We all know wedding planners are absolute lifesavers—which is why we always recommend hiring at least a month-of coordinator to ensure your celebration goes off without a hitch. But, aside from the obvious wrangling of vendors and straightening of linens, there are endless things a wedding planner does behind the scenes to keep your soirée running smooth and seamlessly. Today, then, we've tapped the expertise of five LVL Academy grads to talk their lists of the most subtle and stealthy tasks a planner performs that you might not know about.
From Richel Cole of For the Good:
- We do the heavy lifting and transportation of items from each location if it’s not directly from a vendor. Remember all those DIY projects? We’re the ones who place all of those design items out for you and ensure they look perfect.
- We handle family drama so you don’t have to! Our goal is to ensure that you’re not stressed out during your special day, so our team mediates most family issues—from certain family members not wanting to sit next to each other to family bringing unaccounted guests to everything in between. We make sure that the situation is handled in a way that is respectful, polite, and does not interfere with your day!
- We boutonnière and bustle! Quite often the groom (and groomsmen) come up to us with absolutely no idea of how to pin their boutonnières on, so we carefully navigate the fabric of their attire to secure their floral for them. Likewise, our brides often aren’t aware of the intricacies of their bustle, and their bridesmaids don’t know how to do it either, so that’s where we come in! You’ll find us pinning, clipping, and buttoning every type of bustle around just so you can walk with ease in your beautiful gown!
- We want our couples to end their night and go back up to their bridal suite relaxed and in the best mood. So to ensure this, we are the ones who clean and prep the suite for our couple. This includes bringing up any miscellaneous items from the wedding to decorate the room, making sure it’s tidy from the morning of getting ready, and of course...making sure there’s some food and drinks waiting for the newlyweds!
- We’re your biggest advocates throughout the day! We are there to make sure every vendor arrives on time, that everyone is doing their jobs, and that you get the wedding of your dreams! If anything doesn’t go as planned, we are there to troubleshoot it and find a solution so that way you don’t have to. From being the first ones on site to the last ones to leave, we work up to 20-hour days. While our couples are busy getting married and being present in each moment, our team of hardworking pros are making sure each of those moments is everything they dreamed it to be.
From Mary Homer of Fairytale Weddings & Events:
- I always have an "emergency bag" on hand which has everything you can think of in it. From makeup to super glue—and even poli-grip for grandma's dentures (this actually happened to me). My husband tells me I have the "kitchen sink" in mine.
- We stand in the rain with umbrellas so you can walk into the reception space without getting wet. My staff and I were drenched, however our bride looked phenomenal with her new husband and was very dry for introductions and their first dance.
- We handle pets—typically dogs—who are in the wedding. We encourage our clients to hire a professional handler; however, not everyone can do so. That's where we jump in to ensure everything goes smoothly and that your canine is under control.
- We ensure the wedding cake is in place and ready for the reception—even when the venue chef forgets to bake the cake. (Yes, this happened!) The bride and groom were none the wiser until they cut the beautiful cake and realized it was chocolate. (Obviously, chocolate is not your typical wedding cake.) Still, a chocolate cake was better than no cake at all—and the couple was so relieved it all worked out in the end without them having to scramble to fix the issue themselves.
- We run out for ice when clients underestimate the amount of ice they will need for their bar. (This happens more than you may think!) We are always happy to jump in and ensure the reception goes on without skipping a beat.
From Jillian Howell of Jillian Howell Events:
- A great wedding planner mediates family drama so the couple can enjoy the day despite issues from divorced parents, in-laws, and unruly wedding guests. Lingering family issues often come to the surface either during the planning process or on the day of. Your planner is a pro at mediating these situations and giving advice to make sure your day is still your day.
- We make sure your vendors are doing what you've contracted them to do—reaching out for confirmations in the days and weeks prior and finalizing last-minute logistics on your behalf. We often find ourselves giving parking information, directions, etc. so your day runs smoothly and on time.
- We step in whenever and wherever we're needed. This could mean setting a table for a late waitstaff member, helping your florist unload flowers, cuing musicians, or running a last-minute errand. Things always come up—and, as your wedding planner, we will always be there to make sure everything is setup properly and things run smoothly.
- Your wedding planner helps style certain photos for your photographer. We often help with detail shots—like invitations, jewelry, shoes, etc.—and we even gather family members and bridal parties for group shots. (I can't tell you how many drinks I've held for groomsmen who don't want to take a break from cocktail hour to take a few photos.)
- We arrive early and stay late! We are there to make sure your wedding day is a beautiful, memorable celebration—and to ensure you don't have to lift a finger to make it that way. Your planner is probably one of the first people on site, and the last to go home!
From Michelle Mill of Le Wedding Mill:
- A wedding planner acts as your stress sponge: As the wedding approaches, things become increasingly emotional and stressful. Wedding planners become your “stress sponge” and handle all the last-minute surprises or logistical issues, so that you don’t have to. Whether it be tracking down a vendor who hasn’t answered your email the week of the wedding or finding seats for your college roommate who shows up without notice, with a plus one, wedding planners are equipped to swoop in and take the stress away from you so that you can wholeheartedly enjoy the big day.
- A wedding planner checks your work: Wedding planners, known for their attention to detail, have a knack for spotting glitches and fixing them before anyone notices them. For example, in the age of DIY, some couples opt to create their own seating charts or place cards. A planner checks and re-checks them to make sure there are no typos, or that you didn’t forget to include your mom’s best friend. A couple once handed me their seating chart the night before the wedding. It was comprised of 5x7 cards printed for each table. Let’s just say that there were a few mistakes and the tables didn’t correspond with the tables laid out in Aisle Planner. I put my graphic design skills to the test and redid them all! Not only did they turn out quite nicely, they allowed us to avoid a big logistical nightmare on the big day. Wedding planners are used to being a few steps ahead of their clients and are always in problem-solving mode. Often, they see an issue and fix it discreetly before anyone, including the couple, has a chance to pick up on it in the first place.
- A wedding planner thinks of your guests: A wedding planner knows that as much as the wedding is about the couple, the guest experience is so important. We want the guests to feel like they were at the best wedding they’ve ever attended. This is where our attention to detail shines. Our team at le wedding mill always carries an emergency kit that includes items specifically for the guests: greeting cards for the guest who didn’t have time to pick one up on the way, lollipops in case the ring bearer needs a little incentive to get down the aisle, and a first aid kit that would make any paramedic proud.
- A wedding planner helps to style the photos of your big day: There is a lot to take in on a wedding day, so much so that couples often forget what the set up actually looked like. A wedding planner will ensure that key elements—such as the cocktail decor or the reception menus—are photographed so that the couple can remember them forever. Moreover, a wedding planner will schedule moments in the timeline for the couple to sneak out and take some beautiful portraits, usually at sunset.
- A wedding planner keeps the peace: As couples get closer to their big day, it is not uncommon for wedding stress to get the best of them. As a result, arguments over the small details can happen more frequently than usual. A wedding planner often acts as a sounding board or a voice of reason to help see the couple through their disagreement and resolve it in a way that is fair to both parties—within reason of course!
From Courtney Johnston of Kelsey Rae Designs:
- We set up and broke down 250 chairs for a ceremony and reception because there was no set up included on the rental contract.
- We've sewn the Mother of the Bride into her dress (because it ripped 15 minutes before the ceremony!).
- We've even officiated the ceremony after the pastor went to the wrong venue (true story).
- We've driven 30 minutes to and from the bride's getting-ready house to drop off bouquets, because the florist didn't include multiple drop-off locations in her contract.
- We've driven to the couple's hotel—after the groom forgot their wedding license in the room—and brought the license back to the venue for everyone to sign.
Psst...wondering the difference between the various types of wedding planners? We've broken it all down for you here!