We always get many questions from our couples about how the work of the agency, and in particular the wedding planners, is organized, when we’re having our first videocalls. The work of a wedding planner is actually a unique combination of precision and flexibility. Precision is needed to achieve a high-quality result, that is, to turn the dream of a wedding into beautiful reality. And flexibility is extremely important in communication. Our couples come from all over the world, everyone is different, with the temperament and expectations of their own, but we always manage to find the right approach to each of them and provide thorough care and attention.
In recent posts, we have already talked about the steps of planning a wedding with an agency, and the value of the work of a wedding planner, who becomes an irreplaceable helper in the planning process and on the wedding day itself. In this piece, we would like to talkin more detail about every step of working with an Ori wedding planner.
Misconceptions about the Work of a Wedding Planner
Some couples doubt a wedding planner is needed at all, not yet suspecting how close a person (s)he becomes during the preparation, which sometimes takes from six months to a year. It is the presence of the planner that allows the bride to be a bride on her wedding day and not become a co-organizer, and only focus on thepleasant tasks. It is the wedding planner who solves problems and deals with force majeure situations — during the wedding and afterwards, and the couple will never even know about it and will not worry in vain.
For example, if the cream on the cake was smeared during transportation, the wedding planner will arrange with the chefs on the site to fix everything.
And if suddenly one of the contractors or coordinators is hit by a virus and a fever, the wedding planner will arrange a replacement. The team’s support is very important here. In emergency situations, colleagues from other departments can show up at the work event as a coordinator to help out.
There are also couples who are already familiar with the job of wewdding planners, and they are interested to know ablut Ori’s style and how it differs from many competing agencies, with their own protocols.
But all couples are invariably surprised at the amount of tasks and responsibility our wedding planners take on.
Reading reviews from our couples always makes us happy. It just so happens that the planners are mentioned more often, and this is understandable, because (s)he becomes almost like a family member. This person is by your side on one of the most important days of your life.
What Precedes the Start of Work with the Wedding Planner?
When couples first contact the Ori agency, they interact with the customer service team. Briefly, we will tell you that the goal of such a specialist is to help you choose a country, a venue and a set of services that will, firstly, meet the “technical” needs of the couple (the possibility of official registration and the availability of convenient flights for guests), secondly, the budget (providing an estimate with the balanced set of services ), and most importantly, the creative concept the couple have for their wedding day. When all these issues are resolved, the venue and the date are chosen, the contract is signed. This process is actually just as important as the next steps, but right now let’s focus on what follows.
All steps of communication with customers are registered in our CRM system. We have set up a separate system for the customer service department, as well as a common system that includes the entire team. All the details of the client service specialist’s communication with the couple are handed over to the wedding planner, since throughout the entire communication with the couple, (s)he keeps notes about everything that needs to be taken into account when drawing up the contract and later on. All references, comments on timing or additional services are loaded into a single file and sent on to the wedding planner.
Sometimes the communication with a couple before the contract is signed lasts 6-12 months. During this time, a lot of notes are taken and it can be difficult to organize them all, but we still do it every single time.
Who will be the Wedding Planner for my Wedding?
After the contract is signed, the head of the planning department analyzes the request of the couple, checks the team schedule, and based on all this, the best planner for the couple is selected. Each of the planners has their own specialization: marriage registration, an intimate wedding for two or a large event with guests, and this also affects the choice.
According to our internal regulations, after receiving a project transfer letter from the customer service specialist, the wedding planner contacts the couple on business days within 24 hours. On weekends, the planner is usually at the weddings, especially in high season. If the details are sent out on Friday evening, then the planner contacts the couple on Monday. However, if the couple requested an expedited official marriage registration, with the contract signed on Friday and the registration on Sunday, then the planner contacts the couple immediately.
In order to keep the details of the planning process in one place, the planner creates a group chat on WhatsApp or Telegram with the bride and groom. The same chat includes the head of the planning department, who supervises the progress of the preparation. In order to get to know each other better and talk through the details before the start of the active phase of work, the planner arranges a video call.
Within six months after the wedding, the group chat with the couple, the planner and the head of the department stays active, that is the planner stays available for the couple to ask any questions.
In his(her) first welcome message, the planner indicates the schedule for future work. Office hours of the Ori team is Mon–Fri 10:00–19:00 Tbilisi time (GMT+4).
It is important to understand that each wedding planner is working with several couples simultaneously and is dedicated to the needs of each of them. On the days of events, the planner also replies to messages from couples, but less actively, as (s)he is physically present at the wedding, where the full attention is given to the other couple. However, the planner always tries to answer all questions as quickly as possible.
All wedding planners of the Ori team adhere to the common protocol established for the team. However, depending on the preferences and communication style of the couple, it may change slightly.
For example, some couples are more sensitive and prefer that all stages of work are written out very clearly, some prefer live communication on phone calls, and some generally prefer to be less involved, as they are very busy with work. Thus, the style of communication depends on the couple. At the time of the handover of the project, the customer service specialist must inform the planner about the preferences of the customers.
However, in the group chat, the planner always reports on the completion of the main tasks. For example, (s)he confirms that the chosen photographer is booked or that the dinner menu is finalized with the venue. An intimate event like an official marriage registration for two usually entails a small number of additional services. In this case once the key issues are agreed upon, the intensity of communication decreases until the couple’s arrival. Everything has been decided, prepared and all that remains is to wait for that very date. For a large project for 100 guests, with a show program, decor, photographer, videographer, etc., and especially if the preparation time is short, weekly reports on completed tasks are possible.
At the same time, the key steps of the preparation are registered in our CRM system, along with all the tasks, deadlines, additional agreements and payment terms. The head of the planning department systematically monitors the status of each of our events. In addition, (s)he is always in touch on the day of the event and is sure to give a hand in case of any difficulties. This is one of the important advantages of planning a wedding with an agency: although you communicate with one wedding planner, there is a whole team behind him (her), and thanks to the diverse collective experience, we achieve excellent results and find a way out, even if something does not go according to the plan.
Official Marriage Registration
If your plan is the civil marriage (some couples do it in advance before the big wedding with guests, where only a symbolic ceremony takes place), then the wedding planner starts with the basic questions that are necessary to draw up the timeline for the day of the registration. For example, the planner double checks when the couple arrives and departs, whether they will be based in the same city the whole time, and whether one of the newlyweds plans to change their last name.
• If the couple travels just for the official registration, then it is advisable to choose a hotel in the city center in order to be close to the registry offices and municipalities — this way it will be possible to complete all the necessary formalities quicker, and most importantly — comfortably (without traffic jams) for both the couple and the planner. It is important to understand that you should not be late for the registration, otherwise there is a risk of losing the time slot or facing a complete cancellation, especially during high season when the registrars are very busy.
If the couple has questions about the documents or if they would like to request additional services, then all this can be discussed with the planner, who then double checks the current rates and makes an addendum to the contract.
Wedding with Guests
A bigger celebration with guests requires a whole team of contractors and coordinators. In this scenario, after the details of the official registration are discussed, the planner provides a couple with a weblink to a catalog with our trusted contractors. This catalog contains illustrations of their work, the level of specialists, and a link to a folder with an extended version of the portfolio. After the couple picks preferred contractor, the wedding planner double checks the rate, availability on the desired date, books the specialist, and organizes an advance payment if required.
The closer the wedding date, the smaller number of contractors remain available, especially during high season. That is why we always recommend start planning as soon as you can. Six months is usually a good term for planning a destination wedding. This way you will have the best choice of specialists, and you will be able to book just the one you like the most.
In order to choose decorators, the planner first requests references from the couple — an arch, flower arrangements for the tables, a bride’s bouquet. The most important thing at this stage is to understand the color scheme and the shape of the arch and the bouquet. Based on this, the wedding planner will select the team of florists who will be best at implementing that particular request. On a sidenote, in Georgia we mainly work with seasonal flowers, so it will only be clear a day or two before the ceremony if specific plants are in stock. If there is a request for something special, it has to be shipped from abroad, and as a rule, this increases the cost of decor. Such a request is processed individually.
Before confirming the beauty team, the planner would ask the bride for makeup and hair references, as well as her photo without makeup and a photo with hair loose at full length, in order to understand what the stylist and makeup artist will be working with. Any additional characteristics of skin and hair should also be specified in advance so that the makeup artist and the hair stylist could be fully and individually prepared. The planner knows which of the stylists delivers more natural looks, and who is an expert in the red carpet-worthy looks. By discussing references and reviewing portfolios, you will be able to make the right choice that will match your request.
About a week before the big day, the planner prepares the final plan for the day for the couple and for the team. The internal document for the team has all the participants, contractors and coordinators listed, with their arrival time, time for preparation, the deadlines, transfers, lunches, important reminders, sunset time, i.e., everything necessary for the successful implementation of the agreed scenario.
On the wedding day coordinators become the “eyes and hands” of the planner, performing tasks at different locations. One gathers the guests, escorts them to the transport and brings them to the place of the ceremony. The other accompanies the couple to the photo shoot and makes sure they are comfortable and that the photo shoot ends on time. The third one meets the band and escorts them to the ballroom, controls the equipment settings. Some venues have such a vast territory (for example, Lopota Lake Resort in Georgia) that there is no way the planner can visit several spots within a short time. Throughout the day, the planner monitors the status of all processes that are happening simultaneously and manages them all to obtain the brilliant result, while focusing on the most important and complex tasks.
The plan for the couple also indicates all the main steps of the day: what time the bride’s morning begins, when “the first look” is scheduled, the time when the guests gather for the ceremony, the time for the love story photo shoot.
Then the magic begins — the long-awaited culmination of all the preparations. Here the wedding planner performs as a talented conductor who keeps in mind all the plots that are developing simultaneously and feels the pulse of this day. Until the last dance and farewell to the guests, the wedding planner stays focused to ensure that everything is happening in a timely and smooth manner, and most importantly, that the newlyweds and their guests are happy and enjoy the unique moments as much as possible.
After the Wedding
As a rule, after the end of the wedding day, there are still a few things that the planner continues to control until they are completed. Among them is the delivery of the marriage certificate, its translation and apostille or legalization, and then, possibly, posting it to the couple. The wedding planner also keeps track of the photo and video editing: it is important that they are ready and sent over to the couple within the agreed time frame. When all photos and videos are edited, the contractors provide a link to cloud storage, from where you need to download all materials in a limited time — before the link expires.
For 6 months after the event the planner remains available for any questions that may arise and they are always welcome.
The work of a wedding planner involves many tasks, big and small, but invariably extremely important, requiring empathy and energy. We could write a whole book or make a TV series about this, because every wedding and every couple is unique, that’s why we love our work. We hope that we managed to create a big picture of how the preparation of your wedding with the Ori Wedding agency will take place, and this picture is inspiring :). We are always available for additional questions!