Monday, May 24, 2010

How many assistants do you have today?

I get asked this question a lot on particularly tricky wedding days that are when there are a gaggle of girls dressed in black running around.

My answer? "Enough to get it done right"

The above picture of Neusha, Nira, Sacha*, Krista, and I was taken by the wonderful Carolyn Troadec of Troadec Photography as we were taking a moment to watch Nicole & Rocco get married at The Athenaeum at Caltech in Pasadena. Assistant overload? Not in my opinion. The Athenaeum is a tricky venue where getting guests where they need to be is much easier said than done.

Nira & Neusha were assigned to escort 185 guests from parking around the building to the ceremony site.
Sacha was assigned to the bride, bridal party, & family for getting photos done in a timely manner.
Krista was assigned to ceremony & reception set up (programs, mic check, unity candle, escort cards, etc)
I was overseeing all of the above and all vendor/family questions that arose. And rocking red sparkly jewelry.

Because we were not radioed together (walkie talkie ear buds hurt my ears) and the processional started from THREE separate areas, I had to carefully choreograph the below to make the ceremony start on time. It became a chain reaction that could not be stopped once it started. We're awesome though, so we started at 5:00 on the dot.

4:50 PM
Sacha takes Nicole, Bridesmaids, Ring Bearer & Flower girls across grass to archways. (Make human shield around Nicole)
Krista tells Mothers Elisa & Robyn to go light the unity candle. Line grandparents & parents up on side of building on brick pathway.
Nira lines up Father Mike, Groom Rocco, then Nic, James, Michael, & Robby in side door at top of stairs.
Neusha directs any late arriving guests

Once people are in place, Krista instructs Jazz band to begin processional.
5:00 PM
Ceremony Begins Song: Ribbon in the Sky by Stevie Wonder
Krista sends:
1. SMOB Patsy escorted by Grandp B.
2. Grandpa & Grandma F.
3. MOG Robyn escorted by FOG Tony
When Parents of Groom are seated, Nira sends:
4. Father Mike, Groom Rocco, then Nic, James, Michael, & Robby
When boys are in place, Sacha sends bridesmaids:
5. Lauren
6. Kristen
7. Alisa
8. Heather
9. Ringbearer Brandon (remind him to walk the rings to the foot of the stairs) walks with Flowergirls Madi, Charli, & Mia
SONG CHANGE to "Bridal Chorus"
Nicole walks down the pathway by herself and meets BOTH parents at bottom of chairs to walk up to front

Once the reception begins I cut all but one or two assistants to help me througouht the night.
So how many assistants do I have at each wedding? Enough to get it done right.

*Sacha is holding a fork that she found on the ground. And that is not a beer bottle in her hand. It's a soda bottle that I also believe she found. 


Janice Carnevale said...

I love finding random things at the venues from previous events. I also end up with a lot of trash in my pockets at the end of the night. As always, love the blog Amber!

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful example of the thought and preparation a wedding planner contemplates for their clients.

What do you do when the needs of the event evolves during the planning process beyond the additional staff hours that were contracted? Do you book the client for that additional time afterward, or do you just absorb the cost and not pass that on to the client? I'm sure some venues you'll know for sure you'll need a certain number of staff and can plan accordingly, right?

Thanks for sharing your insight!
The Ebell of Los Angeles

Mr Frostings said...

Nice blog Amber! As a vendor, there is nothing more frustrating than having to search for help when there is a question. We hate to bug a Coordinator over minor details, when they are so busy with more important matters, so finding an Assistant is critical to us.

Amber Events said...

Janice & Mr. Frostings, thank you so much for your kind words!

Melissa, great question! I have yet to have a wedding where I did not foresee a large-ish staff needed, but if a wedding expanded to a bigger scale, I would have to talk to my clients and explain the situation. Labor is expensive, as you well know!