Heather Perrin: Macon, GA Wedding Planner
Heather Perrin Weddings
Wedding Coordinator in Macon, GA
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What is a wedding coordinator? This service can go by many names (Day-of Coordinator, Wedding Management, Month-of Coordinator) but it is essentially this: a wedding coordinator takes the plans you have worked tirelessly on, and makes sure they happen smoothly and that you have a fun, stress-free day.

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Kelby + Patrick | Macon, GA Wedding

Kelby and Patrick’s wedding was a sweet reminder that family is a treasure, and that love really does carry us when we walk through life’s toughest seasons. This beautiful couple loves Jesus, one another, and their families, and that shone brightly during their wedding celebration.

Thank you Josh and Rachel Best for these beautiful images! Josh and Rachel are a husband and wife team based in Florida, but they love to travel all over the world. And they were so sweet to work with!

Kelby and Patrick had a wedding planned for December in the bride’s hometown in Florida, but life took them in a different direction. When a family illness became more pressing, they replanned the entire wedding—six months sooner, and in a different city! Kelby and her mom were absolute rockstars at assembling a brand new plan in a short period of time to make sure family was first. I was bowled over during the entire process by their beautiful and loving hearts, and it was such a joy to serve them.

The Venue

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Planning a wedding in a short period of time can put pressure on the venue search. When many venues book months and years in advance, it can be difficult to find the right place in time. Kelby and Patrick found the Hay House, and it turned out to be the perfect spot! If you’ve never been to the Hay House, you should absolutely book a tour. It is a piece of history, preserved and presented right here in Macon. The gorgeous antique finishes make this museum/venue a treat to be in. I can just imagine Jane Austen-esque dances in the ballroom and sitting for tea in the drawing room (yes, I know I am both historically and geographically inaccurate, but it just feels right!). Because they host so many events throughout the year, they also have a fabulously capable and helpful staff who know just how to make your event work. They were so great to work with, from seating charts to set up to break down. Just lovely.

 

The Food

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Y’all know I am always going to talk about the food. Again with an accelerated timeline, Kelby and her mom initially came up against some trouble finding a caterer. In the end, they chose a delicious Southern-style menu from Honey Baked Ham. These folks know how to make scrumptious food, and the guests absolutely loved it! A carving station, green bean casserole, potatoes au gratin…yum. Plus their staff was so sweet! This was my first experience with their catering, and I have already called them for another event! Unexpected, but so tasty.

 

The Flowers

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I love the fabulous vendors I get to work with in Middle Georgia, and that includes Joyce from Mulberry Weddings! The wedding-specific arm of Lawrence Mayer Florist in downtown Macon, Joyce is a joy to work with and loves to delight her brides! The flowers for the Hay House were both elegant and understated, perfectly complimenting the grand setting they were in. Not to mention they were so kind and flexible when our set up timeframe wasn’t as long as we’d hoped!

 

The Exit

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Kelby and Patrick opted for a more…auditory experience for their grand exit and chose to have guests ring cowbells as they walked out! How fun is that?! These tiny gold bells were a fantastic send off, and doubled as a take-away favor.

 

Other vendors

Photographer: Joshua & Rachel Photography | DJ: Party Time Productions | Rental Company: Rental Concept | Cake: Amanda’s Cakery | Hair and Makeup: Kaitlyn at Utopia Salon | Cash Bar: Mike Taylor

This sweet wedding was so fun because it was full of life, love, and joy. It was an honor to serve these two families! Congratulations again to Kelby and Patrick!

In Defense of a First Look
This AMAZING photo is of my dear friends and past clients, Bryan and Sarah, taken by the lovely  A. Thomas Photography . Yeah, I'm crying too.

This AMAZING photo is of my dear friends and past clients, Bryan and Sarah, taken by the lovely A. Thomas Photography. Yeah, I'm crying too.

The tradition of a groom not seeing his bride until he meets her at the altar has taken some serious heat in the last few years as “first looks” have surged in popularity. It seems almost more common that the couple meets face to face a few hours before the ceremony for some special photos, rather than waiting until the walk down the aisle. What do you think about this stray from tradition? Are you superstitious and think it is bad luck to see the bride before the wedding?

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While I am firmly in the you-do-you camp when it comes to wedding day traditions, I do have some thoughts on this particular choice, both from a professional and a personal standpoint. So while you bear in mind that I will always encourage you to do whatever is best for the two of you, here are some thoughts on the first look (and because I am notoriously sappy, I have accompanied each with a gif for your amusement. Let's be real. If I used a bunch of photos like the first one, we'd all be dead with emotion).

1. Timeline #goals

Ohhh man. What wonders a first look does for the logistics of the day. It is like timeline magic. With a first look, a photographer can capture most if not all of the wedding party photos before the ceremony, meaning you join your guests at the reception sooner. It also leaves some wiggle room in the day in case you do run behind (things happen) to catch up after the ceremony. Overall, it gives flexibility and ease to the many events happening during the day.

Me and your photographer when you decide to do a first look.

Me and your photographer when you decide to do a first look.

2. Photo #goals

With time set aside for just you and your honey, and no rush to get to the reception, your photographer can capture some beautiful moments. The reaction photos are a precious way to capture the raw emotion you have both been carrying around for weeks, and are a treasure for years to come (even if you ugly cry like I did). After that initial moment passes, you have time to laugh, hug, and take some gorgeous couples shots without an audience.

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3. A Moment Together

How much time do you think you get to spend with your new spouse on your wedding day? In reality, very little. You have dozens, or even hundreds, of friends and family who have gathered to celebrate you. You have dinner to eat, cake to cut, and dances to dance. Even when you are together, you’re surrounded by a sea of loved ones. All of this is wonderful, and part of what makes a wedding so special, but what if you could steal away a few minutes with just the two of you? This was my favorite part of my wedding day. Just to have a minute to talk to him, laugh about what had happened that morning, and breathe in the reality that we were going to be husband and wife—like really really soon. It gave me a chance to step back and soak in the beauty, anticipation, and excitement of what was about to happen.

Ok, so I know this isn't  their  wedding, but it is a really precious moment.

Ok, so I know this isn't their wedding, but it is a really precious moment.

4. TWO Special Moments

One reason couples may choose not to do a first look is they worry it steals some of the magic of the walk down the aisle. In my personal experience, having seen Tanner a few moments before only heightened the emotion of that grand entrance. The first look gave us a few minutes to be us – to be goofy, to talk, to share in the day together. When they opened the doors and I started walking toward him, it was entirely different. In that moment, I was walking toward my husband—and I couldn’t get there fast enough! These two parts of the day were so special—each in their own unique way.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—the choices you make for your wedding day are just that: choices. There is no wrong one. So if you decide to wait until the altar to see your loved one, I say go for it! It’s gonna be magical. But for me, and for many of the sweet couples I’ve served, the first look makes the day that much more special!

3 Must-Haves for a Fun Wedding Day

Months of research, Pinterest, phone calls, and planning go into preparing for your wedding day. The ceremony, the wedding party, and the reception have all been meticulously mapped out to celebrate the start of something new (High School Musical, anyone?) and you can’t wait for them to start! While these are the main events of your wedding weekend, they’re not the only opportunities you have to celebrate and enjoy.

Gorgeous bride, Mindy, and her girls | Photo:  Ashah Photography

Gorgeous bride, Mindy, and her girls | Photo: Ashah Photography

The time before the wedding begins – hair, makeup, set-up, and prep – have so much potential to set the tone for the day. How often do you and your closest friends get to hang out in your PJs and get pampered for hours? These precious hours are not only the prelude to the main event, but are an important (and fun!) part of your celebration! So as you are preparing for a day full of festivities, here are my recommendations to make the most of the time you have.

1. Music

My sweet friend, Katelyn, dancing it out before my wedding | Photo:  Goodman Photography

My sweet friend, Katelyn, dancing it out before my wedding | Photo: Goodman Photography

Make the whole day a dance party. For real. From the time you roll out of bed – bright and shining with bridal beauty – to the minutes before you say “I do,” make it a party. Dance with your girls, sing T-Swift at the top of your lungs, or just swoon to love songs and imagine the magical moment when you see your groom. There is no reason to be bored on your wedding day! Put a bridesmaid in charge of the playlist and dance all day.

2. Snacks

It is not uncommon for a bride to have some wedding day butterflies and lose some of her appetite (at least that’s what I’m told. I ate like a champ all day, but I just really love food). However, you are much more likely to enjoy the dance party, photoshoot, and many festivities to come if you have a little something in your stomach. And your bridesmaids will certainly have a better day cheering you on if they’ve had some pigs in a blanket, amiright? Lots of brides forget to plan meals for the day of (how can we blame you, with so many details to plan!) leaving her and her girls a little hangry by the time they make it to the reception. So grab some granola bars (or seriously, pigs in a blanket are an excellent wedding day snack) and fuel your party.

3. A Plan

Ok stick with me here. I know this post is about having fun on your wedding day, but trust me on this one. The quickest way to dampen a good pre-wedding party is to realize you’re an hour behind schedule and don’t have time for mimosas. If you have a solid timeline in place and someone to make sure you stick to it, you won’t miss those moments you’re so looking forward to. This principle holds true in so many areas of life, but especially on a day that goes by so quickly: a good plan reduces stress, eliminates the need to rush, and allows you to rest knowing it is all taken care of.

Precious flower girl getting pampered next to the bride | Photo:  Ashah Photography

Precious flower girl getting pampered next to the bride | Photo: Ashah Photography

You only get one, so plan to have a great day. Even before you put on that gorgeous dress and say yes to the man of your dreams, take a deep breath and remember to celebrate! It is a wedding after all 😊

8 Questions to Ask Your Venue Coordinator

What is the difference between a wedding coordinator and a venue coordinator?

Many venues have a staff member available on-site during a wedding, but some even provide coordinating services. Each venue is different (and may even call this service different things) so how do you know if you need a wedding coordinator, or if your venue will take care of everything?

A common misconception among brides-to-be is that the event coordinator at their wedding venue will also serve as their wedding coordinator. It is understandably confusing when we use the same words to describe what we do, and when every venue operates a little differently. Some venues provide full service planning, some provide day-of coordination, and some just unlock the doors and say good luck! As I talked about here, a wedding coordinator is there to ensure you have a smooth, enjoyable, stress-free wedding day, so it is important to know exactly what is provided and what you may be missing in your venue.

So when you are considering whether or not you need to hire a wedding coordinator in addition to the venue coordinator, make sure you ask these questions.

Setting the table for a styled shoot at  New City Weddings . | Photo:  Ashah Photography  | Flowers:  Southern Florals and Drapes  | Tableware:  Southern Vintage  | Chairs:  Macon Tent Rentals

Setting the table for a styled shoot at New City Weddings. | Photo: Ashah Photography | Flowers: Southern Florals and Drapes | Tableware: Southern Vintage | Chairs: Macon Tent Rentals

1. Will we meet before the wedding weekend?

It is imperative that the person running your event knows the intimate details of the day. This person will be the go to for vendors, guests, family members, and bridal party for any questions during the day. They will also be the one to make last minute decisions when things go awry, so they need to understand your vision and your priorities. To make sure they have the correct answers to all of these (and aren’t checking with the bride) you need to spend some time going over the big picture and the tiniest details.

2. Will you communicate with all of my wedding vendors?

With so many wedding professionals coming together in a short period of time, you need to make sure their arrival, set-up, break-down, and departure times work in harmony. When the caterer calls for directions to the loading dock, the coordinator should be ready to take the call and give direction. The best way to make sure your rockstar team of vendors has everything they need is to have a point person connect with them before the big day.

3. Will you create a comprehensive timeline for the wedding day?

This goes hand in hand with #2. Once your coordinator has talked with each wedding pro, confirmed their needs and timelines, they need to consolidate all of that information into one concise timeline so they can keep it all on track. This is KEY to a smooth wedding day, and is something a coordinator should take care of.

4. Will you facilitate our ceremony rehearsal? 

If your ceremony and reception locations are at the same venue, will the venue coordinator direct your rehearsal? An effective, efficient ceremony rehearsal plays a major role in a smooth ceremony. More than likely (actually, I guarantee it) your officiant does not want to do this, so you will need someone with an understanding of ceremonies, processes, and traditions to take the lead. If your ceremony is at a different location, do not pass go, do not collect $200, you need a wedding coordinator. By definition, the venue coordinator is tied to a specific location. If you have multiple locations, you need someone who will be present at both during the day.

5. Will you set up and break down our décor?

If not, you’ll need a team of family members and friends who can take care of this. Be sure to consider how much time you have in the venue to set up, whether or not those family members are in the bridal party, and if they need to be present for photos by a particular time. This may limit who is able to set-up in time for the party to begin.

6. Will you manage day-of emergencies?

Every wedding day will have them. I promise. It doesn’t mean you won’t have a spectacular day, it just means that you need someone who is prepared to handle them. Not only physically, but emotionally. Will they be able to solve the problem quickly, calmly, in the way you would have chosen, without consulting you?

7. Will you make sure the day runs smoothly and on-time?

See #3. It’s not enough to make the big, beautiful schedule if you don’t stick to it. While each participant and vendor is aware of his or her own timeline, they may not realize what is supposed to happen immediately before or after. The coordinator should be able to follow the timeline all day to make sure everyone works together seamlessly and nothing runs behind.

8. Will you coordinate with the other vendors to make sure they have what they need to do their jobs well?

It takes a village to execute a wedding. Florists, caterers, hair stylists, photographers, cake makers, the list goes on and one. In order for each of these fabulous folks to do their best work, they need someone who knows their needs and can make sure they’re met. The live painter needs an easel to display the finished work at the reception, the photographer needs a plate of food at the same time as the bride and groom, and the cake maker needs the cake stand to be in place 2 hours before the ceremony begins so she can set up. A coordinator’s role is to set everyone else up for a successful day.

The finished product | Photo:  Ashah Photography  | Flowers:  Southern Florals and Drapes  | Tableware:  Southern Vintage  

The finished product | Photo: Ashah Photography | Flowers: Southern Florals and Drapes | Tableware: Southern Vintage 

If your venue coordinator answered yes to all of these, fantastic! If not, you may need to hire someone to take care of the details he or she isn’t able to manage.

Remember, each venue is going to have a different set of roles and expectations. If a venue coordinator doesn’t provide these services, that doesn’t mean they’re deficient or lacking something. It just means they don’t have the time, resources, or manpower to provide a full coordinating service. Lots of venues provide excellent assistance and support on a wedding day, but they’re just not equipped for this extent of coordination.

 

I’d love to talk more about how I can fill these roles and more. If you think you may want to have a wedding coordinator manage all of the details that go into your wedding day (and beyond!), click the link to fill out my contact form below. I can’t wait to hear from you!