Hi! I’m Mia Alicata, owner of Merry by Mia, an event and wedding planning and day-of coordinator service. I believe every event needs a day-of coordinator. With all of the time, money and emotion that goes into a wedding day, you need a third party to manage your vendors, venue, family and bridal party. We take all logistical stress away!
Welcome to our last part of our three part series of how you can be good to your bridesmaids! In Part 1 we talked about not expecting the world from your girls, respecting their finances and protecting your friendships. In Part 2 we chatted about why Leading Ladies is an amazing option for your gals. Provide some parameters and know that the quality, styles and sizes will be perfect fits.
In our last installment, we’re going to give you an overview of our personal mission… to get the world to understand how vital it is to hire a day-of coordinator.
I started Merry by Mia because I felt how exciting wedding days were; you hear your loved ones decisions leading up to the day, you are excited about your new dress, you can’t wait to see the other guests you’ll catch up with. The wedding day arrives and whether you’re in the wedding party or family of the couple, you’re stuck mitigating problems. You’re helping get older relatives into their Uber, so you miss the cake cutting. You’re catching up with your aunt you haven’t seen in years, but you have to break away because a family friend can’t find the entrance to the venue. You miss the taxi with the rest of your friends to the after party because you’re trying to help the bride gather her gifts and checks at the end of the night.
Be good to the people in your life. Be good to your bridesmaids. They’re there to help celebrate with you, and to help make it the best day ever, but they are not your wedding planners. You should not expect them to plan your wedding and you should not expect them to run the show on the big day. Yes, you can ask for some help, but the role of a bridesmaid is to be honored as an important woman in your life, not to help. You know whose job it is to plan the wedding or to mitigate problems on the day? YOURS, your future spouse, a wedding planner and on the big day… a day-of coordinator. You cannot expect someone who you have already asked to spend money (see Part 1 of this series!) to run around and ensure a smooth day. You need a professional for that! Your friends are teachers, marketing gurus, accountants… a physical therapist doesn’t know how to run an event, she’s a medical professional! Why would you ever leave a day like your wedding up to someone who is winging it.
I’ve watched (longingly- I love the dance floor) bridesmaids host impromptu limbo at weddings. I’ve seen them deliver lipstick to the bride’s side right after she finishes dinner. I’ve watched a pack of ladies head off to the restroom to help the bride fit her ball gown into a bathroom stall. These are the funny, memorable moments that bridesmaids are for. It is simply not fair to expect these important people to help your venue figure out if the gluten allergy was table 9 or 10 or to cover off if the procession song is supposed to start before or after the groom takes his place. The best way to be good to your bridesmaids is to hire a professional, separate from your venue, to handle everything. You can sit back and absorb your time with your best girls.
Note that I’ve worked at all types of venues. Famous spaces in New York City, raw spaces in New England and I’ve worked with some amazing venue coordinators. A day-of coordinator is necessary. I’m often told that I am the best money people spend on their wedding. My “boss” is the couple and the family. Your venue coordinator, no matter how lovely and competent, reports to the venue. I am ancillary to any of the rules of the venue and act as the couple’s eyes and ears when they’re enjoying their day. Did the venue promise we could have candles lit and now they’re saying this is not abiding by their rules? Let me pull up our email thread to remind them. My detailed decor plans show that the favors should be placed in X location, but the venue put them in Y. Let’s fix that. If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on every other moment of the day, hire someone to make sure guests get to experience all of those moments and smoothly!
So, brides, be good to your bridesmaids. Actually, I don’t even like that term. It’s 2019, they are not maids (yours or anyone else's!). Be good to your best friends. Be up front with what you expect from them, find a company like Leading Ladies where you know everyone can find an outfit they feel confident and happy in and hire a day-of coordinator to be the liaison between your venue, vendors and all guests. It is vital! Happy planning!
-Mia of Merry by Mia