Making Your Vision Reality
With wedding season just around the corner I thought I would talk about the Top 10 Questions that are asked by my brides and grooms. For the majority of my clients this is the first large scale party that they have ever planned so they are faced with so many questions and I want to be there for them to answer all of their questions and concerns.
Q. What time does the planner come and what time do you leave?
A. I usually start my day a half an hour before the photos begin so that I can help prepare the bride for her pictures. I am also there to distribute the flowers to the bridesmaids and pin on all of the boutonnieres on the groomsmen. I usually help the bride get into her wedding gown as well. I leave when all of the formalities are completed and the sweet table has been opened and there is nothing left to do but dance and enjoy the end of the party.
Q. Do I really need to have a sweet table, no one eats it anyway?
A. I totally disagree with this statement. At every function that I am at the guests are always lined up for the sweets. You can pass on serving a dessert to the table but I recommend serving a sweet table or passed desserts on the dance or both for an evening function.
Q. When should I send out my invitations?
A. I would recommend sending your invitations out 8 weeks in advance of your event. You can also send a hold the date card 4 to 6 months prior to your wedding so that out of town guests can start thinking about travel arrangements.
Q. Should I have a wedding rehearsal or is that not necessary?
A. I would say it almost mandatory to hold a wedding rehearsal. I would suggest holding a rehearsal a few days prior to the wedding so that it is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Even if you can’t do a rehearsal prior to the day of, I would still take a few minutes on the day of the wedding to do a quick run through of the ceremony. It really will help calm everyone’s nerves as there are no surprises on the wedding day. Your bridal party will feel at ease and so will you as you know exactly what to expect.
Q. My niece or nephew is under 3 years old would you recommend that they march down the aisle?
A. Of course, it depends on the child as every child is different. My normal rule of thumb is, if the child is under three, I would suggest that they don’t walk down the aisle. Usually, children under three are very unpredictable and it can be a somewhat of an overwhelming experience. Once they see all the guests and all eyes are on them, it can be very intimidating. If you do choose to have younger children walk, then I would suggest that they walk with a child that is a little bit older so they can help lead them in the right direction and comfort them. I also suggest that you have a parent or grandparent waiting to scoop them up at the end of the aisle with a special treat in hand to reward them for making it down the aisle.
Q. What is the appropriate length of speeches as I don’t want to bore my guests?
A. I suggest that you allot 5 minutes for the parents of the bride and 5 minutes for the parents of the groom. I usually give two minutes for those that are making toasts to the bride and groom. Then I allot 10 minutes for each the bride and the groom. Once you have gone over the 10 minute mark your guests will typically start to tune out.
Q. Another question that my clients always ask is “why can’t I do the speeches during my meal?”
A. Through my 17 years of experience I know quite a bit about scheduling and flow and what works and what doesn’t. It is really important that your guests feel they are at a celebration so by breaking up the speeches throughout the evening it enables guests to get up and do some dancing in between the courses. Also, you cannot have the wait staff serving out the next course while someone is speaking, it simply makes too much noise and it can be very disruptive.
Q. How do I alphabetize all of my guest lists and place cards?
A. I ask all my clients to provide me with the place cards in alphabetical order so that on the day of the event I can expedite the process and put them out quickly and properly. You should alphabetize it by last name of the guest. If you have several guests with the same last name then you can go to the first name and start with the earliest letter in the alphabet.
Q. What exactly do you do?
A. I help my clients create a vision for their parties and make them a reality.
- A planner will share their breadth of experience to guide you in the right direction
- A planner will recommend reputable vendors in the industry
- Will organize a detailed itinerary for your event
- Will be available to come with the clients to meetings with caterers, florists, to give their advice and share their experience
- Will put together a makeup, hair and portrait schedule
- Will help you determine a budget for your event
- Will give you tips on speech writing
- Will provide a detailed checklist for all clients as well as a timeline for how to complete everything on that list
- Will act as an intermediary between all of the vendors on the day of the event
- Will rectify any unexpected situations that may arise on the day of your event
- Will make sure that every detail is looked after so that the client can enjoy their party
Q. Lastly I think the most important question that one needs to ask is not of the planner but of themselves, is this right planner for me?
A. It is imperative that you meet the planner face to face so that you can get a sense of their personality. The planner is the person that will give you advice and hold your hand in the months leading up to your event, Will they be flexible? Will they care to put their heart and soul into your event? Will they be the right person to make your vision a reality?
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