Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a DJ and a day-of coordinator? What does the day-of coordinator do that overlaps with what a DJ can do? I get asked by a lot of couples if they need a day-of coordinator if they already have a DJ. My short answer is this depends on your budget and what you feel is important. There are many weddings that we take part in where we do most of the planning once the day starts. But it is always more successful when there is a good day of coordinator to help with some of the important tasks.
There is a lot of overlap between the DJ and the coordinator on the day of the event so let me explain some of the main differences. As a bride, you can think of the day of coordinator (or planner) as your own personal assistant to help you facilitate tasks or anything you need throughout the day. The DJ is mainly going to be focused on the event, the music, and anything related to the guests.The job of the coordinator or planner is to make sure that your event runs as smoothly as possible. Without a day-of coordinator things can be hectic and things can get forgotten. Most of the time you’re relying on a family member to help with the planning that may not have experience when things don’t go according to plan. The day-of coordinator will communicate with all the other vendors on any questions. This will alleviate the need to go ask the bride and groom every time there’s a problem. They will take care of all the decorations and make sure everything is set up the way that you want it. The day-of coordinator will also make sure that the reception site and ceremony site are ready to go when we start. Once the wedding starts, more tasks will be dedicated to the DJ. But the coordinator can still help with many of the actions that the DJ might otherwise perform. For example, when it is time to make the grand entrance, the coordinator will gather everybody up who is involved and put them in a convenient spot to wait for the DJ to give them instructions.
At DJ Cutt Entertainment, we rely on the planner or day-of coordinator when it comes to finding out who is speaking at what time. Then we have them meet in a side room to go over how to speak on the microphone and make sure everybody knows when it’s their turn. One of the biggest parts of a successful wedding is having great communication between the DJ and planner. There are going to be a lot of overlapping events that the DJ will want to do one way and the planner will want to do another way. To make sure everything happens without a hitch, it’s essential that everybody communicate how they would like things run beforehand.
For me, as a professional wedding DJ in Portland, Oregon, I love it when my clients choose vendors that we have worked with in the past because we’ve already developed a relationship and we know how to work well with each other. Check out our vendor page for all the coordinators that we have worked with before.A good DJ will be the master of ceremony. His (or her) job is to cue the guests so everybody knows when events are happening. A good example of this is that I like to alert the wedding guests before the ceremony starts so everybody can take their seats prior to the bride walking down the aisle. The DJ is in charge of the background music and making sure that the guests know that the ceremony is about to start. The DJ will also work with other vendors to make sure that they know where to be and when things are happening related to the services they provide. For example the DJ needs to make sure that the catering company is ready when dinner is served. The DJ can go directly to the catering company or they can check with the day-of coordinator.
Outside of music, the main job of the DJ is to make sure that we stick to the reception timeline as closely as possible. When the DJ makes any changes he will run them by the planner or coordinator to make sure everybody is on the same page. In the end, the DJ is the one that makes the announcements and communicates any changes to all the wedding guests.The DJ is there to play music for you and your guests. Without a DJ you won’t have much of a dance party. However, the main part of their job is to be the master of ceremony. It’s important to find a DJ that matches your style. When it comes to the dance party you want somebody to be an entertainer but not someone who’s overbearing or wants to be the center of attention.
The day of coordinator tasks are a little bit different from the DJ’s. First and foremost, the coordinator will confirm with all the vendors when they are arriving and when they are leaving. He or she can coordinate the loading or tear down times so elevators aren’t being crammed with all vendors coming at the same time.
One of the biggest jobs of the day-of coordinator is the rehearsal dinner or walkthrough. The DJ usually won’t be there for this (unless you want someone to act as the master of ceremony for this as well). The coordinator will get the wedding party lined up to practice for the ceremony so the wedding goes according to plan.
The DJ’s job is to make sure that we stick to the timeline once the wedding starts. But your planner is going to make sure that you stick to your timeline when it comes to pre event prep, such as hair, makeup, and people arriving. He or she will also make sure you’re ready for first look photos with the photographer. The day-of coordinator is usually in charge of setting up the floor plan so all the different vendors have as much space as possible. Your day of coordinator will help facilitate all the decorations and will let vendors know where they need to be. For instance, where the cake is going to be, where the dinner tables are set up, where the programs are being stored, where to place the guest book, where to place the gifts, and so on.When it comes to the ceremony the DJ or planner can help guide everybody down the aisle but it’s the coordinators job to fix the bride’s dress. During the ceremony, it’s sometimes customary to hold a candle lighting, knot tying, or special religious ceremony. It is the planner’s job to make sure that everybody has everything that they need to perform this service. They will also make sure that the best man has the ring in his pocket. When the ceremony is over, the coordinator will make sure the couple knows where to go to sign the marriage license with the minister or pastor. Throughout the day your planner will help you with your dress. They will also make sure everybody is in their place when it comes time to do pictures. This is a very tricky time since people are all over the place having cocktail hour so it’s nice to have someone to wrangle everyone to the right place.
At the very end of the wedding there is always the daunting test to make sure that everybody checks out of the venue on time. It will be the coordinator’s job to make sure that everything is picked up and nothing is left behind. They will be responsible for all check out tasks so that way you can focus on what’s most important: spending quality time with the people you love.In conclusion I think the DJ and day-of coordinator are both a great investment. Remember this is an event that only happens once in a lifetime. Putting these tasks on your wedding guests to complete is very stressful and many times won’t go as planned. Be sure to check out our preferred vendors page of all the top vendors in the Portland area.