When I started looking at the details of this blog I wanted to create something which really gives an insight into the world of being a wedding coordinator! It is not for the faint hearted; you work long hours, you have got to be fit, you need to be cool with getting your hands dirty, you needs bags of patience and finally I do think you need certain levels of being a little crazy!
All this said, I believe the main reason for taking on a role as a wedding coordinator is because you ADORE it!
Here’s a few areas which are key to role of a wedding coordinator!
A wedding coordinator is generally a role attached to a venue, rather than a much different role as a ‘wedding planner’. Wedding planners take on the much wider range of tasks from booking your entertainment, creating the style of your wedding, finding you accommodation, arranging travel plans and much more. Here at Thicket Priory, one of the UK’s destination wedding venues with accommodation, play a role of coordinating your wedding on-site.
From enquiry to booking, through to planning and delivery we are here to guide and provide advice where needed, with a wealth of knowledge and ideas to make the planning process lots and lots of fun! Knowledge of the Industry is something we must possess in order to build trust in our guidance! As a team we create blogs to educate and entertain you along the way, after all it is important to always remember we may have done this many times before but for our couples this is the first time! Direction is required!
One major role of being a Thicket Priory wedding coordinator is providing the ‘Master of Ceremonies’ announcements on your wedding day which requires a great deal of organisation, under the increased pressure of the wedding day itself! I absolutely love ringing the Gong and making announcements to guests on the wedding day.
The arrival of guests to the venue where they can pick up their room keys also takes a lot of organisation, creating all the hand written name tags which adds an extra level of personal touch.
Key for any wedding couple is to surround yourself by organised people!!
Map Design – Velvet May Designs
2. Friendly, welcoming, infectious personality…you cannot fake this, you have got to LOVE this job!
I think the most important trait of this role is to enjoy every minute of it! This is something I have experienced at it’s best and also at levels which make me mad as a member of this industry! If you really don’t enjoy it…please find something you do! This is someone’s wedding and everyone there will see if you do not give it your all! If you’re not smiling you’re in the wrong job!
One of the biggest compliments which I have been paid over the years is when wedding guests take the time to talk to me about my job, saying things such as ‘you never stop smiling do you?’ or ‘you really do love your job don’t you?’! It really does show when you are working, and it definitely rubs off on your team! If you look grumpy, they will probably be looking grumpy too…if you are dancing to the evening reception band…the team will probably join in!!
I have even been known to dance with the father of the bride on a number of occasions and even found myself being pitched for dating (being a new singleton at the time) during the Groom’s speech!!
I have 1000’s of photographs from wedding days because I just love to capture new ideas, special moments, fun times, details and above all memories! You often see ‘behind the scenes’ where the wedding photographer or guests may not get to go, this means you can capture images which your couples really don’t expect! Like getting the confetti shot from a top window of the house!
As you become part of the extended guest list on a wedding day there is nothing better than listening to the speeches…it’s rare that I don’t get a little tearful!
In a world where I can definitely confirm Groomzilla’s are starting to outdo the Bridezilla’s of the world you need to exercise certain levels of patience when working in the world of weddings. Weddings produce emotions from one end of the scale to the other whether that be between the couples themselves, their families, friends or even suppliers who may not be as attentive as some couples would like.
Like everything in this industry I think adaptability is key as every couple are different, have different expectations, didn’t ways of communicating, varying levels of ‘negotiation skills’ and personalities which react in so many ways when faced with planning a wedding for the first time!
We completely understand that whilst planning your wedding is the only interaction we may have with our couples, they have busy lives outside of this and timelines for planning can be different for everyone. We as a venue need to exercise our patience with those who may not be quite as intuitive when it comes to their ‘to do’ lists as other. There are three categories you see most regularly:
I. The Spreadsheet Fanatic!
A couple in this category are generally super organised with their tasks, budgets and timelines! They love to have time in the diary for wedding planning and may even make a full weekend of it…or extreme cases take some time off work to do an ‘intensive wedding planning session. Everything is electronic and they are generally a step ahead of us when it comes to details meetings! We love you!
II. The Stationery Queen!
(I am definitely found of this category!) In here we find our couples are LOVE Paperchase; they have all matching wedding stationery, everything is colourful & visual…and they have such great ideas of what they’d like on their wedding day! This comes with pros and cons!
Pros: generally super organised, very clearly having lots of fun, you are creating memories for a ‘scrapbook’ to keep, collaboration is key where friends and family are generally roped in to help!
Cons: Stationery bills get expensive so be careful! Sometimes ideas can spiral out of control as you have ideas all over the place and loose track of your end goal whilst riding around on your white unicorn. Paper can get messy when in wedding planning small things can change quite a lot between day 1 and day ‘I do!’
III. The ‘We’ll do it next month’ Couple!
Another category which can be amazingly easy and smooth or if not handled correctly stressful and last minute.
Couples who don’t stress to much about the little things can make for a very smooth relaxed style of wedding coordinating as they are happy to plod along with their to do lists, with no stress if something doesn’t go quite to plan. They attitude of ‘we’ll find a solution’ is great!
Other end of the scale is a couple who is so laid back they may be attending their wedding in their PJ’s! We provide help and guidance at a level which should (touch wood) ensure each couple has a comprehensive list to work with. Please see Becca’s blog on Step-by-Step Planning!
However you fit in to these categories we are here to support your planning process! If you feel that the planning process would overwhelm you, this is where you may wish to consider a wedding planner! (We know a few great ones so do ask if you’d like a recommendation!)
4. Build your Network
As a wedding coordinator it is vital to be surrounded by a solid network of people; from your in-house team, to supplier and even the lovely couples who have been married at your venue.
The in-house team is SUPER important, almost to the level of telepathy between team members! It is operational magic when you are confident all members of the team know what should be happening when and sometimes all it takes is a glance to communicate what needs doing! A strong team build each other up and make for a team which our couples can fully trust in with ease.
Our ‘Friends of Thicket Priory’ are key to our network as wedding coordinators here at the Priory…and we have a great bunch of suppliers who we work very closely with to help all our couples and event hosts.
And finally, keeping in touch with those who have experienced your services first hand is a wonderful way to add to your network. Here’s a few images from the gorgeous Kim and Tom, Mr & Mrs Barker est. 7th March 2020, from their wedding day and also from a ‘lockdown’ episode of Thicket Priory Mr & Mrs. Kim & Tom were amazing sport’s in their episode, even dressing up in each others wedding day wear to add an extra level of entertainment. I really can’t be sure what poor Ruby would have been thinking when she saw her dad in a wedding dress!! I could not resist adding two of my favourite photos of Ruby from the planning stages where she enjoyed a Tunnocks Teacake in the bar and one from the wedding day itself!
5. It’s all in the Detail…
Wedding coordinating involves so much attention to detail, you must be a perfectionist to reach the expectations laid out to you by couples and event hosts. You can be responsible for everything from laying out name cards for the wedding breakfast to pressing play on the music for the entrance of the Bride!
There are so many lovely finishing touches which make you such an important part of the day, here’s a few of my favourites:
– Attaching the button holes…there’s nothing worse than a wonky button hole! And also providing the advice on which side to where the button whole. The father of the bride should have a flower on each side…one if the button hole and the other is the bride!
– Spreading the train of the wedding dress before the bride walks down the isle.
– Ensuring the couples get at least 10 minutes to themselves after being married where they can let the moment sink in with a glass of bubbles, without guests or a camera around.
…the final note of this blog is to sign off with some of my favourite images from our first weddings!
I cannot wait for more!
Carla Whittingham Photography
Pink Lily Photography
Phoebe Jane Photography
Jo Lawrence Photography
Tom Scott Photography
Nicola Dixon Photography