Hey! So glad you’re here!
Before I get to it, allow me to let you in on how this first wedding of mine came about! Flashback to late February 2018. After meeting Jacquie & Adam just a week or so before, I went out on a limb (shaky hands and all) and sent Jacquie a message asking if she had a weekend-of coordinator for their upcoming wedding (upcoming as in happening in 3 weeks from the time I hit send).
Jacquie: “Nope. Lol my friend Becca and my mom are doing it.
Me: Here’s the SparkNotes version – I explained I was beginning to take steps towards becoming a wedding planner and asked if she’d allow me to help!
Jacquie: “Girl!!! I will tell my mom because she will absolutely LOVE someone to coordinate things! (Plus I’ll be glad she won’t be so stressed).”
And the rest is history!
Was I crazy for taking on my first wedding with only 3 weeks lead time? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Absolutely. It was an adventure, for sure, but every day and every wedding is a chance to learn something new and get better. And what’s the quote? Growth doesn’t happen in comfort zones. Here’s 10 lessons I learned outside of mine!
1. Comfort over couture. Function over fashion. 👠
Speakkking of comfort zones. There’s one zone I learned that needs to stay comfy – the zone that is my feet. Y’all, I looked like a newborn calf walking to my car at the end of the night AND most of the next day. So, here’s a note to myself and all the ladies come the big day, you are going to be on your feet for a long period of time! Plan accordingly! If you’re set on wearing the cute, strappy heels or the stunner stilettos – break them in or bring a comfy pair of sandals to change into. Whether it’s your shoes or dress, make sure you can move, groove and it’s dance floor approved! There’s a reason the first three letters of function spell FUN. You’ll thank me later!
2. I love wedding day surprises. As long as I know about them ahead of time! 😜
I found out a day or two before the wedding that the groom had planned a special surprise performance for the ceremony. A couple would be singing one of the bride’s favorite songs from Beauty and the Beast. Super super sweet, but this type A, type 1 personality was thrown for a bit of a loop. But, it was my job to make sure it went off without a hitch. And it did! Jacquie loved it, the couple singing nailed it and now I know to ask the bride, groom and wedding party if they have anything up their sleeves much further in advance.
3. Providing pronunciations to the DJ is a must. And DJ does not equal MC. 🎤
I provided the DJ the names and order for the introductions a week in advance and discussed it in detail over the phone and the day of. After the first introduction, I knew I had left out a crucial detail: pronunciations! If you want to avoid Kassie being announced as Kacey and Alexis as Alex, provide your DJ with the pronunciations of all names he or she will need to say throughout the night! Also, there is a big difference between a DJ and an MC and not all DJ’s do both well. It is ultimately up to the DJ to manage the flow and keep the party going and that’s done through both the speakers and the mic.
4. Emergency kits are life. 🙌🏽
If your planner or venue doesn’t provide one, make sure you have a wedding day emergency kit on hand. It will get used and it will save lives! Okay, maybe a tad dramatic. But seriously, if there’s any day you’re going to need a Tide To-Go, stick of chalk, safety pin, Neosporin, toothpick, static spray and 300 bobby pins all in a matter of minutes, it’s going to be your wedding day.
5. Balloons lose air. And if I’m not careful with what voices I choose to listen to, so can I. 🎈
I walked into the venue the night before to find Jacquie, Adam and a group of their friends and family blowing up balloons. To be honest, my first thought was “Wowsers! This girl really loves her balloons!” I wasn’t a huuuuuge fan, but I didn’t have to be! It was their day, not mine! My second thought was “Surely helium is going to last through the night.” I really wasn’t sure if it would or wouldn’t (balloons are finicky) and I was a little afraid of stepping on toes coming on so late in the game, so I didn’t say anything and moved on to a different project. Welllllll, the bride’s mom and aunt stopped by the venue early the next morning and turns out, the helium didn’t last through the night and operation saggy balloons was in full swing. Jacquie sent me a text letting me know they had come up with a fix, but to check on it when I arrived. I really wanted to be okay with her mom and aunt’s salvage work, but my gut was saying no and with hours to go before the reception, I didn’t want to risk it getting worse. After clearing it with the bride, operation saggy balloons was terminated. Fast forward to the end of the night. As the last truck was being loaded, the bride’s uncle turned to me and said, “So you’re the one who wants to be a wedding planner huh? Did you learn any lessons?” I said, “Oh yeah, tons!” And he replied serious as a judge, “Yeah, like don’t blow balloons up the night before.” I smiled and let out what little laugh I had in me and said, “Yep!” I just busted my butt for 12+ hours and this guy decided he needed to point out the one negative? Well, I decided I was going to focus on all of the positives instead. That moment was huge for me. I promised myself that no matter how many more Uncle V’s came my way, I would learn from the negatives but not dwell on them. As you get closer to what you’re called to do, it’s funny how the voices of fear, discouragement and hesitation get louder.
6. A wedding cake can survive a ride in my trunk. But I prefer to never try that again. 🎂
New to the planning thing, I pretty much said yes to whatever Jacquie asked in those three short weeks. That included agreeing to pick up the cakes. What did I get myself into?! Thanks to my husband aka voluntold planning assistant, he carried the main cake on his lap and the groom’s cake hitched a ride in my trunk. That’s the hardest I’ve prayed and slowest I’ve driven to date. And that’s also what lent to the birth of a couple bullet points in my contract. Sorry y’all, after that near heart attack – your cake has to find its own ride.
7. It’s all about you! 💙
I’m here to serve you and bring your dreams and vision to life! Emphasis on your, not mine or theirs. I learned that I don’t have to have the same style, favorite colors, budget priorities, vendor preferences, etc. to be able to serve my couples well. In fact, it’d be boring to plan the same type of wedding over and over again. I enjoy seeing each couple’s uniqueness shine through in their plans and ideas and it’s an honor to bring them to life.
8. Sh*t happens. 🤷♀️
Excuse my french, but Forrest Gump was right. I’m talking to myself and to you when I say, sh*t will happen and it will be okay. Roll with the punches, adapt to change and make the most of every moment! Like when Jacquie & Adam planned to have their grand exit outside with glow sticks, but there was a convenient, suuuuper well-lit overhang right outside the door. You cut the lights inside, make a glow stick tunnel and have a mini rave/fake exit.
9. Three weeks is not too late to book a weekend-of coordinator! ⏲
While there are time frames that are more ideal than others, there is no bad time to book a weekend-of coordinator. “Our engagement was only 6 months and we found Erin at the very end of that and she came in and took over and we are so grateful we were able to have her!” They didn’t have to find out what their day would’ve been like without one and I pray that you don’t either! No matter where you’re at in the process, head to the Investment page or Contact page to learn how I can help you!
Dotted & Crossed,
P.S. Fun facts about my OG bride and groom + their special day: They honeymooned at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Adam is a teacher turned firefighter. Jacquie is a nurse practitioner. They nailed the food department with an authentic taco bar – you had me at queso! They got married on St. Patty’s Day!