Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
Whenever I meet people for the first time this comes up. You might not realise it but there are several names for what I do, the usual ones that people recognise are Wedding Planner and Wedding Co-ordinator. There is a difference between the two, though I'm happy to do both but the most common used term that people recognise is wedding planner, so that's what I use. You may already have a picture in your mind of what that means.
The most common form of wedding co-ordinator is a person who is attached to a venue. They don't get involved in all the planning details of a wedding day 'just' the final details. They might offer advice on how to co-ordinate supplier deliveries and set up, but their priority is on managing the venue and staff expectations on the day and to ensure the smooth running of the event, from a mostly technical position. However, a wedding planner would usually be engaged in the whole planning process from finding and contracting suppliers through all the above to the end of the day and is usually a lot more emotionally involved as support to the couple.
Having worked for venues I was afforded the opportunity to set up two wedding services from scratch, which meant that I could really work on the fundamentals of wedding planning, what couples are looking for or need, etc. Working in a museum, I was able to research the specific restrictions/limitations of specialist environments, as well as with specialist teams, so I have experience of venue-based wedding co-ordination and some of the problems that can occur. I've also been involved in planning my own and other weddings and events.
Many people think having planned their own wedding they know everything needed for advising other couples, let me tell you that you don't. A wedding planner has experience of working in a variety of venues from barns to marquees, hotels to back gardens, community centres to museums. Knowing or having a list of the basic things that most weddings need (venue, food, drink, outfits, etc) is just the start. Having an understanding that a marquee in a field needs a lot more infrastructure (and so many other considerations) and how to deal with that, is where wedding planners become invaluable.
A wedding planner, even a new on the market one, will have connections that the average person just doesn't have. We have the experience/training to know what to look out for and plan for, before anything goes wrong, but we also have the knowledge and skill to deal with anything if it goes wrong. An independent wedding co-ordinator will also (or should) have the same level of experience, knowledge and skills as well as the ability to think fast and react appropriately to a situation even if we've not been involved from the start.
Many couples have no problem planning their own wedding, often with the help of friends and family, but for those that aren't natural planners, don't have a support network to rely on, or just get overwhelmed in the details, just a little bit of guidance can be reassuring. That is where the wedding co-ordinator comes in. Possibly employed just on the day to help with keeping things on schedule and ensuring the set-up is done on time and suppliers are in the right place. We can also be an unbiased, non-judgemental, friendly support for those with a need and aspirations they feel unable to achieve. A defender of the 'daft' ideas or even a referee for the family feuds that always seem to occur during wedding planning.
Whatever you want to call us, fairy wed-mother, wedding angel, virtual matron of honour, sanity saver, your new best friend, we are wedding professionals with an eye for the details. We look after things so you can relax and enjoy your big day.