The Myth of The ‘Day-of’ Coordinator

Day-of Coordination:

This is still one of the most popular terms going around in the wedding industry.  Did you know this was a term coined by The Knot? And it’s kind of been misleading a lot of couples and causing a lot of stress for those that book a ‘day-of’ coordinator and the company offering day-of coordination?Why? Well day-of coordinators can’t truly offer the service that a couple is looking for when they are working with them on just the ‘day-of’ their wedding.

Engaged couples generally fall into one of two categories when it comes to looking for a planner:

  1. Thinking they can handle all the planning of their wedding and just need a ‘day-of’ coordinator.
  2. They are busy professionals looking for someone to manage all aspects of their wedding plans so they can enjoy their engagement season and wedding day and still live life respectively stress-free of wedding planning.

Caveat: Let’s be real. Weddings are stressful. Even when you hire a wedding planner, stress unfortunately comes with the territory of such a huge life event. If you’re not stressed about the planning part, chances are you have family or friends that are stressing you out regarding some part of your wedding. Hiring a wedding planner can help significantly lower that stress and that’s one of our main goals for you! We want you to enjoy this process as much as possible!

One Life Photo

Think about it, you planning your wedding and then handing off the wedding plans to someone the day-of your wedding is NOT realistic and certainly not a good idea.  And would only lead to stress and tension for the couple and even the planner to make sure all is done properly on the wedding day.

What most couples don’t know (because let’s face it, you don’t know what you don’t know and most have never been through the wedding planning process before), is that the term: day-of coordinator is a myth!  Someone coming to run your wedding and only working with you on the wedding day is not a real thing.

The actual reality is that this service requires the following (and this is just skimming the surface):

  1.  At least one meeting and venue walkthrough prior to the wedding date to give adequate (and more relaxed time) for communication to make sure all parties are comfortable with the plans and details.  
  2. Time spent liaising with the vendors so plans run smoothly day-of. 
  3. Time spent reviewing your vendor contracts so your planner can accurately represent you and ensure the agreements signed with your professionals have been met.
  4. Time spent reviewing all your wedding documents so there’s not wasted time day-of making sure they can manage your day and set up properly. 
  5. Running your rehearsal so she can meet and know the wedding party and family of the couple (there simply isn’t enough time to learn and know who’s who the day-of the wedding).  
  6. Managing the wedding day!  This includes arriving to the venue with enough time to ensure the vendors are there and know where they’re going to set-up, setting up decor (and locating missing items if they were inventoried), disbursing florals, and communicating with and managing all wedding VIPs (anyone who has a role during your wedding and not just a guest). 
  7. If hired to do so, this often includes managing the tear down and clean up of your items.  Almost every venue requires all your wedding decor, personal belongings, and leftover dessert to be brought out of the venue night of. 
Redwood and Rye Studio

Like we mentioned, this is just skimming the surface. There is so much more work that goes on behind the scenes that clients will likely never know. So much more work happens than just the ‘day-of’. And we truly believe just looking for a ‘day-of’ coordinator won’t serve future clients well.

So, instead of looking for a day-of coordinator, try searching out Wedding Management for your day. This will still allow you to be very hands on while receiving exceptional service, too.

Have questions? I’d love to chat!

How to Determine Your Wedding Budget {Colorado Wedding Planner}

You’re engaged! Congratulations!! It goes without saying you’re probably feeling all the feels that come with engagement season.  Excitement, love, elation, and perhaps a bit of overwhelm.

‘We’re engaged to be married.  I love you. I’m committed to you. We’ve made it official.  Now what?’

Now’s the time to decide three things which are almost holistic to each other.  Budget, guest count, and venue.

But the big determining factor which determines the other two is your budget.

How much are we willing to spend on our wedding?

According to the average cost of a wedding in America is roughly $35K.  Now that can vary depending on demographics you’re in and the types of vendors you choose.  But know that on average across the U.S. that is what is being spent on a wedding.

So how DO we determine our budget?

Determine Who’s Paying

Stephanie Secrest Photography

Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding and the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner.  The bride and groom pay for each other’s wedding bands and the groom pays for the getaway vehicle and honeymoon.  The bride and groom also pay for gifts for their bridal party, family, and other significant participants Day of.  In our modern era, we often find that brides and grooms are fiscally able to foot the majority of the bill whereas their parents and perhaps grandparents will cover costs of a certain vendor.

We recommend taking the first weeks of engagement to speak with those key players to see who can cover what bill or if you two are able to cover that on your own.

Determine How Much You Can Afford

Copyright, Nicole diGiorgio-Sweetness and Light Photography

Alright, let’s get real here. If you’ve been pinning a lot of wedding goals and planning your wedding via Instagram, then you should expect a very big budget to achieve that ‘perfect’ look.  Chances are that photographer was a higher end photographer, the gorgeous florals were roughly $5K and there was a significant amount spent on draping + decor.

Know that it is totally possible to create a perfectly Pinterest look but it may not have all that decor or it may be with a newer/more affordable photographer.

Once your budget is set, you need to look at what you really can afford and what you should expect to spend on each category.

Check out this helpful link to figure that percentage out: Wedding Budget Calculator

Guest List

Colorado Wedding Planner
Kayla Adams Photo

Now that you’ve got your budget cemented, let’s take a look at who you’d like to invite!  The smaller the guest count, the more smaller your wedding bill is.  The larger your guest count; the larger your wedding bill is.

Why is that? Well, on average, one should expect to spend about $100/head at least per guest for venue, food, and beverage.

A wedding meal usually begins at $25-$35 depending on your location. Then you need to calculate the beverages which can add to about $10-$15 per head.  Table linens, centerpieces, candles, napkins, desserts, favors, etc all add up into that guest count, too.

Often times, the wedding budget will determine the amount of guests you are able to invite.  But sometimes the wedding guests will determine the wedding budget because you just can’t leave anyone out.


Colorado Wedding Planner, Reno Wedding Planner, California Wedding Planner
Ridgewood Films

Now it’s time to look at your venue.  Are you wanting to be married in a church? Perhaps you’re more of the gorgeous historic mansion type.  Or you’re looking for a rustic mountain venue.  Are you wanting to be married in a big urban city or are you okay with getting married in a more rural location?

The venue type and location will play a role on it’s cost and can add some variables to determining your budget.

Also, do you want a venue that provides table, chairs, and linens? Do you want chivari chairs or are you okay with banquet chairs or even plastic folding chairs?

Determine What’s Important

Colorado Wedding Planner, Reno Wedding Planner, California Wedding Planner
Sonja K Photography

Is that the venue? the photographer? The florals? The food? Some folks will Budget more on a vendor category that is more important to them, and spend less that’s a little less important. However, you may decide that you want EVERYTHING! That’s okay, too, however, know that THAT can place an impact on your overall budget, too.

Date & Time of Year

Marcella Camille Events California Wedding Planner | Colorado Wedding Planner | Reno Wedding Planner | Loveland Wedding Planner | Greeley Wedding Planner | Fort Collins Wedding Planner
Christine Glebov Photography

While this is not the case with every venue, many will offer discounts for off-season wedding dates (roughly November-April) and for less popular days of the week.  For example, if you are okay getting married on a Monday in March, you are more likely to get a discount on your venue (and sometimes vendor!) prices.  However, if you are wanting to get married on New Year’s Eve, you may be paying a pretty penny.

Most of the time, the overall budget will determine the who, when, + where.  But if you’re able to, and decide that one or all of these is more important and finances aren’t an issue, go for your heart! This is, after all, a day about the two of you and we want to create your dream vision!

If you are looking for other information on what to do now that you’re engaged, check out these blog posts!

10 Things To Do Now That You’re Engaged

Three Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Party

How To Choose A Wedding Officiant

Trying to decide on your officiant for the wedding? There are many different types of officiants you can use for a wedding. Below are some helpful ideas to guide you in choosing the wedding officiant that’s right for you. 

The Different Types of Wedding Officiants

Wedding OfficiantReligious Official: Priests, ministers, rabbis, Muslim qadis, and Hindu priests all perform weddings

Ordained Minister: If you want a friend or family member to do the honors, he or she will have to get ordained.

Justice of the Peace or Notary: Appointed on the state level, these officials are authorized to perform civil marriages.

Civil Officiant: In some states, a person can petition for a one-time pass to perform a marriage. Most require the would-be celebrant to take an oath in a local court and pay a small fee.

Questions To Ask Your Potential Officiant:

Once you have decided what kind of officiant you would like to have, contact them and meet with them. When meeting with your potential officiant, it is important that they connect with you and will give you the ceremony you and your fiance are looking for. Keep in mind, while you are trying to decide if the officiant is a good fit for you, the officiant is trying to decide if they are a good fit for you as well.

Here are some questions to ask:

Custock Photography

  1. What is your fee?
  2. How long have you been performing weddings?
  3. Why do you like to do weddings?
  4. Are you willing to customize your ceremony or let us do so?
  5. Can you incorporate X (any special ceremony, unity candle, sand ceremony, etc)?

Questions Your Officiant May Ask:

The officiant may come back with questions of his or her own to get to know the two of you as a couple. Some of the questions are the following:

  1. How did you two meet?
  2. What made you fall in love with each other?
  3. How did you know that you were The One for each other?
  4. What are the values that are important to you in your marriage?
  5. Where do you see your life as a couple in ten years?

Sweetness and Light Photography

By sharing some of these details, the officiant can get a better understanding of the two of you as the couple, as well as personalize your ceremony with special details. Once you and your officiant feel like this would be a good fit, you can start to get into the details of the ceremony.

Keep in mind, a good officiant will not insist on specific requirements and will give you every consideration for your special day. It’s your wedding! Shop around and listen to your gut. If there is someone who is making you uncomfortable, remember you have other options. Lastly, it is great to go with someone you are comfortable with and have a great connection with. Feeling like you and your officiant are on the same page will put your mind at ease and give you one less thing to stress over!

Vendor Highlight: April Foster Bridal Hair and Makeup

  • Luxury Bridal Makeup

April Foster Hair and Makeup Hair and Makeup


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April and I had the privilege of working together on a styled shoot a year and a half ago.  I was so impressed with her professionalism and passion that flowed through her hands.  Styled shoots (just like weddings!) begin early, and I was wowed when I learned she had been up since 4:30 am to make sure she arrived in time for the dark o’clock start time.   This chick’s got talent, friends.  

So without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce you to my first Vendor Highlight:  April Foster of April Foster Bridal.

April Foster Bridal is a luxury onsite beauty team that services the San Francisco Bay Area. April and her team enhance natural beauty by providing clients with soft, romantic, loose and modern looks that bring out their inner glow. From City Hall to larger events her crafted wedding packages provides brides and bridal parties a celebrity-like experience. April and her team are obsessed with all things beauty and are inspired with each opportunity to make someone look and feel like their beautiful inner self.

A Little About You


Favorite Ice Cream: So Delicious Coconut Milk “Ice cream” in Cold Brew!

Go-To Song: Something by Mariah Carey or Britney Spears. 😉

About Your Business

How did you get started in your business?

A lot of sweat, tears and lipsticks. Lots of lipsticks.  

How long has your business been established for?

I’ve been in business for 3 years

What’s the process like when someone books with you?

After a Bride reserves her date with 50% date retainer and signed contract, we get down with the fun! Gathering inspiration photos, from everything to hair and makeup to their florals, to their gowns! I want to see it all! We review it during our preview consultation and then co create a look that’s perfect for my Bride’s personality, face shape and hair texture.

Why Should I Pick You?

What makes you different from the rest?

My Brides are my top priority! My crafted hair and makeup packages provides brides and bridal parties a celebrity like experience. With our ‘Classic Day Experience’ which enables me to be behind the scenes of your bridal portraits ensuring every photo that your photographer clicks is absolutely picture perfect.

What are some popular trends you’ve seen this year that you think will be big next year?

Things are moving away from super organic borderline messy into more sleek and polished looks. I’m seeing a lot more simple and understated looks.

If you could give three pieces of advice for couples who are looking to hire a vendor like you, what would those be?

Best advice is once you find someone that you love their portfolio, BOOK them! We often book up to a year in advance. To avoid disappointment, lock your favorite artist in.

Interested in booking this beauty talent?

Phone: 415-802-9500