PHOTO CREDIT: Tiffany Reiff Photography
For the bridal couple:
- How to plan a wedding
- Organization is the key to less stress.
- Discuss expectations openly between the two families to avoid misunderstandings. Set a budget as a guide to avoid financial stress.
- Organize your to-do list into bite size pieces. Our planner is designed to do this for you.
- Conducting an efficient rehearsal
- This happens best with detailed forethought. You can follow the step-by-step guide we have in our planner or make one up for yourself. Rehearsal can be fun when everyone knows what is happening and someone is in charge to make it happen smoothly. One helpful step is to know ahead of time how many minutes it takes to sing each prelude song. This aids in knowing when to start the singing and how to plan the timing of the processional.
- A key part to a time efficient rehearsal is that the coordinator needs to have a portable microphone. Often some people are at the front of the church, and others are at the back of the church. The coordinator can use the mic to announce what is happening next so that everyone can hear.
- Creating a worshipful ceremony
- Communication is the key to everything running smoothly. A well-informed photographer, sound tech, song leader, ushers, etc… make the day run more smoothly.
- Successful reception planning
- We have found it beneficial to go to the reception facility and do a partial fake setup of tables and chairs to get a better idea of what is comfortable with a large crowd.
- Meal planning – when planning your meal it’s good to think about what time of day your meal will be served and how hungry your guests may be. For example, if you have an 11:30 am wedding and don’t eat till 2:00 pm, your guests will probably consume more food. It’s also good to think about the weather and how that will affect consumption of hot or cold beverages and desserts.
- Reception facilities each have different expectations for weddings. Discuss clearly what you plan to do. For example, if you want to have a candlelight reception, the facility may have an insurance plan that does not allow this. Also discuss how particular they are with cleanup. Some places charge a hefty fee if it’s not cleaned to their expectations.
For the coordinator:
- How to prepare
- Educate yourself about the expectations and dreams of the bride and groom. Become their student and ask a lot of questions.
- Plan ahead for disaster. Many coordinators carry pins, tape, needle and thread, etc… in a handy little pouch.
- Get phone numbers of important people: the father of the bride, the person who has the keys for the church, etc… This has helped us many times when there was a miscommunication.
- Tips for successful reception coordinating
- You will feel so much more confident during cleanup if you are there the day before helping to set up.
- Flexibility is an important part of this job. Be willing to run errands on setup day. It’s also nice if you can stay at the reception after everyone else dashes off to rehearsal and make sure each place setting is complete, and all is neat and tidy.
- Tips for successful rehearsal coordinating
- You will find that rearranging furniture and meeting with the ushers, ministry, and sound tech for instructions in the hour before rehearsal begins are crucial to it going smoothly and quickly.
- Take charge or assign someone to take charge. We have found it helpful for Jason to use the mic to conduct the rehearsal.
- Tips for ceremony coordinating
- Arrive an hour early to assist in any way needed. We often need to help gently prod guests toward the sanctuary so the ushers can seat them. It’s easy for friends and family to get started catching up on each other’s lives and to not think about time. Jason and I always enjoy working together in our coordinating. We see our role as being chief servants. This brings such joy to us! We feel it’s important that a coordinator doesn’t run ahead of the couple or the church. We are there simply to assist you and make your dreams come true. Wedding coordinating is a privilege and a joy!