From the Experts, Wedding Planning Tips
Heather’s Guide to Coordinating the Wedding Party: Part Two
This week, our QC Event School tutor, Heather Vickery, tells us how to successfully coordinate the wedding party. Heather is the Owner and Event Director of Greatest Expectations Special Events and Weddings, one of Chicago’s most celebrated event planning and design firms.
Don’t miss Part One of Heather’s Guide!
Over the years, I have had more and more clients want a very small wedding party or none at all. There are many reasons for this trend. Often is it because people are looking for less pomp and circumstance, want an intimate affair or they have too many people to decide between. In my experience, this does not mean brides and grooms don’t have a support system. They still have people step up to throw a wedding shower or get ready with them on the big day—but there is less red tape to worry about. There are a lot of other ways loved ones can be part of the wedding, without serving as an attendant. Some examples include: being a greeter, doing a reading and serving as guest book attendant.
There are also a lot of creative ways to design a wedding party! It is 2017—there are no rules! I see this most often with same-sex couples. They often have men and women standing up on both sides. Old school gender rules no longer apply (thank goodness). Many years ago, I had a very good friend ask me to stand up at his wedding—to be his “Best Woman.” Be creative here—empower your clients to think out of the box and do what feels authentic to them.
By setting boundaries and managing expectations, you can make everyone’s lives easier. Basically, this is simply doing your job! Provide a detailed planning timeline that lets clients know what needs to happen during the planning process, by when, and who is responsible for the task. Also, the weekend-of timeline is so crucial; essentially nothing happens without it! Break everything down in great detail and be sure to share this with the wedding party. Let them know exactly where to be and when. Tell them what to expect when they get there—what their responsibilities are and what is expected of them.
At the Rehearsal
Meeting everyone at the rehearsal is key. It is important that they know who you are and the best way to reach you and your onsite team members. Let them know you are there for anything and not to bother the clients—always come to you first.
I always let those giving a speech know I will come and get them when it is time to speak. They do not need to keep an eye on the time, they do not need to stress about anything because you are there to ensure everything gets done properly and on time!
Your job is as much about managing the wedding party on the big day, as it is the clients and vendors. You are 100% responsible for ensuring everything happens as it should so that your clients get the day of their dreams.