Wedding Organiser: Consider appointing someone to be your Wedding Organiser in the run-up to your wedding and on the day. An absolute must-have is a well prepared Best Man & a good Toastmaster
In America you can hire a single professional 'Wedding Consultant' who organises Weddings from start to finish, including all the preparation beforehand, all the liaison with suppliers, and the scheduling on the day itself.
Here in the UK there does not appear to be the same emphasis on Wedding Consultants though there are many 'Events Organisers'.
Because most Brides and Grooms haven't got married to each other before, there is a largely unfilled need for information and assistance on preparing for this most important day.
Many businesses in the wedding industry are adding a 'Weddings Consultant' to their staff. Florists, caterers, churches, hotels and restaurants are all giving their staff titles such as "Weddings co-ordinator" or "Wedding Planner". They're mainly concerned with the details of your wedding that affect their firm's particular service or product rather than an overall 'Wedding Planner'.
In the absence of the American's bespoke Weddings Consultant, this role - in the lead-up to the Wedding - is generally taken on by the Bride and Groom, with help from members of the family and the venue. This can make for a muddle, if you end up with 'too many heads'.
Decide who you are going to elect as your main Wedding Planner or Organiser. Are you intending to do this yourself, or leave this duty to a member of your family? He or she will need to be an administrator, creating files, keeping them updated, putting all communications in writing, liasing with all the suppliers, and checking costs against your finances.
Best Man & Toastmaster: On the day itself the challenge of keeping all the participants, suppliers and guests on schedule and in the right place at the right time is generally handled by the Best Man. If you have a good Best Man, he will be able to do all this for you.
Sometimes we find the Best Man is merely seen as another guest, which means the Groom ends up fulfilling the Best Man's duties. This is not a good idea; it only puts strain on the Bride and Groom.
We have seen some weddings getting into a muddle over the timing of each element on the day. Suppliers need to be closely co-ordinated. Often we've seen the Wedding Breakfast being delayed (affecting quality of the food) by either a Photographer insisting on additional shots, or by guests wandering off at the wrong moment on a sunny day for a walk around the grounds. To assist the orderly flow of things, we recommend you a toastmaster.
The Toastmaster: From as little as £150.00 for the day, the toastmaster is handy if you desire a well choreographed, professionally managed wedding. The Toastmaster will ensure your guests are where they should be at each stage of the day.
A red jacketed Toastmaster looks impressive too, adding a very special touch of class to the occasion and flattering your guests as he discreetly encourages them to the right spot at the right time.
You will need to have a schedule for the day's events, which your Toastmaster and Best Man between them should ensure is followed. You need the Best Man and Toastmaster to work together on this, to remove any pressure on the day from the Bride and Groom.
Over the page is an example of our own Wedding Scheduler. This is one used for the benefit of our staff but it will give you an idea of what to organise within your own schedule.
As well as co-ordinating the suppliers, your appointed 'Wedding Planner' will need to prepare the day's schedule of events, the reception floor plan and the seating plan at the tables.
Many Brides & Grooms get very involved in doing too much themselves, so to reduce stress and pressure on the day, get support from your Best Man, your suppliers, and the Toastmaster. The Best Man and / or Toastmaster should be on hand during the day to direct the suppliers, liase with the venue organisers, and keep the guests where they should be at each stage in the day. As not all Best Men are up for this, so you need choose someone who IS able to support you, as your 'Planner', on the day or consider hiring a Toastmaster familiar with the venue.
You need someone you can really rely on to handle all the glitches and little emergencies that inevitably arise on the day, efficiently and effectively, so that you and your guests need not even know about any mishaps and the day will be kept on schedule. And if you are aware of any mishaps, take them with a grain of salt. DON'T let mishaps spoil your special day!