A wedding planner's job may sound fun, but it is one hell of a task. It requires not just your valued resources to make the bride and groom happy, but also your time and efficiency. Things cannot be done in your own sweet time; deadlines have to be met and follow-ups have to be consistent and executed as scheduled. It is up to the bride and groom to decide what part of your services they want. Do they wish to have you plan the entire wedding depending on how the tradition unfolds? Some cultures have an elaborate sequence of events that unravel as part of their wedding. Christians do not have multiple ceremonies, but it is still wise to sit down with the couple and discuss how much of you is needed.
Important Duties of a Wedding Planner
Depending on the wedding traditions of each culture, it is critical to first speak to the couple and understand what is involved, or provide your services only to certain cultures. It can be an exhausting task to understand and be an overall wedding planner, so catering to specific kinds is ideal. If you want to cover all kinds of weddings, then extensive knowledge and in-depth research is required. Let's take a look at what you need to do from start to finish.
Meet with the couple in person and have them lay out all details and intricacies of things that you need to know, on the table. Make a note of important things, and keep a recorder handy to make sure you get everything. When taking notes, highlight points like what part of the wedding needs to be researched on extensively. Non-Christian weddings can have a completely different approach to wedding ceremonies and the days that lead up to the main day. Don't be afraid to ask questions because as a wedding planner you are entitled to do so.
The most important part of the entire affair, is the budget. Once everything is discussed and finalized, find out how much the couple is willing to spend so that you know how to handle their expenses without going overboard. That way it would be easier to know which flower shops have reasonably priced flowers, which halls for the receptions would fit their budget criteria, and if it would be better to go with a catering company or with a hotel that provides catering if you book their hall. Stick to the budget and break it down so that you know how much you need to spend on what. If you think that the budget is too less and needs to be a tad higher, don't hesitate to suggest something to the couple that wouldn't overshoot their budget to a great extent. Make sure that you mention as part of your services, that you need to be contacted at least six months before the big day, because booking things in advance is financially wiser than booking closer to the wedding date. In other words, the later you book for reception halls/open spaces and other things that need to be arranged, the more expensive it becomes.
You can't possibly be in two places at the same time, that is why it is important to have a helping hand when planning a wedding. An assistant can be given jobs like researching on hotels, reception halls, and open-air venues to find something idyllic for the couple, including flower shops, decoration-providing companies, catering companies, wedding cake designers, wedding dress stores (if the bride needs help to find a place to buy her dress), and so on. After you've assigned him/her these jobs you can then both visit different venues separately and evaluate each one based on the couple's criteria, after comparing notes. Take the bride along with you wherever important choices need to be made like the theme colors for the reception, the bridesmaids dresses, the groomsmen suits, the wedding cake design, the flowers she'd like on display and so on.
Give the couple a chance to choose what their wedding invitations should look like by providing them with varied options that they can browse through before making a final decision. The cards should be sent out four-five months before the wedding date, so that invitees have a chance to RSVP and plan their departure if not in the same country/state, to make it for the wedding.
Some couples may want more than just a band or a renowned DJ to play at their wedding, so find out if they want a wacky entertainment slot in between the reception, or if something special should play out secretly from either party, or both. Booking the band/DJ/miscellaneous act well in advance would be ideal, to have it stick within the couples' budget.
Someone needs to be booked who can guide the entire event from when it begins to when it ends. Have the couple meet a series of MCs who are well worth their needs, who can pull off a fun, well-scripted event without fumbling up or proving to be an amateur at what he/she does. Have them meet with the best there is in the MC business, by first interviewing them yourself before you present them to the couple. Once a choice has been made, the MC can then take over to help the couple decide of how the entire reception unfolds. That part is not important to you unless the MC needs you to arrange for anything in particular that may need your services.
Not every company is efficient in giving you what you want in the said frame of time, so it is important to constantly follow up on what is happening. It is key to have everything in order so that no mishaps or blunders take place close to the wedding day. Also make sure that the bridesmaids (in the case of a Christian wedding) have gone for multiple fittings, and that they are happy with the way the dress turns out. Follow up with the groom if his groomsmen have finalized their suits. The bride's dress has to be flawless at least two weeks before the wedding, so that any changes that need to be done can be handled within this time gap. Seamstresses or stores that sell wedding dresses need advance bookings, so make sure that this is the first thing on your list post booking the venue for the wedding.
Invite the couple to the places that you'll be taste testing at. They should be happy with the buffet even if it means trying a ton of dishes. Have the testing sessions spread over the course of a week or even a few days before they make up their minds on which caterer suits their tastes best. Also remember to ask the couple if any foods are kosher as part of their culture/religion, so that you do not make a mistake when taking them to test out food.
On the wedding day, you'll need to check up on everything right from, if the venue is arranged perfectly, where the vows will exchanged, to the transportation that will bring both parties to the venue. You'll need to make an appearance at the bride's and groom's places respectively to see if there is anything that they need at the last minute.
It takes time and patience to plan a wedding, but when you see the fruits of your labor take form, it is a sight for sore eyes. Keeping the above pointers in mind, you'll have no trouble in coordinating the details that need to be overseen as part of the wedding.