Being a Wedding Planner has got to be one of the most desirable jobs there is. I can barely open daily offer emails without there being an offer on a "Wedding Planning course". If only a course could have taught me what I've learned in four and a half years! However, if you put the sparkle of the champagne bubbles and the beauty of the flowers to one side for a moment, it is in fact a very administrative and responsibility heavy job, which involves unsociable hours and long days on your feet!
Typically (and depending on the distance I have to travel) my alarm goes off around 6.15am on the days that I am coordinating a Wedding. After ensuring I have a fully packed "emergency kit", along with several print-outs of my couples Wedding File, Schedule, Table Plan and any other details I may need, I set off. When I arrive at the venue, I always make a point of visiting the Bride as early as I can. This gives me a chance to collect any last-minute details she needs me to set out, find out if she needs me to do anything and to let her completely relax for the remainder of the morning.
I then go on to set-up anything and everything that needs my attention (Place settings, favours, Guest books, Confetti bags, Orders of Service, Favors, Themed decor....etc etc) before any of the other Wedding suppliers arrive. Typically they have some questions for me and I like to give them as much support as I can - whether this means helping transport the cake up stairs or the videographer find a place to keep equipment bags and personal belongings.
Soon, the Wedding guests are arriving and the Piper has found his spot to play the pipes as they arrive. This is usually the time I make a special effort to return to the Bride so that I can understand how much left there is to do to get her ready - I also ensure there is a plentiful supply of Bubbles for the Bride so that she can have a toast with her Bridesmaids. I then return to the Ceremony venue and appease any queries the Groom, Ushers, Officiant or family may have. I always ensure there are 3 glasses of water for the Officiant and the Bride and Groom.You wouldn't thank me for croaky sounding vows!
While the couple are making their solemn declarations amongst their nearest and dearest, I am either quietly at the back of the venue, ready to open the doors (and provide an umbrella if needed!) - or back to the reception venue for some further decoration and coordination.
As the day rolls on, I spend my time ensuring that the newlyweds have a glass of something as they get their photos taken, that the guests are happy (I am always immediately obvious to them as I bare a badge with my title on it) and that the finishing touches are all in place (Candles lit, Toast drinks poured, PA system checked). If necessary I take on the role of Master of Ceremonies and invite guests to take their seats as well as introduce the speeches.
As a general rule, when everyone else has sat down to dinner, I take a quiet thirty minutes to myself somewhere within the venue and have something to eat. Following this, I prepare for the arrival of any evening guests or suppliers and help the venue staff to turnaround any spaces that need it. My work is nearly done for the day!
My final duty for the day is seeing to the Band and ensuring that they have all the things they need to keep the night running to plan. I double check they know the first dance as well as any necessary announcements that need to be made (Buffet, Fireworks, Bus departures and anything else!). Once I am convinced that everyone is happy, I then find a quiet spot with a good view for the first dance. Always my favourite part of the day! I really look forward to finding out what the first dance choice is and seeing the couple completely ease into the evenings celebrations.
A few songs later and when I've taken time to collect my emergency kit and belongings from wherever I have creatively stored them (Near enough so they are at reach, far enough so they are not seen!), I say a quiet goodbye and head home. Usually I arrive home around 11pm, make myself a cuppa and go to bed to review any pictures I may have managed to snap throughout the day!