Friday, 20 November 2009

Preparation, preparation, preparation...

Today's post is written by a special friend of mine Charlotte Lynch, a one time wedding co-ordinator for various venues in Northamptonshire, she is here today to share her thoughts on 'how to use the expertise of your wedding co-ordinator'... Thanks Charlotte! x

I share Tracey’s passion for weddings … the creativity, imagination, inspiration, love and laughter blended together to create the most wonderful day to be remembered for the rest of your life. So when Tracey asked me to write a short piece for Twenty Seven Years Later about my experiences as a wedding co-ordinator, I jumped at the chance! I spent a number of years working in this field at various venues and thoroughly enjoyed it. I thrived on helping to make each couples’ wedding day as personal, memorable, enjoyable and stress free as possible … it was certainly challenging at times (!) but very rewarding.

Most wedding venues have an in-house wedding co-ordinator (often included in the price of the venue) to help guide you through the preparations as well as being a friendly face on the big day. The co-ordinator is there to help alleviate the stress running up to the wedding and on the day itself as a stressed bride is never a good look! Although they are often restricted by venue rules and regulations, they should be able to offer some degree of flexibility so you can have a bespoke and personalised wedding. Make time to sit down with your co-ordinator in the early stages and discuss your initial ideas as they may be able to offer insight through their experience of past wedding themes or entertainments, etc which have worked well at the particular venue or which they thought were unique or quirky ideas. It is good to bounce ideas off each other to help come to a wedding day plan that works for you and the venue.

You can make use of the venue’s wedding co-ordinator as much or as little as you want, whether it’s just to recommend a good photographer/florist or to assist with every aspect of the day … it’s entirely your call! Your co-ordinator will always make the time to see you and answer any questions you have at any point during the preparations. Do not feel afraid to ask questions … as the bride, it is certainly your prerogative! Any questions that pop into your head … no matter how small or silly you think they are, just jot them down and call/email your co-ordinator or ask at your next meeting. I was often confronted with a big long list of questions trailing to the floor!! Just remember this is “your” day.

A good wedding co-ordinator will schedule a number of meetings at the venue with you … to discuss menu/wine options (they should offer a menu and wine tasting before you decide!), guest numbers, timings and other basic details of the day, along with a “final details” meeting closer to the big date where you will run through all the intricate details of the day from start to finish … make sure you allow a good couple of hours for this!! Following this meeting, your co-ordinator will put together a running order of the day or “function sheet” which will be distributed to all parties involved, i.e. the chef, function manager, housekeeping. It is definitely worth asking for a copy of this so you can be clear in your mind exactly how the day will run.

If you do not have access to a wedding co-ordinator service, I would suggest devising your own running order of the day. Start by breaking down your day into different sections, i.e. night before, church service/civil ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast, evening function, day after and include everything you can think of … right down to the nitty gritty! Include all timings, even note times such as cake delivery, photographer’s arrival, set up of the band, etc and exact number of guests for each part of the day. Then under each section, I would include every little detail … no matter how small, i.e. who will be greeting guests, what music will be played at the ceremony, who is responsible for taking the flowers from the ceremony to the venue, which drinks will be served at the reception, the full menu details, order of the speeches, etc. Seeing your wedding plan in “black and white” will help you gain a clearer picture of the day and help to arrange and compose your thoughts. It is also a very good tool to assist you in keeping track of unfinished tasks.

I hope this goes a little way to help you gain the most from your wedding co-ordinator service and in turn, helps you organise your dream wedding. Just remember to enjoy and cherish every second of the preparations and time leading up to your wedding and I wish you a beautiful and breathtaking day.

Charlotte Xx

No comments:

Post a Comment