The 7 Things a “Month” of Wedding Planner Does For You No One Else Does
You’ve hired an amazing vendor team (probably a DJ, photographer, caterer, florist) and you think “they totally got this I have nothing to worry about”.
Well, Maybe Not?
The venue, caterer, DJ, and photographer are rather like players on a baseball team, they are all an important part of the team but they need a “coach” to manage them during the game. Let me explain this rather unique analogy, I love baseball, so I am always happy to make a baseball reference. In this case, all the vendors that you have hired the caterer, venue, photographer, and DJ all have a certain job that you hired them to do. From taking your amazing photos to ensuring your food stations are perfectly set up. They don’t have the time to exclusively focus on YOU to make sure that everyone on the team is doing their job. That’s where a Month of Planner comes in, most people call it a Day of Coordinator, but they do so much more than just show up on the wedding day.
What is a Month of Wedding Planner?
A month of planner is like a magic fairy I prefer to think of myself as Tinkerbelle just taller (I also Love Disney). Planners take the responsibility off your shoulders for the day of your wedding so that you can enjoy getting ready, getting married and are not worried about the details. They are the links between the venue and vendors so you are not answering all the questions, such as where does the DJ set up. Planners are the problem solvers when things go wrong and often see the issues coming and fix them before they occur. The reason I dislike the term “Day of” is because the Month of Planner does start working with you a month before your wedding date therefore Month of Planner really is a better title. They take over all the vendor communication, so they are the main contact point and you are not. This way you are no longer fielding calls, emails from the venue, caterer, DJ, etc., they are, and you are only taking their calls.
Month of Planners are very often overlooked by couples because it is an investment and there does not seem to be a tangible product and you’d rather spend that money on another hour with the DJ or Premium Liquor at your bar. This can lead couples to discovering that their vendors do not give you undivided attention throughout your entire wedding day. Therefore even if you do have an amazing team of vendors hiring a Month of (Day of) Wedding Planner is an investment into peace of mind and less worry for you on your wedding day. Here are 7 things a Month of Wedding Planner does for you that none of your other vendors will.
Arrive at your Getting Ready Location with the “Magic” Box (Everything You Could Ever Need)
While your vendors are setting up your planner will check in with you and your future spouse to help with anything you might need which might include:
Ensuring that your Hair and Makeup run on time (I generally work with the Hair & Makeup team to check their schedule and add it to the master timeline)
Making sure the entire bridal party is accounted for. I’ve never lost anyone yet, but we have had to track a few people down.
They should have what I call the “magic” box other planners call it the emergency kit but I think magic is a more fun! It has everything, my kit has bobby pins, safety pins, scissors, a sewing kit (yep I have actually sewed a bridesmaid into a dress when a zipper broke), dry shampoo, deodorant, earring backs, nail polish, nail files, nail polish remover, tissues, makeup remover, eyelash glue (can be used for more than lashes just saying), mints, and so much more. It’ really is a Magic Box, I call it my Mary Poppins box.
Assists with wardrobe: Dresses, tying ties (hint most men these days don’t know how to tie a tie properly), sewing buttons, or someone into a dress, fixing small stains (I’ve run into a few scary rental tuxes in my day).
Ensuring bouquets are good and do not have moisture, making sure you have a flower girl basket (Magic Box), Pinning Boutonnieres on
At ceremony time fluffing your train and veil to ensure it looks fantastic for your photos, bustles your train for the dance, helping you sit down, helping you remove your veil if needed, help provide a tutorial for when you need to go to the bathroom (wedding dresses can be a little form fitting), helping with the placement of your bouquet if it is not being used as a sweetheart table décor piece
A great deal happens when you are getting ready and it can be challenging if it is in another location from your venue. While your vendors are setting up your ceremony and reception it is vital to have someone there that is supporting you with all the little things.
2. Manages Your rehearsal the day before the wedding
The day before the wedding, your month of planner will run your ceremony rehearsal along with your officiant to make sure everyone knows what they are doing. Where they stand, when and where they walk, where they stand at the alter, when to hand rings, bouquets, etc. This is very important especially if you have smaller children in your wedding party.
The rehearsal will all take place before any of your vendors will be on the venue premise except of course your officiant (but sometimes they are not available either). The rehearsal is crucial for ensuring that the ceremony runs smoothly. Plus, it’s a fantastic excuse to eat after because there should always be food the rehearsal “dinner’. (That’s another blog, LOL)
3. Ensures that your ceremony runs smoothly
The wedding ceremony is the legal part or it typically is; there are cues to hit, many people to wrangle, speakers and poems to be read, music, without an organizer or “coach” (baseball again) to organize it all your ceremony can become a little chaotic. The last thing you want is the wrong song playing or the bridesmaid paired with the wrong groomsmen for height symmetry.
You want to make sure that the ceremony runs smoothly and is legal (that’s the point right?) a Month of Planner will ensure that everything runs smoothly, which can include:
Confirming that you have the marriage license (yep many forget) and making sure that it gets to the officiant
Confirming the witnesses to sign the certificate and connecting them to the officiant
Making sure that the rings are in the right place and with the right person (ring bearers are adorable but I do suggest that the real ones not go on the pillow (I have “fake” rings if needed “Magic Box”)
Working with the DJ to que music once the wedding party is in place to walk
Giving Mom or Dad or Grandma extra tissues
Having an extra copy of the officiant’s ceremony, the poems to be read
Making sure that the entire wedding party walks down the aisle correctly and at the right moment
Even a 15- minute ceremony has a lot of moving parts to coordinate. While your other vendors are finishing setting up or coordinating music or taking pictures your planner will be making sure that all the pieces of your ceremony will fall into place for a memorable wedding.
4. Creates and Manages the Timeline for your Day
A professional timeline is rather like the blueprint or the “coaches” playbook for the team in this case the vendors for your wedding day. The timeline created by your planner will have all of the times for your vendors in one place, it helps you as a couple and all of the vendors know what is happening on the day.
Timelines or mine start with your breakfast to hair & make-up, getting ready, vendor arrival times, ceremony ques including music, reception entrance order (dinner service time, speeches, first dance, cake cutting), and the end of the evening clean up.
The timeline is my master playbook for the wedding day. I live and breathe by it and so does my staff, vendors I work with consistently know to wait for my timeline for everything.
Having one master timeline helps to eliminate confusion and answer all the vendors questions in one place.
5. Sets Up All Your Sentimental Items
When the Month of Planner is the “coach” of your team there is nothing to worry about when it comes to the precious little details. For instance, the other vendors are setting the tables ensuring the floral centerpieces are perfect, your month of planner is making sure the special touches are taken care of. This may include the memorial photo table, a floral arrangement is set up on the honor chair for a member of the family with us in spirit.
6. Is the Main Point of Contact for All Your Vendors
It is critical to have one main contact person from start to finish who will execute your vision. While you are being pampered in the morning getting ready for your big day a member of the planner’s team should be ensuring that your ceremony and reception set-up is going exactly as planned. Once they are on-site they are the point person answering any questions for your vendors that day, so that you do not have to answer anything. Having one main point of contact that is not you ensures that you can relax and enjoy your day. They know all the little details such as:
Answering all the vendors questions about the timeline and set up, its inevitable that they will have them to double check everything.
Making sure that the catering team provides the vendor meals as contracted
Making sure the DJ knows how to pronounce all the bridal party names correctly
Ensuring that Cousin Carrie’s shellfish allergy is properly taken care of with the catering team
They distribute the final gratuities to all the vendors if you prefer to not do it yourself
Ensure that the photographer has gotten all the photos from your shot list because of course they have a copy of it as well
Always has a spare copy of the Best mans and maid of honors speech (Just In Case) you’d be surprised how many get left in changing rooms or just misplaced
Makes sure that transportation for your departure is ready to go, even the best drivers need to be confirmed for time management
Even if you have the most fantastic vendor team there will be questions on exactly how things need to be done. A Month of Planner is your in between to answer all these questions so that your stress is minimized and you get to enjoy your day.
7. Creates a Contingency Plan and Problems Solve on the Fly
Let’s face it things happen; something is bound to go wrong. Month of Wedding Planners are like problem solving magic fairies (I personally channel Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother). When the unpredictable happens, we snap into action like magic POOF! For example, I’ve had to:
Drive with the Groom to the local department store two hours before the wedding because he received the wrong tuxedo. We picked out a perfect black suit in under 20 minutes. Not a Tux but we Made it work.
When a couples expected 90 feet of garland with Eucalyptus and Yellow Roses arrived not assembled for their giant family wedding table, I had 15 minutes to create the garland. My assistant and I got it done, it was fantastic If I do say so myself.
Sent a delivery driver back to the warehouse when he brought me twenty-five 60’ round tables instead of the twenty-five 72’ round tables that were ordered and needed.
In most of these situations, the couple didn’t know anything happened because as the planner we can fix things on the fly. (Of course, the Groom knew about his Tux, the Bride didn’t until well into the reception)
Let’s go a little deeper, a Month of Planner can identify potential issues before they happen. They will ensure that there are backup plans in place in case of rain or other emergencies. I always make sure that we have a backup rain plan that will still make the couple happy.
Finally, I think the most important thing is your Month of Planner will be your sounding board, emotional support, and peace of mind from the moment your eyes open on your wedding day till your head hits the pillow!
Hopefully, I have let you know that there are things a Month of Wedding Planner will do for you that no other vendor will. I will say that your month of planner will be the best wedding investment that you can make for your wedding day, it’s your peace of mind. Yes, you have an amazing vendor team, but the team needs a coach and that needs to be your Month of Planner.