Blush and Copper Elegance Styled Shoot

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wedding Planner For A Summer

Christy, Tracie, Samm

What was it like to be a wedding planner for a summer? It was exciting, nerve racking, stressful, and rewarding. My knowledge of being a wedding  planner before my practicum was based solely on what I had seen in movies and read online. Jennifer Lopez may have glamorized the life of a wedding planner a bit. We never see Jennifer constantly reminding her client to send the vendor contracts, so the bride doesn’t get ripped off on her big day. We don’t see her spending an hour fixing the submerged floral centerpieces, because the bride didn’t think of the correct materials to make the long stemmed orchids stay under water. We do not see her getting hassled for standing around when sometimes that is part of her job.  

But regardless of the fact that I did not have an experience like Jennifer Lopez told me I would, I learned an immense amount of knowledge in the many areas of wedding planning. I worked for Tracie Morris at You’re The Bride (YTB) from February until August. I learned how weddings could be extremely different from the clients you hire, to traditions they have, venue locations, and decoration ideas. I knew that planning a wedding required keeping track of little details but I didn’t realize how many details there were, until Tracie gave me a copy of her four page single spaced list.
A few tasks I completed were designing a welcome box that would be sent out to new clients with a variety of thank you gifts. Designing and organizing a welcome package that consisted of numerous documents that told brides how to properly address invitations, how to change your name depending on your state and county, a ceremony and reception checklist, and much more. Another task was to update day-of timelines with the vendor information and what time events occurred throughout the day. Once a timeline was completed I would call vendors a day or two before the wedding to confirm set up and tear down times, and make sure the payments had been completed. I also helped with the planning of a styled shoot that will take place in September. A styled shoot is a group effort between a variety of vendors that come together to create a beautiful mock wedding.
Every week, I would find two wedding related issues on and send them to Tracie, along with my solution to the problem. This exercise helped me think like a wedding planner and gave me an insight as to what issues brides were having during their planning process. I wrote weekly blogs on topics such as: Beauty Tips, Plan For Your Marriage, and How To Plan A Styled Shoot. As well as a “Couple Of The Month” blog. 
There were three weddings in June and one in July that I assisted with. The first one was at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The second was at a Bed and Breakfast in Ohio. The third was at The Garden Theater in Detroit, Michigan; and the fourth was at Hawthorne Gardens in Marshall, Michigan. Every wedding day took about 12 hours. The You’re The Bride team would arrive at the venue around noon to help with set up, make sure all the vendors arrived on time, and put up little decorations. I was nick named “the flower girl” at the first wedding after setting up the floral centerpieces. Which continued because something needed to be fixed or done with flowers at all the other weddings. Once everything was set up we would head to the ceremony and make sure everything ran smoothly. Once we got the bride and her father down the aisle, we would return to the reception venue and wait for guests to arrive. We stayed busy all day, running around from one emergency to the next. Seating chart issues, missing silverware, and directing guests to the restrooms.

My biggest project this summer was to plan a mock wedding. I was given a $30,000 budget to plan a fake wedding for 150 guests. I needed to come up with a timeline, find local vendors, get quotes for pricing, and create a budget and TRY and stay within it. I then presented my completed Tuscan themed wedding to Tracie.  
This job brought excitement every time a wedding weekend approached. I looked forward to relieving stress from the couple on their big day. All they needed to do was focus on getting ready and getting to the ceremony on time, and let our intuitive, reliable team do the rest. There were some stressful moments where I needed to be quick on my feet to resolve the issues. For instance, one of my tasks was to figure out how to keep the table assignments chart from blowing away. I found some tape and string in our YTB emergency kit and tied it to an easel, and tied that to a pole from the tent.
Overall, this experience was very rewarding. I learned the importance of being a good listener, problem solver, and different ways to go above and beyond to show appreciation for your clients. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to seeing how I can use this gained knowledge in my career someday.

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