Hello again! My name is Ciara, and I am the daughter of Lisa (owner of Ellen’s Bridal & Dress Boutique). I wanted to share a little bit about my wedding day and one major thing I would have changed. My hope is that other brides can learn from my mistake and have the best wedding day possible!
Don’t get me wrong, our wedding day was absolutely wonderful and I am so thankful for all that my family did to pull it off. That being said, I really wish I would have had a day of wedding coordinator. What is a day of wedding coordinator? A go to person for ALL things on the wedding day. Table cloths need steamed? Wedding coordinator is on it. The cake has arrived and they aren’t sure where it goes? Ask the wedding coordinator. The bride needs some food? The wedding coordinator will go get it! Place cards for seating at the reception need placed? You guessed it…the wedding coordinator will do it! Several things for weddings must wait until the day of, and unfortunately without a coordinator these tasks fall on family members and friends. These are the very people that you want with you while you are getting ready and enjoying all the festivities leading up to the wedding!
This is a picture of my mom and me on my wedding day (Photo by Nicole A. Howard Photography). As you can tell by our embrace, this is the first time that we had seen each other ALL DAY. Also notice that my hair is already done…and so is my makeup. While I was getting my hair and makeup done, enjoying a frappe from Modoc’s, and dreaming about the day to come, my mom was running between our ceremony site and the reception venue decorating and making sure that every last detail was in place. In fact, shortly after this photo, she was headed off to work some more! I think the only reason she was there in this moment was to deliver my veil I had forgotten at home! Her job that day was to be my wedding coordinator and my mom, which are two very different and important jobs. She met with the rental company and helped them steam table cloths. She met the cake decorator and told her where to put the cake (and then she placed the flowers on top of the cake!!). She decorated tables, set up chairs…even when we were all ready, her work was not done. She kept things moving for pictures before and after the ceremony, found food for us, and continued to check in with the vendors we had at the reception (DJ, Photo Booth, etc.). This list goes on and on! Anyone who knows my mom knows she is a rockstar. I can’t thank her enough for all that she did for me that day. The wedding was perfect, and I owe most of that to her! But if I could change one thing, I would have had her with me throughout the day a lot more.
After my wedding, my mom and I sat down and debriefed about everything. How could we learn from this experience to help better serve Ellen’s brides? We decided that Ellen’s would start to offer day of wedding coordination services to try and prevent this from happening to other brides. Ellen’s offers two levels of coordination services: basic day of and premium day of coordination services. The basic day of coordination service ensures that an expert is there to help you get ready and get into your dress. My mom is also a seamstress (a very talented seamstress) and has made last minute adjustments to dresses on the wedding day when providing these services. She is also there to help show your maid of honor how to bustle your dress for the reception, which can be harder than you think! The premium day of coordination service is exactly what I needed on my wedding day. Here, an expert (or experts) are with you from planning months ahead to clean up after the reception. Prior to the wedding, my mom attends meetings (with the bride or without if she can’t attend), provides suggestions and support when making the thousands of decisions needed to plan a wedding, and keeps track of the overall wedding timeline. She helps decorate the venue, helps the bride get dressed, tells the vendors where to go when they arrive, and makes sure that the day goes on flawlessly. She is too polite to share all the ways she has gone above and beyond for her brides, but she does with every wedding she coordinates!
Long story short, it is so important to have a game-plan for the wedding day. Someone will need to be there to tell the DJ where to set up, tell the baker where to put the cake, straighten napkins and silverware, keep the timeline moving along, move the gifts to a car, and to clean up that night or the next day. I can promise you that the first people to offer to do this will be the very ones you want by your side…not running around coordinating the day! As you embark on this exciting adventure, think about booking a wedding coordinator to help! You won’t regret it!
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