I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but there are a lot of things that can go wrong on your wedding day. Even before the pandemic and having to figure out how to reschedule a day you’d been planning for months or years in only a matter of months, there are the more ordinary concerns that pop up on your big day. My job as a planner and a coordinator is to ensure the least number of issues and correcting any concerns as quickly as possible. My policy is to avoid letting the couple know what’s going on behind the scenes, but I thought for a little fun, I’d share a couple of standards that have come my way through the years.
Missing People: I’ve had couples who want to skip a first look and take family portraits during cocktail hour. I let them know right away that this will limit the amount of time they have for pictures. Immediately after the wedding, the guests want to congratulate the couple, but since we’re on a time crunch, I coral the bridal party and family away from the crowd and then work on clearing out the room so that we can start with pictures. But there’s always that one person who wanders off with the crowd (even though I was specific about what would happen after the ceremony). So while the bride and groom are taking pictures, I have my assistant run off to find the missing person so that they can get back in time for which ever group they were supposed to be a part of. There’s a lot of running around and often convincing the person to come back for photos before anyone notices that they’re missing. I’ve also had to track down wedding party members before the ceremony and ensure that they are in the lineup before we begin. Sometimes it comes down to the wire and has me sweating that we are going to start late, but I always get them there!
Unexpected Guests: I deal with a lot of different cultures, and there are some receptions where the guests don’t feel it was necessary to RSVP (or, in some cases, they’ve never even received an invitation). So, what happens when a table full of people shows up on the day of the wedding completely unexpected? I have this conversation with my couples before the wedding so that I can follow their wishes. It might mean playing bouncer and letting the uninvited guests know that we don’t have a seat for them; it might mean seeing who didn’t show up and slotting them in to available seats; or it might mean finding a place for a new table that wasn’t on the list so that they can all be seated. Having the conversation before the wedding means that I don’t have to go figure out with the couple what they’d like to do when these situations arise.
Whenever a couple doesn’t have a professional coordinator on site, these situations have to be handled by the couple (or, in limited instances, someone else in the family or the bridal party). The venue will, by necessity, had to disturb your wedding day flow and have someone come handle these situations. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather know that these last-minute emergencies were handled and allow myself to enjoy the day (and the same goes for my family and friends). If you’d like to learn about other emergencies, subscribe to the blog or contact us for help with your concerns!