You could certainly be forgiven if you picture J-Lo or even Candice Bergen when you think of wedding planners – but don’t write them off based on what you see in the Hollywood romantic comedies. A wedding planner or coordinator could be the greatest member of your wedding planning team, whether you get them on board to help with planning the basics of your wedding timeline, or lean on them through the whole flower picking, centrepiece designing, menu creating process- the experience and knowledge of your wedding coordinator is truly invaluable.
Heidi Milu is the Wedding Coordinator at the Port Lincoln Hotel, located on the beautiful Eyre Peninsula, and has helped to plan many different weddings at the venue. From 30 guests to 220 guests, extravagant menus to cocktail dining, poolside ceremonies to surprise weddings; Heidi has been a part of it all as the brides’ right hand woman for the biggest day of her life.
“They (Bride’s) can utilise me as much or as little as they want,” Heidi told me. “There are a lot of brides that are very DIY focussed, and we do accommodate that as well.” For brides who have chosen the Port Lincoln Hotel as their wedding venue, the very talented Heidi comes as part of the package. “Some brides just want to hire the venue, but I am still there from start to finish, as there is still a lot of planning even if it isn’t the full décor aspect. If they do book a décor package, then anything they want, I go and seek things locally as much as I can.
Whether you’re the first amongst your group of friends to get married, perhaps are looking for something different, or maybe you’re planning a destination wedding – the local knowledge that your wedding planner has could be the difference between dazzling memories or disaster moments.
“We’ve worked with a lot of the recommended suppliers, all the way down to the musicians. It comes down to people that I know that are going to turn up on time and people that I know that are going to deliver; for a lot of people not being from here, local entertainment can be a hard one to find.”
After 35 weddings in a 9 month period last year (Friday weddings included!), you can be sure that Heidi knows her stuff. But what if you don’t have a former florist and current wedding planning extraordinaire at your fingertips? For organised brides, the wedding planning process can still be stress free when you take a whole view of the wedding and break it down into smaller tasks to put on the to do list, from booking pre wedding accommodation to cake tasting and designing. Doing your research and looking for reviews or testimonials from past brides can give you the peace of mind that you’re choosing a trusted supplier and that the pricing is right. Don’t be afraid to ask your suppliers for recommendations of people they have worked with at previous weddings, or even find local brides who are willing to share their experiences with you. The wedding industry is continually evolving and there is always someone around who is willing to help create the wedding of your dreams.
If you do decide to get a wedding coordinator on your team, don’t feel as though you are going to lose control of your big day – as Heidi told me, the best wedding planners will always get to know you, learn what you want and deliver the wedding look and feel that you had envisioned, one that is a true reflection of your love and future. “A lot of the times I just get pictures of things that girls are thinking of and then I have to create whatever they like, which is a lot of fun!”