Each month we delve deeper into subjects to find out more and bring you some useful snippets of advice!
With such a choice of venues available it can seem a daunting task just settling on where to tie the knot. Once you've settled on where, the next thing is how on earth all your dreams and plans for the big day will come together?!
Many venues come with a wonderful person called a wedding planner or wedding coordinator. These vary greatly in their role and how much they will be involved in the run up to, and on the day itself so it's worth checking this before you book. Some planners will meet you before your wedding to plan everything such as timings, menu choices and run through who your suppliers are and when they will delivering things. They will also be there on the day to set everything up, coordinate the ceremony and make sure things run to time. Some will do parts of the planning and hand over to a duty manger or "front of house" manager on the day. Many times this will be someone you won't know or haven't met as many of them work on rotas so it's hard to predict who will run your day so far in advance.
Then we move onto the DIY venues, these are a massive draw to people wanting a truly unique wedding in a venue they can really make their mark. The downside is, you usually end up hiring just the shell of the venue and everything from tables and chairs, to cutlery and staff needs to be hired in for the big day. This takes A LOT of work and co-ordination, and if event management isn't on your CV, or you lack the time, this is where hiring a pro could be the best investment you can make!
Worried about cost? Don't be. Wedding planners are worth their weight in gold. They know exactly what you'll need, and the best most cost effective ways to source things. They will even have ideas on how to save money!
So, want to know more about wedding planners? We asked Natalie Lovett, owner of Love to Plan Ltd who has been a wedding planner for ten years a few questions...
What is your role on the day and the run up to the wedding?
My role is bespoke to the couple, however there are 3 very popular services booked; the first is full wedding planning – this is where I work with the couple from right after their engagement through to their wedding day – I plan their wedding in its entirety based on their loves, requirements and budgets, and then style and manage their day to perfection. The second is a last-minute pick-up, where the couple have simply run out of time or expertise and need assistance with the final planning of the wedding – I will take the reins, complete the organisation and run their wedding day so that there is no stress at all to the couple. The third is an on-the-day co-ordination, and this is particularly popular with couples who have chosen a wedding venue without an on the day team, so perhaps a barn, marquee or tipi – I meet with the couple and take down all of their planning details, advise on the last minute elements and co-ordinate all suppliers, style the venue and manage the day. All of my services have the same aim in mind, to ensure the couple a stress-free and fabulously memorable day!
When do you start and finish?
I’m generally the first person on site, and the last to leave as it’s my role to ensure that the set-up is carried out correctly and all suppliers arrive and carry out their roles. Not until all formalities have taken place and you’re partying the night away do I consider leaving!
Do you work alone or alongside anyone else?
I have the benefit of a fabulous team, a team that I’m proud of that has worked by my side for many years; they’re all experts in the wedding and hospitality industry and natural event managers – depending on the size of the wedding, one or more of my team will accompany me at a wedding, or indeed will run their own.
Why should couples book your services instead of the venue or doing it themselves?
It’s so normal for a couple to focus their attention on the venue, the suppliers and how their wedding day will look – all of which takes a great deal of time, energy and money to organise...but many don’t think about the day itself. Who will style it, who will set it up? Who will manage the suppliers? Who will make sure everything happens as it should do? Investing in the running and management of your wedding day is one of the best gifts you can treat yourself to, as ultimately it will ensure that you and your partner can simply enjoy your wedding day without any stress and have a wonderful and memorable time!
Some venues come with a co-ordinator. What sets you apart?
Generally a venue co-ordinator is focusing on the venue elements on the day, whereas my role is all encompassing. I know every single detail of the wedding inside and out, and can ensure that everything works and comes together beautifully.
What do you enjoy most about working at a wedding?
I love the set up – seeing all of the elements come together just as visualised and planned for. I love the ceremony too – it’s rare that I get to see it due to being behind the scenes elsewhere, but when I do, it’s really special.
What can be the most challenging parts of a wedding day? How can you help?
The set up! Due to events taking place on the day prior to your wedding day, many venues only have a small window of opportunity to enable suppliers to come in, so it can be all hands on deck to get everything finished in time to perfection!
What advice would you give a couple for their big day to help them enjoy it more?
I have had the honour of working with over 125 couples, and in my experience the atmosphere creators are ensuring that you provide great food, great drinks (an open bar if you can stretch to it...and no, people don’t take advantage of it!) and great music – these will all ensure a fantastically memorable and talked about wedding day!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Weddings take an average of 240 hours to plan – that’s a lot of hours when adding to the mix your home life, work life and social life, so investing in the organisation side and a very safe pair of hands will ensure that you not only enjoy your wedding day, but you’ll have a stress-free and enjoyable run up too!
So, be sure to check exactly what your wedding planner will do, so you know if there is a shortfall. That way you can prepare in advance and get all the help in you need to ensure you can relax and enjoy the run up to the day rather than stressing out.
Love Team Whitewed x