Details, Details: Defining Helpers

You’ve planned everything to perfection — the flowers, the decor … and coordinated all vendors and timelines — everything! Now, the big day is here. The beauty of having a planner involved in your wedding or event is that now, you can truly relax. You know your planner absolutely has this day under control — the setup will be perfect, s/he will put out any fires, and will ensure your day goes off without a hitch. While (of course!) I believe in the importance of a planner, I also know not everyone has the budget for one, and some folks just plain want do DIY from start to finish. However, I have also witnessed the unnecessary strain put onto brides on their wedding day (of all days), or the person who has coordinated an event and now just wants to relax when:

  • The DJ needs a reminder as to which song the groom and his mother want to dance to
  • The florist delivers the flowers, and as the event approaches, the centerpieces start to (gasp!) wilt
  • The catering staff wants to confirm the time for dinner to be served

This list literally goes on, and on, and on. Regardless of the perfection of your planning, at least one of your many vendors and their staff are going to have a question, need a reminder, run into an emergency — something. I promise. So, if a planner isn’t in the plan, I recommend assigning a few trusted (this is key!) close friends or family to fill in certain day-of needs. Some of the most important of those include:

  • Someone who knows what the entire event setup (ceremony, cocktail hour and reception included for weddings) is supposed to look like, and ensures it happens as planned. This person should have all vendor information, and be ready to be a point of contact and executive decision-maker when questions and concerns arise.
  • Someone who is given (and studies) the comprehensive event timeline, and ensures things happen on time (plus or minus a few minutes based on reasonable variances).
  • Someone who is in charge of the clean-up process. This includes collecting centerpieces if the vases are rentals and need to be returned, picking up the guest book and other mementos, and making sure the gifts get into a defined person’s car to be taken to a defined location.

Though this might seem like a lot to ask of your guests, it is essential if you don’t have a professional planner to be on-site before, during and after your event. And, as much as your close family and friends love you, they should be more than willing to help!

Note: For weddings, don’t assign these tasks to your wedding party or any immediate family (mother of the bride, etc.) — they will have enough to worry about on your big day! An organized, take-charge kind of aunt or friend who just missed the bridal party is your best choice. And, under no circumstance, should you (the bride!) be in your dress on your wedding day answering vendor questions, worrying about things, or picking up gifts before your big departure.

To check out what I include in my day-of management package, click here.

What day-of snags or bloopers have you experienced that shouldn’t have happened but well, did?

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