8 Ways to Be the Bride of Wedding Planner's Dreams!

1. Make a list of everything!

On that list, separate the personal items, that you're handing over to me, based on where you envision them being placed (i.e. ceremony, photo booth, guest tables, cocktail hour, etc...) If you have pictures showing this, it's even better! Also, make sure that I'm aware of what needs to go with you at the end of the night. Showing me which bag(s), shoes, and purse are yours, allows me to load items into the limo, while you're spending those last, oh-so-precious moments with family and friends.

2. Be prepared to hand over all vendor contracts.

As a coordinator/planner/designer/stylist, I know how much you're paying for your wedding. I don't want your contracts for that purpose.  I'm going to comb through them and make sure I'm aware of any special circumstances with vendors (i.e. a DJ needing a 4ft. table vs. the standard 6ft. or a photographer who requests that vendors refrain from social media postings until his/her photos have been released). All of which should be spelled out in your agreement with the hired professional.

3. Please, please tell me (and your photographer) about your family dynamics!

As minor as an issue may seem, emotions are running high on the wedding day and may make even the smallest of issues turn explosive. Especially, when alcohol is involved. Generally family members and guests are well behaved and respectful, but chaos has been known to break out. I'm here to help you mitigate situations and ensure that everyone has a great and stress-free time. But - you've got to warn me about crazy Aunt Mae, or touchy-feely Uncle Rob!

4. Have special tasks assigned to family members/friends/bridesmaids?

If you have a good friend bringing a special "something blue" to you on the wedding day, I need to know that.  Not because "I'm in control," but because I don't want to upset that friend by directing her to the ceremony, instead of your getting ready area. If I know to anticipate her arrival, I can greet with her a smile and say, "I've been expecting you!" I can't tell you the number of times something similar to this has happened, when I wasn't made aware, and a family member or guest was upset about it.

5. Wedding Party order and names.

In prepping for the rehearsal, I will request the order in which the wedding party will process. It's no secret that someone has to be the "first" to walk and the "farthest" away. By telling me the names of each of your wedding party members and the order in which they're walking, it allows me to make the rehearsal more personal and super efficient. The same goes for family members that are involved - first and last names are crucial!

6. Know and share your table counts, if you have assigned seating (which I HIGHLY recommend and prefer).

Knowing the accurate number of guests seated at each table makes setup on the wedding day, for both myself and your catering staff, a breeze. Going a step further, if you are providing a plated dinner, complete with entree selections, provide the breakdown of entree counts for each table.  For example: Table #8 has (9) guests - (3) chicken, (3) beef, (2) fish and, (1) vegetarian. Trust me, your pre-planning strategies will be greatly appreciated on behalf of your entire vendor team!

7. Alphabetize those escort cards.

You've decided that it's a great idea to assign guests to tables - THANK YOU! When the reception doors open and guests enter for the first time, the last thing you want them to do is stand in a line to find what table you've placed them at. Make it easy on them and alphabetize the cards by last name.  You can also save me, your day-of planner, a huge headache on the wedding day, if you do this ahead of time!

8. End-of-the-night-madness management.

I know it's hard to think ahead to the end of your magical day.  But, believe me, you will be SO SO happy that you did. You know all those gifts, extra favors + escort cards, personal toasting flutes, cake knife and server, guest book, photo booth props + USB drive, left-over food + cake + alcohol, flowers, etc...? Yeah...those all need to go somewhere at the end of the night. And, as much as I'd love to help, my insurance company doesn't allow me to "hold on" to those items. My recommendation? Assign 3-4 people that you can rely on at the end of the night (that have not been drinking) to take any/all personal items. Your vendor team will help clean, pack up, and load items, we just need to know who's taking them.

The very minor details above can make a HUGE difference during the setup and tear down of your big day. By being prepared and allowing me to be fully informed, you've opened up my capabilities as your planner. You have also prepared me to handle any additional, unforeseen occurrences that may arise (i.e. weather + traffic delays, lost vendors, setup snafus, etc...).

Until next time,



Why "Day-Of" Wedding Coordination Is Anything But

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.

Dawn Sparks Photography

Dawn Sparks Photography

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,