When I am hired for on the day co-ordination, my role is not as a wedding planner but as a wedding co-ordinator. I’m not (usually) involved in any of the planning processes, I’ve not chosen suppliers, I’ve not chased up supplier payments or confirmed guest numbers or arranged seating plans and place settings. My role is to go through everything the couple has planned, put together a timetable for the day, contact the suppliers to check ours and their timings match and deal with any issues that may arrise on the day. I also make sure the venues are decorated correctly and put out table plans, place cards, favours etc and do any last minute adjustments prior to the wedding party and guests arriving.
During the discussions with the couple it is important to go through how the whole day will proceed and get as much information on the decor, layouts, special requirements etc so that if any suppliers ask me about colour schemes, guest numbers, location of their services etc I know the answers. Sometimes, though, things are assumed, sometimes on my part and sometimes on the couples part when they’ve been planning the day. For example, when I’m told that all the tables will be set up and all I need to do is put out the glasses, favours and table centres, I assume that table cloths and glasses will be provided. At one recent wedding I get to the venue (a beautiful marquee in the grounds of a pub) to find no table cloths on the tables and no wine glasses had been ordered!
The venue when I got there
The assumption on the couples part had been that table cloths came with the tables and the pub would have enough wine glasses. Ironically we had discussed drinking water glasses and jugs and I had aquired enough for the reception on their behalf after discussions with the pub owner.
– so questions to ask! Have I ordered table cloths? Do I have enough wine, champagne and water glasses and water jugs for the tables?
So, I continue to set-up at this venue after the pub owner bought enough disposable table cloths for the tables and the tables started to look very pretty indeed.
Now, the top table hadn’t been put up nor any chairs assigned to it. So we set up a top table and I collect a chair from each table to put at the top table. I hadn’t at this stage been supplied with a table plan so I had no idea how many were to sit at the top table or on each other table (I had asked for this information but was told I would get the table plan once the bride got to the venue). So, the next assumption: enough tables and chairs would be supplied. However – they had not taken into account the top table! So by the time I set up the top table we were now about 8 chairs short – which we found out once the guests went to sit down..
So questions: Do you have enough chairs? Have you remembered to count the wedding party to the number of guests?
The Top Table
Another problem arised when it came to serving the food. The caterers had been told to provide food for 60. The couple were also providing additional food to go with it. However, the caterers had only brought enough crockery and cutlery for 60 guests….not the 85+ guests that would be there. So we had to find crockery and cutlery from elsewhere to make up the difference.
So questions: Have you told the caterers how many guests there will be? Not just how many servings you want served? Caterers will be happy to provide extra crockery and cutlery if they are required.
So all-in-all it was an eventful wedding and considering the problems we encountered it went very well in the end and everyone had a great time and the Bride thought the venue looked amazing – Phew!
So if you’re planning a wedding at the moment and feeling a little disorganised I hope this post will help you think about potential problems you may encounter if you assume and if you’ve not ask direct questions about all the little details. If you’re still feeling disorganised and stressed then hiring a wedding planner may be a the best thing you can do.