So, you got engaged, chose a wedding date, booked your venue and your band. You waded through guest-lists, smashed out budgets and asked your favourite people to be in your wedding parties. You googled long-range weather, ordered cutlery and met with trendy photographers. You did new things and expensive things and a few things that just weren’t fun. And, through it all, you stayed together.
Now the only thing left to get through is the wedding day itself. But everything’s organised, you smile knowingly at each other. What could possibly go wrong?
No matter how much planning you’ve done (and nailed, no doubt), when the day arrives there’s bound to be unforeseen niggles. And, if you’re running the whole thing yourselves, it doesn’t take long for a niggle to morph into a full-blown nightmare.
“Where is the caterer he was meant to be here an hour ago, and why is it spitting? Met Service NEVER mentioned spitting, we didn’t organise shelter! Oh god was that thunder? How could two portaloos POSSIBLY be blocked already, there’s only four people here! What time does the last bus leave? What do you mean you don’t know? It was practically your only job, PLEASE tell me you confirmed with Gary at Nimmons? Why are we missing thirty-five dinner plates and three-hundred forks? WHOSE BABY IS SITTING ON THE SPEAKERS?”
Enter, the on-the-day planner.
Whether you bring them on board a year in advance or reach out a week before the event, wedding planners and coordinators are worth at least three times their weight in gold. Liaising with rogue vendors, managing speech times between courses, directing guests to parking, moving marquees, grabbing a pair of tongs when the taco truck’s a man down … they’re on hand to do it all, so you and your partner don’t have to. Wellington’s Kater Weddings and Events believes a wedding planner is there to offer trusted industry advice, help with tricky decisions, dot ‘I’s and cross ‘t’s and provide emergency safety pins for last-minute wardrobe malfunctions. They know how much time, effort and love has gone into the lead-up to your wedding and they want you to take care of the little bits, so you and your partner can really, really enjoy it.
And although it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning your wedding – you really want to lock in that venue, Beauden Barrett’s caterer and maybe Adele for the aisle song – it pays to do a bit of research before you sign on any dotted lines. Stacey from Queenstown’s Colour Me Happy kindly (and wisely) suggests exploring what’s out there, creating a budget (we can help with that) and firming up a few key details, before emailing Adele’s tour manager. And if research and practicalities aren’t your thing – an initial chat with a wedding planner could be just what you need.
Another big part of a planner or coordinator’s role is logistics – which your wedding will be full of. Like a big Broadway bonanza, your wedding will be a production full of people, parts and potential pitfalls. Dunedin-based planners, Encore Events, are our Southern wedding gurus. They believe a planner’s (or coordinator’s) role is to be a voice and an advocate for their couples, making sure no corners are cut and no details – no matter how small – are missed. With hundreds of moving parts and dozens of vendors working together to produce something spectacular – it’s a planner’s job to make sure everyone is where they should be, when they should be. And their advice for all you couples out there? Surround yourself with the people who matter the most, support your partner (they’ll be your husband or wife very, very soon) and to sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful day.
And if the words ‘wedding planner’ are enough to send budget-related shivers down your spine, it could be worth getting in touch with a few planners or coordinators in your area (or those prepared to travel) to see what they offer at the lower end of their price range. Most planners out there will work within your budget, creating a personalised approach to ensure you’re getting the on-the-day help you need. Companies like Boheme Events in Auckland know the value of having a planner or coordinator on hand, and believe couples should view it as a solid investment in a magical, stress-free day. Always encouraging couples to stay true to their vision, they work to create a true representation of you and your partner – rather than directing you towards trends or others’ expectations. Your beautiful day, your beautiful way.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – here at The Curator, we love a good plan. And, we really love a good planner. While there are bound to be tiny hiccups (they can’t always stop your cousin from pashing your workmate in the vines) planners are there to pre-empt, prevent and patch up the big ones. Plan well, plan wisely and give the hard jobs to a planner. They’ll love it.