This month I want everyone to hold on to your bouquets because I am doing a … wedding! The lucky couple are getting married in Los Angeles,Calif. They are having a midday wedding/lunch and a party that evening at the groom’s second home, so this has turned into a destination wedding.
So what I have learned from planning this event (other than the couple have no desire to Macarena at the reception)?
- When you plan a wedding, leave your ego at the door and ask the primary vendors who work the property what works best.
- Create timelines, timelines and more timelines. Make sure all individual events have a timeline from start to finish so the wedding party and vendors understand where they are supposed to be when.
- When using multiple venues, make sure guests and vendors have all the addresses, phone numbers and driving directions they need.
- Communicate clear expectations about what will happen that weekend to the guests and vendors well in advance. For example, include information about the dress codes, whether certain activities and gatherings are kid-friendly, how long the event will be and any information you have about ground transportation. Also allow them to share dietary needs with you. It is important that you manage everyone’s expectations. Keep in mind you are taking guests our of their natural environment, so the better you communicate, the more they will be able to relax and have a good time.
- Moving onto culinary tips, I for once don’t have anything to add other than: Take your direction from the bride and don’t question any of her food choices, because you are going to be wrong.
- Create an event resume that includes a detailed outline that includes all orders placed, vendor contact information and a very detailed timeline of everything happening. I purposely choose vendors that work a lot with one another, because I feel it makes the wedding experience more cohesive. Because this group of vendors knows each other so well, they can tag-team, if necessary, with as little as a head nod from one another.
- Hire a good bandleader. He/she in essence is going to be your MC for the event and will diplomatically keep things moving along.
Remember, you are being hired to execute the bride and groom’s vision, not your own — regardless of whether you agree or not. And when it is all said and done you may … kiss the bride.
This is my “ceremonial” morsel for August, and I will be sticking to it.