Lookback lesson #15
So it's true: I was the day-of coordinator for Rogue Bride's amazing wedding.
If you haven't read Rogue's wedding-planning adventures, you're missing out. You'll meet aunts who bullied her into eschewing her manzanita and origami center pieces for double-headed orchid centerpieces (good call aunts). You'll meet the patriarch of the family and the silly cake cutting tradition with a sword. (And by “silly” I mean Awesome!) And you”ll read in keen detail all of the bumps and bruises to egos and relationships that happen on the way to planning the ultimate wedding (on a budget.)
OK, back to the post here. While chatting with Rogue about the million details going into her wedding, I asked her if she was hiring a day-of coordinator to oversee everything, manage all the little details and avert the inevitable little crises that crop up at every wedding.
“No?” I asked. Then, “I'll do it.” I like to talk first and think later.
Anyway, for the next few weeks I'll be sharing my lookback lessons from Rogue's wedidng while it's still fresh in my mind. While Rogue's wasn't a mountain wedding, the lessons I'll share apply to all brides.
Let's start with the most basic lookback lesson:
Have contact numbers for everyone who will be responsible for anything related to the wedding.
Is Aunt Izzy picking up the bouquets? Get her on your contact list. Is your BFF from elementary school volunteering to set up your sweetheart table? Get her on your contact list.
Your wedding has a million different moving parts. You need to create contact lists that allow your planner, day-of-coordinator, or your internet-buddy-who-you've-never-met-but-who-nonetheless-offered-to-coordinate-your-wedding a master contact sheet so she can maintain contact with key players if something goes awry.
For Rogue Bride, someone had to organize and label the boxes full of props and DIY projects; arrange for fresh flowers to be picked up for the DIY bridesmaid's flowers that Aunt Gigi volunteered to do; transport and store 14 double-headed white orchids to be used as centerpieces; make sure the sari wall was out up; and set up the venue with various and sundry props and DIY elements (among many, many other tasks.)
There Is No One Size Fits All; Find Something You Can Customize
Each of you will have a different to-do list with different people responsible for different parts. It is essential that your planner or maid of honor be able to contact each and every person with even a minor role in your wedding. This includes people transporting decor, picking up flowers, helping you get ready, and being responsible for making sure Aunt Edna makes it to picture time after the ceremony.
You Need More Than Vendor Lists
The vendor list is the easiest to find and to wrap one's head around. But what about the other people who have a role? I recommend you have the following contact lists:
- Who Is Doing What Contact List
- A Vendor Contact List
- A Group Photography List
- Wedding Party Contact List
You Gotta Keep 'em Separated…
I found that by keeping contact lists somewhat separate, I didn't have to hunt and peck for the appropriate column on a master spreadsheet. I could simple flip to “vendor contacts” and see at a glance all of the vendors and their respective services, along with their contact info.
I also found that creating these contact forms is best done early. Rogue and I were pretty stressed out trying to organize worksheets the week before the wedding.
Download the Ultimate Wedding Contact Spreadsheet from Google Docs