Apparently, I’m a doula and a wedding coordinator…

This past weekend, I served as wedding coordinator for my sister-in-law’s wedding.  It was my first time performing this role, but it went well! Almost flawless, in fact.  I realized there are many similarities between being a wedding coordinator and being a doula:
As a wedding coordinator, I was the gatekeeper.  It was my job to make sure that the bride was left to enjoy her day.  If there are any questions or problems, I handled them or waited for an appropriate time to ask the Bride, Maid of Honor, or Mother of the Bride.  It’s the same for a doula! It’s your job to to make sure mom is bothered as little as possible.  There are many questions that dad can answer that mom doesn’t need to be disturbed with.  Also, if there is an important question for mom, a doula can make sure that the question is asked in between contractions.
As a wedding coordinator, it was my job to clearly understand the wants and desires of the bride and groom.  I was available for months beforehand to answer questions, and provide example invitations and wedding programs for them to start from.  As a doula, you are a source of information for your clients.  It is your job to provide information and referrals to help your clients have the birth experience that they want! It is also your job to find out what their preferences are, so that you may provide the support that they want for this exciting time.
As a wedding coordinator, I had to realize that plans change.  The schedule we had decided on went awry when the bride felt queasy during what was supposed to be pictures with her bridesmaids.  She even threw up right before she went down the aisle! (No she wasn’t in transition!)  During this time, I knew that she needed her space!  I wanted to be there right next to her, but all she needed was her soon-to-be husband to calm her down.  The wedding started right on time, they took more pictures right before the reception, and they wedding As a doula, I know that birth plans will change! A mom in labor may want to be massaged one minute and may want to not be touched the next minute.  She may want her labor support surrounding her at one time, and then may want only her primary birth partner there the next moment.  A doula should always be sensitive to the needs of her laboring mother, and change her method of support accordingly.
Looking back, the Bride and Groom had a beautiful wedding day. I was so grateful to be a part of it.  I even cried (once).  I look forward to working with doula clients and being a part of their beautiful birthing experiences.  I’m sure I’ll cry at every single birth!

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