Are you questioning this and wondering why you might employ one? I would put it to you – Can you afford to not have a wedding planner?
I often hear people say ‘oh I don’t need a planner – I will do it all myself!’ But I just wanted to share with you some real life problems that I have come across on the day. You have to think of the value it brings to the process and indeed the day and I wouldn’t offer this service if it did not truly believe in the value. Yes, friends and family could help out but they are not professionals and certainly not trained to deal with problems and there are many they can arise! You really have to have a cool, clear head and very logical approach. Whilst the problems themselves are not the end of the world, how do you think it would make you feel on your wedding day to have the worry and panic of solving them? So below you will find several real problems that I, as a planner have had to solve without disturbing the bride and groom. I will give you the solutions that were a result of quick thinking problem solving at the bottom!
Problem 1: The Venue is a marquee in a field. The caterer arrives after 4 days of torrential rain and inevitably gets stuck. So what do you do to solve this?
Problem 2: The marquee has leaked water and the generator is not working. What should we do?
Problem 3: The bride specifically wants the nibbles/canapés outside but it is threatening to rain again. The bride is at the house getting ready. Who is going to help?
Problem 4: Cars have started to arrive and were meant to be parking in the field, who will redirect them and coordinate this?
Problem 5: The bride is serving high tea, but the lids of the teapot are nowhere to be seen. The caterer cannot locate the wine, the planner is at the church with the couple, how do we find them?
Problem 6: The caterer’s staff do not appear to have been briefed. Who will do this and make sure that the tables are served correctly and that no one is out of wine?
Problem 7: It’s nearing the evening and there are over 300 tea lights to light, half of which are waterlogged, they need drying and the wicks made prominent, who is going to do this?
Problem 8: The band have just arrived and are refusing to enter into the water logged field, who is around to deal with this?
Solution 1: I called down to the local farm and asked if the farmer could come and help a damsel in distress! He came along in his big red tractor with a huge hay bale. Firstly, he towed to caterer out and then he lay all of the hay down to soak up the excess rain so that other suppliers could enter the field.
Solution 2: My team and I were on site early so we could do our best to soak up puddles in the marquee. We of course tested the electricity supply and as soon as we could see it was not working, I used my contact sheet (list of everyone involved in the wedding – from the wedding party to suppliers) and he talked me through how to reset it.
Solution 3: The nibbles could not be put outside as they would most definitely get wet! As a planner we make decisions bet on sensibility and even though the details are paramount, alternative solutions must be considered if it’s at a detriment to the canapés! So I arranged for them to be put next to the martini table and instructed the waiting staff to walk round and offer them out once the guests had arrived.
Solution 4: Myself and member of my team coordinated this. I absolutely insist on having a team for the day if the venue and reception are in 2 locations, and also for the fact that I may be called away at any time for more pressing issues. This particular time needed management as the field was too wet to let the cars in, so alternative parking needed to be found so my team organised this.
Solution 5: Teamwork! At this point I was needed at the marquee so I sent a team member to go to the house to look for the lids, whilst I looked in the marquee and catering tent. The lids were located in the shed at the house and bought down whilst the wine was hiding underneath some trestle tables. We kept in constant communication with our walky talkies!
Solution 6: The fact that the caterer had not briefed the team, was very concerning so I took this upon myself to ensure that we managed the clients expectation.(This coordination was an ‘on the day’ service and we shall speak in more depth about why I no longer offer this, as you haven’t had a chance to establish relationships and expectation and so it’s not always easy to do that on the day) Another member of the team gave a quick demonstration of how to open the wine and pour.
Solution 7: You get the picture now….myself and the team!!! Armed with plenty of long lighters, (all provided by me in my handy ‘Wedding kit’!) We were able to light these discreetly and quickly for that gorgeous evening ambience!
Solution 8: Being that the marquee was in a private field, I had arranged for security at the gate so he was able to call me on the radio so that I could go and assist. They insisted that they hadn’t been told of the location (another ‘on the day’ annoyance as this would have been covered in a full/partial plan!) But with some conversation we managed to get them on board and into the marquee – and they were fabulous!
In summary, I do hope that you can see from this real example problems that I have faced, just how important myself and the team were to the smooth running of the day. And the bride and groom had a wonderful relaxed day and knew nothing of the dramas! The couple did not have a plan B. This has been one of my biggest challenges as a planner and I will not let my couples NOT have one. Unfortunately, whilst we can control many things, we can’t control the weather! But we CAN problem solve and give you that stress-free day.
Read all about how to choose your planner HERE.
Images 1 & 4 (marquees) courtesy of The Pearl Tent Company
Wedding sign Image courtesy of John Knight Photography