Welcome to The Hampton Roads Wedding Guide Newsletter where you can plan the wedding of your dreams from start to finish. From inspiration to checklists and planning articles, to the best wedding professionals in Hampton Roads, it's all here!

August 2020 Newsletter
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What's a Day-of Coordinator?

Katie Nesbitt Photography, Vivid Expressions, LLC

A day-of coordinator may sound simple- a wedding planner shows up on the day of your wedding and puts it all together. And while that is partially true, a wedding planner that offers day-of coordination does so much more than that. "Day-of" is a little bit of a misnomer. What it really includes is several months of planning and coordination before the actual wedding day. Imagine that you and your fiancĂ© do all the planning for your wedding day, pick every vendor, choose every linen and where each floral arrangement will go. And then your wedding day comes and a planner walks in who has no idea what your vision is. It would be almost impossible to show them what you want THAT DAY. 

Typically, wedding planners offer day-of coordination packages that also include a few months of getting to know your vision, your vendors, and the space where you are getting married. They become familiar with your plan and then help you tweak it so that the day flows smoothly. Remember, they have YEARS of experience so they are able to get you from getting ready all the way to the send-off without any major hiccups. 

Here are some of our favorite wedding coordinators for you to contact for your wedding day:

How a Planner Can Help You Get to the Aisle

Kirstyn Marie Photography, Baxter's Creative Events

So how can a wedding planner help your bridal party get to the aisle? First, a wedding party, no matter the size, can often get tricky to manage. Coordinating where everyone should be and at what time is a lot of responsibility for a bride or groom that should just be focused on their special day. A day-of coordinator can help make sure each member of the bridal party gets to where they need to be at the time they need to be there. They can also coordinate with your hair and makeup team to make sure they have what they need to get to your venue. She can then make sure everyone in your bridal party gets to the location for photos or to the ceremony location on time. 

David Champagne Photography, Baxter's Creative Events

Cherish the Moment Photography, Ellasin's Events

While the bride is focused on relaxing and getting ready, the day of coordinator and her team are busy setting the stage for the ceremony and reception space. For the ceremony, the planner makes sure that all decor is where it should be, that chairs are placed in the right position, and that each small detail is just right. They'll work with the florist and rental companies to make sure the chairs are delivered to the right place (you won't want your ceremony chairs sent to your reception spot) and that the flowers meant for the reception end up where they need to go while ceremony flowers are taken to the ceremony location. 

Once the ceremony space looks the part, your day-of coordinator will make sure that all the important players are in the right spot at the right time. Without this point person, you'll have to try to do it yourself, which can be very challenging when you just want to enjoy the moment! From the music starting on time, to the groomsmen being in place to walk in on time, the planner's job is to make sure the ceremony flows smoothly.  From the ushers helping guests to their seats to last guest leaving the space, they have their eyes on it all.

Blushwood Studios, Inspired Events by Kelly
Keeping the Ball Rolling Through Your Reception

Will Hawkins Photography, Vivid Expressions, LLC

Now it's on to the reception! While you and your bridal party are busy with the photographer, your day-of coordinator is busy making sure cocktail hour is going smoothly. The caterer has been busy getting the appetizers and dinner ready and the planner's job is to make sure they and the other vendors (like the band or dj) have what they need to succeed. Then, when cocktail hour is over and you're done with photos, a planner will help everyone get in place for the entrance into the reception. Working with the MC (typically the DJ, though this could also be the band leader or whomever you recruit for the task), the planner will help usher each member of the bridal party into the reception at the right time.

From there, the reception has many smaller moments that need to be coordinated. From the traditional first dances, cake cutting, bouquet and garter tosses, to the last dance, the planner will keep it all on schedule, a schedule you have worked on together beforehand. Most venues have a cut-off time that is either mandated by their city for noise purposes, or because you have paid for a specific amount of time in the space. A planner can help make sure that the reception ends at just the right time to allow vendors time to clean up so you don't get charged for additional time in the space. The planner can even coordinate your end of the night transportation! From start to finish, a day-of coordinator is worth every single penny. 

The Main Event by Emily

David Schwartz Photography
Check Out Our Latest Issue!

The latest issue of Hampton Roads Wedding Guide is available in over 50 locations throughout Hampton Roads as well as digitally on our website. For a complete list of where you can find a copy check out our website! 

In our latest issue you can learn more about all of the incredible vendors we have featured, from venues to photographers to delicious catering options. Plus, you can learn some great tips for your big day!

"And so together they built a life they loved"