Wedding Planner Wednesday – on the day co-ordination and what I actually do

Wedding Planner Wednesday – on the day co-ordination and what I actually do

I am writing this post because every time I work at a wedding I always get people come up to me and say……’You haven’t stopped all day’, or ‘I never knew you did so much’ or ‘is that really your job to be doing that’…or words to that effect!

I touched on this subject previously in my post ‘what does a wedding planner actually do?’ so today I thought I would focus on what seems to be one of the most popular services I offer ‘on the day co-ordination’

On the day co-ordination is booked either on its own, or as part of the partial planning or full planning option. It basically means that I will be there on the day of your wedding or event for an average of 12 hours (generally from 10am – 10pm) to stage manage your day. Here is an introduction of on the day Co-ordination from my website (HERE)

Boho weddings and events

I generally find I have 3 sorts of brides book me for this service.

1) The DIY bride who’s getting married in a village hall or a marquee. The sort of bride who has done a lot of the wedding herself, who has hired a less traditional venue for her wedding that doesn’t come with an onsite co-ordinator, she wants to know her day will be looked after, and set up to her vision she has been planning for the last however months. For this sort for wedding it is important to have a central figure to manage the day, to co-ordinate with the many suppliers (and sometimes friends acting as suppliers.) To make sure that everything runs on time and to keep the flow of the day moving.

2) The organised bride, this can be at a DIY venue or at a more traditional venue with a wedding co-ordinator. I find that these sorts of brides are super organised, verging on control freaks (in a good way of course) that have been planning their big day for normally 2 years. They have files, and list coming out of their ears and their main far is that they will not be in control on their big day, so they hire me in to take over that control. A lot of the time my role is secondary as they have done so much of the prep beforehand, BUT what matters to them is that they have the reassurance that their day has someone as detail oriented as them looking after and managing it for them.

3) The bride that has booked me for partial or full planning. When you book me for partial planning, full planning or the rescue remedy they have been working with me for months sometimes years, for this reason I know their wedding inside out. I know exactly what style they are going for, I know their suppliers as it is me that has booked them, I know exactly what they want that day to be as I have been working on it with them for months. In some instances it has been me that has made most of the decisions, come up with all the little styling ideas so who better to over sea the day for them?

But for all of these weddings, I am there on hand to set up their venues for them, make sure they get to the church on time, liaise with all of their suppliers, as well as act as a shepherd, herding guests from one place to another with minimal fuss and as subtly as possible.

Boho weddings and events

So that is the basics of what I do, but what about all the other bits and bobs that you may be surprised to hear I do?
Now let me tell you this is my list, there may be other planners out there who say ‘we don’t do that’ well this is just me, a lot of the time I do stuff that isn’t in my job description, but I’m not one for standing on ceremony, if a job needs doing I’ll do it. My aim is to make sure that day goes without a hitch and I will do anything and everything in my power to make that happen.

Boho weddings and events
So here is a list of some of things I have done so far on an on the day co-ordination.

• Light tea lights – this is something I do A LOT!!
• Open and pour champagne – another thing I do A LOT
• Set up the wedding venue
• Arrange flowers for centre pieces
• Cut up wedding cake (I know have a little kit I take with me especially for this)
• Clear away glasses
• Clear ash trays
• Take children to the toilet
• Play with children brush up after guest when food gets spilt
• Rub food stains out of carpet
• Brush up
• Keeps flow of the day going
• Clear cardboard boxes away
• Find extra serving dishes from thin air
• Wipe down the sinks in the toilets
• Make sure the toilets are tidy at all times
• Light more tea lights
• Change room over between day and evening reception
• Lift and carry tables and chairs
• Work the PA system
• Play DJ
• Put on the CDs for the wedding ceremony
• Escort guest from one place to another
• Get bride into her dress
• Get bride into her shoes
• Get bride into her car
• Put on grooms button hole
• Serve food
• Waitress
• Clear tables
• Safety pin wedding dress when the zip breaks
• Play hairdresser when the bride’s curls come out
• Pay suppliers (I can often be found with many envelops of money on me)
• Pick up last minute supplies
• Run last minute errands
• Set up the wish tree
• Stay to the end of the night and close up the marquee
• Scrape food into bins
• Sort out dirty plates
• Act as master of ceremony and make announcements through the day
• Look after the thank you gifts and hand out during speeches
• Make sure the bride and groom aren’t too drunk to do the first dance
• Hand out wedding cake (once I’ve cut it up)
• Relight the tea lights (they don’t last forever you know)
• Hang lanterns from the trees
• Set up the cake table
• Hang stuff up
• Fluff up the wedding dress and re puff the bride when needed
• Find the guests for the group shots
• Look after the bouquet and make sure it gets in water
• Make sure the guests sign the guest book
• Keep the day as relaxed as possible without the guest knowing that everything is run to a strict time line
• Always be thinking ahead
• Always have a smile on my face even when my feet are killing and I’m stressed out
• Try and stay in the background as much as possible

Boho weddings and events

So there you go, some of those may surprise you, and some may not? But all in all I do what I have to. A day at a wedding can be like a day at the gym, by the end of the 12 hours I can just about walk, I stumble home and am pretty much good for nothing the next day. They are emotionally draining as well as mentally and physically draining…..but they are amazing days! And as a planner on the day of a wedding you get to go where no one else gets to go, you see the wedding from every angle possible, from the bridal suite to the kitchen. It is a true honour to be involved in such an important day…………I wouldn’t change it for the world!

For more infomration about my wedding planning services go to:

(all photos taken by me at weddings I have worked at)

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    Julie Dawson

    OMG what a brilliant list, I can certainly echo that. You never stop and when you do try and explain it is hard. I think we have like minded on the day being control freaks ourselves its hard not to do loads more than we get paid for. But as you say its worth it except my feet dont thank me they just shout back!!
    Great post.

    Charley | London Bride

    Great post Kelly – it’s an exhaustive (in both senses of the word!) list that’s for sure! The above are all part of the physical jobs on the day AND there’s also dealing with all the emotions from everyone – the bridezilla moments, a bossy mother in law, cold feet from the groom, the drunk uncle, the flirty bridesmaid, the annoyed supplier (note, that’s probably only if we haven’t booked them of course!). People management can often be the hardest part!


    Wow, that brings back memories, I will never forget my first OTD – a 17 hour day from start to finish and then back the next morning to finish – but it was soooo worth it! I does make me chuckle when guests mutter the phrases- oh I didnt realise you did that, you dont get paid enough, or you havent stopped! well – of course you dont stop – how good would that look the wedding planner just chillin with a cool glass of champers in the corner?! I so, so miss it all. A really enlightening post Kelly, and it still illustrates how bloomin hard you work and how good you are, they are very lucky brides and grooms to have you onboard for their day. And I couldnt agree more that it is such a privilege to be involved in the whole day, front of house and behind the scenes! Claire xx

    Ishbel aka Soapchick

    What a bloody star you are!! I know how hard it is just to do the small bits for weddings, cakes, flowers and favors is my experience. I wish every bride could be as lucky, to have someone like you, doing it all, how totally fab!!

    Louise - Bow Occasions

    Another fantastic post Kelly. I absolutely love the Wedding Day Coordination side of running a wedding planning business. It is so rewarding and so tiring at the same time. I certainly agree that I too am pretty much useless the day after working a wedding as I can barely move.


    wow! that is some list… and certainly all the things I was hoping for and more! This is why I’ve hired you and why I know I am going to have the best day ever! Thank goodness for you and your dedication to your job.


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