A Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner: Office Edition

Posted January 21, 2016
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Ever wonder what your wedding planner is actually doing all day long, when she isn’t busy alerting the caterers about the headcount change, collaborating with your florist to find the perfect way to include a splash of kangaroo paw in the florals, and making sure your DJ knows to pretend the Macarana doesn’t exist when party time begins? Hollywood has glamorized wedding planning over the years, and most people assume all wedding planners spend their time getting their hair just right in super-tight buns (aka Jennifer Lopez in “The Wedding Planner”) while agonizing over 30 various blush swatches to ensure it matches “ballet slipper” instead of “baby pink” for a client’s day, all while wearing sexy yet still professional designer dress suits.

We are sorry to be the ones to break it to you, but the real life of a planner is significantly less glamorous than that of the ‘Hollywood’ planner. However, one thing Hollywood did get right is how varied and fast paced it can be. We have to be the queens of multitasking, juggling a hundred tiny details for more than 30 clients at any given time—all at once. There is no way to accurately describe our day to day work routines, because it is always something different! But here’s a peek inside what a typical day spent in office might look like for the owner and senior planner of I Do.

A Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner {Allie’s In-Office Edition}
7:00 – 9:00 AM:
Glance at new emails in inboxes from bed via cellphone; mentally add to to-do list, and prepare giant mug of coffee in my treasured Tervis tumbler. Throw on sexy designer outfit—just kidding!—something functional and stylish, prep & hustle kids out the door to drop them off at school, then drive straight to a client meeting at the downtown office, while chatting with vendors and/or the gals in office over the phone about client details via bluetooth.

9:30 AM:
Office day officially begins! The crew takes siege of the office, armed with smiles and coffee, then the fun begins by choosing the day’s playlist and getting down to business by responding to emails, fielding new inquiries and returning phone calls, and working on editing room layouts and rental orders. The benefit of having a multi-planner team means that we can successfully take care of many clients at once. Remember that first client meeting I was heading to? That was what we call an initial client meeting. This is where we meet with a new client to consult with them one on one, get to know each other and talk through the details of our packages to decide what services best fit the needs of their fabulous day! After congratulating our potential new client, and getting pumped up about the details of their wedding, I fire up the ‘planning mobile’ and head back to the home office.

11:00 AM
It’s back to the office time! The office is humming with activity. New contract proposal write up is under way; we all grab some lunch and eat in between emails at the desk along with my second giant helping of coffee and an open discussion of which rentals and lounge furniture items are best to bring together for a fall client’s event. Honestly, unless we are connecting with a vendor over lunch, we don’t take much of a break! Since every day is different, lunch is often fit in wherever we can. Some days we grab lunch out in between meetings, some days we keep at it and eat at the computer so we can continue tackling the “to-do” list of all the details for our clients.

11:30 AM – 12:45 PM
Final meeting with a client who’s getting married next month (YAY!) to discuss final wedding details, and fine tune their wedding weekend timeline. Surprise! There will be a dog in the ceremony, 32 extra people have RSVPed, and the bride has currently not decided on a rain plan option we presented two months ago (the forecast is not looking glowing) for the outdoor ceremony (reserve the tent, I urge!!!).

1:00 PM
Rush to kids’ preschool and pick them up; get back to house, answer a few emails with the help of my “advisor”, who periodically checks in (you know this is a real-life moment, when we are so engrossed in work and the rest of the house isn’t picture-perfect!).

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everyone is deeply focused when they’re in the office…

1:30 PM
Babysitter arrives and whisks kids away in a flurry of juice, snacks, coats & hats for playing outdoors, and an iPad loaded with educational games & apps. Back in the planner seat,  I jot down notes and reminders from previous client meetings, email a florist about layout changes and the increase in number of arrangements (to accommodate for the extra 32 guests, remember!?), as well as the rental companies regarding additional linens, chairs and tables.

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Budget meeting with a client. Budget meetings are often the first official meeting we have with our clients to help them start their planning journey on the right foot. It’s a real and honest conversation, where many details are determined. To start this meeting, I pull up her “Pinspiration” and help ascertain and match the look in the photos with the amount set aside to spend on the decor. (*This may be one of the hardest conversations we have with our clients. Pinterest and wedding blogs paint a supremely pretty picture, but it all costs a pretty penny. “DIY it?”, you say? Well, that’s another conversation we shall blog about later!) As we continue on through the meeting, I explain details about stations versus plated meal costs, the real costs of rental items to create that “Pinterest perfect look”, and lastly walking through with the client as to why it may not be the wisest choice to consider hiring a photographer that only costs $400 for the whole wedding day.

4:00 PM – 5 PM
Wrap up for the day: respond to emails, finish up returning/making pressing phone calls. Finish editing a blog post and publish it, then share it on social media; Check in with the rest of the crew to get updates on their clients’ progress and development, answer any general office questions and take an extra moment to swoon over our latest wedding’s photos we received in our inbox.

5 PM – 11 PM
Stop brain from pre-writing the blog about the wonderful clients whose photos we just received, and switch hats from the ‘wedding planner’ hat to the oh-so-stylish ‘wife/mom’ hat, to fully engage and connect with family, concept and make dinner, and (after the littles are in bed) catch up on Modern Family. Because, Modern Family, y’all! Lastly, sneak a peek at work email via phone in bed to mentally preview for the next day, and peruse Instagram and Pinterest for more client’s inspiration and to see whats trending for the wedding world—as I am secretly always wearing that ‘wedding planner’ hat, even as I sleep.

There are a hundred other duties we perform for our clients that can easily be interchanged in any of these time slots: developing design boards, researching and contacting vendors, developing layouts and timelines, preparing for the weddings coming up each weekend, and researching specific topics for brides, all while keeping in constant communication with our clients and vendors alike. We stay busy, it’s the way we like it! Wedding planning is our passion, we love working hard for our lovely clients and it shows on their wedding day. Speaking of… stay tuned for more peeks into a day spent in our shoes, like onsite at the wedding!

*feature image at top: via