Okay planning couples, let's have a serious chat about "day-of" wedding coordination and why it can't ever be "just the wedding day." Don't get me wrong, the presence of a good professional coordinator, on the actual day, is included and is utterly priceless. However, every couple and every wedding is completely different! It takes time for said coordinator to truly understand your expectations and seamlessly execute YOUR vision and plans, with YOUR vendor team.
You've, no doubt, spent several months, and in some cases 1 year+, planning your big celebration. The main reason (or hopefully) for hiring a coordinator for your wedding day is so that you can enjoy the beginning of your marriage with those closest to you! Would you honestly trust someone who has NO idea what you've put in place, to execute your vision to perfection, while you sit back and sip champagne? Without first communicating with you about every aspect of the day? I'm willing to bet the answer is, "NO." In order to do that you have to establish a rapport and have a trusting relationship with a procured professional. THAT TAKES TIME! Even professionals who offer their services as hourly labor need to have some sort of pre-communication and "big picture" idea to work with.
In addition to communicating with everyone involved, beforehand, it's important for your coordinator to be included at the venue's final walk through (typically 30-45 days prior to your wedding day). Not only to fully understand how you expect the room to be set, but to clearly communicate that expectation to your vendors, well in advance of showtime. It is also at this point, that any changes to a standing rental order (i.e. tables, linens, chairs, centerpieces, etc...) are recognized, allowing plenty of time for those changes to take effect.
A professional coordinator needs to be fully informed, in advance, of any and all important times (i.e. ceremony start, reception start, venue access, etc...). You may have developed an extremely detailed timeline and shared it with vendors, friends, & family. Can you imagine if you didn't discuss any of that with your coordinator before the actual wedding day? He/she probably wouldn't arrive at the right time and/or be able to know if any of your vendors arrived at the right time. And, as detailed as your timeline may be, chances are, there are some "little" items missing that need to be vetted for your vendors to execute their individual responsibilities. For instance, what time should everyone line up for the ceremony? Who is cuing the musicians for song changes during the processional? Who is performing the welcome/blessing upon your introduction into the reception? When are you doing your first dance? Is it before or after you cut the cake? When is the band eating and taking a break? And on and on and on...
While I could talk, for literally hours, about why a "day-of" coordinator's responsibility really encompasses the month (or more!) before the wedding, I think you get the picture. As a side note to all of the above, I also highly recommend that you don't sacrifice the thousands of dollars you've spent thus far by skimping on the wedding day management of those dollars.
In an attempt to change the stigma and misconceptions of this commonly known service, when you contact Pink Champagne Events, you'll receive information about our "Wedding Day Planning + Coordination" services. I trust, based on several conversations with colleagues, that my fellow planners have already or will soon, change their service wording.
For more helpful hints to seamlessly communicate and transition your plans to your wedding day coordinator, check out this post.
Until next time,
Firstly, THANK YOU to everyone who voted for Sara + Brian's image in the RMB Cover Contest! I'm thrilled to announce that THEY WON!!! You'll see this gorgeous couple grace the cover of Rocky Mountain Bride Magazine's 2014 Summer issue! Secondly, I wanted to share some insight behind the photo. Sara + Brian had a fabulously detailed and stylish, late-August wedding in Estes Park. After the ceremony commenced, guests headed up to the pavilion for cocktails and nibbles, while Caroline (Pippin's Pictures), Sara, and Brian trekked off for the newlyweds' photo session. Immediately following that session, the couple was introduced into their reception, had dinner, and started celebrating with everyone who had joined them. Fast forward about an hour...behind-the-scenes, Caroline and myself, were commenting on how gorgeous the light was and what a glorious sunset we were about to witness. We also chatted about the difficult decision to pull our very happy and celebratory couple away from their festivities for MORE pictures in the sun-kissed light! I am SO SO SO happy we made the decision to do that, because the winning picture was from that 2nd newlyweds' session!! And...I'm sure Sara + Brian as just as thrilled that they took Caroline up on her offer for the fabulous re-do of their bride + groom portraits! Congratulations again to the happy couple and "Cheers" to Caroline for capturing such a lovely image and the cover of RMB!
Aspen grove, antlers, and magnificent watercolor. Those are the 3 things that come to mind when I think about Meredith + Greg's lovely Beaver Creek wedding. Their very intimate ceremony took place in the aspen grove outside the back doors of the stunning SaddleRidge Restaurant and was officiated by Meredith's father, Harvey. Following the ceremony + cocktail hour, guests moved into the dining area where each table was adorned by various shaped centerpieces with different types of flowers, herbs + plants, and antlers! Having a traditional Colorado wedding allowed Meredith to incorporate her LOVE of antlers into her decor. Throughout the entire day, watercolor was an ever present detail in every aspect. From their save-the-dates and invitations, to the ceremony programs and escort cards, rounded out by the table numbers and burlap runners, Meredith completely outdid herself! And, it all played beautifully together. Thank you again for allowing me to be a part of your special day!
Venue: Saddle Ridge
Photographer: Laura Murray
Florist: Bare Root Flora
Catering: Saddle Ridge Restaurant
Hair: Brandice Boss
Makeup: Cassandra Garza with Pink Lashes MUA
Linens: Hand colored burlap by the bride
Baker: Batter Cupcakes
Stationery: Hand colored by the bride
Ceremony Guitarist: Friend of the couple
DJ: A Music Plus
Officiant: Harvey Martz (Father of the Bride)
Transportation: Beaver Creek Village Transportation
Katie + Tom were SO. MUCH. FUN. to work with! They both have jobs that keep them extremely busy and so naturally, in their limited downtime, they like to have as much fun as possible. I literally walked away from every meeting with a sore stomach from laughing so hard. I don't know how their photographer, Joni Schrantz, was able to keep her focus with these two and capture the amazing pictures she did!! Although it was a very classy wedding and reception in Vail, they met every decision with a casual, carefree, "it's one day" kind of attitude! My kind of couple! :)
Ceremony Venue: Beaver Creek Chapel
Reception Venue: The Arrabelle at Vail Square
Photographer: Joni Schrantz
Hair: Brandice Larsen
Makeup: Cassandra Garza with Pink Lashes MUA
Catering: Arrabelle Hotel
Baker: Pastry Chef at Arrabelle Hotel
Florist: Petal & Bean
Linens: Chair Covers & Linens
Transportation: Vail Coach
Officiant: Pastor Mark Huggenvik (with BC Chapel)
Ceremony Guitarist: Steve Shurack
DJ: Rockin' Roger
As a planner, I get asked by almost every single bride what she should do with her left over flowers. Sometimes brides are sentimentally attached to their bouquets and want to keep them. Other times, they can't give them away fast enough. Sometimes centerpieces make a great gift/favor for someone special like grandma or an aunt or uncle. But, if they don't live nearby, flowers are not the best travel companions (not to mention the hay day security would have with said relative at the airport). So what's a bride to do with her leftover flowers? Donate them!
I've worked with several out of state and destination brides who have no way of caring for the beautiful flowers that their 'maids carried or the centerpieces that adorned guest tables at the reception. I know it's hard (especially to myself and the caterer, who end up doing the dirty work at the end of the night) to throw away all of those beauties and (let's be honest, the money spent on them). As a "not so common" tidbit of knowledge...hospitals, cancer centers, nursing homes, assisted living centers, recreation centers, and tons more locations will happily accept wedding leftovers! The best thing about that you ask? As Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it, "Flowers. . . are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities of the world."
So, if you are a planning bride (in state or out of state), keep in mind that at the end of the night when the music has stopped, all of your guests have gone home, and your special day is coming to an end, you can extend that "good feeling" and the price you paid for those blooms to someone who will appreciate it more than you know. If you need recommendations for donation centers, ask your planner, caterer or florist!
Until next time, Cheers!