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A Wedding Planner Day Behind The Scenes

Here is what can happen on your big day and your wedding planner will never tell you!

Judging by the behind the scenes that we usually post, one might think all destination wedding planners do is lovingly rearrange flowers and lighting pretty candles without a care in the world.. Nothing could be farthest from the truth! Take this picture from my Summer 2019 wedding albums for example. Yes, admittedly, you see me intently rearranging flowers and that is in fact what I was doing at that precise moment. Looking relaxed and professional while putting the final touches to an already perfect table setting. What you don’t see is that by that point I had slept a total of 6 hours in 3 days, had done a ridiculous amount of weight lifting, fixing, sweating, climbing ladders and was truly exhausted and running on adrenaline! Such is a destination wedding planner day.

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A WEDDING PLANNER DAY – PUTTING THE FINAL TOUCHES WITH A SMILE

The best compliment I get from couples and guests after the wedding is that I made the day flow seamlessly. That is of course my job but it takes a lot of sweat, hard work, precision, dedication and attention to detail. Most importantly, for everything to look flawless, no one must ever see what is really going on behind the scenes. This wedding planner day journal is a fun account of what happens in the days leading up to the wedding and on the big day.

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A WEDDING PLANNER DAY – VIEW FROM THE VENUE ON ARRIVAL

2 Days Before The Wedding

  • Fly to the location late at night.
  • Get to the hotel & check in.
  • Unpack and prepare all equipment ready for pre-set up the next day.
  • Take a shower and collapse in bed for a few hours’ sleep.

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A WEDDING PLANNER DAY – ZHUZING UP THE MARQUEE WITH FOLIAGE & DRAPES

1 Day Before The Wedding

  • Wake up at dawn, locate coffee and pack all my tools.
  • Get to the venue for the pre-set up – Temperature upon arrival at the venue: 38C°
  • Redecorate the marquee with florists and light technicians, which involves 6 hours of intensive work, a ridiculous amount of walking up and down a very long ladder, 300m of white fabric, 200m of fairy lights, 250m of greenery garlands, 200 pins, many rolls of ribbon and, understandably, a lot of panting and sweating.

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A WEDDING PLANNER DAY – BEFORE & AFTER – NEED I SAY MORE??

  • Get back to the hotel, meet with my assistant, run through the final plans and prepping for the following day.
  • Email back to the bride to explain that, unfortunately, it is now (10pm on the eve of the wedding) too late to follow my initial suggestion to move the start time after 6pm to avoid the scorching afternoon heat!

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A WEDDING PLANNER DAY – KEEPING WEDDING PARTY FLOWERS COOL

The Big Day

  • Get to the venue early in the morning – Temperature upon arrival: 36C°
  • Meet with suppliers to coordinate venue layout, timings and logistics.
  • Start the final set up: more fairy lights, flowers, candles, decorations, bits and bobs of various denominations, audio systems, lighting, dealing with last minute hiccups (missing charger plates, broken glass jars, musicians gotten lost in the countryside, etc.).

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A WEDDING PLANNER DAY – ALL IS READY!

  • Look presentable: change into evening attire, use wet wipes as a shower substitute, apply make up without a mirror and smile.
  • Coordinate guest transport and greet guests on arrival. Escort guests to the ceremony area and get the wedding party ready for the processional while hiding the bride.

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A WEDDING PLANNER DAY – GREETING GUESTS AND OUR BEAUTIFUL BRIDE

  • Coordinate ceremony timings to perfection (processional, music, readings, vows, etc.) while making sure that water and parasols are available for guests sitting in the sun and praying there are not going to be any casualties due to the heat.
  • Make sure everything is ready for the cut of the Parmesan wheel while the newlyweds are away for the wedding shoot and guests are relaxing at the cocktail reception.

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A WEDDING PLANNER DAY – THE CUT OF THE PARMESAN WHEEL – DON’T DO THIS AT HOME!

  • Put the final touches to the dinner tables, light the candles and fairy lights despite adverse wind!

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A WEDDING PLANNER DAY – DINNER TABLE PLAN SORTED

  • Coordinate first dance and speeches … about six of them, one of them lasted an astounding 45 minutes – make a mental note to switch off the microphones next time it happens!
  • Start the wedding breakdown while guests join the dancefloor in the upper garden terrace.

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A WEDDING PLANNER DAY – LETS GET THE PARTY STARTED

After the Wedding

The party ended late as I tried desperately to get all guests on buses and failed miserably… No one wanted to leave because everyone was having the best time of their lives. Understandable and very flattering for the wedding planner but at the same time a logistical nightmare.

So I organised an emergency bus service at 1am to get everyone home safely. And after all guests were gone I set to pack up all decorations and leave the venue in the early hours of the morning (time of departure 4am).

The following day I was on the first fly home. Knackered but happy because I had done it again. This is why I do what I do. This is why I love my job. Because every all the sweating and worrying and running is worth it in the end.

I hope that this behind the scenes of a destination wedding planner day will help you understand the amount of work and coordination that is required to orchestrate the perfect wedding and ultimately why every bride should hire a wedding planner!

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A WEDDING PLANNER DAY – TIME TO PACK AND GO HOME

Photos by Annalisa Bombarda

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