In today’s blogpost I will be looking back to my own wedding, and more specifically, the reasons why I regret not having a wedding planner on our big day. I hope you find this information useful!
I remember when I first started to plan our wedding. Exciting times! I could literally not wait to get started. Coming from a similar background, I was already very used to planning round trips, conferences and land arrangements for groups. I also had experience from gala dinners and company parties, which always were the part that I most enjoyed. When the time came to start planning the wedding I dived into it, enjoying every moment of it.
I started planning everything on my own, obviously with some inputs from my then husband to be, although being completely honest I was the driving force, and he let me do it because he knew how much I enjoyed it. Did I have a support from anyone else? Yes, and no… I had a venue coordinator on the day who was included in the price for the venue, something most venues offer. But during the planning process I did everything myself.
And did the wedding run smoothly? Yes, most parts of it. But there were some moments during the day that I regret not having some extra support. But before we go into the different points, I think a bit of general background information would be great.
We knew we wanted to get married at the beach, somewhere in the Barcelona area where we live. I’m Swedish, and my husband is Spanish, so we would have guests coming in from Sweden and Spain. We decided quite early on to have a smaller wedding. Mainly because non of us dreamt of a huge wedding, we just wanted to have our closest ones there with us, but also of budget reasons. We also planned our wedding within a very short timeframe (5 months) which didn’t give us much time to save up. In the end, we had about 45 guests.
I started looking for seafront venues and quickly moved away from the Barcelona area. Instead, we started looking up north on the coast, in the Costa Brava region. This area is know for it’s beautiful rocky coastline and turquoise waters. Eventually we decided on a venue, a small hotel where we could have the intimate ceremony on the beach just next to the hotel. The rest of the celebration would be at the hotel terrace, and and indoor dining area – both spaces with incredible sea views.
We got married on October 6th, ceremony starting at 5.30 pm. A perfect time to start the ceremony for evening weddings here in Spain. If you get married in the middle of summer, most venues will advice you to start the ceremony even later than that. But since our wedding was in October, this start time was perfect for us.
In October, most people are back at work and kids are back at school. This means less people at the beach, a more intimate atmosphere. It also means better photos, without beach umbrellas or random sunbathers in the background. But now, let’s move on to…
Why I regret not having a wedding planner
The preparations of the ceremony area
The venue coordinator and the person preparing the ceremony area were finishing preparing it about 20 min prior to the ceremony. Some of my Swedish guests had to wait for them to finish, because according to Swedish customs you are very puntual to important events like weddings, and many prefer to arrive a bit early. This cultural aspect was something I totally didn’t think about, even though I’m Swedish myself. I also took for granted that the ceremony area would have been finished by then. The Spanish guests arrived 5 min before, some of them even rushing in the last minute, as I said, punctuality is a cultural thing.
Recessional and Confetti-what?
We choose to have rice as our “confetti”, and we prepared a basket full of rice just where the aisle started. Big mistake. People completely missed the basket, and did not take any rice before sitting down. Once the ceremony was finished we “walked out”, nobody threw anything at us. They did applaud of course and cheer at us, but there was no rice tossing. Instead me and my husband grabbed the basket of rice and started tossing it at our guests. This created a super fun moment, the guests were laughing and screaming and some of them ran forward with confetti cannons that they had but didn’t fire off earlier.
I wish I’d had someone who would have prepared that moment a bit better for us. Seeing this problem come ahead of time. Instead of only having rice at the beginning of the aisle, it would have been better to make small bags of rice and place them on the chairs. At least the ones closest to the aisle.
Family member issue
My husbands side of the family has a couple of people who can’t stand each other. So there was a small situation during the reception, nothing major at all and it was solved quickly in a peaceful way, but in that moment both of us would have appreciated a bit of back up from someone since my husband had to step outside with one of the people and speak to them. Luckily this happen just by the end of the dinner before dancing started so people were relaxed, talking and moving around a bit between the tables. But it would have been good to have someone as a support. The rest of the party was so much fun and everyone had a good time.
Practical stuff and venue coordinator
And also there was the practical stuff that I had to take care of myself. Like, explaining how to set up the table decor on the tables. Bringing in all the decor since the venue didn’t have much to offer. Answering questions. Even though I love planning, those parts were something that I wouldn’t had minded delegating to someone else on the big day.
Our venue coordinator was a lovely person. And she did what she was supposed to do which mas making sure that everything ran smoothly during the dinner. She was not there with me when I walked in, she did not check on me while getting ready nor did she keep an eye on the general timing of the day. I know that venue coordinators at other venues can be a bit more involved sometimes. But for us this was not the case.
At the moment of making the decision to have a wedding planner or not, looking back at it, I don’t think I was fully aware of all the extra things that a wedding planner actually does and controls on the wedding day. I knew for sure that there was a difference between venue coordinator and wedding planner. But not that the difference would be that big.
So there you have it, my reasons why I regret not hiring a wedding planner!