Short answer? Everything. But let’s go a little deeper than that today …
What do you get when you hire a ‘Day of’ Planner?
You have planned everything you can think of for your wedding day. What you really need now is someone to run it so you can focus on the ‘getting married and celebrating it’ part. The first thought that you might have is, “Oh, my sister is my maid of honor; she can do it.” And she just maybe able to; however, I find that a lot of clients of mine don’t want their guests nor bridal party ‘working’ at the wedding and reception. And it IS work – don’t fool yourself about that.
The ‘Day of” Planner doesn’t just work on, well, the day of. When someone hires Swingin’ Dolly for the ‘day of’ planner services, we start really about a month before the actual day. The first week is dedicated to contacting all the vendors and venues, getting all the information gathered, and identify all the issues, potential problems, and solving all of them.
The next week is about developing plans, meeting with vendors, touring the venue(s), and confirming logistics and guest migration.
Then the third week is about finalizing all payments, plans, contignecies, transport, logistics, production, and making sure the contracts have been fulfilled appropriately by all parties. I also double check with any government licensing and permits are up to day and that the insurances have been secured. Then there’s the ‘ Week before’ meeting with my clients to make sure no plans have changed and that things are on schedule. I make sure if there are changes that they are implemented smoothly and successfully. I will also have the scheduling for the day and the master logistics plans completed and presented for approval.
Now, the week before is the crunch time. I’m checking DAILY with vendors, projects, venues, etc. Anything that’s supposed to be happening on THE DAY, I’m working on. I will have finalized the schedule for both the day of and the rehersal, and will have confirmed the location and time of the dinner that follows.
I do a final walk through at the venue and make sure everything that’s planned out is going to be right. I make sure the parking is correct, all permits are posted and enforced, and I make a last meeting with all vendors to make sure everything is correct and on schedule. I will prep, pack, and load everything that Swingin’ Dolly is to produce. We complete the rehearsal and perfect the procession, the arrival, the exit, and the ceremony itself.
The night before, while clients are at their dinner, the planner is reviewing and refining all details of the day to come. All last minute changes are accounted for, all contingency plans are confirmed, and everything is prepped for the next day.
The wedding day itself starts about 9 am for the planner. We arrive at the venue first and are the last to leave that night. We supervise every set up, preparation, and display. The planner coordinates every action before, during, and after the wedding. And then the planner coordinates and executes the clean up, final payments to anyone that’s due, and gets the wedding couple on their way to their honeymoon. in addition to that, during the whole night, the planner is the triage nurse of the evening. They take care of the drunks, the shortages, the fights, the breakdowns, the problems, the cousin who wants to get engaged at your wedding, the buffet collapsing, and if water pipes burst or the electricity goes out.
You would not believe the issues that can come up during a wedding or during the reception. Seriously, it can be insane.
What Does it all Mean?
I’ve never heard of a couple who hired a planner (who was a good one) who regretted it. That’s one of the biggest pieces of advice recently married couples give to engaged couples: Hire a Day of Planner.