Each week on the blog I offer wedding tips and advice and hopefully you all enjoy reading about the world of weddings. This week I thought I might do something a little different.
Wedding season is so busy at the moment I wondered if you might like to see an insight into a typical day of a wedding planner.
I thought about what might be interesting to read and what actually is a typical Wedding Genie day. For me “On The Day Coordination” won hands down. It’s the day when the culmination of every bride’s plans all come together for what is probably one of the best days of their lives. Oh it is a cliché but those of you who reflect after the day is over will agree with me I am sure, that it is one of the best days ever.
After speaking to brides over the past couple of weeks I can see how many of you are really feeling the strain in the run up to the wedding. It’s usually the two-four week mark when things get intense. Doubt creeps in that things won’t come together and you start to feel really nervous, panicky and overwhelmed. There are lots of suppliers you may not have spoken to since you booked them and they all want answers to everything! My service is all about taking that strain and stress away.
Let’s start with a day in my life on handover day. This for me is a meeting at the wedding venue with my lovely bride and groom four weeks before the wedding. I go armed with all the information I have, which is generally a list of all the suppliers and their details. Over coffee we talk through the day from start to finish. I want to know every little detail from what time they are getting up to how many bridesmaids are having hair and makeup done to how many button holes have been ordered for everyone.
I can work out the times for everything so there is no running around panicking because you don’t have time to get ready and pamper yourself. We chat about how long the guests are left before the wedding breakfast starts, no one wants guests left waiting around too long, getting bored and dare I say a little too tipsy before the wedding breakfast has started.
We chat about how you want the venue to look and feel, what should be laid out ready for the ceremony, for instance, seats reserved so that your bridesmaids have somewhere to sit when they follow you down the aisle. When the flowers are arriving I can be sure to pin all the buttonholes before the photographer gets snappy with the camera.
We talk about taking time for me to show you your beautifully decorated room before your guests take their seats. I'll need to know when the photographer is arriving and what time should you have your dress on so he/she can take pre-shots. The meeting usually takes two hours and at the end of it I have a complete picture of your wedding day. I am then officially the guardian of your wedding day vision.
After our meeting the bride and groom leave me with a sigh of relief knowing that they are in safe hands and they can get on and do their last minute preparation like dress fittings and honeymoon packing.
Over the next four weeks dates and times are scheduled in my diary to contact all your suppliers, have a chat and verify what time they turn up, what they need, and check that they are delivering what has been paid for. Two days before the wedding I send out a timeline of the day’s events for the bride to sign off. This is my blueprint of the wedding day and all the suppliers get one too. Suppliers are happy when they know what, when, where and how.
If in the next four weeks any of the suppliers need anything they contact me and I sort any last minute details and problems. I stay in contact with the bride and she knows exactly what I am doing.
The Wedding Day is a big event for me. I spend the night before refilling and checking my emergency bag with everything I can think of, from blister plasters, to stain removers, toiletries, to sewing kits, batteries even sun tan lotion and of course umbrellas! So just in case anyone needs anything, I generally have it. I have a little chat or text with the bride to assure her everything is under control and then it’s time for an early night.
On the wedding day I arrive at least three or four hours before the ceremony or wedding breakfast to make sure I am in control of the décor, check that all the place names are correct as per the table plan and check all the suppliers have what they need. Generally ensuring every little detail is as it should be and that they turn up and set up as agreed. If anything does go wrong no one will know but me and it will get fixed pronto!
For example I once had a décor company set up the night before and their work was awful, ripped chair covers, terrible flowers and a horrible looking fairy lit wall. Unknown to the bride I ripped it all down and got the managing director to come and replace the whole lot. Luckily it was the night before and I went there to check even though I was not supposed to be overseeing them. I made them come back at 6am in the morning. Thank goodness I did. The bride knew nothing and between the venue staff and myself we made the whole place look amazing.
One of my brides told me that she felt like a guest at her own wedding. All the months of planning takes time and effort and I love it when my bride knows everything will look exactly as the vision she had in her head.
This was a fab compliment, it meant that she could totally chill out and enjoy every moment knowing I was on hand for anything she needed.
Once everything is set up I eagerly await the bride and groom, greet them and their guests and get ready to help the photographer should they need it for rounding up family for photos. My eye is always on the time to check we are not running over too much - no one wants spoilt food that has stood too long or is dry and overdone. If one of the guests has a run in their tights; no problem, out comes a pack from my emergency bag. If the bride looks a little hot and bothered, no worries a quick blot from a makeup tissue prevents a shiny face for photographs.
My worst nightmare was the bride who splashed tomato soup onto her beautiful silk dress. “Hey” she said, “this will prove if you really are a Wedding Genie.” Suffice to say hey presto no stain, phew! That was a tough one though, thank goodness for baby wipes and talcum powder.
Whilst the wedding breakfast is going on I check the presents are ready for the speeches, the cake knife is by the cake, give the nod to the venue to charge the glasses for speeches and make sure everything is in place for the evening. I make sure the DJ has the all-important first dance queued and ready and a million other little things. Most of my brides like me to say goodbye to them and then I melt into the night. Not before I have checked if the wedding presents are secure and are sent to the bridal suite though.
As I sit and put my feet up with a well-earned glass of wine, I reflect on a fabulous day. There cannot be many jobs that give such satisfaction. Wedding planning is not glamorous but it is incredibly fulfilling.
So until next week, happy planning.
Written by Julie Dawson - The Wedding Genie