Thursday, August 27, 2009

A wedding day in the life of a wedding planner (part 3 of 4)

The Ceremony & Cocktail hour

When guests start arriving I bring one of the assistants to start answering their questions and I have the bridal attendant round up the family and bridal party for lineup. Ceremonies usually start 15 minutes after the invitation time (30 minutes in the Jewish culture and up to 1 or 2 hours in some of the middle eastern cultures!) unless we are waylaid by guests lost in traffic.

Once the musician’s are cued, we start the Processional. I stay with the bride and we don’t open the doors until she is ready. Once the door closes behind the bride I high-five the closest assistant and race to talk to the Banquet Captain about the food and cocktail hour. I keep one assistant to watch over the ceremony and to text me (or radio me) when it ends.When the ceremony ends I run back to the doors to congratulate my clients and lead them to a private area where they can have some appetizers, champagne, and some deep breaths. Many times after these 10 or 15 minutes they want to see the ballroom and I love the look on their faces when they see it for the first time! Most of my clients see each other before their ceremony, but if all photos are not taken prior to the ceremony the entire cocktail hour has to be used for pictures.

If all photos are done the bride & groom can either join their guests for cocktail hour or just spend some alone time together. During cocktail hour I speak to the MC and Banquet Captain to go over the flow of the reception and the timing of the food. My assistants are finishing up details of the reception such as the candy bar, favors, or candle lighting. The photographer uses these last few minutes before guests come in to take detail shots of the reception. Once we announce that we are seating for dinner a bridesmaid or assistant and I usually bustle the bride’s dress in preparation for the reception.

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