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The first wedding that I’d ever worked, my nerves were running high. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would I forget something and sabotage the entire wedding? There’s an overwhelming amount of things to keep up with. Luckily, I have a very experienced boss whose shared her wisdom of planning with me. She’s given me the opportunity to experience and problem solve for myself, as well. Many weddings later, I can confidently tell you that I still don’t have all of the answers to planning.
Advice from my boss and experience has taught me that sometimes things don’t always go as planned – this is the beauty of event planning, though. Things are chaotic at times, but you should build a team that can combine forces to problem solve. For those new to the planning industry, or just curious about planning in general, I can offer you three key pieces of advice:
1. Expect the unexpected
No matter how many weddings you’ve planned, no two are the same. Anything could happen. There’s always a chance that something could go wrong. Once, our team forgot the fuel for tiki torches and had to run to the store and buy some for the send off. Though it was stressful, we figured it out in time. Important variables to consider:
Timing: My boss always stresses the importance of having “buffer time” throughout the entire process of coordinating an event.
Budget: In the case that you confuse a vendors price, or have to run and get lighter fluid for tiki torches, it ‘s important to keep an “emergency stash of cash,” as my boss calls it.
Weather: You never know what you’re going to get living in Austin, Texas. If it’s going to rain, consider having a tent, or have extra umbrellas on-hand for guests walking from one point to the next.
2. Communication is key
Communicating with team members, the wedding party, their guests, and the vendors is the most crucial part to planning – not just during the event, but throughout the entire planning process. Everyone needs to be on the same page for the event to run smoothly. Successful communication starts with a complete and precise production timeline, including; roles, responsibilities, contact sheets, design layouts, etc. If everyone is on the same page, and has reviewed the timeline ahead of time, it’ll be much easier to adapt and handle certain situations that may arise. For a quick & easy timeline template, check out office timeline .
3. Be patient and forge meaningful connections
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I’m sure we’re all familiar with the saying “patience is a virtue,” and to survive & thrive in the event industry attainment of this virtue is crucial. Wedding season is a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. As planners, we must develop the innate ability to handle whatever is thrown at us in the midst of chaos – this is our job, after all. There will be times when a bride, bridal party and families get overwhelmed with the many details. As planners, it’s our job to alleviate them of this stress by taking care of all the details, and remaining patient if and when clients get overwhelmed. Killing people with kindness always work. Everyone is distracted and time starved – these things are to be expected. Being aware of these factors and remaining patient is of the upmost importance. Events can be stressful, but having fun with your team, the wedding party and other vendors make the planning process a lot easier.