If you have ever wondered what an average week is like for a Wedding Planner, the below is a snapshot;
Our first task of the week is to check in with our marquee supplier (Snowdens) to confirm the time they will be onsite tomorrow to start the build of not one but 4 tent structures! Next it’s a quick call to the Bride & Groom to confirm our appointment this evening to run through the final guest list as there have been some changes over the weekend. The rest of the day is spent speaking to all suppliers for the wedding to confirm there are no issues and to re-confirm their arrival/delivery times on site. Once I have all of the information I update the ‘running order’ for the day and email out to every supplier.
In the evening I check in with the Bride & Groom and we go through the entire guest list and table plan and come up with a revised table plan to accommodate this.
Its 10pm when I get back home but that’s when I head to my home office and email my stationery illustrator with the amends to the table plan (fortunately we had expected them so I had held off having this finalised until now!). I also revise the seating plan for the caterer and send this to them.
Its 7.30am and I am onsite at the Client’s home to meet with the marquee installation team and walk through the CAD drawings one final time with the positions of all the marquees. I have been checking the weather for days and as its so changeable we are preparing for the worst and have included an extra marquee without walls for the drinks reception which 150 people can fit under!
On my way to Suffolk to view the splendid Ickworth House with one of next year’s Brides I pop into the caterers at their restaurant to run through the day’s schedule. I confirm the final guest numbers along with the total number of staff for each area of the day and make any necessary changes that we feel are required (I opt for more bar staff as extra evening guests have been invited at the last minute!).
I am back in Cambridgeshire onsite at 4pm for the arrival of the fairground dodgems. We have previously confirmed the width and depth of the entrance vs the size of the lorries but it is a breath holding moment watching them skilfully negotiate the entrance gates. As we have had rain and we do not want to damage the immaculate lawn we get help from the marquee team in laying boards for the lorries to drive over; a painstakingly slow task but a necessary one. The last thing we want is for guests to arrive and to see lorry tyre ruts through the lawn!
Today I receive deliveries of the table linens and the chair covers and sashes along with the seating for the bar area and the bar itself from Bash Bars. I arrive early to meet with the Site Foreman of the marquee company to hand over the marquee. We walk through and create a small snagging list; mainly a few spots on the windows that need further cleaning which is all attended to before the furniture is delivered and set up inside to our floor plan. For this wedding I have requested bespoke square tables instead of rounds to match the square vases used for the centrepieces.
The production company responsible for the power and outdoor garden lighting/interior marquee lighting (Hawthorns) arrive on site and before they start work we walk through the lighting CAD plan. At midday the event generators are delivered; a master and a back up! Once they are installed and connected we are able to test the lighting but as most of the lighting is atmospheric and in the garden we come back to site at 9pm to check the feature lighting in the dark with Hawthorns Creative Director.
Before leaving site in the evening I check in with the Bride and Groom for a quick cup of tea and to make sure they are happy with everything so far that has been delivered and set up.
I work from home for a couple of hours to answer some planning enquiries that we have received and to speak to a few guests who have called with questions about tomorrow (I always recommend my contact details are given to the guests so that the Bride & Groom do not have to deal with all the last minute questions!). I head out to site to meet my assistants Sue and Helen to decorate the main marquee including 148 chair covers and sashes that need to be fitted. The caterer’s equipment is also delivered as are the toilets. At 1pm there’s a shout from the dodgems people and those of us who are onsite are lucky enough to be allowed into the cars to have a few minutes of well deserved down time before the cars have their bumpers blackened and the white wedding ribbons attached!
At 5pm I receive a call from a very anxious Bride who has asked if there is anything we can do with the church aisle as it has metal gratings running across the width of it and she is terrified of getting a heel stuck! We suggest laying the same colour carpet from the marquee up the aisle. A quick phone call to the Vicar confirms that we are ok to proceed and so our Friday evening is spent laying carpet in the Church but it instantly calms the Bride and that is all that matters.
Our final task of the day is to go back to the marquee to lay out the place cards, menus and favours; when we finally leave site it is 11.30pm.
My assistant Sue and I are onsite early at 8am to check the marquee and whilst I leave the marquee and its finishing touches to Sue I head off to the Bride’s house to make sure everything is ok. When I’m happy the Bride is ok, I head off to the Groom and check in with him before heading to the church to check on the carpet we laid the previous night and then its back to the Bride to keep her on time!
The wedding is an amazing success and we had every kind of weather that was possible. We had torrential rain, a hail and thunder storm and bright sunshine! Thankfully we managed to get all the guests under the marquee in the reception area for the speeches before the storm hit and we ferried guests to the dinner marquee with our umbrellas that we had on standby!
The Singing Waiters entertained during dinner and a live band and DJ played in the evening alongside the dodgems. At 9.30pm guests were surprised with fireworks which involved me standing in a field in the rain on a radio to the pyrotechnic experts letting them know when we were ready for them to start (a wedding planner’s life is not so glamorous after all!).
At 3am after seeing the safe departure of all the family and guests we secure the marquee, turn off the generators and head to our beds, completely shattered but elated at the same time!
Today I manage a lie in until 8am and then we are back onsite for the collections to begin of the catering equipment and the linen hire. Tomorrow we will be back on site at 8am to oversee the taking down of the marquees and the departure of the dodgems which was made even trickier than arriving due to the torrential rain!
Alongside the above we are also answering planning enquiries from perspective couples and liaising with suppliers for the wedding that we have this coming Saturday which is a wedding day management service.
If you are exhausted from just reading this then please do get in touch to see how we can maybe help with any of your planning requirements www.rocksandfrocks.co.uk
Images courtesy of www.ashworthphotography.co.uk