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.

Posts in Wedding Planning
Styled Shoot | Dreamy Boho Wedding Inspiration

Y'ALL. Do I have a Valentine's Day treat for you! I could not be more excited to share this totally swoon-worthy shoot that I worked on with some amazing Middle Georgia wedding pros!

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It's always a treat to work on a shoot like this because so many creative folks get to cut loose and showcase their dreamiest work. It's a fun opportunity for some really talented people to stretch their creative muscles and create something wonderful and collaborative. And I loved being able to pull it all together!

On top of the excitement of the finished project, we also found out this week that the shoot is going to be published on Cake & Lace! I'm so excited to see it on a major platform soon!!

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All of the talented pros who made this happen:

Photographer: Ann Steward Photography

Dress: Carrie’s Bridal Collection Macon

Calligraphy & Invitation Design: Erica Stewart Calligraphy

Coordination & Styling: Heather Perrin Weddings

Floral Design: Mulberry Weddings

Videography: Payton Arts

Hair & Makeup: Pink Pearl Artistry

Vintage Tableware, Rugs, & Bottles: Southern Vintage

Venue: The Wedding Barn at L'Horne

The couple: And I have just the sweetest story about the "models" we featured in the shoot. In the days leading up to the shoot, we quickly realized the weather was NOT going to cooperate for our planned date and had to make some last minute adjustments. The couple we had originally slated to model for us were not able to make the new date and we had to scramble to find some new subjects! I started reaching out to folks, and immediately thought of Zac and Mia. These two are still pretty newly-wed and very much in love (and not to mention totally gorgeous) so I had high hopes they'd happen to be free on the new date. When I asked if they'd be interested, Mia's first response was "Zac is great at stuff like this!" And she was so right! These two had so much fun getting all dolled up and cuddling up in front of the camera, and the photos totally show it. They were crazy sweet to work with and just so excited to be a part of it that we all had a blast. 

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So grab a box of chocolates or some wine and enjoy all the dreamy boho goodness!

5 Reasons to Attend a Local Bridal Show

This post originally appeared on Ann Steward Photography's blog, a sweet friend and featured vendor at the Afternoon at the Grand Magnolia House! She asked me to share some of the reasons I'm excited about this event, and why brides-to-be should make this a part of your planning process!

Newly engaged and overwhelmed with the planning process? Where do you even begin?! From magazines, to Pinterest, to your mom and every newly married friend, there are tons of resources at your disposal, and that in itself can cause some stress. One great way to tackle that feeling of overwhelm (and to have a lot of fun in the process) is to attend a local bridal show. These smaller, interactive events give brides-to-be the opportunity to get important wedding planning questions answered while enjoying a fun afternoon with your bride tribe. Dozens of wedding pros are gathered in one place, excited to meet you and help you plan your day. Need more? Here are 5 reasons to find a local bridal show in your area and make plans to attend.

Be Inspired

If you’ve never planned a wedding before, the process can seem daunting. There are so many decisions to make, and you’re not quite sure where to begin. Pinterest is overwhelming, and you can’t sift through what is feasible and what is way over your budget. You need ideas, but in a realistic and practical way. A bridal show is just that! Actual wedding pros, who work at actual weddings in your area, are presenting their actual work. You can see, touch, and smell it. They can help you narrow down what you’re searching for, even if you don’t find it there. Plus, there are usually multiple vendors in the same category, each offering something different in their service or overall experience. Every vendor is not a perfect fit for every bride (and they don’t want to be!) so it’s important to compare and see who suits your needs and vice versa. The experience of meeting face to face and sampling what a vendor has to offer will give you so much more guidance and direction for the rest of the planning process. Even if you don’t come away with booked vendors, you have a better sense of how to keep looking.

Meet wedding pros

This one seems obvious, but there is more to booking your wedding vendors than you think. The best wedding day experiences happen when you have an actual relationship with the professionals who are making the day happen. They know you, your tastes, your priorities, and you feel confident in their talents, abilities, and the decisions they’ll make. A bridal show is a great way to initiate that kind of relationship. Your initial impression of these vendors won’t be from their website or social media, but from the actual people. Do you enjoy talking with them? Then you will probably enjoy working with them. It is still important to find the professionals who are a good fit for your style, budget, and personality, but spending some time with them at a bridal show can be a helpful way to do just that. Especially if the show is on the smaller side and you have the time to talk one-on-one.

Special deals

A bridal show is an event designed to serve you as the bride-to-be by giving you the most valuable experience, which often means added benefits to attendance. Whether this is in the form of giveaways and raffle prizes from the hosts, special offers or discounts from the vendors, or free bridal swag just for attending, there are often lots of bonus goodies available to guests. Both the hosts and the participating vendors want to design an event that wows and impresses the attendees (because they also want to wow and impress your wedding guests), so you’re likely to run into some awesome deals.

Visit a venue

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Some bridal shows are hosted at huge convention centers with thousands of guests, which can be a good thing in terms of efficiency. However, I am partial to the smaller, more relationship-driven events you often find at a local venue. Not only do you get the one-on-one attention, but you get an inside look at a wedding venue. If you haven’t yet secured your wedding location, this can be a great way to tour and check out an option you love, while enjoying the benefits we’ve already seen. If you already have your venue, this is still an opportunity to see how the vendors operate in a more natural setting. How did the caterer dress that table? How did the floral designer set up her display? The professionals have more freedom for creativity, giving you a better feel for their style and delivery.

Enjoy!

What other time in your life do you get the opportunity to go to a bridal show? This is it! Enjoy the process. Be called bride, sample some cake, and dream about your one and only wedding day. Bring your bride tribe and plan together. It’s just fun. The professionals gathered at the show want to celebrate with you – it’s why we do what we do – so come and be celebrated. And hopefully you’ll come away with some of those tasks crossed off your planning to do list!

For all of those reasons and more, I was thrilled to plan the Afternoon at the Grand Magnolia House. The venue is a gorgeous, classic Southern home, and the vendors are thrilled to meet you. I hope you’ll make plans to join us February 25!

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5 Wedding Traditions You Don't Need

One of the first things you’ll find as a newly engaged couple is that there are approximately 45,643,278 opinions on how you should plan your wedding. Movies, celebrities, the wedding industry, parents, coworkers, and extended family members all have their own set of expectations and ideas on what a wedding should look like. When couples try to consider all of these vastly different perspectives, planning a wedding can quickly become a balancing act of other people’s opinions rather than what is true for the two of them.

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One of my biggest rallying cries when working with brides and grooms is “you do you.” There are very few things that you have to do on your wedding day (and all you need for that is an officiant, and a couple of witnesses). Everything else is just gravy.

In the spirit of you-do-you, I want you to think about which wedding traditions you include and why you include them. I’ll say this until I’m blue in the face – you only get to do this once, so choose the things that matter to you. Here are some popular traditions that you just don’t need (unless you want them, then by all means!).

1. Garter Toss

While the history of this tradition is a bit sketchy, tossing the garter can be a fun and silly way to entertain the crowd at your reception and have a few laughs with your new spouse. However, if the idea of your new husband fishing for your undergarments in front of a crowd makes you turn several shades of pink, don’t give it a second thought! So many of the choices you make for your wedding will rely on your personalities as a couple. If this one makes you uncomfortable, don’t feel like you have to do it to please anyone else.

2. Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

What does this even mean? This classic wedding rhyme is engrained in our minds, but where does it come from? According to Martha Stewart Weddings, “Wearing "something old" represents the bride's past, while the "something new" symbolizes the couple's happy future. The bride is supposed to get her "something borrowed" from someone who is happily married in the hope that some of that person's good fortune rubs off on her. "Something blue" denotes fidelity and love.” If that tickles your fancy, then go for it. But if not, cross this superstition off the list and don’t give it a second thought! (Full disclosure: I gathered these four items for my wedding day, had the photographer take a picture of them, and never actually wore them. Oops 😊)

3. Wedding Cake

Now now, before you toss your phone/laptop across the room, hear me out. While cake may be your favorite part of any wedding day, some folks just don’t like cake (I know, I know. I’m praying for them too). If you don’t like salmon, you’re probably not going to include that in the wedding menu, right? So why do you feel like you need to serve cake if you don’t like it? What about an assortment of pies? Or an ice cream sandwich bar? King of Pops? There are lots of ways to serve your guests a delicious dessert without a 4-tier concoction you won’t even eat.

4. Ring Bearers and Flower Girls

(Does anyone else immediately think of How I Met Your Mother when you hear “ring bearer”? Robin: “You’re saying ring bear-er, right?” Barney: “Yeah, ring bear.”) If you have loved ones with littles, close friends you’ve babysat for years, or other kiddos who you want to include in your wedding, this can be a sweet way to do that. However, if you don’t have young family members or friends you want to include, don’t feel like you need to put out a want ad for children to participate in your wedding. This can be a great way to honor and include kids that you love, but if there aren’t any in your life right now don’t go to your local playground to try and recruit. Because that’s weird.

5. A Unity Ceremony

A wedding is a unity ceremony. The whole thing. There are lots of beautiful ways to portray this – sand, rope, a cross, candles – but none of them are completely necessary. If you’ve never understood these or find them odd, don’t feel like you have to include them in order to have a full ceremony. You just don’t. It is more than enough to have you and your beloved stand up in front of friends and family and commit to honor and cherish one another for your whole lives.

I hope you’ve felt some freedom in this. My goal is that you feel and believe that you can make choices for your wedding that will reflect and honor the two lives that are becoming one, not ones that please the many people who may give you their opinion. Remember, there’s really only one thing you have to do in order for it to be a wedding, and that’s get married. Everything else is just fun. So make sure it’s fun!

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 😊

Venue Spotlight: The Wedding Barn at L'Horne

Hey party people! It's time for week #3 in my Middle Georgia Venue series! I am excited to share this week's spot with you, especially because its owner is so sweet and has become a friend to me. The Wedding Barn at L'Horne is a new venue in Middle Georgia, but its history is actually not new at all. For those of you looking for a rustic chic atmosphere, take a closer look!

From the owner, Anna:

"L’Horne was started in 1900 when the L’Horne family loaned the start-up money for the farm and their name was used in honor of that loan. The old barn was built in 1900 and we love its history! It used to host the Byron City dances upstairs back in the day! My husband is nearing retirement and we want to travel the country in our fifth wheel and see the sights. Our son thought rather than having to travel across town to take care of our property we should buy some land together and he would be here to manage it when we traveled. We came out to see this property and fell in love with it. The realtor mentioned allowing weddings in the old barn to help cover some of the costs - that was the first time I had heard of a barn wedding. Little did we know it is a BIG thing! We decided to build a new barn farther back on the property. It has been a labor of love and a great bonding time with our son!"

Photos: C. Hope Photography, Jay Bentley, Ashley Zoltak

Since Anna and her family embarked on this new journey together, they have made every effort to serve brides and grooms in Middle Georgia well and have become such sweet members of our wedding vendor community here. It has been so fun to get to know them and watch their new business grow! Here are some fast facts:

Ceremony & Reception: Either or both! We also host reunions, Birthday parties, dances, meetings, fundraisers, photo sessions, etc.

Prep areas provided: Caterer, Bride, Groom and restrooms all have heat and AC.

Capacity: 315

Tables and chairs: We have 14 farmhouse tables, 12 round tables, 10 bistro tables, and 200 cross-back chairs.

Alcohol: Beer, wine and champagne are permitted.

Vendors: We have a list of area vendors, but you are welcome to choose your own.

Social Media: Facebook and Instagram

Website: www.theweddingbarnatlhorne.com

 

Also from the series:

The Ultimate Middle Georgia Venue List

New City Weddings

Venue Spotlight: New City Weddings

All of these photos were taken by my friend and fellow New City member, Ashah Photography. Flowers: Southern Florals and Drapes | Tableware: Southern Vintage | Dress: Carrie's Bridal Collection | Chairs: Macon Tent Rentals

Welcome to part 2 of my Middle Georgia Wedding Venue series! Now that I've gathered as many venues as I could find here, I want to spend some time getting to know these places a little better. This first spotlight is near and dear to my heart.

New City Weddings is a brand new venue that opened in March of this year, and I am fortunate to be one of the event coordinators there! I am so excited to share this piece of my heart with you!

Macon Wedding Venue

New City Church purchased the building at 1015 Riverside Drive and began remodeling it to be their new home. In the process of the renovation, it became clear that the building had so much potential as a venue unlike any other in Macon. The big bright windows, the exposed brick, and the industrial feel created a unique environment that didn't exist anywhere else in town. When I joined New City last year, the project was well under way and nearing completion.

Fun piece of history: this building has been many things in its roughly 100 years, but it's original purpose was to power the trolley system in Macon! It was also a club called Nashville South (where Jason Aldean was discovered), and most recently the Power Station night club. It is such a gorgeous space, and brings so many stories with it. 

Now it is home to New City Church, and hosts weddings and events throughout the year as New City Weddings. Here are some fast facts:

Ceremony & Reception: Either or both!

Capacity: 250

Tables and chairs: Included

Bridal suite: Included

Alcohol: Beer and wine permitted

Catering: Warming kitchen available

Vendors: We would love to recommend some, but you are welcome to choose your own.

Social Media: Facebook and Instagram

Website: www.maconweddings.org

The Ultimate Middle Georgia Wedding Venue List

You’ve been dreaming of fluffy peonies, crisp white linens, and a rocking live band, your Pinterest board is full to the brim of fabulous details, and it is time to start turning some of those dreams into realities. But where have you imagined those glorious details coming together? The venue you choose for your wedding often sets the tone and vibe for the day and provides the canvas on which you paint the picture you’ve been dreaming of.

As you are brainstorming places that fit your style and vision, I want to make sure you don’t miss any! Macon and the surrounding areas have an incredible diversity of venues, from barns to ballrooms and everything in between. Over the next few weeks, I will be pulling together as many details about these venues as I can to help you narrow your search to those that fit your style, budget, and guest count. Soon you will have a one-stop-shop for middle Georgia wedding venues. Today we start with the ultimate list, and I’ll fill it in as we go!

*Disclamer: None of these venues have solicited me to publish them here, this is solely based on my research of middle GA venues. This also means that I will do my best to be as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but I may make mistakes. Always refer to the venue if you have questions or concerns!

Ballrooms & Conference Centers:

Anderson Conference Center

Armory Ballroom

Emerson Ballroom

Hephzibah Children’s Home

Library Ballroom

Macon State Conference Center

Marriott City Center

Wesleyan College

Barns & Farms:

Green Bell Bed and Barn

Morgan View Farm

Plantation Farms

Southern Bridle Farms

The Wedding Barn at L’Horne

Twin Oaks Farm

Estates & Country Clubs:

Brickyard Golf Club

Healy Point Country Club

Idle Hour Country Club

The Grand Magnolia House

The Estate at Stone Creek

Museums & Historic Sites:

1842 Inn

Cannonball House

Cox Capitol Theater

Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

Hay House

Museum of Aviation

Sidney Lanier Cottage

Tattnall Square Center for the Arts

The Big House

The Neel House (Federated Garden Clubs of Macon)

Tubman Museum

Urban & Industrial:

New City Weddings

Terminal Station

The Blacksmith Shop

The SoChi Gallery

Parks & Gardens:

Amerson River Park

Central City Park

Tattnall Square Park

Tryphena’s Garden

Washington Park

Did I miss any? What are other middle GA wedding venues you’d like to see included? I intend to make this list as up to date and inclusive as I can, so feel free to leave a comment and let me know!

Be sure to follow along as I investigate these venues and give lots of juicy details on each. I am looking forward to journeying through Macon wedding venues—so come along!

 

3 Unlikely Macon Venues You May Have Overlooked
Can you see the potential in these unlikely spaces? Think outside the box with me for a minute and spend some time with these venues you may not have considered!
Central City Park

1. The Round Building at Central City Park

Central City Park

I have admired this odd Macon landmark since I considered it for my own wedding in 2015. Nestled in historic Central City Park, this unique structure is home to several local events during the year and is a hidden gem. Each year Macon’s Fired Works event has an exhibit here, and it hosts several exhibits during the Cherry Blossom Festival. What stands out to me most about this space is its amazing light. The high windows near the ceiling fill the room with soft, vivid sunlight and make the space come alive. Recently renovated, the building has a gorgeous combination of historic design elements and updated finishes.

Best for early spring or late fall, this amazing spot would be ideal for a ceremony space. While a reception is also possible here, you come up against the obstacles of power, water, and space for a catering team. The Round Building is a beautiful park venue, but it is still a park and should be considered as an outdoor venue.

2. Porter Pavilion at Amerson River Park

Amerson River Park

This diamond in the rough has become a thriving part of Macon’s outdoor community since its renovation, and is a huge hit with families all over town (Bowden is a big fan of walks here). There are lots of beautiful spots for outdoor weddings here, but I think the main pavilion has been too long overlooked! This large permanent tent overlooks the Ocmulgee River and has just the right amount of space for an intimate dinner or ceremony. It has a concrete floor, electrical outlets, and is covered in case of rain. While it may seem plain on its own, I have no doubt that some candles and string lights would transform this outdoor space into a riverside wonderland.

If you are looking for an outdoor venue that has some of the conveniences of an indoor space, this unlikely spot may just fit the bill! If you’re planning your wedding here in the summer (which you should reconsider, because hello it’s hot), be sure to wave hello to the folks on the river as they float past!

3. Tattnall Square Center for the Arts

I have to admit, I’m a bit biased on this one, because this is actually where Tanner and I held our ceremony in 2015! The building had just finished renovations and we were the first ones to be married there—at least since its original life as a church!

This historic building sat on the edge of Mercer’s campus for many years, empty and dilapidated, until the University purchased it to house their theater program. Now it is not only exquisite from the outside, but bright and new on the inside. It is full of unique elements like stained glass windows, a gorgeous inset stage, and white columns, and has plenty of space for your ceremony, rehearsal dinner, or a small reception. One of my favorite elements of this venue is actually the dressing rooms! Since it is a functioning theater, there are two full-size dressing rooms for your guys and gals to get ready in. This is a small piece that makes a huge difference on a wedding day!

As you are thinking about where you might say I do here in Macon, don’t forget about these hidden gems. I’d love to see what you could do with these overlooked spaces!

Yes, this is my dancing face. Aren't these mirrors the bomb? | Photo:  Ross Goodman Photography

Yes, this is my dancing face. Aren't these mirrors the bomb? | Photo: Ross Goodman Photography

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!

5 Reasons You Need a Wedding Coordinator

You’ve booked the florist, the photographer, and bought the perfect dress. What else do you need? If you’re in the process of planning a wedding, you know that the list of “what else” can seem never ending. But there is one piece of the puzzle that can help make all of the others fit together seamlessly, and it’s a piece you may have overlooked: a wedding coordinator.

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. From a wedding coordinator, here are a few reasons to consider adding this role to your wedding team:

1. You should be celebrating, not stressing

A wedding day is an immensely emotional day. It is full of love, anticipation, expectation, and joy. Sometimes, it is also full of anxiety and stress. We have been led to believe that this is just part of it—brides always feel stressed on their wedding day—but I firmly believe that does not have to be the case. I want brides and grooms (and moms and dads) to have the opportunity to take it all in and enjoy the experience. My job as a coordinator is to take that stress (whether or not the centerpieces were delivered, if the band was on time, or if the photographer has enough light for portraits) from your shoulders so you can enjoy all of the beauty of a new marriage.

2. You can’t star in the show and cue the lights

If you’ve ever been in a play (I haven’t, but it’s a secret dream of mine!), you know that there are actors, and there are stage managers. Wouldn’t it be difficult for the lead in the play to also have the responsibility of telling the lighting team when to cue her spotlight? How on earth is she supposed to do both at the same time? The stage manager has the vitally important role of making sure all of the actors and the many other hands involved know their cues and present a flawless show to the audience. She is prepared, equipped, and knows the play backwards and forwards so the star can focus on her dramatic monologue while she runs the show from the wings.

3. Your vendors do their best work when they work together

If you’ve ever planned a wedding (or if you’ve ever been to one for that matter) you know that it takes a village to pull it off. Photographers, caterers, venues, florists, hair stylists, the list goes on and on. You have selected and hired these professionals because you love their work and know they will provide an exceptional experience for you and your guests. But it is hard for them to do their best work if they don’t know what the others are doing. If your makeup artist doesn’t know when the bridal portraits are supposed to begin, you may miss precious time for those photos. Or if the caterer wasn’t aware that the band required food before the reception, your entertainment may have to leave to grab dinner during cocktail hour. In order for your team of wedding professionals to deliver the service they want to give you—their absolute best work—they need to be on the same page. A wedding coordinator acts as the glue for all of these important people. Serving and preparing them so they all work in harmony.

4. You need someone who is 100% on your team (and isn’t in a fancy dress)

Among this village of professionals (and friends) who are putting your wedding together, you need someone who can see the 30,000 foot view. Someone who knows what you’ve imagined for your day and can make sure everything stays on that course. A wedding coordinator acts in your place when you aren’t able to make decisions, because she knows what you would have chosen. Each vendor has their own priorities (because they want to deliver excellent service), but someone needs to make sure they all align with your vision for the day. While you have LOTS of people who have your back and want the day to be perfect for you, you need someone who can step outside of the situation and keep the day on course.

5. Everything is going to be OK

It is. It really is. At the end of the day, you’re going to be married and you’ll ride off into the sunset with your handsome prince (right after you take some killer golden hour photos, amiright?). Truly, no wedding is flawless, but they are all wonderful. A wedding coordinator can foresee the bumps in the road long before they make it to you, solve problems before you know about them, but also remind you that hey—you look hot, and today is going to be awesome. An important part of my job is staying calm and making sure my brides do too. Because weddings are lovely, but marriages are even lovelier.

 

If you want to enjoy your wedding day, to take a deep breath and celebrate, then you should hire a wedding coordinator. We want to carry the stress, manage the details, and make the decisions so you can get on with the party.

Much love,

Heather