PLEASE (please, please, please) READ THROUGH THIS INFORMATION IN ITS ENTIRETY. EACH ITEM IS EXTREMELY CRUCIAL TO THE SUCCESS OF A LOW STRESS AND WELL-ORGANIZED WEDDING DAY. do not skip any portions (please, please). love, your friendly neighborhood wedding fairy...
TIMELINE CHANGES: Please note, with the exception of extreme circumstances, we cannot permit changes to a timeline once it is finalized and sent to vendors. It is simply too hard to ensure everyone has the same version when this happens. We will go back and forth with the timeline until you are satisfied, and we aim to have the timeline finalized and sent to vendors approximately 14 days before the wedding, so I ask for all of your final changes by 21 days (3 weeks) before the wedding. If for some reason you fail to finalize the timeline by this time, I will need do so, and still no changes can be made after the 14 day mark without extenuating circumstances.
CEREMONY OUTLINE/REHEARSAL: Send me a Ceremony Outline for your processional in a Word document by 10 days before your wedding. There is a sample below.
FLOORPLAN AND GUEST COUNT: Send me your FINAL venue floorplan/diagram by 10 days before your wedding. This should include a diagram with table names/numbers, and how many guests are at each table. It should also include table locations of guests with any food allergies (unless you have a buffet). Please let me know if you need guidance with this, the initial diagram is usually prepared by your venue, caterer, rentals coordinator, or myself, and I am happy to assist with plotting your tables, etc.
DECOR AND PERSONAL ITEMS:
- Pack up your personal items that my team will be setting up, and list them out in a “set up and breakdown list” in a Word document. PLASTIC BINS with lids ARE BEST for transporting these items easily with handles and ultimate organization. These can be found at Target or Walmart fairly inexpensively, and are reusable. Know that in most cases, I can transport up to 3 of these boxes of items if needed (if there is not storage at the venue or hotel overnight after your rehearsal), and other small boxed items. Any additional items, or extended DIY items, will need to be placed in the ceremony or reception space ahead of my arrival. A sample set up list is also listed out at the end of this page. Please note that the sample format is the preferred way to receive this information.
- It is important that you designate WHO will be responsible for taking these personal items at the end of the night. This person can expect to stay around 15-30 minutes or so after the event is over, dependent upon how many personal items you have. If your wedding is at a hotel, we can alternatively take a small amount of personal items (3 boxes) to your hotel room/suite if it is on the same property as your reception.
- If you are having your wedding at a DIY venue, and are purchasing your own alcohol, you will also need to designate a person to take leftover alcohol. We do not transport alcohol or move alcohol under any circumstances. If this is a DIY situation, we generally have the bartenders neatly stack it/leave it in the bar area after the reception for you to pick up the next day.
- Please note, we do NOT need duties for every wedding vendor on this list (such as “have the florist place centerpieces”, or “have the DJ play music at cocktail hour”). Please ONLY list items WE are setting up, or things you may be particularly concerned about with other vendors.
- We do NOT move furniture, either for set up or breakdown. We can make small tweaks to table locations, etc. to make things look nice, but please do not count on us moving furniture (whether one or multiple pieces) or breaking it down at the end of the night, whether it is a rental, or your personal pieces.
*You do not need to provide photos of set up items on this list. In many cases, clients just give us their decor and general ideas of how they want things set up, and give us some styling free reign. We are very good at ensuring everything looks great!
WEDDING GIFTS: Designate someone you trust to take your gifts and card box at the end of the night as well (this can be the same person as above if you wish). Please discuss this, and the placement of your personal break down items, with me. This person should know ahead of time their designation, and should be comfortable with staying 15 minutes + after the wedding to load these items into their vehicle or hotel room, etc. Also keep in mind, if your wedding is at a hotel, we can deliver your gifts and personal items to your room instead of you designating a person.
ADDITIONAL FINAL TIPS, ORGANIZATIONAL IDEAS, policies & FAQ'S:
· If you are doing them, please make sure you organize your escort cards or seating chart NOT by table number, but by last name, alphabetically. Guests will not know their table number to look for on the escort card table, but will need to be able to search by last name. If you do not get these to us alphabetized by last name, we cannot guarantee we will have the time to make sure this happens, and will put them out as-is unless we have extra set up time at the end. A tip that some people do is to put escort cards in little ziploc baggies by last name - i.e. A-F, G-L, etc. It keeps them pretty organized and alphabetized.
· I recommend escort cards (guest’s name and their table number) or a seating chart vs. place cards (actual cards placed at a plate at the table, which tells guests the exact chair to sit at). Non-assigned seating can also work well if you are up to it! Let's chat if you are stuck deciding. Place cards for weddings over 50 guests is hard (meaning where you assign an ACTUAL place at each table). Escort cards simply tell people which table to go to, and they choose their own seats- seating charts serve the same purpose.
· Do the set up list while you are packing your items for your wedding. That is how you will ensure each item gets on the list and packed up for transport to me or your venue.
· If you are having a plated meal, you will need a meal indicator on your escort cards. This can be a stamp, a colored jewel, a different color ink or different font, ribbon, etc. The servers will need to know who is eating what so they can drop the correct meal at the correct place. Let me know if you have any questions or need ideas.
· Please remove ALL price tags, stickers, and residue from things like frames, cake cutting sets, and champagne flutes. You may also wish to wash items like flutes, cake cutting sets, or dessert table trays/cake pedestals. Goo-gone is your friend! This is another last priority thing during our set up, so if you do not do this, we cannot guarantee it gets done.
· Don’t forget your marriage license! This can be obtained up to 90 days and closer to the wedding, and can be done anywhere in California. Please check to see if you need an appointment in the city you are obtaining your license. Please also think about who you would like to witness your marriage license. You only need 1 witness unless you have a confidential license.
· When providing final guest counts to venues and caterers, remember to include the two of you!
· Want your “finishing touches” or “getting ready” photos to look nice, even in the background? Designate someone to pick up the hotel room or wherever you are getting ready 15-20 minutes before your photographer is slated to arrive.
· Please note that in most cases, your personal decor items will be returned to you wiped down as best as possible, but not washed, so I recommend unpacking your bins ASAP and washing these items for long term keeping and storage. Unfortunately, with the limited time we have to breakdown a large event, things just won’t be as nicely organized, packed, and cleaned as I am sure they will be when you bring them to me.
· I will handle everything surrounding vendor meals (proper count, meal choices if applicable, etc.)
· Again, you do not need to provide photos of set up, unless you want a particular item to be SUPER SUPER specific. In many/most cases, clients just give us their personal decor and general ideas of how they want things set up, and give us some styling free reign. We are very good at ensuring everything looks great!
· WIND- If you are getting married in Palm Springs/Desert Hot Springs, it can get windy outside! Please consider this when choosing escort card display, table number holders, etc. If we are not provided with items to keep these held down, we will have to think creatively in the case of wind :) Just something to mull over if you are particular. Heavier table numbers such as wood or stone might be a better choice than paper, but there are always creative ways to keep them down, just might not be what you originally expected.
· If it's an estate venue, do you need wedding day toilet paper and any additional items? Talk to your venue rep! Don't be left needing something on event day.
· If we are setting up more than approx 20 total candles of any size, please ensure that all candles are taken out of their plastic or original wrapping and placed inside the candle holders in their boxes. Please also ensure that you trim long wicks down to approx 1/4 inch.
· If we are setting up DIY centerpieces, please ensure that the main components are fully assembled and placed in your reception location prior to our arrival (we can talk about exact location at rehearsal). We can then place on tables and style as needed.
· As a general rule, more than 3 pieces per guest table related to DIY centerpieces (larger pillar candles, centerpieces, succulents) will most likely require us to add an additional Coordinator assistant at $300 whose sole set up job will be centerpieces/guest tables, unless it is a very small wedding with 7-9 tables or less. One pre-assembled simple potted succulent or floral centerpiece and a few candles per table will not require an additional Coordinator. Several items comprising a detailed/eclectic DIY tablescape will require an additional Coordinator for both set up and break down ($300 total). Always happy to chat this through.
· We do not cut cakes or serve food in any capacity, but we can set up and style dessert tables, snack tables, cake tables, including putting out the actual snacks.
· We can move minimal florals from ceremony to reception, such as small arch pieces, garlands, and small aisle pieces. This only applies when the ceremony and reception are at the same venue. If they are not at the same venue, we cannot move from ceremony to reception.
· Please for all weddings (except if you are getting married at a FULL SERVICE ALL INCLUSIVE HOTEL VENUE or if you have a FULL SERVICE CATERER/BAR COMPANY), pack one package of full size heavy duty black trash bags and one package of paper towels in your set up items! They really comes in handy for things like spills, dirty bar tops or rental furniture, etc.
HERE ARE SOME REMINDERS FROM YOUR CONTRACT:
- Consultant will not run slide shows, plug-in, setup or install any kind of client-provided twinkle lights, up-lights, gobos, music, NEON LIGHTS, or electronics.
- Consultant will not perform any duties forbidden by the venue (including but not limited to lighting open flame candles if the venue forbids it). It is Client’s responsibility to know their venue’s rules.
- Consultant will not physically bring to the venue anything that could cause damage to the site.
- Consultant will not be responsible for the transportation (taking off-site) of wedding gifts or cards. Consultant will transfer wedding gifts to a pre-determined safe spot (such as your hotel room), or give them to a pre-determined friend or family member.
- If you cannot store décor on-site, or if your wedding is not at a hotel where you can store your décor in your room until our arrival on wedding date, Consultant can be responsible for transporting to the venue up to three appropriately constructed, sturdy boxes (with lids) of supplies pertaining to your wedding (favors, cake tools, toasting flutes, etc.), should that service be needed. The boxes need to be of reasonable weight and size. Should the transportation/handling of more than the five standard boxes be needed, please provide someone to assist with delivery, loading and unloading. Consultant cannot transport flowers or cake, as our vehicle is not equipped for such supplies. Signs, etc. that do not fit in your bins do not count toward the 3 box rule. Please contact Consultant for any questions on set up limitations.
- Consultant cannot and will not function as a replacement or substitution of a Wedding Vendor of another profession: Including (but not limited to) Rental Company (including major décor installations such as pipe and drape or moving of chairs or any furniture from ceremony to reception or setting up/installing any rental tables or chairs), Photo/Video, Caterer (including setting tables or folding napkins), Audio/Visual (including electrical installations or running music or functioning as an MC making announcements for your event), Florist, Make-up/Hair, Janitorial, Security, Valet, etc, nor transport/deliver event food, cake, décor, wedding party or guests.
We make sure that each event is properly staffed for Coordination based on a number of factors. If your set up and break down list comes back and there is an extenuating amount of DIY, we may need to add another Coordinator @$300. This is very rare.
- While we understand that you may have people who want to help on wedding day with set up and special DIY projects, we have to request that in most cases, we are the sole person(s) completing your wedding set up, as it really runs smoother that way. Please do not arrange for any “helpers” unless previously discussed.
****tips for Partying on your wedding day:****
Who doesn't like to party on their wedding day... having cocktails is certainly a must! Due to a couple pretty major instances at recent weddings, I want to remind all clients of a few things (puts on wedding mom hat):
- You are paying a lot of money for a photographer and/or videographer to capture photos of you and your wonderful wedding and party while you are looking your very best. Overindulging is hard to cover up, even for the best photographers/videographers, and we don't want you to feel disappointed with your final products.
- You will more than likely be REALLY excited and nervous as you are getting ready for your wedding. The feeling is intense and hard to prepare for! While a glass or 2 of champagne, a vodka soda, or a shot of whiskey might do wonders to calm your nerves, please remember how easy it is to have too much and end up on the other side of how you want to experience your special day.
- Water is your friend! A healthy and complete lunch is your friend! Carbs are your friend!
- Heat is a killer- be careful of your alcohol intake during a heat wave, and up your water intake.
CEREMONY PROCESSIONAL OUTLINE SAMPLE:
· Unless you are getting married in a church that requires a certain processional, there is no “should” or “have to” order. This can look however you want, but I am happy to offer suggestions of ways that work well, once you have sent the list.
· On your processional outline, please include ALL first names and the ages of any kids involved
· Please send this in a Word document
· There are so many variations to these ceremony processionals!! Don’t hesitate to ask for ideas, or bounce plans off of me. I am here to help!
Ceremony Processional Outline Sample 1
Guests are seated
Officiant Bethel Nathan takes her place
Grandma Mary walks in, escorted by Uncle John; both take their seats in front row (Bride Tricia’s side of the family)
Groom’s Parents William and Anna walk in and take their seat in the front row
Guys walk into the room through the door closest to the ceremony in order:
Josh- Best Man
Andrea (bridesmaid) walks in
Heather (bridesmaid) walks in
Autumn (maid of honor) walks in
Flower girl Marisa (age 5) and Ringbearer John (age 10) walk in, and are seated on the bride's side front row with grandparents
Tricia walks in with her parents (Linda and Benjamin)
Ceremony Processional Outline Sample 2
Guests are seated
Officiant Rob takes his place
Tammy’s parents Joan and Norman walk down and are seated in front row, left side of aisle
Michelle’s parents Billy and Jennifer walk down and are seated in front row, right side of aisle
Wedding Party walks in separately (Tammy’s side, then Michelle’s)
Mark, Tom, Joy, Dan, Catherine (MOH)
Will, Jake, Jennifer, Roy (Best Man)
Tammy and Michelle walk down the aisle together
SET UP AND BREAKDOWN LIST SAMPLE:
- Please send this in a Word document
- Please remember to include break down items as well, otherwise, we will assume you don't want the items back
- If there are decor items that you prefer just be set out and styled in whatever fashion works best, we are most than willing to use our expertise to do this. So unless you have very specific instructions, the below can be very short and simple
Place vases and light candles in vases along aisle
Place wine ceremony items on belly bar under the arch
Guestbook, pens, and frame at guest book table
Table Numbers (refer to El Cortez Layout)
Place escort cards at escort card table in cocktail hour space
Place cake topper
Toasting Flutes at sweetheart table
Cake Knife and server
Card box at gift table
Cigar ashtray by fireplace/lounge area on Terrace
Cigars in humidor out by fireplace/lounge on Terrace
Favors (one at each place setting)
Place bridesmaid bouquets in randomly placed milk vases
Take Down and return to bins (**list all items you want to get back, leave out those you do not care to get back):
Memory board and stand at guestbook table
Guestbook, pens, and frame
Vase for Bride’s bouquet at cake table
Lego Cake topper
Cigar ashtray by fireplace/lounge area on Terrace
Milk vases randomly placed for bridesmaids bouquets
Throw away table numbers
Throw away leftover cigars
SEND ALL GIFTS WITH AUNT MARY
SEND ALL PERSONAL DECOR WITH JIM, FATHER OF THE BRIDE
Please see a sample properly labeled floorplan below: