(This is the continuation of a previous post if you didn’t read the first, you will live but for the full experience: : https://jenzcarli.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/on-doc/)
This seems pretty straight forward. When you plan an event you hire someone to help you execute it. However, when looking for someone who is qualified it becomes more difficult to know for what you are looking. Often the qualities seem to be: organized, assertive and communicative. These would all be true and necessary but not the whole picture.
For anyone wanting to plan any event and intending to hire a consultant it’s important to know questions to ask when you go into the initial consultation.
Your DOC (again, Day-of-Coordinator) should obviously be an assertive, competent adult who can handle stress and conflict. Good people skills are definitely a must as you will be dealing with them a lot.
Be sure to ask about their services. What will you, the client, receive in return for handing them the responsibility of your wedding, birthday, bar mitzvah, etc?
A good DOC will learn everything there is to know about your event. Who are the major players, vendors and those in the event, i.e. bridal party. They should set up an itinerary with you and use that as the golden rule when making decisions.
So ask them: Will you make an itinerary? How will you be able to make decisions on your feet? How long will you be at the event? What will you do during the event?
Make sure that they will not just be enjoying the good conversation offered by the bar tender while everything is going on. You pay them to work. They need to know about your event and be able answer questions about where key items are. i.e. the cake, boutonnieres, and the rings.
It is worth it to mention that some venues have in-house coordinators who present themselves as DOCs. This can be a situation of semantics. Often these in-house coordinators will only deal with details related to the venue or whatever other vendor to which they are attached. This is contrasted with third party DOCs who will know all aspects of your wedding. Make sure to ask all coordinators what they do and what details they are actually focused on. Sometimes a DOC may only be around to get you more chairs or change a light bulb but have no inclination to help you with your late DJ problem or no show photographer.
Ultimately a DOC will learn your event and be able to follow an itinerary that lays out the whole event and works with the vendors to keep problems, stress and other hiccups away from you, the client. They need to be the barrier. This is, after all, why you’re looking for someone to execute the event instead of yourself.
The next time you’re in need of a Day-of-Coordinator do not be afraid to ask them about their previous work. It never hurts to ask for references (prior vendors with whom they have worked who can vouch for their performance.) Make sure they will be the buffer between the details and you.