The Value of a Wedding Coordinator- A Real Life Story

No matter where you are in the planning process, I am sure you have read some version of this next blog post- but it is important for us to show you our value so here goes nothing 🙂

Amber and Rob approached me about six weeks out from their May 2016 wedding date, and they had pretty much planned everything to a tee. Note: Amber is an event planner herself.

They had an amazing photographer lined up, a beautiful venue, great florals and greenery for decor, and had their day of schedule pretty much figured out. But, they wanted the piece of mind of having on person their to “direct the flow” of the day.

So, their big day arrives and everything is perfect, the venue was available the day before the wedding so they were able to set it up the way they wanted (and they did a lovely job).


Rob and the guys were already at the venue ready for their pictures and maybe a drink or two ;), and the girls arrived shortly after.

Guests began to arrive as planned (but were hiding in the shade- it was quite possibly the hottest May wedding I’ve ever done), and the bride and groom were ready to go. But, we were missing one every important piece to this puzzle- the officiant.

Now, before we continue the story, let’s get one thing clear the point of this blog post is not to chastise or call out the officiant , they won’t be named or pictured here. But, the point is to show you the value of having (at the very least) a day of coordinator.

So, I called and called and called his number and there was no answer. We were in the Gatineau Hills so I thought maybe our officiant was lost or didn’t have reception. But, after 10 minutes passed a bridesmaid and I quickly came together and decided we needed to tell the bride and come up with a plan B. So, while the bridesmaid kept trying to reach the officiant, I went to tell the bride and the groom what our options are. Luckily, they were together (look for our blog on the value of first look photos later this winter).

As an event planner, our bride already knew something was up so breaking the news wasn’t as hard as it could have been. But, I gathered the bride and groom in a separate room and told them the officiant has yet to arrive, and we were still working on getting a hold of them. I didn’t leave them much time to panic jumping right into what we could do for them. Plan B, I could pretend to be their officiant, and do a mock ceremony. I go to a wedding almost every weekend in the summer, I had printed a copy of the officiants loose script and have experience speaking in front of large crowds so this wouldn’t phase me, guests probably wouldn’t have a clue, and we could always do the legal part when the real officiant arrives. Or, plan C we had a cocktail hour that was pretty much ready to go in the kitchen, we could just switch the ceremony time and the cocktail hour time while we waited for the officiant.

Amber and Rob were so gracious (and pretty calm) compared to what I thought was going to happen. We decided to go with plan C and do cocktail hour first, I mean guests were not mad at having a drink before (and during the ceremony, it really was the perfect solution to this problem.

The groomsmen did their jobs and rallied the guests to the back patio for cocktail hour. I ran back to the kitchen to let them know what was happening and their quickly put the finishing touches on the dishes to go out and the bartenders quickly manned their bar. Everyone was in place. I made sure that the bride and groom had some champagne and took a moment to themselves (something that couples often forget on their big day).  We also got the kitchen to bring out some food and drinks to the bridesmaids who were in the reception area, separate from the guests, while to groomsmen mingled at cocktail hour. Seriously, those groomsmen were some of the best I have seen.



Now that the bride and groom had some bubbles, everyone had a little food in their bellies, the guests were kept happy with drinks in hand, and the officiant had arrived.


We were ready for the ceremony! And, it was beautiful








The moral of the story is that almost always there is a little hiccup in the wedding day.  This just story just happened to have a large hiccup and without us serving as day of planners, plan B and C could not have been executed as smoothly and would have fallen on the bride and groom, or a close family member.

Oh, and if you’re wondering where the officiant was, there was a misunderstanding about the start time of the ceremony as it had changed from the original plan.

In the end Amber and Rob, still got married, had an amazing time, and were happy to start on their happily ever after.

They even got a rainbow in the end.




Photo credits: Joel + Justyna Bedford Photography 

Venue: Dunndersoa Golf Club 

follow us

#julieandco #ottawaweddingplanner #PRstrategies #eventplannerlife