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My Personal Wedding Planning Story: Day-of Coordinator

Party hat in fridge

I pride myself in my planning and organization skills...but only when I'm using them for others. My own life is a complete mess. My office is a disaster zone on a good day, I always have at least 80 tabs open on both my phone and laptop browsers, and, sadly, it is not uncommon to find a party hat in the fridge or cheese in a cabinet due to losing my train of thought mid-task.

And before you ask, no, I did not place a party hat in my fridge for the purpose of this post - this was the actual sight my wife found returning from work one afternoon several months ago.

Knowing this about myself, I knew we needed outside help if our wedding was going to be as awesome as we wanted it to be. And having done several day-of coordinating gigs myself at that point, I also knew this vendor was a must have and planned our budget accordingly.

Unfortunately, finding someone within that budget proved almost impossible. Google searches only gave me options that started at $2k for very limited assistance. I reached out to local event experts and they, too, were either too expensive, not willing to travel to our venue, or unable to provide "just" day-of services.

And so I took to Craigslist. Enter our savior: Sheelah (who no longer does event work or I would link to her info, I promise). She took the time chat with us about our vision before we signed a contract, and met us where we were budget-wise. She also traveled to our venue before the wedding weekend to get a better idea of what we wanted and how best she could help, reached out to our vendors to put together a schedule, and took care of all the things on the actual day.

Upon hearing that we hired a day-of coordinator, my father-in-law gave us a lot of shit for "wasting" a part of our already small budget on this "unnecessary" expense. So the best compliment to Sheelah's work is that at the end of our wedding reception, while we're cleaning up, my father-in-law said that whatever we paid her, it wasn't enough. I have zero desire to know what the things were she had to deal with but we did send along a nice bonus afterward.

The entire experience was not only great for our stress levels, but I learned so much about how I want to work with couples. I, too, meet people where they are budget-wise because having peace of mind on such an important day should not be cost-prohibitive. My day-of service also includes vendor coordination/communication prior to your event, a walk-through of your venue, and the promise that I'll never tell you any of the crazy things that I had to deal with to make sure the whole thing seemed to go smoothly (because no matter how much you plan, there will be something).

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