The following is a detailed outline of what to anticipate in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the event, as well as on the big day and possibly after…
After initial contact is made (usually via email, telephone, Facebook, etc.), I like to schedule a casual meet-and-greet over coffee, drinks…whatever you are most comfortable with. A face-to-face introduction allows us to gain a feel for each other’s personalities; it gives me the chance to further explain the day-of coordinating process and commitment; and it grants me the opportunity to assure you that I am an experienced wedding professional who is here to listen to your ideas, needs, and concerns so that we can collaboratively create the event you are envisioning. Following our in-person meeting, if you would like to move forward with hiring me as your wedding coordinator, I will build a personalized day-of wedding coordinating contract and email it to you for a counter-signature.
Emails, Texts, and Phone Calls
Upon finalization of the coordinating contract and the deposit to secure your wedding date in my schedule (of which will be applied to the final cost of all coordinating services), I am enthusiastic and motivated to provide planning and coordinating related support via email, text message, and phone calls. Questions, concerns, accumulating anxieties, a need for advisement – please, reach out to me! I am happy to provide insight into personalization of your wedding, budgeting tips, and vendor recommendations. I make myself available to you during the planning process and time leading up to the big day.
A site visit is a brief walk-through of the wedding venue. If the ceremony and/or reception venue is local, I make it a priority to schedule a visit to the church, event space, etc. either with the couple or unaccompanied. The site visit allows me/us to see the space itself, ask more detailed questions, and, having seen the wedding location(s) in-person, it better prepares us for future coordinating decisions.
Two Weeks Prior to Wedding Day
Two weeks before the wedding date, I will reach out to the couple to schedule a date/time for our in-person coordinating consultation. Again, we can do this over coffee, a drink, in your home; wherever you are comfortable meeting. The consultation runs between one to two hours long. During this time, we go over ALL of the event particulars for the wedding rehearsal and wedding day. We thoroughly discuss and complete a ten+ page day-of wedding coordinating document that will include everything required for the seamless preparation, execution, and breakdown of your big day.
Customized Rehearsal and Event Itinerary
Following our consultation, I will consolidate and organize all necessary information into a personalized, comprehensive coordinating packet. This packet will reiterate all of the nitty-gritty details of the wedding rehearsal and wedding day that we discussed during the coordinating consultation. From family and vendor contact information and arrival times, pre-ceremony set-up details, and processional/recessional specifics to managing the change-out of the event space before dinner, reception activity particulars, and the final breakdown at the end of the night.
Upon completion of the coordinating packet, a copy will be emailed to the couple for review and input. If changes arise from the time of the consultation to the day of the wedding, I will update the packet accordingly and distribute a copy of the final itinerary to all of the vendors and important family members on the day of the event.
- 1-2 hour coordination of the wedding rehearsal.
- Make introductions to the wedding party and pertinent family members.
- Choreograph the ceremony processional and recessional with all participants present; run through the ceremony, in its entirety, at least twice.
- Rehearse the ceremony with appropriately timed music.
- Practice the ceremony highlights – readings, lighting of the unity candle, signing of the marriage license, exchanging of the rings, etc.
- Provide and/or practice officiant’s announcement to guests following the close of the ceremony; advising guests were to congregate after the ceremony, where family members need to meet for photographs, etc.
- Discuss any necessary changes to the itinerary; email the couple with an updated copy before the day-of and ensure printed copies for the vendors are also updated.
- Remind wedding party as to what time and where they need to be the day of the event.
- Collect final/remaining payment for wedding coordinating services.
- Greet vendors (photographer, florist, DJ/musicians, caterer, etc.) and instruct them as to where to set up; made available in-person at the venue, by cell phone, or via email to assist with any questions or concerns as vendors travel and arrive on-site.
- Provide direction, answer questions, and offer support to the wedding party and significant family members.
- Provide instruction to hosts, ushers, and guest book attendants.
- Set up the card and gift table – tablecloth, card box, etc.
- Set up the guest book table – guest book and pen, programs, couple’s photos, etc.
- Set up amenities baskets, candles, etc. in restrooms.
- Set up and decorate the marriage alter – flowers, lights, archway, podium, etc.
- Decorate/set up the aisle/aisle markers – flowers, lanterns, flower petals, ribbon, etc.
- Arrange chairs, benches, etc. into rows (as previously instructed) and create an appropriately sized aisle.
- Arrange names and/or reserved signs on seats/rows for the couple’s families and special guests.
- Collect, distribute, display, etc. all items necessary to conduct the ceremony – sand ceremony, unity candle, couple’s rings, marriage license, ring box, flower girl baskets, etc.
- Decorate and arrange the cocktail tables – tablecloths, tea lights, centerpieces, etc.
- Decorate the bar and/or beverage station – napkins, drink menus, etc.
- Decorate and position the cake/dessert table – dessert plate/cake stand, cake topper, cake knife and server, napkins, utensils, etc.
- Decorate/set up other pertinent event spaces/items – buffet table, appetizer table, table number and/or assigned seating arrangement displays/easels, instructional wedding signage, etc.
- Decorate and arrange the dinner tables – tablecloths, napkins, chairs, tea lights, centerpieces, guest favors, table numbers, place cards, menu cards, etc.
- Decorate and aptly position the sweetheart table or head table – toasting flutes, charger plates, etc.
- Consolidate boxes, bags, bins, etc. used to pack/transport event décor and store in a covert area.
- Prepare for reception activities – place toss bouquet, money dance accessories, set up slideshow media, etc.
- If bridal suite and/or groom’s room is on-site, made available to assist with any apparel quandaries – folding pocket squares, tying ties, pinning dresses, etc.
- Distribute and assist with individual flowers (bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres) to the bridal party, family members, and special guests.
- Gather couple, wedding party, and immediate family for photos before the ceremony.
- Call out names from the “must shot” list for the photographer.
- Ensure all audio and visual components are operating correctly and ready for use – microphones, speakers, lights, etc.
- Prioritize conversation with DJ/musicians to ensure the correct songs will be played/performed at the correct times, as well as confirm visual cues as to when to start the ceremony music.
- Work closely with fellow vendors throughout the morning/afternoon to stay on schedule with the event itinerary; distribute copies of the wedding day itinerary packet as necessary.
- Distribute final payments/gratuities to vendors as provided by the couple (however, please note -negotiation of terms in regards to vendor contracts will not be handled by Pretty Penny Events personnel).
- Light ceremony candles; adjust event room lighting.
- Aptly problem solve and handle any emergencies that may arise.
- Advise/assist guests in finding their seats.
- Reiterate instructions to ushers, readers, and the officiant’s post-ceremony announcement to guests.
- Remind family members and special guests of the location of their reserved seats.
- Properly line up the processional participants.
- Cue the DJ/musicians to begin the processional music.
- Instruct family members, bridal party, and the bride when it is time to begin walking down the aisle.
- Express support and reassurance to the bride; straighten the bride’s veil and wedding dress train before beginning her walk down the aisle.
- Open door(s), clear aisle way, etc. for the wedding party during the recessional and advise them where to congregate prior to the reception – for marriage license signing, photos, dress bustling, etc.
- Advise guests where to gather for the cocktail/appetizer hour.
Prior to Reception – Cocktail/Appetizer Hour
- Made available to help the bride with bustling her dress.
- Provide the bride and groom with a quick snack and drink before additional pictures and/or their formal introduction.
- Advise/direct family members where to gather for additional photographs.
- If applicable, facilitate change-out/breakdown of the ceremony space to accommodate additional dinner tables, dance floor, etc.
- If applicable, move ceremony decorations and/or tables to the reception area – guest book/cards/gifts and tables, alter/aisle décor, etc.
- Help guests find their place cards and locate their table.
- Ensure timely flow, distribution, and replenishment of appetizers and beverages.
- Line the couple and bridal party up for formal introductions; reiterate the order in which the bridal party will be introduced and how the couple would like to be introduced to the MC/DJ; cue the MC/DJ/musicians when to begin the introductions and music.
- If a buffet dinner, plate and serve dinner to the bride and groom; deliver desired dinner drinks.
- Also if a buffet dinner, excuse dinner tables individually, starting with the bridal party and family.
- If a plated or family-style dinner, ensure the bride and groom, bridal party, and family are served first.
- Alert catering/bartending staff when to pour champagne/prepare for “drink of choice” just before the toasts are to begin.
- Advise the MC/DJ, maid of honor, best man, father of the bride, etc. when toasts are to begin.
- Advise DJ/musicians, photographer, videographer, etc. when the specials dances are to begin – the couple’s first dance, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, etc.
- Coordinate the bouquet toss – work with the MC/DJ to gather all the single ladies onto the dance floor; provide the bride with the toss bouquet.
- Coordinate the garter toss – work with the MC/DJ to gather all of the single men onto the dance floor; provide the bride with a chair to sit on.
- Work with the MC/DJ throughout the night in the event of special announcements that need to be made (ex. additional family pictures, shuttle arrivals/departures, etc.), special song requests from the couple, etc.
- Remain easily accessible throughout the entire reception in the event there are further unforeseen details that need attending to.
- Alert the catering/bartending staff when it is time for “last call” on alcoholic beverages.
- Alert the DJ/musicians when it is time for the last song of the evening before the couple and guests depart.
- Assemble a “to-go” box/bag of food for a late night snack for the couple and place it in their vehicle/event transportation.
- Set up guest favor table before guest departures.
- Advise the MC, photographer, videographer of when and where the couple’s send-off will be.
- Advise guests to congregate and coordinate the couple’s send-off – tossing flower petals, blowing bubbles, etc.
- Coordinate reception departure transportation for couple and guests.
- Gather gifts, cards, marriage license and other significant items to be transported in a designated family member’s car.
- Collect and pack all miscellaneous items/décor provided by the couple/family; also to be transported in a designated family member’s car.
- Collect, pack, and, if appropriate, return miscellaneous rented items/décor.
- Collect and provide designated family member with any extra food and/or beverages.
- Clean, rearrange, reorganize, etc. event spaces as necessary – tables, chairs, etc.
- Ensure all family members, guests, and vendors have exited the venue per designated event end time.
The Day After
If necessary (and prearranged), I am able to return to the event site the next morning in order to tie up any loose ends following the event breakdown from the night before. For example, day-after vendor pick-ups, items forgotten/misplaced by the couple/wedding party/guests, etc.