Lately, with all of the changes of shifting to smaller weddings, there are more do- it-yourself weddings (aka DIY weddings) where there is not a designated planner. If there is a planner, he or she is often faced with increased responsibilities due to the small size of the wedding and all the complications that have come with COVID weddings.
One would think that a small wedding would make it easier on the coordinator and all involved, but often the opposite is the case. The coordinator is faced with last-minute decorating, pushing play on a playlist, floral arranging, giving instructions to more people….lots of responsibilities that would typically be the responsibility of a different vendor at a larger wedding.
We have also seen weddings with no coordinator at all in this COVID-era wedding climate.
The question we get from brides and coordinators alike is… How can I avoid potential hiccups with my music and ensure that everything goes according to plan?
Even in earlier years when Covid was not an issue, there were a few key things that we always recommend to help your ceremony music to go smoothly on wedding day. Here are our suggestions...........
Venue: Sweet Magnolia Estate
If you don’t have a day of coordinator, book one! We have never heard a bride regret booking a planner. As long as the planner is a professional and well-vetted one, DO IT! It's pretty much always a good decision. A full service or month-of planner is even better, but at least having a day-of planner is a good idea.
If you do not want to hire a planner, designate someone who is not immediate family to at least line people up and send them down the aisle at the appropriate time.
This is important because, without someone designated, time gets away from you on wedding day! There are boutonnieres to pin, bouquets to organize, grandparents to locate, petals to find for flower girls, pillows to remember for ring bearers..... all the things!! Most weddings start very late without someone in charge.
This person should ideally have a printed day-of schedule and a to-do list at certain times of day. They should also plan time to chat with the musicians and with your officiant sometime before pre-ceremony music begins.
Have a rehearsal. Even if it’s a small wedding of 20 people, just walking through the motions helps a lot. Who walks down first? Who is on which side? Do groomsmen put their hands in their pockets or in front of them? What do you do with your bouquet when it’s time to exchange rings? All these things will flow better on wedding day if you have a quick walk-through.
*Actually, a coordinator has a list of these things, and they'll take care of all of them, but again, if you don’t have a coordinator, a rehearsal will help!*
Venue: Champagne Manor
Communicate. What time should everyone arrive? What are your expectations of people on wedding day? Who brings all the things? A well-crafted email to everyone, or a schedule - or both - goes a long way. (Also copy your venue on this if they’re involved!)
Read our more detailed blog to coordinators next week to see what we recommend to make music go PERFECTLY. We are pretty good at making things work well and flow, even if things are late.... even if we don’t get the cues we need... even if people walk out of order, etc. But… there is something about a perfectly timed entrance that is MAGICAL. So, read next week to get more specific tips about the music portion and how it can go as planned.
Venue: Vesuvius Vineyards
Deans’ Duets is a full-service music planning team who provides ceremony music, cocktail hour music, dinner music, and reception music for clients throughout the southeastern United States and beyond. We currently provide music for many luxury weddings, but we started out many years ago playing mostly small church weddings and DIY low-budget weddings, so we’ve seen it all! Let us know if we can help.
April is a professional violinist and the music coordinator for Dean's Duets.