This is the first of a five-part series written to help brides who are planning their weddings. The “Five Things” are my wedding-day must-haves. They’re the things, in my opinion, that are non-negotiables for your wedding day to run smoothly. ENJOY! I hope you find these posts helpful. Check back each Wednesday for the next “Five Things” post.
Long before I was a wedding photographer I was a wedding coordinator. I can’t even begin to tell you how much that experience has helped me be a better wedding photographer. Understanding how a wedding day works, how much time each part of the wedding really takes, and knowing how to administrate the day has been invaluable.
I often spend quite a bit of time talking with my brides about things other than their photography. I want their day to be perfect, and so we spend time discussing the elements of their day and how those different things will weave together to create a beautiful, memorable experience for her, her finacé, and their guests.
One of the first things I always ask is if she has a mistress of ceremonies (wedding coordinator). Many brides love to do all the planning themselves, and that’s fine. What I’m talking about is someone who puts your plans into action beginning at the rehearsal and continuing through the time you leave your reception. The best made plans will not happen if there isn’t someone implementing them. A good mistress of ceremonies will ensure that your wedding day plans actually happen.
When you look for a mistress of ceremonies, you need to find someone who is kind yet firm, organized yet able to “wing it” when the inevitable glitch happens. She should know what you want your day to be like and be able to communicate those desires to others…even when they might have other ideas. She should be a stickler for timelines and at the same time love people and be good at motivating them. Your mistress of ceremonies will be YOUR voice to the DJ, caterer, florist, and venue staff on your wedding day. She should understand you and be able to explain your desires to others. She needs to be able to take charge of the day and not be afraid to be a little forceful if necessary.
Many venues provide excellent coordinators who not only know how to execute your timeline but who also know the venue well. If your venue doesn’t provide a coordinator, I highly recommend you find one. There are many professional wedding planning companies you can use or you can ask someone you know. One word of caution, if you ask an aunt, cousin, or good friend to fill this role so she can be involved in your wedding day, DON’T DO IT unless she really can fulfill the role well. There are plenty of other ways you can get people to help you (a good mistress of ceremonies will have lots of ideas.)
You, your finacé, and your families should have no responsibility on your wedding day other than to enjoy one another and the new chapter of your lives that is beginning. Talking to vendors, making last minute decisions, or adjusting timelines should be off your plate.Having a great mistress of ceremonies will ensure that you’ll be able to enjoy your day, worry-free.