A wedding coordinator’s checklist is long. There are countless tasks he or she handles both leading up to your nuptials and on the actual day of your wedding. These tasks range from the expected to the unexpected, which makes it nearly impossible to outline all of the tasks a wedding coordinator takes on while planning any given wedding. Still, we’ve assembled a fairly comprehensive wedding coordinator checklist detailing the things a coordinator should check off their list the month before, the day before, and the day of the wedding. If you’re hiring a coordinator, this is a great checklist to go over with them, or if you are a coordinator yourself, it’s a great tool to ensure you don’t miss a beat.
As the RSVP cards start flooding your mailbox, your wedding coordinator can help you manage the guest list, meal requests, and table arrangements. For guest lists in the hundreds, this can save you hours—if not days—of time-consuming counting, tracking, and editing.
The coordinator is there to ease stress and handle any issues that come up in the weeks leading up to the wedding—from seating charts to rain plans, the wedding coordinator duties the month before the big day consist of assisting the nearly-weds in any way they need.
The wedding coordinator will create a timeline specific to your wedding day. In it, they will outline the day minute-by-minute, from the moment the wedding party should begin getting ready to when the couple will make their grand exit. The timeline will also list when each vendor should arrive, as well as the all-important start and end times for the celebration.
The wedding coordinator is in charge of communicating with all vendors. If the coordinator comes on board during the final month of planning, they will introduce themselves to vendors and let them know they are there to answer any questions they may have. During the final weeks, this communication revolves around making sure the vendors have everything they need. Coordinators will:
Wedding day stationery includes programs, place cards, and menus, as well as any signage or other specialty paper goods you’re having at your wedding. The wedding coordinator will secure all paper goods from either the printer or the stationer and organize them in preparation for the wedding day.
The coordinator is in charge of organizing and keeping track of all the important documents. They should have copies of all contracts and timelines on hand for easy reference on the day of the wedding and provide vendors with printed timelines as well. Your coordinator should also know where the all-important marriage certificate is at all times and ensure your witnesses sign it on the day of your wedding.
In the days leading up to the wedding, it is not uncommon for a few guests to send their regrets due to sickness, travel arrangements, or other emergencies. Your coordinator can help you account for these missing people by altering the table arrangements and updating the venue and catering teams with the adjusted headcount.
Every coordinator should have basic items the wedding party may need on hand, such as stain remover, safety pins, bandages, hairpins, tissues, tape, etc. The day before the wedding they may put this in the bridal suite, give it to the maid of honor, or keep it on hand for easy access.
If there are any vendors that still need to be paid on the day of the wedding, your planner can coordinate payments. She will also divvy out any tips you plan to give to necessary vendors after the wedding reception. Prepare all cash tips in envelopes the day before the wedding and give them to your coordinator for safekeeping and distribution. For more information, see our guide on Do You Tip Wedding Coordinators?
The wedding coordinator will not only attend rehearsal, but also lead it. They will direct the ceremony rehearsal from start to finish, going over the lineup, musical cues, how to stand, and when to exit. This is also an opportune time for them to introduce themselves to the wedding party and family and make themselves available to answer questions and combat concerns. Finally, they may use this time to go over any important changes or notes on the timeline.
The first matter of business on the wedding day is to check in with the couple. The coordinator will see how they are feeling, if they need anything, and provide them with any important updates.
On the day of the wedding, your coordinator makes sure everyone sticks to the prepared timeline as closely as possible. They are the ultimate timekeeper, and will make sure everything stays on schedule, plus shift things accordingly if need be.
The wedding coordinator will communicate with each vendor as they arrive, make sure they have everything they need, and check that they have fulfilled all of their services as promised. The coordinator should have all vendor contracts on hand, so if anything is forgotten or not as expected, they can address it.
The coordinator makes sure your wedding party is where they need to be at the correct time, whether that means in the makeup chair, putting on ties, or lining up for the grand entrance. He or she also keeps the bride tucked away, so neither guests nor her SO will spot her before her walk down the aisle.
Some of the smallest details of your wedding are the most important. The coordinator knows this and is in charge of keeping track of these crucial items, either by entrusting them to an assistant or member of the wedding party:
One of the biggest jobs the coordinator will manage on your wedding day is setting everything up. A simple wedding ceremony and reception require the transport of furniture, florals, food, and beverages, as well as the coordination of a number of vendors, including the florist, officiant, caterer, musicians, bartenders, technicians, and many, many more. In addition to simply setting everything up, the coordinator also makes sure it looks beautiful. Your coordinator has your vision in mind and can make design choices and add final touches to bring that vision to life.
Similarly, your coordinator also handles tear-down. They will be the last to leave your wedding, making sure all vendors have fulfilled their duties, collected their property, and most importantly, that the venue is cleaned up and free from damage.
The wedding coordinator will help make your wedding flow seamlessly from segment to segment, handling everything from directing guests to sit down for the ceremony, ushering them to cocktail hour, and helping them find their seat assignments for dinner. They will point guests in the right direction and answer any questions they have.
We hate to burst your bubble, but not everything will go exactly to plan on your wedding day. Don’t fret though: Your coordinator will make sure you’re none the wiser. When a plus-one shows up unaccounted for, gusts of wind make your veil fall out as you are walking down the aisle, or any other unforeseen hiccup, the coordinator comes to the rescue. Wedding coordinators are experienced in putting out fires, and doing so subtly, so that you and your guests never even have to know.
The wedding coordinator’s chief job on the day of your wedding is to make everything run smoothly and appear effortless. During the ceremony, they queue members of the wedding party when to walk and during the reception they queue speeches, dances, and any other planned activities, such as cutting the wedding cake or tossing the bouquet.
The moral of the story? Wedding coordinators are worth it. A wedding coordinator’s job description extends far beyond these services—and is invaluable throughout the entire wedding planning process and most certainly on your big day. Ultimately, hiring a wedding coordinator is one of the best ways to take the stress off of you and your fiancé, so you can enjoy every minute of your celebration.
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