Welcome to Lesson II of Wedding Planning 101 with Cheers Babe & Hand and Heart Events! If you missed Part I, be sure to read and gather some great insight about how weddings are coordinated and what your expectations of your coordinator can and should be. In today’s lesson we are diving into all things Pre-Ceremony. I’m talking the day of your wedding, & all that time before the big sha-bang where you and your bridal party are getting ready.
Lesson 2: Pre-Ceremony
First we’ll chat from my perspective – your photographer. There are a couple crucial things to keep in mind for your pre-ceremony time that will profoundly affect how your photos during this time will turn out.
- Choosing your getting ready location is EVERYTHING.
- Look for a room or even airbnb (or a family member’s home) with great light. This is THE single most important thing that will determine how great your images will turn out. Specifically, try to find a wide, open room with a huge window or windows! It becomes limiting to me, your photographer, if you choose to get ready in a dark and cramped hotel room and leaves me with few options for detail photos and even candids of you and your bridal party. Consider a room with great light for the groom too! Many times I’ve had a bride with a wonderfully lit room to get ready in and the groom is across the hall on the “dark side of the hotel”. You can always (and should) request rooms that have the most natural light.
- Also keep in mind the cleanliness of your getting ready space. Often times I have to take time away from photographing the bride & her details to move water bottles, tissues, bridesmaids luggage (girls. have. so. much. stuff.), and things of that nature out of the photo’s frame. Pro tip would be to designate a side room for everyone’s personal belongings and keep food and beverages off of tables in the main space.
- Be sure to have the following items in the room so your photographer doesn’t miss a detail! Read this in-depth post for more details on why each of these are important and their nuances.
- The invitation suite and any/all other paper goods
- Your dress, veil & a photogenic hanger
- Rings — engagement + both bands
- Any other jewelry you’ll be wearing
- Your shoes
- Bridesmaid gifts and gift from the groom
- Bridesmaid dresses + a spot to hang them
- Your Bouquet + a few extra loose sprigs and buds from your florist for styling
- Something bubbly to toast the bride!
- For the groom, his jacket, tie, cufflinks, shoes, watch, & any other accessories
So, those are the main concerns I have as your photographer about your getting ready space. Now, let’s hear from expert Kellyne of Hand & Heart Events on the coordinator’s perspective for all things pre-ceremony!
Hi Cheers Babe Brides, I’m Kellyne – your coordinator extraordinaire. Below I’ve broken down all the services that I provide to my brides during their preparation time – keep reading to take a massive burden off your shoulders on your wedding day.
- Prior to the day of your wedding, I will have shared a very detailed timeline with ALL of your vendors. This timeline will typically include:
- WHERE everyone will be getting ready (including hotel room numbers, addresses, gate codes etc.). I will be the point of contact for all vendors and will deal with any last minute timing issues (traffic jams, questionable directions, etc.).
- WHEN certain things should be happening (starting hair+makeup, finishing touches, zipping into dress, groomsmen putting on suits/tying ties). This ensures that your photographer and videographer will be present to capture all those special moments throughout your day. I will also be in contact with your florist to make sure your bouquets are delivered to your room in time for pre-ceremony photos/first look and will know where to go to pin bouts on the guys!
- When you choose to hire a coordinator, you do not have to worry about answering phone calls, text messages, giving directions, or managing time! You get to enjoy getting ready, sipping champagne, and relax before all the excitement begins!
- Coordinating Lunch + Beverages
- As coordinators, our goal is to make your day as relaxing and stress free as possible. If that means having bottles of champagne on ice, fresh fruit cut, or healthy lunch items delivered to your room, your coordinator will make sure that happens! We want to make sure that you’re hydrated and well-fed on your wedding day.
- Set Up!
- So you’ve spent the last year collecting decor, making DIY projects, coming up with the perfect guestbook alternative, scouring the internet for the ideal table numbers … who is going to set it all up? While it seems like easy enough tasks to hand off to your bridesmaids and family members, remember that this is a big day for them, too! They’re watching their best friend/sister/daughter/niece/etc. marry the love of her life and they deserve to be just as present. Leave these tasks to your coordinator! We will make sure that all the votives are put on tables, the guestbook has the correct pens and signage to go with it, the table numbers are on their respective tables, ceremony rows are roped off and reserved for family members, and all the other tiny details that you’ve poured your heart into over the past months (or year) are executed flawlessly. We relish those moments to bring your vision to life and see it all come together!
That’s it from me! I’ll be back next month to share some more knowledge with you!
Stay tuned for the following installments of Wedding Planning 101 – next month we’ll be chatting about how to prepare for all things ceremony & I cannot wait to share the goods with you!