The Day-of vs. the Month-of Wedding Planner
Looking for a Day-of Wedding Planner to coordinate your wedding day? Then knowing the difference between day-of and month-of services is key.
If your wedding budget doesn’t have room for a wedding planner to coordinate from start to finish, or if you’re keen on planning your wedding yourself but will need a coordinator to look after the event day, it’s important that you know what to expect. Working with a Day-of Wedding Planner is extremely beneficial because it means that neither you, your family, nor your friends will be stressed on the big day making sure that all of your vendors arrive and set up properly. It means you get to have fun getting ready for the ceremony and can soak up the feeling of that giddy jitteriness that makes your heart beat when you think about the moment you’ll be walking down the aisle - and it means you won’t be sitting there thinking about how that florist better not have showed up with gerbera daisies in your centrepieces when you explicitly asked them not to.
So what next? In your search for a planner, you’ve noticed that some wedding planners list “day-of wedding coordination” and other planners list “month-of coordination”. What’s the difference? Is one service better than the other? Is it really worth the extra few hundred dollars for the Month-of Wedding Planner (or sometimes more)?
Day-of and Month-of - What’s the Difference?
Some planners will list “Day-of Coordination” as their event day service, but when you read on about what’s included, you’ll find that their service actually starts about a month or a month and a half in advance. These Day-of Planners are actually Month-of Planners. For this article, when I refer to Day-of Planners, I am talking about planners that do not begin their services this far in advance.
Both a Day-of Planner and a Month-of Planner will typically have an initial consultation with you, free of charge. Both will be present on your wedding day to ensure it proceeds as planned. The difference, however, lies in the additional services that a Month-of Planner always provides, vs. a Day-of Planner who may not provide any or all of these services. A Canadian Month-of Planner is often much more proactive in their planning process for your wedding day (think contingency planning), and, more than likely - unlike their Day-of counterpart - is WPIC certified.
Beyond the initial consultation and looking after your wedding day, a Month-of Planner will always (at minimum):
Have a detailed meeting with you where they will collect all of your vendor information and contracts, as well as go over all of the elements of your wedding (big and small) in extensive detail.
Go through the information collected during the last meeting on their own and get in touch with all of your vendors well in advance to gather more information or inquire about specific areas. They will also make sure all of the information makes sense and works logically together. Did the decorator book the wrong size linen for what tables your venue is providing? No problem - the coordinator will catch that. Does your caterer require multiple outlets on separate circuits for their equipment? The coordinator will make sure the venue provides that for them.
Have another meeting with you to go through and create your wedding day schedule, which they will then detail and format with their own notes.
See to it that your vendors get a copy of the itinerary and are prepared for your day.
Assist in or direct your wedding rehearsal.
Month-of Planners may also perform site inspections and perform or offer additional services. A skilled coordinator will make sure they have a checklist, to-do list or similar for your wedding day so that no element is forgotten (such as which decor pieces you wanted on your receiving table). They will problem-solve ahead of time for where they see potential errors or omissions that were not previously considered for your wedding day. They may also offer up advice for the rest of your planning, help you get on track for the month before, provide vendor recommendations and prepare you for what you need to remember on your wedding day - as long as you don’t take advantage of these “bonus” services that they usually throw in (free of charge)!
A Day-of Planner may or may not perform some of the services a Month-of Planner does, and it’s very rare that they would perform all of them. The one service they are most likely to offer besides coordinating your wedding day is putting together your itinerary. It’s possible too that they may get in touch with your vendors. Day-of Planners also cost less than a Month-of Planner, but you get what you pay for. Not as much time is spent collecting and understanding your wedding details or going through them, which means they are less likely to catch errors.
Many Day-of Planners will not speak to your vendors before the wedding day, or if they do, it tends to be brief; they may not even collect the information of the on-site vendor representatives who will be present on the day-of. Seems like a dramatic oversight, I know - but I speak from experience because I've seen other planners do this firsthand, and it can lead to major mishaps. Because businesses don’t tend to run the same on weekends, this could mean that if the weekend Manager of your chapel is not at their desk to answer the office phone, your Day-of Planner may not know who to call when the doors haven’t been unlocked for your florist to set up for the ceremony. It means they may have no idea if the rental company is picking up that night or the next morning - which could get you hit with extra venue charges. It also means they might show up on-site for your reception, never having been there before, and will not be able to tell the DJ where the loading dock is when they have trouble finding it. Essentially, they're less organized.
There are so many factors that can take place on your wedding day that you may never even think of and that are hard to have control over. Having a Day-of or Month-of Planner is so essential to making sure things run smoothly, and choosing a Month-of Planner (or Day-of Planner that provides similar services) could mean the difference between vendors being rushed and confused or calm and confident. When you’re thinking about hiring one over the other based on price, think carefully - is it worth the risk?
Now that you've thought about it, have a look at Historia's Month-of Coordination services and see what we have to offer! We promise you won't be disappointed. :)