Once we decided to have our wedding at the Hacienda de las Flores, we had to wait until we were a year out from our wedding date before we were able to book the venue so we were at a standstill until then since I didn’t want to start making plans until I knew for sure we would have the venue and the date, but once we signed on the line, I set out to find our first vendor: a day-of-coordinator.
While I can handle planning the wedding on my own (c’mon now, I’ve been planning this shindig for the past seven years!), I knew from the beginning that I wanted a DOC to take the reins on the wedding day. After watching several weddings before me, I definitely saw the benefits of hiring someone to handle all the details and timeline the day of. After all the time spent worrying about the details leading up to the wedding, I didn’t want to worry about the wedding day itself. If something happened, I didn’t want to know or stop the festivities so I could figure out how to fix it. All I wanted to do was show up, look pretty, get married, and eat cake.
Plus, I didn’t want to make my family and friends work on my wedding. That, and if I’m being honest, I’m a perfectionist (surprise, surprise) and I love my family and friends, really I do, but I don’t think I trust any one person enough to set everything up exactly the way I want them to be. Not that it would be impossible; it would just take me a while to convince myself things are fine. Hiring a professional alleviates a lot of these issues.
What I didn’t know was how expensive DOCs could be. We had a very modest budget and while I found several DOCs in the area, to say I had sticker shock was an understatement. Many emails and phone calls later, I was worried and discouraged as my long list of coordinators quickly dwindled and worried that we wouldn’t find anyone within our budget, even after increasing it by two hundred dollars in hopes of finding someone. After what felt like ages, we found two coordinators who were available for our date and fit nicely within our budget.
I met with the first coordinator after work and really liked her. She was relatively new but I felt that she knew her stuff and could handle our wedding. Plus, we got along fabulously, which is an important consideration since we would be working very closely with her. She was my favorite so imagine my disappointment when I saw her fall apart under the pressure of the mister’s questions during our second meeting. He wasn’t especially hard on her; she just tripped over some of his more critical questions. Ultimately, while she seemed fully capable of doing a good job, he wasn’t fully convinced she would be the best fit for us.
We met the second coordinator at our venue. This meeting was a night-and-day difference from the first. From the moment she sat down, she chatted with us about our relationship and started asking questions about which factors were the most important for us, how we envisioned our wedding, and other details about the day. I had shared my Pinterest board for the wedding with her beforehand and she had gone through it before the meeting and knew what I was going for and had some great suggestions for us as we toured the venue. I was getting excited about her but did my best to temper my excitement since I needed the mister to be on-board. Then when she skillfully navigated the question and answer round from the mister, we knew instantly she was the coordinator for us. We hired her on the spot.
I’m excited that Linda of Simply Events will be our day of coordinator! She was a lovely woman and just as excited to work with us. While her business is relatively young, she has over 20 years of event management experience, including wedding coordination at wineries so we definitely got the best of both worlds: a newish coordinator establishing her own business with the experience of a seasoned professional. Plus, her rates was under our original budget! I’ve already been bouncing questions and ideas off her and she’s been really responsive and honest about her opinions. She was already our smartest investment.
Tip: Day of Coordinators can be expensive but keep looking; there are some great options out there for everyone!
Are you passing the buck to a day or coordinator (or a friend or relative) or do you think you’ll handle it alone?