When you think of a wedding coordinator, you probably subconsciously picture JLo in The Wedding Planner, walking around in swanky suits or bodycon dresses paired with terrifyingly high stilettos. I’m just going to put it out there, that attire is just NOT PRACTICAL. A) People who tell you they can run in heels have never chased a car through a village and B) You cannot lift and carry table centre pieces while clambering over a collection of miscellaneous boxes in the back of a van in a bodycon dress. It is just not a thing.
Now, I’m not saying this a negative thing. In fact, I think it’s the most fantastic thing ever. I can assure you, if I had to spend the 12-hour days that occur more often than not, in Christian Louboutin’s, I would very quickly get awfully vexed and throw every single one of my toys out of the pram. Ironically, when I first met Abie & Gemma, I apologised for my appearance (jeans and a basic tee), they looked at me and laughed, before making it clear that I should wear exactly the same when I start. I did, and I soon realised that in this job,trainers and stretch jeans are, all of a sudden, the most crucial items in your wardrobe (this is coming from the girl who LOVES to dress like she’s Kate Moss, even though she really most definitely is not).
Obviously Wedding Coordination does have its glamorous moments, but what I have learnt is that first and foremost it is your job to do all the understated and often laborious tasks, so your lovely couple don’t have to think about anything but themselves. Because, surprise surprise, it is your role to go above and beyond to make sure they have the most stress-free,wonderful experience, not only on the day of their wedding, but on the lead up to it. SO, if that means moving 100 chairs from one part of the venue to the other, or loading a transit van with all their wedding décor, or visiting their marquee site on a hill in the pouring rain,well roll your sleeves up, put your wellies on, and get stuck in because that's your job and the success of their wedding is relying on you.
BUT isn’t that great!! Granted, I am not a veteran in this field at all, but I absolutely LOVE IT.No two days are ever the same, you are constantly on the move, visiting this client, checking out this site, finding new venues, setting up the decor for one wedding, and assisting in the coordination of another. There is not a day where you do not find yourself in fits of laughter because of some slight mishap or entertaining phone call. Obviously, every job has its stressful moments, and I believe that if this job didn't then you are probably missing something somewhere, but if your innovative and motivated enough to think on your feet,you will come out the other side with a large smile.
Now I'm not going to sit here saying I've seen it all because goodness me I absolutely have not, but that’s why I’m an intern, I need to see a bit of everything before I even think about working for someone or planning someone’s big day. Wedding Coordination, or any event planning, is not something you can do just purely because you are organised and creative or because you organised your own event. I organised my 21 st Birthday Party, but that does not make me anywhere near experienced in events. Don't get me wrong, being organised and creative is important, but you also have to be proactive, innovative, practical, motivated,unbelievably hard working and crucially you have to be a people person.
I listen to the stories the team tell, about the 11pm panic text messages from the bride the night before, and having to drive 50 miles away because they accidentally packed a short trestle table cloth not a floor length one, but they say all this through smiles and laughter.From my brief experience, I have realised that you have to be able to do all this with a smile on your face (I mean a real one, not a fake ha ha this is not okay but I’m smiling through it,one), if you want to keep your clients on cloud nine and your business to thrive. But you only know if you love this or not through experience, I listen to these stories and I cannot wait to experience the same if I am ever lucky enough to be in their situation. But if you hear stories of working until 1/2am the night before a wedding trying to sort some issue or another and you think to yourself that there's no way you would do that for anyone, well, I think you better cross wedding or any event coordination off of your job list PDQ.
If you haven’t already guessed, I absolutely love what I am doing, and I couldn’t be undertaking this experience with a more fabulous team than Gemma and Abie at West Country Wedding Planners. So, my advice to anyone wanting to embark down the evanescent events journey, irrelevant of your degree, go get out there and get some experience! Put a bet on yourself and jump in the deep end, you might find that you will come out swimming!