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  • Writer's pictureHeather Piland

What do Wedding Planners do?

"SO, What will you do on the actual wedding day?"

This is an extremely common question I get! They get the overall idea of my job, but at the end of the day they want to make sure every detail is covered and that they aren't in their wedding dress arranging florals and putting up chairs. So, here is what a normal day looks like...

1. Rentals Arrive: Carolina Occasions Staff is on site to receive, help rental company decipher the floor plan, and begin the setup. Your rental company will be in charge of actually unfolding chairs and tables, unloading the truck, and bringing your items to the designated area, but that's it. Carolina Occasions will place linens, dinnerware (plates, cups, chargers, place cards, silverware, etc), and rearrange to meet desired floor plan when necessary.

2.Ceremony Setup and Decor: After the reception is set and rentals are placed in their correct location, we'll head to the ceremony set up. The chairs often need to be rearranged to make sure the front row has the right amount of chairs, reserved signs are placed, unity candle(tree, sand, cross, etc) are in place and programs and signage are in the correct location. At this point, any other decor you may have: memory table, guestbook, bar signage, etc will all be placed.

3. Florals Arrive: We try make sure florals arrive as close to the ceremony start time as possible. Summer weddings especially--it is HOT in Charleston!! We want them as fresh as possible. When the florist arrives, we will show them where to place the florals, answer any questions, rearrange when needed, help with setup where we can, and help deliver the personals (bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages). Throughout the night, if any florals need to be repurposed or moved for any reason, we will be on top this for you!

4. Final Details: As guests begin to arrive (yes, some of your guests will arrive almost an hour early!!!) we will make sure everything is perfect. The final walkthrough is so important. As the last of the vendors are loading in (catering, bar service, band, etc) we will assist in showing them where to set up, informing them of any changes, and making sure everything stays in perfect shape during load in. We will direct your guests on where to sit, help make any last minute "rain call" decisions, run to get the veil or forgotten bouquets, and finally assist in telling your family and bridal party when to walk down the aisle. At this point, you can focus solely on your spouse-to-be!

5. Time to PARTY! While you're off getting your gorgeous pictures during cocktail hour, we will make sure the caterer knows to start serving, make sure guests know where to find the food and drinks, and eventually move the guests inside to find their seats before you finish your pictures. We will cue the band or DJ during the introductions and first dance, I'll grab Dad or Grandpa to say the blessing or toast, and let the caterers know we are ready to eat! I will make sure that you both have food and your drink of choice (and guard you while eating if needed haha!), we will let your Maid of Honor and Best Man know about 5 minutes before the speeches to prepare, and continue to adjust and make sure the timeline runs smoothly. Your only job is to sit back, relax, and enjoy your family, friends, and new spouse!

6. Wedding Favors and Send Off: Depending on what you choose your favors to be and where you would like them set up, we often don't set those out until the guests have already began eating, but before anyone leaves. Often times they are right near a doorway and the bride will ask us to set them out during the reception--we can also reuse a table if this is the case. Other times the bride has a cool set up and wants them set up beforehand, but tucked away until later in the evening! Either way is fine with us. When it's time fo the send off, we will meet with he photographer to determine the best location, hand out the sparklers, glow sticks, confetti, etc, and line your guests up! One tip we always give the clients is to dip and kiss in the middle! The crowd goes crazy and your photographer gets some amazing shots!

7. Time to clean up! The wedding is over, you've driven away in the send off car, guests are calling Ubers or finding their cars (when able to drive), but who is taking all of the stuff? I highly suggest you have a family member on duty to leave their SUV or Truck at the venue for our team to load items into! You may not think you have a lot, but trust will. Even if this person plans to not drive, they can always leave the car overnight and come back first thing in the morning. We will begin loading the car little by little throughout the night as things are no longer needed and then get everything packed away into the provided car after the send off. Rentals will come back for their items, catering and bar will take their trash (they MUST be the ones to take this trash. Our team cannot be responsible for this), and florals will come back for their items!

Thanks for reading! Every planner, company, and package is different, so if you've hired someone else or chosen to customize your package with me, it may look different. Make sure to check with your planner on what all they provide. If you're a Carolina Occasions Bride or Groom, we cannot wait to help on your big day!

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