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A Week in the Life of a Wedding Planner

Jennifer has lived and breathed wedding planning for over 12 years. Here, she gives us a glimpse into…

Day 1: Wednesday

9 am I start the day at Town Hall to meet with Pamela, the venue manager, and we discuss some ideas for an upcoming wedding.  Pamela loves our ideas so she’ll send me a revised floor plan which I’ll look over and forward to my couple if I’m happy.
11am Next, I go to Rhonda Hemmingway Couture.  We discuss a few bride’s details, our event last week Secrets from the Little Blue Book and our shoot on 12.12.12.  Rhonda wants to dress us for the shoot so I call the office and ask my colleagues to come around to try on some gowns!

Day 2:  Thursday

9am We sit down for a company meeting.  We always try to streamline our way of working, without taking away from the personal attention we give to our couples.  Planning a wedding involves many man-hours, even for us, so it’s crucial we are very time efficient and organised.
2pm After another meeting with an event company I head home to work. Once there, I finish off some style guides for couples, make some calls, write a bunch of emails and finalise a run-sheet for the coming Saturday’s wedding.
2am Bedtime

Day 3 Friday

10am Meeting in the office with a May bride. We talk through our style guide and discuss all the flowers for her wedding.
10:30am Patricia from Yummy Cupcakes & Cakes joins us for a tasting and design session.  This is so that Patricia gets a feel for the whole wedding and how her cake will work with other elements in the room.  We treat cake as a styling element – in some weddings, it can be quite a statement piece! Here’s a great example from Yummy Cupcakes & Cakes:

Yummy-cupcake-and-cake

12pm I’m off for a blow dry.  I treat each wedding with a lot of respect.  I dress according to the dress code (we like to blend in like guests rather than looks like ‘suppliers’)  During my appointment, I call Susan from Susan Avery, take a call from my Saturday groom and respond to emails.
3pm I run to a new client consultation.  Many of our couples are professionals who just can’t make it into our office. I  get as much information as possible,  do her budget and quote our fee.  We end up talking about all sorts of things to help me build a good picture of this couple and its wedding.

Day 4: Saturday

11am I’m off to set up a wedding.  The scene for our wedding is Grant Reserve, Neptune Street, South Coogee.  Today is also the day when the carols are on in the park – so parking is very bad and we are fighting people away – trying to maintain our space.  Already, I have kicked a few people off my ‘aisle’ – it’s not the best part of my job, but I do it as diligently as I can – which isn’t easy as I was dressed in 50’s gear to match the styling of the wedding!
12pm & 1:30pm I have two separate consultations in the park while my staff setup.
The hire company begin setting them up the ceremony chairs incorrectly (not to the couples wishes). I see this, stop them and explain how it needs to the done (again).  In the end, I do it myself because I want my couple 100% happy and because we’ve met at the site before, I know exactly the way they want it.
3:30pm I am forced to wrap up the meeting.  My groom arrives and guests are beginning to turn up.
4pm The bride arrives in her combi van.  After a few minutes of cueing everyone – music, camera (we are working along side the talented Jonas Peterson for this wedding) and of course the celebrant – we are ready to cue the bridesmaids and bride down the aisle.
5pm The wedding is over  so we pack up and have an early evening – well deserved!

Day 5: Sunday

All day I work from home – answering emails, returning calls. It’s supposed to be a day off for me but as a company director, I’m never far from a mobile or laptop! But I love it.

Day 6: Monday

All day Home again. My team are working furiously on a wedding we only have five weeks to plan.  It’s coming together nicely – but there’s a lot to do in a short amount of time.  To make it harder, I haven’t met the couple as they live in Hong Kong.

Day 7: Tuesday

5am I  respond to emails sent overnight by my overseas couples. I am known for my prompt responses and love giving weekly updates to couples.

Day 8: Wednesday

5am  After responding to some emails, I load the car with props and head to the office. Each year we hold a Christmas photo shoot for staff.
11am
We pack even more into our cars and I race to Susan Avery’s shop to pick up the flowers she has created for my hair.  I love them!

Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner -- Floral Hair Piece

12pm Next stop, Decorative Events.  We hire their things quite often and today’s shoot is being held in their showroom.
1pm
Paula Hibbard from Fabulous Hair Up  arrives to do our hair.  I love giving the amazing suppliers that I work with some creative freedom, so on this occasion, I leave the styles to Paula and as usual – she doesn’t disappoint!

Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner -- Hair

1pm Simona Janek starts on our makeup.  Graham from GM Photographics & his second shooter, James, begin setting up and prepping some shots.

Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner -- Second Set

1:15pm Rhonda Hemmingway walks in with six garment bags and gets us dressed for the first shot. We decided to do this year’s photo of us working wearing wedding gowns!

Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner -- The Set

A trend we’re seeing more of, is for couples to have ‘Vogue style’ shoots on their wedding day – usually prior to the wedding ceremony or in between (if there is a long enough gap). So we thought we could emulate this look to inspire our future brides.
Graham has amazing vision and he is sensational at framing a shot and taking jaw-dropping photos.
6pm
After the photo shoot, us girls frock up again and head on down to Darling Harbour – to the ABIA awards. These awards are held each year and are voted by real couples.  This year, Bells N Whistles wins the award for Best Planner in NSW.  Such an amazing end to an amazing day and in fact, a wonderful year.

Do you have a wedding planner? Or could you see yourself doing Jennifer’s job?

by Jennifer Kennedy, owner of Bells N Whistles


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