January 8, 2012

Wedding Coordination Déjà vu

Today I attended a wedding where I don't quite know anyone else other than hubby and (to my surprise) the wedding photographer (who is our friend and also our wedding photographer). The bride was hubby's friend in uni and I have only met her once before. There were other guests at the wedding whom hubby knew from church or high school and I kinda know who they are but I really don't know them beyond a greeting and a smile. If you know me, it is a little unusual that I am at a wedding where I don't really have anyone to talk to. (Actually, I just remembered another one but that was a very good friend's wedding in Jakarta where I was her only bridesmaid and almost every guest was an Indonesian) Anyway, maybe because I had no one to distract me, I had the chance to be an observer. It makes me recall the days when I was a wedding coordinator.

Between 2002 to 2005, I had the privilege of coordinating the wedding of a number of friends (when I was single). I have organised and coordinated 6 weddings of close friends and 1 of a couple I barely knew (I was approached by a church staff worker to help a couple who were new to church). On top of that, I have served in many weddings where I was either a singer, song leader, usher, bridesmaid, "bride-helper", receptionist, food organiser. Hence I'd say that I was rather experienced in weddings (at least in Singapore) before my own wedding.

At the wedding this afternoon, I picked out some things which I would usually look out for and I suppose, little things which a married-couple-to-be could take note:

1. Make sure that your wedding gown is not too big that you have difficulty walking down the width of the aisle with the person who walks you down the aisle.
2. When you (the bride) walk down the aisle, enjoy the moment (other than counting the steps and wondering if you are walking too fast/slow), SMILE. Do not look down (unknowingly) because your long eye lashes is brushing against your veil or when you have difficulty walking in your shoes/gown. Look and smile at your groom (if you can see him), and/or your guests.
3. When posing for group shots with guests, the bride and groom must/should be either holding hands or bride's arm around groom's arm. It will look better in the photos.
4. When you are walking down the aisle as Mr and Mrs, it is alright not to hold your bridal bouquet. Just relax because you are married! Yay! I realised sometimes the couple is not sure how to hold the bouquet at this point and look very awkward in doing so.
5. When you are saying your vows, hold each other's hands and look at each other to say the vows/declaration when exchange rings. Some couples are too nervous to look at each other.
6. [Very important for the groom] Ensure that when you unveil your bride, place the veil properly down towards the back of her head (not on top of her head). Many grooms don't know this and are too anxious to kiss their brides :p At the very least, the bride or bridesmaid must know this so that she is able to put the veil back in its place or cue the groom to do so.

There are many more tips which I could share but there are just too many. I look into little details as such so that the couple will 'look good' and also to ensure that the couple and their guests enjoy the day. Having said that I don't subscribe to the idea of having a "perfect wedding" (hence I won't make a good professional wedding planner). I won't guarantee the couple a wedding of their dreams and that everything will go smoothly. I always tell my friends that there will be things that can go wrong although I will try my best to ensure things go on smoothly. They should enjoy the first day of their marriage and learn to laugh when things don't go according to plan for this is the reality of marriage! ;)

Now that I am married, I have 'retired' from coordinating weddings. In Brisbane, hubby and I have served in various areas at different weddings. I have also since coordinated one wedding and another with hubby (where he did most of the work because he is more organised than me :p). At this stage of my life, I think I prefer to be a wedding consultant (not a coordinator) and to advise couples about their weddings. It is time for me to enjoy being a guest at weddings ;)

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