6 Secrets Your Wedding Coordinator Wants You to Know
As wedding coordinators and photographers, it is literally our job to make people’s lives (and wedding days) easier. Let’s be honest, weddings can be overwhelming, hectic and seem like you’ve landed in the Crispy Kreme parking lot on their free donut day. We’ve been to so many weddings now that we’ve seen (and fixed) a lot of common mistakes that pop up on wedding days.
There are little red flags throughout the day that are predictable and easy for us to spot. Chances are you are planning a wedding for the first time and some of these things aren’t so intuitive. Whether you hire a wedding coordinator to put out the fires for you, or dress up your maid of honor in a fireman suit and give it a try yourself, these are some helpful hints.
Hair and Makeup ALWAYS takes longer than expected
Even if you are getting your hair and makeup done applied professionally, this still applies! It never fails that hair and makeup goes longer than expected, especially when there are more than just the bride getting ready. So instead of planning to be ready at exactly the time your photos start, air for twenty to thirty minutes before that. I tend to blame it on all the bathroom breaks we take… but that might just be me. #peasizedbladder
Don't Starve... Anyone
Wedding days can feel really hectic and crazy, and somehow we always forget to eat. I know what you’re thinking, “Kelsey, I am the biggest fan of stuffing as much as I can in my face. How could I possibly forget that?” Girl. It happens. Feed your people. This goes for you and your groom, the wedding party, the vendors… everyone but the guests (they’re obviously already covered). Have a plan in place ahead of time so that the whole wedding party gets fed while they’re getting ready – this will keep WWIII from happening when your girlfriends get HANGRY.
Also, your vendors need to eat. They love you and they’re there for you. Buuut… without food they tend to forget how much they love you, if you catch my drift. And while at some smaller weddings it can be nice to sit with guests, contrary to popular belief, vendors almost always prefer to sneak away for a quiet spot to shovel food into our mouths to recharge.
Please, please, please make sure there is enough food and enough time for everyone (including yourself) to eat!
Wind and Escort Cards Do Not Mix
Let’s face it. We all love the escort cards! They add flair and something personal to our wedding table. Buuuut if you’re having an outdoor reception, avoid the simple trifold card. Why? Just imagine a bunch of tiny pieces of paper with peoples names on them… flying around the yard. Think: glass etched with the name, mirror, chalkboard, wood blocks… basically anything but tiny cards for an outdoor space.
And while we’re at it – alphabetize those suckers in advance. There is nothing worse than scrambling to put two hundred items in alphabetical order just thirty minutes before guests start arriving!
This is the task that will be completely off your plate if you work with most coordinators and planners, but about a week or two before the wedding, you should confirm with all of your vendors and key players. Send out an email, your timeline, your final guest count, and your wedding day contact list to everyone involved. A lot of your vendors will probably ask for this, so it’s best to beat them to the punch.
Put Your Phone Away… All Day
It’s you and your groom’s special day, and you’ll be surrounded by loved ones soooo be present. Enjoy. Soak it up. Put your phone away for the whole thing. Worried that vendors or guests will call you for important information? Pass it off to a friend or family member to manage (psst! That’s also what wedding coordinators are for!). Kick your phone habit for a day and stay present with your guests and partner. Your email and instagram notifications will all be there tomorrow! (I promise.) Not to mention – where exactly in your dress are you planning to stash that thing?!
Something Will Go Wrong
This isn’t us being Negative Nancy’s – this is the truth. No matter the amount of planning and effort you put into scheduling, assigning, and delegating – something will be forgotten, lost, or messed up on wedding day. It’s best to know in advance.
That way, at 9am on wedding morning when you can’t find your shoes and your sister has to drive forty minutes back to the house for them, you can just agree with everyone and the universe that that was the bit moment. And after that, it’ll be smooth sailing. Just breathe. In the end, you are marrying your best friend!