We often get questions from our couples about how the work of the agency, and wedding planners in particular, is organized. 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 a beautiful reality. Flexibility is extremely important in communication – our couples come from all over the world, and everyone is different, with the temperament and expectations of their own. However, we always manage to find the right approach to each of our clients and provide thorough care and attention.

In recent posts, we have already talked about the stages of planning a wedding with an agency, and a wedding planner’s work and professionalism. A planning specialist is the person who becomes an irreplaceable helper in the organizational process and on the wedding day itself. In this piece, we would like to talk about every step of working with an Ori wedding planner in more detail.

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 preparations, which sometimes last anything from six months to a year. It is the presence of the planner that allows the bride to sit back and enjoy her wedding day, instead of becoming a co-organizer, and only focus on the pleasant tasks. It is the wedding planner who solves problems and deals with unexpected situations during the wedding and afterwards, without them worrying or affecting the couple.

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 one of the contractors or coordinators is hit by a virus, the wedding planner will arrange a replacement. The team’s support is very important here. In emergency situations, colleagues from other departments can take up the role of a coordinator to help out with the wedding.

Some couples are already familiar with the job of wedding planners, and they are interested to learn more about Ori’s style and how it differs from many competing agencies, each with their own protocols. So they are invariably surprised at the amount of tasks and responsibility our wedding planners deal with.

Reading reviews from our couples always makes us happy. It just so happens that the planners are mentioned the most, which is understandable, because this person is by your side on one of the most important days of your life and during the challenging preparation period.

What Precedes the Start of Work with the Wedding Planner?

When couples first contact Ori Wedding agency, they interact with the customer service team. In brief, the aim of our specialist is to help you choose a country, a venue and a set of services that will, firstly, meet the “organizational” needs of the couple (the possibility of official registration and the availability of convenient flights for guests), secondly, the budget requirements (providing an estimate with the balanced set of services ), and most importantly, follow the creative concept the couple have for their wedding day. When all these goals are reached, the venue and the date are chosen and 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 stages 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 negotiations with the couple are promptly handed over to the wedding planner, so that (s)he can keep 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, which ensures that no vital information is lost or forgotten.

Sometimes, communication with the couple before the signing may last between 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 flawlessly 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, which also serves to make the choice easier and more beneficial for the couple.

Communication Rules

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 engaged with wedding events, especially in high season. If the details are sent out on Friday evening, then the planner gets back to 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 will start their work with 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 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).

Then, 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.

The group chat that includes the couple, the planner and the head of the department stays active for six months after the wedding, that is, the planner remains available for the couple to ask any follow-up questions if needed.

It is important to understand that each wedding planner is working with several couples simultaneously and is equally dedicated to their needs.During 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 prefer that all stages of work are written out very clearly, some prefer dynamic live communication via 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 project handover, the customer service specialist will have informed the planner about the preferences of the customers.

In the group chat, the planner always reports on the completion of the main tasks. As such, (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 smaller number of additional services, so 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 special date. In large projects with 100 guests or more, a show program, decor, a photographer, a 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 mostly communicate with one wedding planner, there is a whole team behind them, and thanks to the diverse collective experience, we achieve excellent results and find a way through challenges even if something does not go according to the plan.

Official Marriage Registration

If you have decided on a 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 or other delays) 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 they would like to request additional services, then all this can be discussed with the planner, who then consults 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 the couple with a weblink to a catalog with our trusted contractors. This catalog contains illustrations of their work, their professional scores, and a link to a folder with an extended version of the portfolio. After the couple picks a preferred contractor, the wedding planner checks the rate, availability on the desired date, books the specialist and organizes an advance payment if required.

The closer the wedding date is, the smaller number of contractors remain available, especially during high season. That is why we always recommend starting 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 selects the team of florists who will be best at implementing that particular request. As a side note, 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 requests are 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 MUAH stylist could be fully and prepared for this specific request. 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 demands.

Wedding Day

About a week before the wedding, the planner prepares the final plan of 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 and preparation time, the deadlines, transfers, lunches, important reminders, sunset time, i.e., everything needed for the successful implementation of the agreed scenario. The plan for the couple also indicates all the main parts 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 and so on.

On the wedding day, coordinators become the “hands  and eyes” of the planner, performing tasks at different locations. One gathers the guests, escorts them to the transport vehicles 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, verifying 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. Nevertheless, throughout the day, the planner monitors the status of all processes that are happening simultaneously and manages them all for excellent performance, while focusing on the most important and complex tasks.

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 at the same time 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 wedding day ends, there are still a few things that the planner continues to manage until completion. 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 the photos and videos are edited, the contractors provide a link to cloud storage for downloading all the materials with a limited-time  link. And as mentioned before, to help the newlyweds on their journey together, the planner remains available to them for 6 months after the event, in case of any remaining questions, which are always welcome.

The work of a wedding planner involves many tasks, big and small, but invariably extremely important, and requires great reserves of empathy and energy. We could write a whole book about our outstanding professionals. Every wedding and every couple is unique, that’s why we love our work and hope that we have managed to convey how the preparation for your wedding with the Ori Wedding agency will take place, and give you a bit of inspiration :). We are always available for additional questions!