A Day-Of Wedding Coordinator will meet with you on several occasions leading up to your wedding day to discuss details and logistics for the day as well as strategically crafting a detailed timeline which will encompass all logistics regarding arrival times, getting ready, photos, location changes, setup and breakdown, formalities and so on. She will also do a site visit with you to get a better idea of how you envision the space on your wedding day as well as communicate the final timeline and and any necessary logistics with your vendors.
On your wedding day, she’s there to execute your vision, manage your timeline and vendors, and see to it that everything you’ve planned is executed flawlessly!
What do you love for a bride to do to make your job easier (and therefore her day less stressful!) before the wedding?
We stress to our couples that there is no such thing as too many detailed emails or sending too many pictures as visuals. If you have a specific idea in mind, don’t be afraid to speak up! We’d rather have more than enough information on a family tradition, favorite detail for the wedding or a specific setup you’re envisioning, than nothing at all. The worst feeling as a Wedding Coordinator is to find out after the fact that a detail or moment went unseen that was not previously shared with us.
How much time do you spend with the couple in preparation?
Every Wedding Coordinator is different. As sole Day-Of Wedding Coordinators, we typically begin meeting with clients around the 2-3 month mark, and do so on numerous occasions (including a site visit) to collect and discuss every last detail from setup and decor, to timeline, flow and space planning.
Most of our time however is spent behind the scenes strategically crafting timelines, communicating with vendors and thinking through every last detail to be sure that not only everything the couple is envisioning is captured and accounted for, but also ensuring those wishes can realistically be executed in a timely manner on the day itself.
How much time do you typically spend with them on the day of the wedding?
For us, it’s sometimes a 15 or 16 hour day and we’re there to ensure the entire day is worry-free and seamless. Depending on your arrangement with your Wedding Coordinator, he or she could be there from the time hair and makeup begins, until it’s time to distribute tips and pack up gifts and décor at the end of the night.
Each of our service offerings slightly differ from one another, and can be customized to best fit the needs of our clients and their families.
What package do you feel as though is the most popular for JDWC couples?
My ‘Wedding Day’ package is definitely the most popular. Not every couple needs help with their rehearsal, rehearsal dinner or day-after brunch. I’ve created flexible packages that offer our couples the most coverage possible given their constraints.
What’s the biggest myth about Day-Of Wedding Coordinators?
That you don’t need one.
Some couples choose to go without a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator simply because their reception venue includes one. Although this may sound similar to a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator, a Venue Coordinator’s roles can be very different. A Venue Coordinator works for the venue, and not directly for you. Their role is first and foremost to manage the venue itself, acting as the liaison between you and the venue’s operations team. Their focus can oftentimes be on security and staff first, details and timeline second.
A Venue Coordinator typically does not craft detailed timelines that encompass the entire day from beginning to end, ensuring all client and outside vendors’ needs are accounted for and met. Instead, a venue’s timeline may be geared primarily towards cocktail hour, dinner and reception timing only.
Something else to keep in mind is that a venue may schedule venue tours for potential couples during your setup times or even have multiple events going on at the same time, which can spread the Venue Coordinator thin. They may not be able to bring brunch to the girls getting ready, run last minute errands, pick up the bouquets that were dropped off at the wrong location, or even remind the bride of that special family tradition she wanted to be sure the photographer captured.
It’s extremely important to identify what your needs will be on the wedding day and to know ahead of time exactly what your Venue Coordinator is able and willing to do.
For us, it’s about an experience. Your wedding isn’t just 6 hours long. It isn’t just the ceremony, or just the reception. It’s important to us that each couple, their family and their friends are all able to relax and enjoy the entire day from beginning to end!
Written by Jessica Mattingly of Jessica Dum Wedding Coordination
Photos by Ivan & Louise