Why We’re Having a Day-of Coordinator

When I first started planning our wedding, the idea of a DOC was so foreign to me. Is this not a wedding planner? Wait, this person swoops in and just does everything on the wedding day? How does this person know everything? I was so confused—I mean, really, all I thought of was J.Lo in The Wedding Planner.


Image via The Wedding Planner Wikipedia page | “Those who can’t wed, plan.” Amirite?

I was very much convinced that it was unnecessary for us. I am way, way, way, WAY too type-A to hand the reins to someone else. I didn’t care if we worked with this person all throughout our planning, it just wasn’t happening—I could never trust this person to remember how to do A, to make sure B got done, and not to forget where C was supposed to go, you know? Not for me, not for us, not for our wedding. Pass.

I’m sure you’ve all figured out where this is going—just like with my dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses, I was wrong. (I’ve probably said that more times blogging than in real life. Feel special, hive. ;) )

I started to think about the disappointing truth that I cannot be in two places at once. I thought about the additional stress it would put on me to feel like I had to be at our venue by a certain time, not for ceremony and/or picture purposes, but to make sure everything was in place. I thought about vendors calling me because they couldn’t find the right entrance. I thought about trying to coordinate and corral our 13-person (15, including the flower girls) wedding party all around the city and keeping us on time and then having to think/worry about others being on time, too.

Just typing that gave me a mini panic attack.

I still had the same issues, though, with trust and finding the right person, so I struggled for a little until I had another bride light bulb moment. Enter: DOC E.


Personal photo / DOC E and me, celebrating her birthday

DOC E and I attended college together at a local, small women’s-centered university. It was not love at first sight for us. We had similar majors and similar interests, had the same work study position, and were of the same year, so we were around each other a lot. We weren’t fans of one another, to say the least, and this didn’t change until about midway through sophomore year. We kind of connected through other friends, and then at the beginning of our junior year, we became Real Friends.

I’ll get emotional if I talk about it too much, but DOC E really impacted my college experience those final two years. I’ve mentioned before that I had somewhat of a rocky period, but DOC E helped me change that. I grew more involved, overall, and that resulted in some of my most cherished memories and proudest experiences. We also worked on a ton of projects and events together.


Personal photo / DOC E and me at the communication department’s senior bar crawl, which we planned and executed, on our own, to perfection. It may not sound that impressive, but trust me, it was innovative and an undertaking!

When I knew I had to enlist a day-of coordinator for sanity, she was the vision I saw in the light bulb moment. If there were one person I could trust to handle everything and get it done—not necessarily to her liking, but to mine—it was her. She knows me, she knows how I operate, and she knows how to make sure everything gets accomplished. She also knows how to calm me down (a skill that not many possess, honestly), when to let me have a minor freak-out and calm myself down, and when I just need to be told to get over it. She’s a diamond in the rough.

On a personal level, I wanted her to be involved in our special day. Aside from being such a good friend and presence in my life, she and Mr. Palm Tree also have their own special relationship. She’s come on vacation with our big group and is always around for the special events. We’ve celebrated Halloweens and birthdays and karaoke nights and graduations and holidays together. She’s kind of like the grown-up, classy version of all of us—the person that we tell ourselves we’ll someday be, and she already is.


Personal photo / E and me on vacation in Bethany Beach, Delaware—Summer 2011

She’s been kept very up-to-date on the wedding plans, and now that we’re officially in the crunch-time category, we’ve been communicating even more. I’ve sent her my day-of timeline and, as of now, her role starts the night before at the rehearsal dinner. She’ll spend the night and the morning of with us, making sure we’re on time and progressing. She’ll check in on the boys (who will be at BM & GM Y’s), then head to the hotel with BM Blackout’s younger sister, who I’ve also enlisted to help. (Smidgen of Palm Tree advice: don’t be afraid to ask others to help as needed! Chances are, they’ll be more than willing to be involved and included, and your life will be so much easier.) They’ll then drop off our stuff and check in Mr. Palm Tree and me before heading to our venue to set up our centerpieces, signs, and whatever else we may need. They’ll make sure everything is running smoothly and coordinate any vendor issues (which hopefully there won’t be) or setup questions. She’ll then stay on-site and wait for the wedding party’s arrival, upon which she will make sure we are all in the right places and running on schedule. Once the ceremony is over, she is free to dance and celebrate with the rest of us!

I’m sure there will be tiny changes as we go through the process and get closer—I’m even sure that there will be day-of changes as needed. DOC E communicated to me a few weeks ago: “Whatever comes up, I’m just going to handle, OK? I’m not going to go to you for every little thing and keep you updated on whatever changes. You’re going to be busy, so you’ll just have to trust me and know that everything will be fine when you arrive.” THIS, folks, is why I wanted her in this position. I do trust her and I do know she’ll handle everything to the absolute best of her abilities, with Mr. Palm Tree and me in mind.

Many bees have said that hiring a DOC was the best decision they made, and although I’m not on the other end of that spectrum, I’ll say that even during planning, it’s been a blessing. Just knowing that I can just be a bride on the day of our wedding is a huge relief; knowing I can hand off my carefully crafted timeline and all of the little details will be attended to is priceless. I’m so grateful to have her.

Spill your beans, hive: Are you having a DOC? Why or why not?


Mrs. Palm Tree

Pittsburgh, PA
Wedding Date:
May 2013
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  1. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:46 am

    I probably will not have a DOC, but it’s less that I have no idea who would do it that isn’t already a part of the wedding than no desire to have one! I’d love to be able to hand things off to someone else. I also am a control freak, and I don’t think I’ll be able to completely relinquish the reins, so I’ll try not to stress about it too much, but I still want to be in-the-know. Thankfully, our venue and our DJ both come with coordinators that will be there 100% on the day-of, so they’ll be able to help out if anything goes wrong logistically so I won’t be bothered too much.

    It sounds like your DOC is going to be fabulous though!

  2. Member
    jilleeann 407 posts, Helper bee @ 9:43 am

    Kind of. While discussing this with my FI my boss volunteered for the job. Normally this would sound insane, but she’s kind of a badass. I know that she’s organized, cool under pressure, and gets things done. I thought about hiring someone to do this but my FI was adamant about the boss lady doing it because, and I do quote, he trusts her. Getting my FI’s trust and respect isn’t really an easy thing to do, if he thinks someones competent, then they are probably more than competent.

  3. Member
    Mrs. Bicycle 624 posts, Busy bee @ 10:43 am

    I am having a DOC and I think it will end up being one of the best decisions I made. I am also a control freak but I don’t want to spend my wedding day stressed out and worrying about every detail. Knowing everything will be someone else’s problem makes me pretty excited!

  4. Member
    dancingriss 420 posts, Helper bee @ 12:09 pm

    That is such a great idea and role for your friend. I bet she’ll be extremely effective and still manage to have fun, I mean come on. You guys did a bar crawl together. amirite?

  5. Member
    Mrs. Toadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:23 pm

    The DOC position is unexisting around here, I know I could find one if I wanted to, but there was no space in the budget for it, so it was never an option. I really wish we had someone helping the day of, that’s all I’ll say.

  6. Member
    iwinatcookie 55 posts, Worker bee @ 2:08 pm

    This is a brilliant idea. I haven’t decided whether I’ll have a DOC yet, but I’m such a perfectionist, I feel like I’ll have a similar problem as you. Hopefully I can come up with a friend who is just as particular as I am that I can trust!

  7. Member
    Mrs. Otter 1321 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:18 pm

    Um YES, we are having one, thank goodness! As much of a Type A person as I am, I am beyond thankful that I’m done with planning and can just enjoy being a bride!!

  8. Member
    mkelove 666 posts, Busy bee @ 4:45 pm

    I want one badly but I cannot afford a professional DOC. I may have a family friend do the honors for me but I am not sure if it will really be the same.

  9. Member
    Mrs. Mongoose 726 posts, Busy bee @ 5:12 pm

    I love that you enlisted the help of a very good friend to do this–makes it all that much better since she knows you inside and out! We have a wedding planner so we’re also in the process of creating lists and schedules for the day of (since we are also in crunch time, date twin!). There are so many little things I keep remembering though and adding to the list because like yourself I am VERY Type-A. I just pray that I can learn to let things go the day of the wedding and just focus on having an amazing time!

  10. Member
    Mrs. Pony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 6:00 pm

    Our DOC was the best decision we made during wedding planning, hands down. It’s so great that it’s someone who you know and trust too!

  11. Member
    Mrs. Sword 1022 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:46 pm

    My Honor Attendants (two of my best friends) were like DOC’s for me, and it was more helpful than I can even describe. Good call girl!

  12. Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1080 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:52 pm

    @Blonde17Jess: After I chose the DOC, I felt a freaking weight not just lift but FLY off of my shoulders – I am so happy to relinquish the reins. It’s all or nothing with me and I am so glad to be able to give it all to her. I fully plan to hand my phone off to my MOH or a Bridesmaid – otherwise I’ll just stress myself out, which defeats the entire purpose! You could always designate one of the people in the bridal party as the point person?

    @jilleeann: I actually think this is a GREAT idea. I think that as long as you have a good relationship with your boss, one that includes respect and a good rapport, there wouldn’t be anyone better to get it done. Solid choice!

    @Miss Bicycle: Totally agreed! I can’t wait to just ENJOY my actual wedding day.

    @dancingriss: hahaha YES – love how you put this! :)

    @Mrs. Toadstool: I’m sorry, Mrs. T. :( I wish someone could’ve been there for you as well.

    @iwinatcookie: Sending you tons of luck in your search – I think it’s definitely worthwhile to at least explore options and see who would be willing to help.

    @Miss Otter: My exact sentiments!

    @mkelove: I absolutely think that it can be the same! As long as you communicate with your family friend and the expectations are clear, I think it would be incredibly worthwhile and could relieve a lot of stress.

    @Miss Mongoose: Lists EVERYWHERE. Mine keeps growing as well – I just have to remind myself that I obviously trust these people (our DOC as well as our vendors) to get the job done otherwise I wouldn’t be paying them to do so. EEEEEE so soon!

    @Mrs. Pony: I remember you saying this over & over. . it’s what stuck with me as I made this decision, truthfully. I’m also so glad it’s someone that knows me and that I can 100% trust.

    @Mrs. Sword: Thank you! I’m glad your girls were helpful for you, too. <3

  13. Member
    KKDesignsandPlanning 5 posts, Newbee @ 5:44 pm

    Hi All,
    I am experienced at running wedding events, but trying to start up my own side business DOC. If anyone is interested and in the NYC Area or outer suburbs and looking for someone to run their event the day of, I am available Summer 2013-Fall 2013. I do have a few October wedding dates that are unavailable. Please message me directly with some basic information about your event if interested.

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