Happy Sunday ya’ll! I recently had a meeting with a mom and a bride to discuss our wedding packages and learn more about how we could help them. By the end of the meeting, the mom was floored by the things I said we would handle on the day of and I was hired on the spot. Now, if every meeting went this easy, I wouldn’t be writing this post!
I have found that many people have no clue what wedding planners do leading up to the big day or on the day of. I’ve heard many couples say: “We have a few family members who will be setting up our wedding reception and a friend of mine is helping me plan my wedding….she recently got married so she knows what she is doing!” The one I hear most often is: “We have a venue coordinator, so were all set.” Now before I go on I must say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those things I just mentioned. However, a wedding planner goes beyond all of these things I just mentioned.
So what do you get from a wedding planner in a basic day of/month-out coordination that you won’t get from those who I just mentioned? Get your notepads out!
1. You don’t have to think about what is next or organize anything! Our job on the day of is to not only keep the couple and their families on schedule and organized, but we also are keeping the vendors up to date on what’s next and who will be involved.
So here is a scenario:
Your bridal party introductions lead into your first dance, followed by your parent dances. You have a team of 2 photographers, 2 videographers, 15-20 people in the bridal party, a band of 6-8 or a DJ in addition to parents of the bride and groom, and all of them need to know what to do next before these BIG reception to-do’s can be done. The bridal party has to be lined up in order, based on the band or DJ’s list. The band/DJ needs to be cued as well as the bridal party. The photographers and videographers need to know where everyone is coming in and what is happening next. Overwhelmed yet?
This is where we come in! We will communicate to all vendors the order of what is happening, where they need to be to get the best photos and video. We quickly will line up the bridal party in the order they need to be and let each of them know where they will be sitting based on the room diagram. We will find out what the bride and groom are drinking and whatever it may be will be on their table ready to go when they sit down. The transition from each event will be smooth and no questions will be asked. This all happens in a matter of 5 minutes tops!
2. At the end of the evening we stay to break down all items and nicely pack away all of your decor and gifts. There is so much that goes into your wedding day. Just about every wedding includes: centerpieces, table numbers, place cards/seating chart, a cake, food and beverage, tablecloths, napkins, chairs, tables, candles, favors and any other additional decor you may have. At the end of the evening, the florist will come to pick up the centerpieces and the venue will assist with the tables and chairs, but what happens to everything else? Someone has to move all of these items and clean up. This is when a wedding planner will be your saving grace! We break everything down and the best part is we will nicely pack away all your gifts and personal decor items in a car or in a space where you can pick up the next day. Believe us, this is as nice as it sounds!
3. We hold babies and entertain them too! Okay, disclaimer here: This is not something every wedding planning team will do. And, let me also say, we are not a babysitting team! However, just about every wedding we do involves a flower girl and a ring bearer, even if no children are allowed as guests. When we have down time and can help out, we LOVE to play with the kiddos! There have been many times where one of our team members assists during the photos following the ceremony or plays with the kids during the reception so their mommy and daddy have a little down time!
4. We are assistants to your photographers! Remember earlier how I said we organize your vendors. A part of the reception that many don’t think about is the photo list following the ceremony. Those dreaded family photos take A LOT of organization. Before every wedding, our team dissects the photography list and does something called the addition effect (I totally made this up and it’s not as complex of a method as it sounds)! I always ask for family members to be around following the ceremony. We position the bride and groom and will add family members needed for each shot.
You want a family photo that includes the bride and groom, brother of the groom, sister of the groom, parents of the groom. But you also want a family photo of the bride and groom with the parents of the groom only and then with the siblings of the groom only. This is where the addition effect takes place. We would place the bride and groom and the parents of the groom and have the photographer take a photo. The parents would stay and we would add the sibling and the photographer takes the photo. Then the parents would step out to get the final photo. Doing it this way keeps everything done quickly and smoothly. Ya’ll this is an art and I promise, your photographers will LOVE you for having a planner to help them with this!
The list goes on and on of what we do as wedding planners. I encourage each couple to at least consider talking with a planner to learn how your day can be smooth and easy. Most think planners cost $5,000 – $10,000. This is another misconception. Everything I just said starts at $1500 for most planners and goes up to $2500 locally. It’s worth it, I promise you!
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