Hey WasteKnot Readers,
As this crazy 2022 wedding season is coming to a close, I have been reflecting on what I have experienced from my perspective on the planning side of the industry. If you are a wedding professional or are a wedding planner/coordinator, or work with one, definitely give this a read as we all prepare for the 2023 season!
I recognize that this has been a very challenging year for everyone in the industry. Trying to bounce back in full swing when there is a pandemic lingering around is not easy for any business. So we should have some grace if things go wrong. Mistakes happen and we are all human!
But don’t forget- how a mistake is handled is very important and your business can really be reflected by this. During stressful moments, it’s easy to place blame on others. Keeping a positive demeanor and focusing on finding a solution might be difficult, but can go a long way. At the end of the day, a wedding is a celebration of two people coming together and sharing their love. The last thing a couple needs to see are issues being handled in a negative way, especially in front of guests.
So what are some clever ways to prevent things from going wrong in the first place as a planner/coordinator?
- Have an emergency contact for every vendor that can be contacted on the day of the wedding.
If you are a planner/coordinator and have only been communicating with someone from an office, it is likely they are not working on the weekend. Ask if they have a contact number for a delivery driver or a weekend manager. If it is a personal cell number, ensure you only call if there is an emergency and will delete the number at the end of the event.
- Confirm any rental orders 3-5 days before the event both online and over the phone.
Do all you can to make sure the orders are set, especially if there have been some changes in the planning process. Order extras just in case and confirm the delivery and pickup times as well. Even if you think you are being bothersome, trust me, it can help prevent issues.
- Schedule a site visit with catering and other vendors before the event.
Depending on the venue(s), it might be beneficial to schedule a site visit to make sure there are enough outlets for all vendors, the kitchen is sufficient for catering, etc. If there is an outdoor setting, go over weather contingencies and discuss where the important amenities are: clean drinking water access, washrooms, power sources, and storage areas.
- Make sure there are enough staff confirmed to handle the guest count and responsibilities.
This may be of your control, but try to do all that you can to confirm there will be enough staff to handle the expected services, especially catering/serving. Also ask the management if they have some backup staff on call in the case of emergencies. Staff shortages have been really difficult to overcome this year, but if possible find companies that have enough trained staff to feel more at ease. Too often myself and other coordinators have served food or drinks to guests to save the day.
- Take pressure off of family members who have tasks or responsibilities during the wedding.
Even if a family member is eager and willing to help out, try to take things off of their hands. Remind them they should be enjoying the wedding as a guest, and if they absolutely feel the need to help out and do something, give them a very small task to do while you handle the big stuff. Thank them for their help, smile a lot, and let them know that everything is going well. If they are anxious and are helping set up the wedding, reassure them that the couple hired professionals for a reason and everything will be done on time and look beautiful. Let them know you are in charge while being respectful.
I could go on, but basically it never hurts to be prepared. Of course, things happen and although the planner/coordinator is often the point person to blame, remember some things are simply out of anyone’s control. If something doesn’t go perfectly but you tried your best to make it work, you have done all you can do.
To recover post-wedding, I believe all involved should find ways to de-stress in a practical way. Take time for your physical and mental health and please don’t overbook yourself. In order to perform at your best you need to feel your best. Financial issues are real, especially during these difficult economic times, but finding a side job with less stress to help balance your life is something every wedding or event professional should try and look into.That is easier said than done obviously, but it is worth giving a try.
I hope this provides some insight and maybe some reminders as we head into 2023!