In honour of Confetti’s 20th birthday, we’re working with the crème de la crème of wedding industry experts on guest editorships; over the next few months we’ll be handing over the reins of our website to professionals from the wedding world, who’ll be giving their expert advice on a whole host of wedding-related subjects.
We’re kicking off with premium events planners La Fête, who have created their fair share of exceptional weddings – founder Charlotte even planned her own two weddings last year, so is an oracle of knowledge when it comes to planning a unique day of memories that will last a life time.
Keep an eye on Confetti to see all five of the pieces La Fête has penned for us, starting with the piece on everything you need to know about what wedding planners do, and how La Fête work with their clients to create the day of their dreams.
What do Wedding Planners Do?
“Planning a wedding, even for our expert team, is always a different experience, with a new set of expectations and a variety of challenges,” says Charlotte.
“Our role is to assist our clients in creating their vision for their big day, but more than anything, it’s a finely tuned balancing act during which we need to wear an infinite amount of different hats and adapt to whatever gets thrown our way.”
Research Wedding Suppliers
“As soon as our clients book us, research is our best friend: from venues, caterers, florists, cake makers, makeup artists, we provide our couples with a shortlist of the best possible suppliers within their budget and matching their overall style, including detailed quotes,” explains Charlotte. “In order to help us visually along the way, we always ask for them to create a board on Pinterest that we can refer back to.”
Booking Wedding Suppliers
“Once our clients have chosen the suppliers that they would like to have for their wedding, the booking process is an often lengthy exchange of quotes, questions and adjustments, but a mandatory step in securing the first choice suppliers,” Charlotte says.
“We always make sure to have a plan B option to present to our clients in the event that their plan A provider is already taken on their wedding date.”
Meetings and Site Visits
“If possible, site visits happen before the booking. For destination weddings or weddings where the couple have already pre-booked their venue as they have always dreamed of getting married in a certain location, they happen after the booking process,” explains Charlotte.
“We accompany our clients to venue visits, caterer tastings, florist appointments, etc. to make sure that the overall feel, aesthetic of the day and personal wishes are respected. We also have the knowledge and experience from previous weddings to guide our questions to the suppliers, which our clients may not have.”
Deciding and Confirming Wedding Details
“Once our clients have made up their mind, we communicate this to the suppliers who adjust their original quotes, ask any questions they may have and finally, send over a contract,” says Charlotte.
“This process can be lengthy as we are the intermediaries between the clients and the suppliers, so any question, comment or alteration, right up until the wedding itself passes through us. We also need to be ready for unexpected events, such as cancellations, rainy weather options and delays.”
“We don’t just coordinate suppliers,” Charlotte comments. “Coordinating guests is a huge part of our work, particularly for destination weddings or when the majority of the guests are from out of town. This includes creating and coordinating a transport plan, recommending hotels, pre-booking rooms, etc.”
“Coordinating suppliers in the run up to the event involves making sure timings are accurate, parking is available, catering to electrical needs (particularly for marquee weddings), delivery scheduling, overall setup, etc.”
On the Day Management
“On the big day you’ll likely see us running around, red in the face, setting up anything from chairs for the ceremony to the guest book table, lugging carpets or lighting candles,” reveals Charlotte.
“As well as the setup work, our main responsibility is making sure that everything stays on schedule and that we politely and effectively shepherd guests to where they need to be. It’s a long day as we get there way before the guests arrive, but we generally slip away once the night food has been served and the party is well and truly underway. From then onwards, the catering team hold down the fort, even though we’re on call just in case.”
What do Wedding Planners do After the Wedding?
“Many of our clients like to host post-wedding events, particularly brunches, so we make sure to coordinate these for them too,” shares Charlotte.
“It’s a lovely way to end a wedding weekend and thank everyone for coming! We also make sure to remind our couples of any last payments due post-wedding, make sure that photography and videography is delivered on time and assist on any outstanding questions/issues.”