Wedding Etiquette Forum

Friend as DOC?

HeatherKatHeatherKat the Frozen Tundra member
Ninth Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
I think I'm going to be having a friend of mine serve as a day of coordinator for my wedding. She volunteered after I posted a FB status seeking recommendations. She'd be invited as a guest regardless of her capacity as DOC. I found this link (http://www.theweddingsitter.com/day_of_coordinator.html, no idea how to make it a clicky! sorry!) of DOC "duties". While they aren't all applicable to me (I'm probably not doing bathroom baskets, for instance), is there anything on the list that you wouldn't have a vendorfriend do that you would have someone who was strictly a vendor do? She'd probably be "relieved" of her duties around dinner time, with the exception of (maybe?) having her to help with clean up at the end of the night-- helping carry gifts to the car, help pack up the few decorations that we'll have. We haven't discussed payment yet, but what would you think is a fair price for this? The DOCs in the area that I've found seem to have starting prices around $1500-- and that is way out of budget! We're for sure buying her and her hubby a nice dinner, a nice bottle of wine, and a gushing thank you note-- anything else I'm missing? Would any of you be wary of the plan of having a friend "work" your wedding?
Amor vincet omnia.... par liones.
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Re: Friend as DOC?

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I myself have been pondering this because I have a close friend who is an event planner who actually wants to act as DOC for me.

    The only real "duties" I might ask of her are just to round people up and perhaps liaise with the DJ or MC when it's time to start the ceremony, take photos, cut the cake, have special dances, etc. and if necessary to summon security (hopefully that won't be an issue).  It's possible that I would ask her to also liaise with the venue staff, but I expect that I most likely would speak with the venue staff directly on the actual day.

    I don't think they're required to help with setup or cleanup, as these are things I would pay professional vendors to do.  I definitely wouldn't expect someone who is also a guest to do them.

    But I do agree with buying your DOC and her husband a nice dinner and bottle of wine and sending her a heartfelt thank-you note.
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Get a contract. Don't do anything until you get a contract with her. Make sure everything thing is outlined in the contract, helping tear down, helping set up, everything.

    I would be wary of this, yes.
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  • I would be wary of this only because I'd prefer my friends enjoy the event then "work." Personally, if I were at an event with a lot of friends, where my friend is the bride, I would want to enjoy the party and not be herding bridesmaids, tracking vendors, etc. And even if I volunteered, I'd have a difficult time focusing, and probably other guests (her friends) will be chatting her up and distracting her. NOT that she would do these things on purpose or to anything. I'm sure she means to really help you. I'm just suggesting it might be very difficult.

    Are you sure your venue doesn't offer any type of DOC? Mine didnt at first, but said there would be staff there to assist. Also your photog and DJ often help act as an unoffical DOC as well - I know mine did! You may not truly need one, but, they are amazing to have, it is true.
  • HeatherKatHeatherKat the Frozen Tundra member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I had paragraphs when I wrote that, I swear. 

    We're having the ceremony at the gazebo at a county park, and they don't do ANYTHING. Even if you rent their chairs, you are in charge of set up and take down yourself. We'll probably be renting the chairs from an outside vendor, and will be paying them for the "heavy lifting". My biggest worry and the main reason I was looking into a DOC in the first place is for ceremony decorations-- someone to set up the candles and tulle along the aisle (and takedown after the ceremony), things like that. We only have the space for a total of 3 hours, otherwise I'd do it myself in the morning, but we have the space only during prime hair and makeup and picture time. 

    The reception venue doesn't have a DOC, but like @syoun1nj has staff on hand I can call on if needed. I don't mean clean up like breaking down tables and moving chairs (I got roped into that at a family wedding this past weekend and UGH), I just mean collecting things like the toasting flutes, cake knife, and assorted little things from the reception. 

    If this is still a terrible idea, let me hear it! But, what would you wise ladies suggest I do for ceremony set-up if I don't take her up on her very kind offer?
    Amor vincet omnia.... par liones.
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  • InkdancerInkdancer The Shire member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    If you primarily need help with setup and she'd be free to enjoy the rest of the wedding as a guest, I say go for it. Just make sure you have a contract to CYA.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    Inkdancer said:
    If you primarily need help with setup and she'd be free to enjoy the rest of the wedding as a guest, I say go for it. Just make sure you have a contract to CYA.
    I agree.  If she's doing this as a volunteer and it's not going to take up all her time, and as long as you have a contract and are planning to do nice things for her later by way of thanks, I think you can do this.
    pinkshorts27
  • Honestly I see nothing wrong with having your friend act as your DOC but I'd pay her cash money.  Dinner is nice (but aren't all of your non-helping guests getting dinner anyway?) and wine is nice, but I feel this girl's time is worth money.  Since DOCs in your area typically command $1500, I think a few hundred bucks would be appreciated, especially if she is a professional DOC by trade and not just someone helping for the day.
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If she offered to help, I would accept her offer to help with the set up and give her a gift card and a bottle of wine as a thank you. If she is coordinating the entire event or the majority of the event and cleaning up at the end, that would require pay. I, personally, would never ask or allow one of my friends to do that much work for my wedding. I budgeted for a coordinator.
  • This sounds like a recipe for ending a friendship. If she drops the ball on something important or something out of her control goes wrong, you're going to be upset. It puts a lot of pressure on her to be perfect and on you to be gracious and basically not be able to work with her as an employee, which is what a DOC has to be. 
    This is me reading threads on TK
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  • emmyg65emmyg65 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited May 2014
    My mom volunteered to be my DOC and it was fine. I had a clear spreadsheet of everything that had to be done with timeline and people responsible (we had other family volunteers). And then—and this is key to working with family/friends—I let my expectations go. 

    So my advice is to be explicit about what you want/need, whether that's a contract, an email, or a printed list, and then let it go. If it's really important to you to have a professional level of decoration, then yeah, you'll want to hire someone. But if you just need help and you don't really care if some decorations get forgotten in the car, you should be fine.

    And don't forget to thank her!


  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I personally would not hire a friend for something like this. Maybe a friend of a friend? but if you're set on having her do this, have a very clear contract. I'd also pay her instead of dinner and a bottle of wine. 
  • i would not do it, i would want all my guest to have a good time at my wedding. not making them work if i was at a wedding and they asked me to work at the wedding i would decline..


    can you call some doc and see what they can do for you as far as rates for only a few hours for set up.  how long do you think it will take to set up the ceremony space. if its like an hour to 2 hours find a doc who is willing to work a 3 hour job and see if you can barter with them on payment
  • I would not allow a friend to do this for my wedding. I'd hire someone to do it. However, in all hypocritical fashion: *I* would be the one volunteering to do it for some friends/family members, but I coordinate a lot of events in general and enjoy things like this. And when I do things like this, I would always refuse money, I would be offended if I was asked to sign a contract when I am volunteering for free, and I would decline any cash gift if offered, but if you bought me a gift card or gave me an envelope of cash thanks, I would accept it graciously. So if you feel comfortable accepting this, I would offer to pay her first. If you pay her, write a contract to protect her and to act as a "receipt". If she declines and you want to accept, write out very clear instructions. Take photos of how you want things set up and put them on boxes...make it fool proof and easy for her to do things and simply it as much as possible... and give her at least a $200 gift card or cash gift.
    imageimageimage

    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
    HeatherKat
  • WTF....are paragraphs just not working today? Cuz I sure can't seem to make them happen.
    imageimageimage

    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
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