On the Day Co-ordination Service by Bellissimo – what does that mean??!!

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We like to be very flexible with the services which we offer and appreciate that not all brides want to hand over all of the planning of their wedding to someone else and really like to have some creative input, so we offer an on the day co-ordination service.  The title is a little misleading however as this does not mean that we just turn up on the day!  Perhaps a change of title is in order to make this more clear but most planners in the business do call it that service and we have found a lot of brides ask for exactly that.
So – what do we actually do when a couple books us for that service?  Its such a HUGE range – we find ourselves doing everything from rushing around on the morning of the wedding changing shoes which dont fit for the bridal party and setting up cakes and flowers right through to cleaning toilets and getting down on the hands and knees and cleaning the dance floor before people arrive!  You could say that its certainly not all glamour!
Final details pre-wedding with Groom and Best Man
Image credit – Jennifer Sinclair Photography
We certainly make sure that we mop up all the duties which no one has had assigned to them or that no one else either wants to do or are doing.  This makes sure that our clients’ wedding runs as smoothly as possible and that the detail is never missed.
I thought that what might be helpful is a brief run down on what will happen if you decide to use us for this service:
1.  We receive an enquiry which is usually on a recommendation from previous bride or venue (which is lovely!) and we have a brief chat with the bride or groom about how far they have got with their wedding plans.  We set up a time to meet to have a full consultation to discuss the plans which we like to do around 2-4 weeks before the wedding and preferably on site at the wedding venue so we can do a full “walk through” the day.
2.  At the meeting we go through our detailed fact finding questionnaire and take full details of the day, the plans, the suppliers and start spotting anything which is left to be resolved and ends to tie up.
3.  A lot of couples at this stage then like us to add to our on the day service by helping out with last minute supplier searches if things have been overlooked or if the busy couple have just not had time which is not uncommon!  We can do that – we are happy to be flexible with our services and add in where we need to along the way.  Don’t forget that we are well connected with suppliers so we can often put our hands on suppliers at the last minute for you.
4.  Once we have a full picture of the day and all details of the suppliers we start to work on a detailed time schedule for the day which our couple approve and once they are happy we distribute this to all suppliers so that everyone knows where they are mean to be and when and it gives everyone an opportunity to say if they think they need more time for something or if something needs to be changed.  We amend until everyone is happy then we work strictly to this during the day and this is how our weddings run to time!  Its all in the planning!
5.  For the final weeks we encourage our clients to leave the contact with the suppliers to us so that they get to relax and we deal with any last minute issues.
6.  If its a dry hire venue or a marquee where things need to be set up such as tables and chairs and chair covers, table centres, decorations – anything really – then we are on hand to do that the day before if we can or the morning of the wedding if we can’t.
7.  We would usually go to the wedding rehearsal if there is one and encourage the photographer and videographer to go to.  We find this means that we get a feel for what’s happening during the service and we get to meet the bridal party and introduce who will be covering the wedding on the day so that best man/ushers/parents know who we are and they can come to us for anything during the day.  At this point best man usually is not clear on what he has to do and when and likewise with the ushers so we do reminders here (or on the morning of the wedding if there is no rehearsal) to put everyone at ease.
Sorting out the guys!
Image credit – Christian Michael Photography
8.  On the day we start early and do any finishing off at the venue.  There are always flowers to deliver somewhere, checking of tables and table plans to do, dropping off of buttonholes to the guys and making sure they are on properly and they are all dressed correctly – vital point!  Buttonholes don’t tend to look that great when not put on properly and hankies and ties or cravats not done properly is really annoying in photographs if not finished properly!

 

One of the most important jobs – the Groom’s buttonhole
Image credit – Christian Michael Photography

 

9.  During the day we would usually have 1 or 2 or us there depending on the requirements of the day – if one is needed at the ceremony perhaps to back up the photographer for photography calls or getting guests on and off coaches without missing anyone then 1 would be there and 1 at the venue making sure everything is set up, all the suppliers turn up when they are meant to and then there can be communication when the first guests are on their way from the ceremony to the reception so that the caterers can be ready for their arrival with drinks and canapes.

 

Room set up in a barn for a countryside wedding – chair covers all done!
Image credit – Jennifer Sinclair Photography

 

10.  Usually we are there throughout the day until all formalities have been completed ie first dance, cake cutting – sometimes later if we are needed to stay until the end to help with clearing up and out if its a venue which has to be cleared on the night – what bride wants to be doing that at the end of her wedding day?  All day we will back up the venue staff or catering staff – we never tread on anyone’s toes or tell them how to do their jobs.  We are there to compliment what they do and back up where necessary.  If there is wine to be poured or plates to be cleared and the caterers are busy then we will help and do that.  We are always looking out to make sure that our couple (and we always look after the parents very closely) are very well looked after and of course the guests as well.

 

Set up for the ceremony which then had to be turned around for the wedding breakfast
Image credit – Christian Michael Photography

 

11.  We are closely watching the timing and making sure that any line-ups are done to do, seating is done swiftly and the speeches run in the correct order.  We do announcements if there is no MC or Toastmaster to do this.
12.  We will then make sure that bands/ DJs and any other suppliers arrive on time for the evening and ensure they are set up in time and fed and watered and are happy!  We will set up for the cake cutting shots and encourage guests to take part in this and same with the first dance.
13.  After this – if we can and the party is in full swing – we may leave!  Usually the day can be anything from 10-18 hours on your feet.
Glamour it is not.  Its all about very hard work, making sure no details are missed and if anyone does not turn up when they are meant to or there is a problem that we quickly react to that and solve it before the bride and groom even know.
So far this season we have worked on quite a few marquee weddings which take a lot of preparation and set up and we will oversee all of this and tweek things as we go along.  There are always things to set up and tea lights and candles to light and replace and details to add.  A guest book or wishing tree to make sure people sign.  We always keep an eye on the wedding cards and gifts and make sure these go away safely either back to the house or wherever they need to go.
We have some weddings come up where our services will extend to making sure guests do partake in some activities during the drinks reception which is really important to the couple.  We have quite a few more marquee weddings and some weddings where the timing is very tight because the ceremonies are quite late so its really important that we are there to ensure the day runs to time.  Otherwise, a couple could be paying for a fabulous live band who are due to do 2 x 1 hour live sets and if the day runs late you eat into this time and may miss half of it and it would be such a waste of money and a real shame.  We are always on hand with our emergency kit and you will be amazed what’s in it and what people ask for….
So – does that sound like enough?  Its quite a comprehensive service and we are pleased to say that our couples love it!  Take a look at some of the testimonials  we have had for this and our other services.
Why is this service so popular?  Well hopefully the above will speak for itself but we feel it gives couples real peace of mind that there is someone “in charge” on their wedding day – who people can go to and ask questions and deal with issues rather than bothering the bride and groom on their special day.  Descriptions for this have been “fairy godmother”, “Wonder Woman” and “don’t you ever sit down – you have not stopped all day!”.  At one recent wedding the mother of the bride said that she felt that she had “been to some of the best hotels in the world but had never been looked after so well as I looked after her at the wedding and could “.  All of the comments we get mean that we know that the service works.  On the day co-ordination whilst its the smallest service we offer is in fact the most difficult as you are stepping in late to someone else’s plans so our advice is always to consider full plan and let us take care of things from the outset – you would be surprised how much money and stress we can save you!
Clipboard in hand with that time schedule
Image credit – Clay Photography

Hope that does some way to let you into our world and what we do for just one small part of the services we offer.  Any queries or comments – we would love to hear from you!

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