Module 5: The Wedding Team
A wedding is a team affair and not a one-man show. The wedding planner may be the director of the show, but it takes having many people in their corner to make a wedding run smoothly. Treat all vendors with respect and they will be good to you too. During the wedding it’s a wedding planner’s job to do all of the communicating. You help by being proactive when it comes to communicating with your vendors about upcoming events on the timeline and any hiccups that may occur. Remember: you are on a team.
A wedding planner’s job is to coordinate and organize all of the vendors that will be participating on the day of the wedding. It’s important to understand what each vendor’s role is in the wedding in order to better anticipate their needs. The longer you’ve worked with a vendor, the stronger your relationship will be and the better the wedding will turn out. Remember, it takes time to build strong vendor bonds. Here’s an idea as to what a vendor’s role is and where vendors fit in the timeline.
Officiants will usually show up 30 minutes to an hour before the ceremony. Make sure they have enough time to do a mic check.
The florist may or may not decorate the church; it will depend on the service the couple agreed to. If they are decorating, they will need to get in as soon as possible since they will most likely hit the ceremony site before heading to the reception. Depending on the photos, they may need to deliver all the personal flowers to where the bride/groom are getting ready. Otherwise they sometimes leave them in the church for when the bridal party arrives.
The time the cake will arrive depends on a few factors. If the reception is outdoors, how long will the cake be sitting outside? Cakes don’t do well in the hot sun, so a baker might wait until the last minute to drop it off. What does their delivery run look like on the day of the wedding? They could be delivering 4-6 other cakes beside your couple’s. They may need to drop it off early. Just make sure the cake table is ready when the cake arrives. You don’t want to be responsible for moving the cake later.
The ceremony music usually arrives about an hour before the ceremony starts. The wedding planner will discuss the timeline and music cues. Live music might show up at the rehearsal, but this isn’t a common practice for DJs.
Reception music usually gets there about one hour before the cocktail hour, unless they are also doing the ceremony music. If that is the case, they will show up a little earlier to set up both systems. A DJ will need less time to set up than a band. A band could take several hours to set up. If they are doing any special lighting or visuals, they might show up even earlier.
Rental arrival times will depend on what the client has ordered and for which site or both. They usually like to get there as early as possible, which is good because you can’t set up until they arrive.
Photographer + Videographer
Depending on the photography package your client goes with, their hours will vary. The ideal photography package includes all-day coverage. This means they will be there from hair/makeup to send-off. The planner should always be communicating with the photographer about when the next wedding event is going to start.
When it comes to caterers, there are a few factors that will determine what time they will be showing up: the number of people, if the facility has a kitchen, if they set up tables and chairs, if the meal is plated or buffet-style. Sometimes they get there 2-3 hours before the reception.
Transportation is usually really great about being on time. However, if a bride and groom are using a classic car for a getaway, keep in mind that they are old and therefore unpredictable. They can quit working at any time for no reason. Have a Plan B just in case. Transportation will usually show up 15-30 minutes before pickup.
Hair + Makeup
Hairstylists have to be on time. If the hairstylist gets stuck in traffic or the bridal party shows up late, this could have a disastrous effect on the whole wedding. It can be a good idea to text your bride in the morning to make sure everything is running smoothly and on schedule. Makeup artists usually show up when hairstylists do.
A client could use a bar company or the caterer will supply the alcohol. If they are well organized, an hour is all they need to set up before cocktail hour starts.