The Ultimate Wedding Coordinator Checklist: Your Guide to a Stress-Free Big Day


Planning a wedding can feel like juggling ten things at once while walking a tightrope. There’s so much to think about – from managing vendors and keeping the bridal party happy to ensuring the cake doesn’t get smooshed during delivery. Enter the wedding coordinator, the unsung hero who makes the bride and groom’s dream day come to life. Whether you’re a professional planner or a meticulous bride crafting the perfect event, this ultimate “wedding coordinator checklist” will help you dot every “i” and cross every “t.”

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything a wedding coordinator needs to know, from the first vendor meeting to the final dance of the night. So, grab your clipboard and let’s get rolling!

Table of Contents

  1. Pre-Wedding Preparations
  2. Rehearsal and Final Prep
  3. Day-Of Coordination
  4. Post-Wedding Wrap-Up
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Summary

Pre-Wedding Preparations

Initial Meeting

The first step to a smooth wedding day is an initial meeting to establish expectations and gather vital information.

  • Discuss Vision: Understand the couple’s dream wedding in detail.
  • Budget Review: Break down the couple’s budget and prioritize spending.
  • Contract Review: Go through existing vendor contracts and negotiate or finalize new ones if needed.

Timeline Creation

Crafting a detailed timeline ensures every moment is accounted for, and everyone knows where to be and when.

  1. Ceremony Timing: Determine ceremony start time and duration.
  2. Reception Events: Schedule key events like first dances, speeches, and cake-cutting.
  3. Vendor Load-In and Setup: Ensure vendors have ample setup time.
  4. Breakdown and Clean-Up: Set guidelines for post-event cleanup.

Vendor Management

Managing multiple vendors is a juggling act requiring great communication skills and organization.

  • Confirm Contracts: Ensure each vendor’s contract is signed and includes detailed expectations.
  • Schedule Meetings: Hold a meeting or call with each vendor to confirm final details.
  • Share Timeline: Provide vendors with a detailed timeline so they’re clear on their roles.
  • Create a Vendor List: Include contact details for each vendor and share it with the bridal party.

Rehearsal and Final Prep

Rehearsal Schedule

The rehearsal is the perfect time to work out any logistical kinks and give everyone a sneak peek into the big day.

  1. Brief the Bridal Party: Explain roles and responsibilities clearly.
  2. Run Through Ceremony: Practice the procession, vows, and recession.
  3. Confirm Positions: Mark the spots where each participant will stand.

Last-Minute Checklist

A couple of days before the wedding, ensure everything’s ready to go.

  • Confirm Guest Count: Finalize RSVPs and seating arrangements.
  • Prepare Emergency Kit: Include essentials like safety pins, tissues, and breath mints.
  • Distribute Timeline: Share a final timeline with the bridal party and vendors.
  • Delegate Tasks: Assign tasks like collecting gifts and cards to reliable friends or family.

Day-Of Coordination

Getting Ready

The day has finally arrived! Stay calm, organized, and flexible as you guide the wedding day through its magical journey.

  1. Prepare the Bridal Suite: Ensure the bride has all the amenities she needs.
  2. Assist the Bridal Party: Help with hair, makeup, and dressing needs.
  3. Coordinate Hair and Makeup Schedule: Make sure the glam team stays on track.

Ceremony Logistics

The ceremony is the heart of the day. Make sure it’s timed to perfection.

  • Cue Musicians: Coordinate the prelude and processional music cues.
  • Line Up Processional: Ensure the bridal party is in the correct order.
  • Distribute Programs: Make sure ushers have plenty of programs to hand out.
  • Oversee Guest Seating: Resolve any seating snafus swiftly.

Reception Management

Time to keep the celebration going! Manage the reception to ensure every moment is enjoyed by all.

  1. Coordinate Grand Entrance: Cue the DJ or MC and line up the bridal party.
  2. Manage Vendor Timing: Ensure photographers, videographers, and caterers are in sync.
  3. Direct Key Events: Announce the first dance, speeches, cake-cutting, and bouquet toss.
  4. Guest Experience: Check in with guests and ensure they’re comfortable.

Post-Wedding Wrap-Up

Vendor Payment and Tips

Ensure that everyone gets paid fairly and timely after the event.

  • Collect Invoices: Gather final invoices from each vendor.
  • Verify Services: Confirm that each vendor delivered as expected.
  • Distribute Tips: Hand out tips in labeled envelopes to vendors.

Item Retrieval

Don’t leave any personal or rented items behind!

  • Collect Gifts and Cards: Assign someone to safely store gifts and cards.
  • Gather Personal Belongings: Ensure the bridal suite is empty before checkout.
  • Return Rentals: Coordinate the return of any rented décor, attire, or equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What’s the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator?

A wedding planner helps with the overall planning from start to finish, while a wedding coordinator typically comes into the picture closer to the wedding day to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Q2: How far in advance should I book a wedding coordinator?

It’s best to book a coordinator at least 6-12 months in advance to ensure availability, but even a 2-month lead time can work in some cases.

Q3: What’s typically included in a wedding coordinator checklist?

A comprehensive wedding coordinator checklist includes tasks like vendor management, creating a timeline, conducting the rehearsal, and managing the ceremony and reception logistics.

Q4: Is it necessary to have a wedding coordinator if I have a wedding planner?

A planner may offer day-of coordination services, but it’s often beneficial to have a dedicated coordinator handle the final details so the planner can focus on the bigger picture.

Q5: How much does a wedding coordinator cost?

Prices vary based on experience and location, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500 for day-of coordination services.


A wedding coordinator’s role is all about ensuring the big day goes off without a hitch. With this “wedding coordinator checklist” at your fingertips, you’re equipped to manage every aspect of the event from initial planning to the final farewell. Start with a solid pre-wedding foundation by establishing clear communication with vendors and creating a comprehensive timeline. During the rehearsal and on the wedding day, focus on logistics and keeping the couple calm. Finally, wrap up with post-wedding tasks like vendor payments and item retrieval.

With this guide, you’ll navigate wedding coordination like a pro, leaving the happy couple with nothing but sweet memories and gratitude.

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