48 hours in the life of a Wedding "Day of Coordinator"
This is a story of what the average Day of Coordinator goes through for the 48 hours previous to and during your wedding day. Happy reading.
It’s 4 am on Friday, the day before your wedding. As the Wedding coordinator, I look over the 14 page Time line to ensure that everything that I need to have done has been handled. I’ll start the day off by ensuring that all of the vendors have their time line, the directions, know what time they need to be there and answer any last minute questions. The vendors that need to be at rehearsal, I’ll make sure that they know what time and where as well as they MUST be there on time. Ok, now it’s 6am and I need to set up all of the floral buckets to be ready for the floral delivery this morning. Be sure to have the perfect amount of floral preserver in the water and that each type of flower will be at the right temperature to prevent premature opening or wilting. 7am, wow we’re just cruising right along! It’s time to re-check all 40 boxes of items that need to go to the ceremony & reception against the packing list to ensure that nothing is left behind. Oh, here’s the box of the favors, the little pristine bows have not been tied on the favor boxes yet. Start an assistant on that. Two other assistants and I continue checking boxes against the packing list, duty roster and ensure that the correct picture is attached to the box. Amen for assistants or I’d still be doing this after well after the rehearsal. The rest of the boxes are all accurate including all of the individual box labels and the tags so that staff knows what their jobs are and how it is to look upon completion. The two boxes of the bridal party and parents gifts have been placed in the car for this afternoon.
Oh great it’s 10am and the Fed Ex guy is here on time with the 20 large boxes of floral selections of the bride. The bouquets and all of the reception arrangements can be made after the flowers have had time to drink some water and de-stress. Thank the lord and not a moment too soon. All the flowers need to be unboxed, the stems trimmed and placed it their correct buckets to keep them safe until later today. Perfect the next staff member has arrived too to assist in making sure that all of the floral has as long as possible to get acclimated to Denver’s climate. Hooray that there is four of us working on this now. 1pm. Ok, now that’s done...... Again, Amen for assistants or I’d still be doing this through out the rehearsal too. The place looks like a hurricane hit it, but I have to be at rehearsal in a couple hours and I haven’t showered yet. Some day I'll have to name the hurricane that hits the office, just too busy to do it today. 3 pm, racing out the door with an assistant to help with rehearsal, fall down the stairs, bust the heel off my shoe. Change clothes so my shoes match. Race down the stairs again. Thankfully without falling down the stairs this time. You would think at 3 pm in Denver and headed downtown that there wouldn’t be much traffic, but everyone, their mother, and their dog are headed down here for something this afternoon. Left the other two assistants to begin preparing all floral forms for their flowers and let more staff in as we’re gone. Leave instructions as to how many need to have what length stems and if they need to remove all leaves &/or thorns possible. 4 pm. Finally, we made it to the reception and my assistant only asked me to slow down once so she didn’t lose me in all of the traffic. She said though that it seemed more like a carnival ride then a race against the clock to make it to the rehearsal. Now that’s a great record, usually I lose an assistant at least once in traffic. Grab the boxes from the back seat, ruin my hose on the car door, cuss under my breath and head into the flower garden of the facility. Rehearsal starts in 10 min’s. No one’s here. Shocking. We start at 4:10 regardless of who’s missing. We have to be out of this area by 5 so that the event scheduled here tonight can start setting up. 4:10 Well we’ve got about ½ of the wedding party, obviously 4:10 start time was confusing. Start explaining the procedure and lining them up, the others will need to catch up as we’re going through rehearsal. Thankfully the preacher made it on time. The explanation takes a good 20 minutes so that people know what’s going and where they need to be. Receive two frantic phone calls from the office. Tell them where to find what they are looking for. 4:30 pm just beginning the first walk through with out music. Send assistant to ensure that the driver is standing by to take the wedding party and family to rehearsal dinner. First rehearsal looks similar to a duck waddling to the water’s edge with one leg shorter then the other. That’s why we do it twice and three times if there’s enough time with the second and third being rehearsed with music. Of course during rehearsal we don’t go through the entire ceremony, just the highlights so people can understand what they should be doing when the time comes, practicing where to stand, with whom to stand and what happens at the end of the ceremony. And where they should be to start after ceremony pictures. 4:45pm Send my assistant to help out with rehearsal dinner, the handing out of gifts and getting the Grandma’s back home. I race back to the office to do the designs for the floral and show my other 10 staff members how they should look. Run back to the car and head down the highway like my hair is on fire, phoning the office for an update. Almost run over someone's hub cap in the road.
Saturday morning. It’s the day of the wedding. 6am, up and at ‘em. Take a shower, then head across town to the bride’s house to pick up the dress and all of her accessories. Make sure that the girls are close to ready for the hair and make up girls to arrive. The photographer arrives as I’m leaving. Head back to the office to meet the 16 staff members for load up, delivery and set up at the ceremony and reception locations. 8am, all the staff members arrive, right on time. More praise. 30 minute staff meeting so everyone knows to the expect, what to watch for and where any issues may arise so they can head them off before they are apparent to any one else. Begin the load up of every vehicle. Ensure that the dress and all accessories are in my car including the steamer and the bridal emergency bag. Make sure that the ladders have been loaded into a car and that none of the glass vases break during load up. Check the entire office including the refrigeration areas and loading area to ensure that nothing was missed. 10 am arrive at the ceremony and reception sites. Being the hours of chaos to ensure that the couple see’s everything that they have envisioned for their wedding day. Send an assistant up to steam the dress and veil. Place the flowers in their coolers in the bridal suite for the ladies of the bridal party, the mothers and the bride. Receive a couple phone calls from lost vendors because they forgot the map, directions and timeline. Get them back on track and continue to get the locations ready. Get stopped by the venue stating that they needed to approve a décor install before we can proceed. Locate paperwork showing that we had the approval and continue. 4 pm. The bride and her entourage arrive. Send them up to the bridal suite to complete the bride. Send an assistant up to keep them calm and ensure that everything is in place. 4:15 the guests and ushers start arriving. Locate the appointed family member to handle the guest book and assist with gifts at the gift table. Have the ushers start seating guests. 4:30 pm the gentleman of the bridal party arrive. The staff has completed the elaborate ceremony and reception décor set up. Four staff members stay to pick up the slack that may and usually does occur during the remainder of the day. 4:35 head up to the bridal suite to see how things are going. Send the photographer out to take pictures of the gentleman and his family while we finishing primping. Call the photographer at 4:55 to come back and get completed pictures of the ladies and her family. Head back downstairs to make sure that the usher’s are a good way into seating people and that the guys are ready to begin their roles.
5 pm have the musicians start the music for the ceremony. Line the grandparents, mothers and the rest of the ladies up. Have the gentlemen with the exception of the groom ready to proceed down the aisle. Nerves are frazzled for all of the family right about now. Begin the processional and cues for the wedding. Poor flower girl is unhappy that she's having to be up there, bride her to be quiet with a piece of gum, while leaning over the banister so I'm not in pictures, catch my dress on the bush and lose my balance falling into the bushes. All scraped up and looking like I've been in a cat fight and lost, brush myself off and pick the bushes out of my hair. Now the real fun has just begun. We’ve still got another 6 hours of cues to give to ensure a flawless and seamless wedding and we haven’t even started the clean up yet. If you remember from the begging of this post, we've embellished some, i.e. the falling down the stairs and into the bushes, but we wanted you to be able to have some fun when reading our blog sometimes. We really are fun and not always stuffy.
Now if you really think that you can handle all of this on your own after you have spend months planning your wedding, you all know who I’m talking about. Then we can not help you. However, if you read this and thought that there is no way that I can do this, but I want the wedding of my dreams, then you need Jennifer Lane Events & Wedding based in Denver Colorado. We handle all of this and so much more for you so you can enjoy your wedding as couple instead of stressing out and becoming a bridzilla on your wedding day. Don’t put your self, family and friends through this by trying to do it all yourself. Call Jennifer Lane Events & Wedding now for your free consultation. We schedule appointments by both phone and in person at night and on the weekends so you can still work.