Is It Time To Stop “Day Of” Wedding Planning?

“Day Of” Wedding Coordination implies only an eight-hour work load.  Planners can easily invest four times that much.  Is part of the problem with the “Day Of” term itself?

We asked Wedding Planners in our Facebook group if it was time to stop marketing “Day Of” Coordination.

Carlisha Rose Magnarella said, “I start eight weeks before the final details planning package.  It totals 25-30 hours.”

Another planner, Camille Anumele Cwep, said, “I specialize in Day Of Coordination.  I spend about 20-25 hours total.  It actually should be called “Month Of” Coordination.

Will wedding couples pay more for packages titled Month Of Coordination?

Ronni Johnston calls her packages Wedding Day Management.  It more accurately defines her role as a wedding planner.

How do wedding planners get onto the same page regarding terminology, without undergoing an identity crisis?

Pros To Stopping Term “Day Of”

  • You charge more for a Month-Of package.
  • You stop competing with DJ’s and others who claim to include Day-Of planning.
  • You become happier.  Nothing makes your blood boil more than a customer who thinks you only work 52 days a year.  Get the recognition and pay for the hours you actually spend planning a wedding.  You’ll feel better about your job.

Cons To Stopping Term “Day  Of”

  • Some couples search for Day Of Coordination – Leave in Day Of, then pivot to Month Of
  • You will lose the cheapest couples – Wait,  Is that a bad thing?

Here’s What A Real Planner Has To Say
Marry Swaffield, Owner, Smitten & CO. Wedding Planning + Design
It used to be that “day of” was just a misnomer, but now more companies actually provide day-of services, which I think is crazy.  One of the biggest fallacies of our industry is the idea that “day of” or even “month of” is an “easy” service to offer, and so it’s a popular one for new planners to focus on.  But the truth is, it’s one of THE riskiest services we offer.  In my opinion, day-of requires an extremely high skill level.  Because a) You’re executing someone else’s plan with a team you didn’t necessarily choose or vet, and b) As a result, the potential for things to go sideways is very high.

I personally enjoy Wedding Management because of the challenge.  I like looking for all of the potential risks and brainstorming ways to mitigate them before they happen.  I like the challenge of solving problems on the spot when they arise.  I’m able to draw upon a ton of experience to handle these things and I’m confident in my ability to do so.  But that’s because I HAVE the experience.

[For most weddings] 90% of issues are small and easily manageable.  But that leaves 10% of the issues as hard-to-manage.  The ability of an experienced planner to handle that 10% with grace and professionalism is the true value of wedding management.  Therein lies my problem with “day of.”  With little or no prep, there can be no risk management assessment, no true preparation, and no vetting or building relationships with the event team that the client has hired.  All we can do is keep trying to educate clients (and the media who perpetuate the “day of” myth).

I totally understand calling the service by a name that clients understand.  But if we all, as an industry, commit to changing the way we refer to it, then I think that clients would get on board fairly quickly.  You are 100% correct that many “planners” are just filling a market need by offering true “day of.”  On one hand, that’s smart business.  On the other hand, it’s short sighted, damaging to the industry, and extraordinarily risky.

Unfortunately, the idea seems to have spread like wildfire.  I worry that it’s going to further harm the credibility of the industry.  Not to mention companies that are calling decor set-up & tear-down “Day Of Coordination” now as well.  I think we have a terminology/service scope-of-work issue that is only getting worse (Coordination, Planning, Management, Design, Full Service, Partial Planning, Production, etc).

CONCLUSION

What do you think about the term “Day Of Coordination?”  Let us know in the comments below.

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