Your Wedding Day with a Coordinator

My job as a wedding planner is to orchestrate the day, make sure everything runs smoothly, and anticipate and handle any issues that arise. I want my couple to celebrate their special day with their friends and family and not have to worry about any of the little details. The only thing I want them (and their bridal party) to do is enjoy themselves! I have been thinking of how to explain what a wedding day with a coordinator would be like vs. one without. I thought the best way to do this would be to give an example of things that actually happened at a recent wedding and some imagined scenarios if I had not been there.Day Before I arrive at the church 30 minutes before the rehearsal starts. The doors are not open, so I find an alternate entrance through the rectory, get someone to open the doors, turn on the lights and microphones, and check that there is a music stand set up for the trumpet player. [Alternative version: Family and the bridal party arrive early, but are stuck outside in the rain as the doors are closed]

Wedding Day 9:00 Yesterday I had emailed the Bride's hotel room to the photographer, videographer, hair, makeup, and florist, so they go straight to her room. [Alt: Bride has vendors calling her the morning of the wedding to get her hotel room]

11:00 A bridesmaid did not get a chance to have a manicure, so I give her nail polish from my emergency kit. I use my emergency kit hanger to hang the bridal gown in a pretty location for the photographer. I set up the invitation, save the date, menu, today's newspaper, rings, jewelry, veil, shoes for the photographer. [Alt: gown remains hanging stuffed on a plastic hanger when the photographers arrive and they waste shooting time arranging the dress and collecting the other items for pictures]

12:00 The delivery of personal flowers is late due to road closures. I call to check how far away they are and reassure the bride (doing her makeup) that they should arrive shortly. I have already padded the time line enough, so that they will still be delivered before the bridal party needs to leave for portraits. Flowers arrive and I pin boutonnieres properly for the men. [Alt: This delays the departure of the bridal party for portraits and reduces photography time]

1:30 The band calls me with questions about the reception time line during the Bride and Groom's first look. I handle the questions after sending the Bride and Groom off with the photographer. [Alt: Band cannot get hold of the bride and leaves a voicemail on her cell with unanswered questions]

2:30 The bus calls me to tell me they had to move on from the hotel as they cannot park there for an extended period. I call the best man and tell him to let me know when they are ready to leave, so I can notify the bus. [Alt: Bridal party returns to the hotel and cannot find the bus. Someone has to call the transport company to get the cell phone of the driver. More delays.]

3:00 I bring programmes and pew bows to the church and set these up. I greet the Priest and ceremony musicians, and confirm a cue for the processional music. [Alt: The Bride's mother brings programmes to the church instead of relaxing on her daughter's wedding day]

4:15 I found a place for the bride to hide at the church and 5 minutes prior to the ceremony start I line everyone up for the processional. I have the rings and hand these to the Best Man. I cue the musicians, open the church doors and manage the processional.  I fluff the bride's gown and veil just before I send her down the aisle. [Alt: The maid of honour is running around trying to find everyone to line them up instead of staying with the Bride and keeping her calm. Ceremony starts 15 minutes late. The rings are forgotten]

6:00 I head to the venue to make sure everything is set up as the Bride wants. I find a water stain on the carpet at the reception venue and get them to clean it again. The table linen is a foot above the ground on one of the tables lining the dance floor. I get this fixed. [Alt: Mother of the Bride sees this when she arrives and is unhappy. It is too late to fix]

6:30 The Priest decides not to join for dinner, I make sure his place setting is removed and ask the Mother of the Bride to help me find a family member to give the blessing. I communicate the change to the band, so they know to introduce Uncle Bob instead. [Alt: The bride speaks to the venue, Uncle Bob and band to let them know of the change while she should be enjoying cocktail hour]

7:30 I line the bridal party up for the introduction of the bridal party 5 minutes before dinner. [Alt: The Bride is running around trying to do this instead of chatting with her family and friends]

8:30 I have the maid of honour's speech on me and hand this to her. [Alt: She has to carry it around all day with her or forgets it]

9:00 It is getting late and the little flower girl really wants some wedding cake before she goes home. I make sure she gets some cake before the cake cutting. [Alt: Flower girl goes home sad]

11.30 Throughout the day I make sure final payments and tips are distributed to the correct vendors. [Alt: The Groom is handling this at the end of the night]

12:00 I pack up personal items for the Bride and Groom - menus, escort cards, place cards, bouquet, veil, shoes, guest book, gifts, ipod, cake topper. [Alt: A member of the bridal party is doing this. After some drinking, items get forgotten]

Every wedding is different and I find it so interesting to anticipate different scenarios and handle any issues that arise. Unquestionably, the wedding day is my favourite part of event planning!