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?
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Lease Analyst
- Wedding Date:
- May 2013
- The Fez in Aliquippa, PA