wedding reception avaSimple answer is No. You need somebody to coordinate your wedding, otherwise, you won’t have a single carefree minute during your wedding day. And the more guests you invite to the ceremony, the harder it is to organize them without a professional coordinator. But if you don’t have the money to hire one, you’ll have to go without anyway. So, here are a few pieces of advice for those couples who are going to coordinate their own wedding.

First of all, if you’re planning to have a big wedding and can afford to hire a wedding coordinator, do it. You won’t regret having somebody to organize everything around.

The second option is to ask someone from your bridal party to do the job. Maybe there is an organized person who would love to help. Though, you need to understand that not every person can cope with this task. It has to be someone considerate, who knows every little detail about your wedding plan, likes to communicate with people, and, again, he or she has to be organized. Also, you’ll have to do some prep before letting an inexperienced person do your wedding coordination. Here’s what prep you need to do.

All info in one place

For the person who’s going to coordinate your wedding day, prepare all of the needed information. Create a digital or paper folder with such info as the wedding timeline, contacts of wedding vendors, list of wedding guests, copies of wedding insurance papers, info about rentals, and similar data. Your coordinator – whether a professional or one of your friends authorized to do the job – needs to know all the details of your wedding. Today, there are useful online services that help with this task, so your coordinator will only need a smartphone to have the info in hand.

Make good wedding timeline

Plan this in advance, maybe consult with a professional or people who have already planned their wedding. You need to make a clear schedule for your big day. Later, your coordinator will be able to follow this timeline so that everything goes as planned.

Often, wedding vendors offer their timelines for the activities that depend on vendors. A dj or caterer or photographer might suggest how much time a certain activity requires and how to plan it optimally. This will help you with the general wedding timeline.

Don’t be afraid to rearrange or change the schedule until you get a perfectly planned wedding day. But when done, don’t make significant changes anymore. Consider it set. Also, be ready for the timeline to change on the day of your wedding, as we can’t predict what will happen, so it’s fine if something goes not the way you planned.

Choose the person responsible for coordination and fill them in

If somebody among your friends or relatives (but it can’t be your mother or maid of honor because they have other responsibilities) agrees to become the wedding coordinator, it’s great. But you have to understand that he or she isn’t a professional coordinator, there might be mistakes, and that’s ok. Don’t ask too much of this person. Remember, they’re trying to help.

When you’ve chosen this person, fill him or her in on everything regarding the wedding plan. Sit and talk about this day so that your coordinator knows what and when to do or where to find the info about it. Go through your wedding timeline and wedding plan together, mentioning various small details.

And don’t forget to let your wedding guests know whom to call if they have questions. Give them contacts of this person responsible for your wedding day coordination. Otherwise, they’ll call you.

Ideally, your coordinator can have more helpers – your friends who can take on a part of responsibilities.

What-to-put-where list

If you prepare DIY pieces, cards, wedding favors, etc, let your coordinator know what piece goes where. Are these wedding table centerpieces? Where to put every item? Should favors go to every table / chair or should guests receive them when entering the venue? Discuss all this with your coordinator and put this info in that folder with wedding plan details. Usually, a wedding day is rather chaotic and rushed, so there has to be a clear list of what people should do and when.

Communication with wedding guests

If you don’t have a professional wedding coordinator, you’ll have to do the talking by yourself. Those dozens or even hundreds of wedding guests don’t know your wedding plan or timeline, so they need clues to understand what to do, when, and how. You personally can’t talk with everybody days before the wedding and certainly not on the wedding day (you literally won’t have time for it), so someone has to do this. Ideally, it’s your wedding coordinator, but in case you don’t have one, assign it to someone communicative. And, as we’ve mentioned, let the guests know whom to ask the questions they have.

The last thing you’ll want on your wedding day is to direct people and control everything – the food, wedding furniture, wedding favors, parking of wedding guests, and a million other issues. This is your day and you’ll have enough stress without doing the coordination. If you have only up to 15 wedding guests, than don’t throw money on a professional wedding coordinator because there will be too little coordination and you can do it yourself. But for a grand wedding, you absolutely need an experienced coordinator.

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