The past week has been a a whirlwind as I was hired on Thursday, October 23rd as a "day of" coordinator for a wedding on Saturday, November 1st at the Outrigger Canoe Club.
The groom had contacted me a few months ago from Japan and inquired about services, but with family here in Honolulu he thought that they could handle everything for their destination wedding, but then realized they needed help so he contacted me again.
So how do you pull things together at a venue you've never worked at and also help the client secure a DJ and photographer? First I start to gather as much information from the couple using a questionnaire form that I have developed which is quite comprehensive. The answers allow me to cover about 90% of the event details and create a realistic timeline for the day.
As for the venue, that was not a concern for me. As a professional planner, I am able to work at any facility, all I need is one quick walk through to see the layout, access points and also know my on-site contact(s), time frames for set-up and the site rules. I originally planned to do a walk through on October 30th with the client, but as their catering manager would be away on vacation, I ended up meeting with her on October 27th which made my client feel even more at ease.
I gave recommendations on photographers as well as a DJ who also ended up providing the equpment for the slideshow and matched the price the club was offering. As much as possible, I try to combine some services, especially where AV is concerned. There are just too many opportunities for something to go wrong (missing cables, DVD not working, sound level not right, etc.) and I don't want to take any chances as the slide show is always one of the highlights for both the couple and their guests.
The Outrigger Canoe Club is an oceanfront venue with a fantastic view. In speaking with the manager, they haven't done alot of banquets there, but after working as a "team" with his crew he asked for my business card and said I really would like to do more!
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening, and one of my favorite parts of event planning is when the bride gives a hug, and is truly having fun on her wedding day!