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Bohemia Overlook

09 April 2020

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Wedding Planner vs. Day of Coordinator

The modern wedding can be an elaborate, multi-stage affair. You’ll likely have a rehearsal dinner, getting-ready photos on the day of, pre-wedding drinks for your guests, first-look photos, the ceremony, and of course an epic reception (and as weddings become increasingly personalized, even more wedding-day events may be added). The typical bride will have had a significant hand in making her dream day come true, but in the moment, she won’t be able to be in all places at once – she’ll need a little help making sure that everyone is where they are supposed to be and every event kicks off without a hitch. Likely, that help will come in either the form of a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator.

But do you need both? Who do you choose? Your particular needs – and how much input you want when planning the wedding day – will dictate whether you hire a wedding planner, a day-of coordinator, or both to make the perfect waterfront wedding a reality. Here are a couple of key things to think about when choosing whether to hire a wedding planner or day-of coordinator.

The wedding planner is there to help on day one.

If you’re game to solicit help on every decision, from lighting to mood music to when to have your first dance, you might want to enlist the help of a wedding planner. This person will begin preparations on day one. He or she is there to help you establish a theme, a timeline, a menu, and maybe even a rockin’ playlist. She’ll coordinate the caterers, the photographers, and handle all other vendor relations, ensuring that food, drinks, photos, and decor are all exactly as you’d imagined them. And she’ll help you establish timelines, so you can ensure that all of the most important aspects of your day fit into place smoothly for a beautiful and seamless wedding day.

What she may NOT do (and this is very important to think about when you consider your hire) is manage parties and timelines on the wedding day itself. Some wedding planners do provide this service, and if it’s something that you want (and we suggest that you have it), be sure that “day-of coordination” is a part of her services when you book your wedding planner. But if not, and if this help is of most importance to you, then you might prefer to hire a day-of coordinator.

The day-of coordinator is there to manage when it matters most.

Your day-of coordinator won’t have a hand in helping you choose flower arrangements; she won’t help you figure out your menu, nor will she provide input on the reception music playlist. What she will do is manage people and timelines when it matters most: on the day of the wedding. Your day-of coordinator will be tasked with ensuring that all parties – from guests, to vendors, to the wedding party itself – are exactly where they need to be at all the right times, dressed to the nines, knowing what they’re supposed to be doing, and raring to go! She’ll ensure that you, the bride, have everything you need – she’ll keep track of the marriage license and any other ceremonial materials, she’ll coordinate vendors and instruct them on where to be and what to do, she’ll cue the bridal party, assemble family for picture time, set the time for the cake-cutting, the first dance… basically, (and so that you can focus on enjoying your day and not stressing) she will handle it all.

So, who should you hire?

At Bohemia Overlook, we recommend hiring a day-of-coordinator, if not both a wedding planner and day-of coordinator (or a planner who handles day-of operations). In our experience, things are far more relaxing for brides when that third-party individual is handling the logistics of getting things set up and managing the flow of events. What’s more, our venue is a large waterfront wedding venue: some things are spread out and not all guests and wedding party members will be at the same place at the same time.

If your groomsmen want to take advantage of The Barracks, for example (and they absolutely should: it’s a relaxing and fun place to hang out and get ready before the ceremony), you’ll want a day-of-coordinator as a go-between to ensure the guys are ready on time and prepared for the processional. Likewise, while the ladies are getting ready at The Manor, your day-of coordinator will be there to ensure the bridal party has everything they need. Finally, while your dream beachfront wedding is taking place on the majestic shores of the Elk River, the day-of coordinator can be monitoring progress at the reception tent, ensuring that all is set-up appropriately so your guests can transition seamlessly from elegant ceremony to awesome after-party! She may even help corral inebriated guests or collect lost items at the end of the night (some day-of coordinators truly do it all!).

Contact Bohemia Overlook Today

For the stress-free wedding day, a day-of coordinator is truly worth the added expense. Talk to Bohemia Overlook about how a day-of coordinator can help make your dream wedding in Maryland come true. We’re here to help ensure you have all of the resources you need to create the picture-perfect waterfront wedding. Contact us today by calling (443) 877-6313.