I recently went to a networking event, and the topic for the morning was “what is the misconception of your business?”
Quite simply, in the Wedding Industry, brides to be, believe that its a waste of money and they could use that money elsewhere, for example on flowers or their decor, but if they aren’t knowledgeable in flowers or decor and they don’t get what they actually envisioned, isn’t that a waste of money too? And then regret fills their hearts after their wedding because they didn’t have their perfect day, the ideas and dreams that they once had weren’t there.
A wedding planner is one of the most valuable wedding planning tools a bridal couple can invest in, it truly is, and we do more work behind the scenes that no one even knows about. Like with any job, we also pour our blood, sweat and tears into it…but nobody knows.
We’re just as involved in the wedding as a photographer is. A photographer will prep his/her gear for the day, have masses of equipment, sometimes hanging all over them, straining their backs and necks and will be on their feet not only from when they get to the venue but from the moment they wake up on that day. They then spend 6 – 12 weeks meticulously editing the photos they’ve taken, sitting for hours on end working on the pictures, days disappear, weekends disappear.
A wedding planner works in the reverse cycle. We will spend 3 weeks up to a year, sometimes 2 years meticulously working on a wedding, contacting suppliers, visiting suppliers, meeting suppliers, arranging mock set ups, drawing up floor plans, drawing up budgets, designing tables, flower arrangements, aisle configurations, emergency plans, back up plans, suppliers, site inspections, the list goes on and on. On the day of the wedding we are also on our feet, from the moment we wake up right until the end, sometimes 18 hours. Our bodies ache too, our feet get sore, and we mostly run on a lot of red bull and some other junk thrown in there too!
Because we’re behind the scenes, no one knows what we do, and therefore they think it’s not worth hiring us. No one sees us with the brides mother in the bathroom cleaning her dress with a napkin and soap because the confetti bubbles left marks. No one sees us telling the venue staff that they have set up the venue completely wrong even though they have the floor plan in hand, and having to rearrange everything all over again which adds to another hour of set up time. No one sees that the DJ hasn’t arrived and is 4 hours late and nothings been set up and us calling a million times to see where he/she is. No one sees that the venue wine fridge is broken and we have to rush out to buy ice and store the wine in buckets so that it’s at the suitable temperature for the guests. No one sees that the flowers arranged by another supplier arrived half dead and we have to rush out to the nearest flowers seller on the side of the road to buy new flowers to save the day!
So many unknown factors! An On The Day Coordinator, you ask, why should I get one of those, all they’ll do is just walk around and look at the tables, perhaps have a chat with the staff, check facebook for a while, take a selfie or two…Not True! We work, we run, we assist set up, we fix flowers, we brief staff, we clear plates and glasses if we feel there is a need for that and it’s been neglected, we hand out confetti, we make sure the other suppliers have food in their stomachs and have a place to sit for 5 minutes, we check the bathrooms and sometimes clean them ourselves, and about a million other things. We’re here, there and everywhere, all the time, there’s always something to do. We’ll clean glasses and cutlery, iron table cloths, align chairs so that they are symmetrical for the photographer. A million things, it’s real!
We hide behind pillars and bushes sometimes to give the DJ the thumbs up to start the aisle song, you don’t want one of the bridesmaids doing that, do you? We collect the gifts and put them in a safe place, who else is going to watch them for you during the night when everyone is having a great time and out on the dance floor? It’s the little things, and we keep you sane.
Not to be confused with a venue coordinator. Some work Monday to Friday, and then hand over your wedding to a duty manager who will run the event, who wasn’t there in any of your meetings with the coordinator, and basically just runs whats on the function sheet in front of them. We’re completely different, we’re so much more involved, don’t get me wrong, they still do a great job, but remember we’re with you from the very start, calming you down, taking your calls or replying to your messages at 23:00.
If you want peace of mind, hire a planner/hire an on the day coordinator, you’ll thank me afterwards, I promise.