Hurrah! You’re engaged, the corks have stopped popping and its now time to get cracking with the wedding planning, but where do you start and how do you know if you need help and if you think you do, what help do you need? With many levels of wedding planning services available from different sources, how do you choose which is the right one for you?
You will meet many suppliers who tell you that they offer different forms of wedding planning and/or event management services which can make it a confusing task so lets break it down below:
It is not unusual for your venue to advertise that they provide a wedding planner to assist you, in some rare cases venues may employ the help of a professional wedding planner however in the majority of cases this will fall to the venue Event Manager or Co-ordinator – a venue co-ordinator will assist you in any aspect of the wedding that involves their venue this could include catering, food service, wedding breakfast timings and any in house supplier recommendations. A venue co-ordinater/event manager generally wont be involved in any part of your day leading up to the reception or any outside suppliers that you engage such as photographers & entertainment. Their priority is the venue and the services provided by the venue, they may also have a shift change during your wedding so that the person you have been in contact with in the run up to the wedding will not be there for your entire day.
Often your wedding caterer will offer event management as part of their fees, this typically covers what we refer to as ‘front of house’ and will be limited to delivering the reception drinks and canapés, managing the delivery of any food service and possibly the evening bar if they have included this in their service. They are not there to manage external suppliers and any deliveries or set up.
For those couples looking for a very traditional wedding a Toastmaster or Master of Ceremonies is often someone they look to work with. Toast Masters may work well with your Venue Co-ordinator and/or Catering Manager as they will make all your formal announcements and provide a basic level of timekeeping for the whole day ensuring that none of the key formalities are missed. Again, they are not there to manage any external suppliers and any deliveries or set up.
Very occasionally you may come across a venue stylist that offers planning advice as part of their styling service – generally this will involve setting up your venue prior to your arrival/ceremony and making recommendations on alternative suppliers.
Wedding Planners offer a number of services dependent on your requirements – the important factor to consider is that a wedding planner’s sole purpose is to plan, organise and manage every aspect of your wedding day to perfection and will liaise with all the above to bring every part of your day together managing over runs and shortfalls and acting as your MC.
At R&FWeddings we offer a range of bespoke service centred around 3 main levels of service – read on and click the links to find out about our typical wedding planning services that we offer:
Wedding Day Management
We pick up the final stage of planning around 2 weeks prior to your date, check that everything is in order and that nothing has been missed. We then create and provide the full day itinerary including all contact information which is issued out to every supplier involved on your day along with yourselves. We are there on the day itself before any of your other suppliers to ensure everything goes smoothly and depending on your needs will stay until either the first dance or the end of the evening.
Partial planning is one of our bespoke services and covers all situations where you as a couple have taken your journey to a point but now need some help. You may have booked your venue only or you may have selected your venue and caterer or you may perhaps be struggling to book the last few suppliers or looking for styling inspo and are unsure of how next to proceed or which suppliers to approach. We are there for the set up of your wedding and the first to arrive on the day itself. We are the last to leave after making sure all guests are safely on their way and all suppliers have packed down and left.
This is our most comprehensive offering and takes you on your planning journey, from conception to delivery.
After an initial free of charge, no obligation consultation we will work closely with you to plan every aspect of your exceptional wedding day.
You will find that your planner becomes your ‘best friend’ during the planning process and we are always available by phone, email, Skype or for face to face meetings as an advisor, friend and confidant.
Our full wedding planning service includes supplier recommendations and sourcing along with financial management. We will provide recommendations on the best suppliers for your wedding and undertake all contract negotiations. Working with you, we will create a detailed itinerary which covers not only the wedding day but also any set up and breakdown days, managing all supplier requirements and logistics. We are available to manage your guest list and RSVPs and also any ceremony rehearsals or dinners. Styling of your wedding forms part of the planning process and we work with you to achieve a ‘wedding look’ that is creative, inspirational and exceptional whilst remaining personal to yourselves. We will be onsite on set up days to manage suppliers and their set up and on the wedding day we are onsite before the first supplier to ensure that everything is ready and set up in accordance with your wishes. We only leave once all of your guests have safely departed and your suppliers have cleared down and are on their way.
Regardless of which level of a wedding planning service you choose they will work closely with your Venue Coordinator, Catering Manager and other suppliers to ensure that your day goes exactly as planned.
Check out our previous blog on an insightful look at working with a planner from a supplier perspective – you can hear from key suppliers directly on how working with a planner has a positive effect on the service they can provide.
If you would like to find out how we can help you plan or manage your big day then say hello to Vanessa here