Independent Celebrant Warwickshire

Spotlight on Wedding Planning

As a Celebrant, I do work with brides and grooms on the run up to their wedding day, but I’m never fully involved in all the planning. I network and collaborate with many industry colleagues, but I don’t get to see what they do day to day. Therefore, I thought I’d interview a company to get a bit of insight into what they do. If you’re a bride or groom-to-be, this may be food for thought!

I interviewed Gemma and Nin of Make My Day Events and they took me through organising one particular wedding.

How did the bride and groom get in touch?

The bride-to-be first contacted us through Facebook. She made an appointment with us to discuss her wedding plans. This was 18 months before her wedding date.

What happened at the appointment?

During our first consultation we spoke about her vision of the day. She had always dreamt of having a really girly theme with princess and sparkles. This was personal to her, so her husband-to-be was very on board with her ideas as he knew how much this meant to her.

The colour scheme was to be lilac, pastels, pink and peach. They only wanted a very small intimate wedding with 20 guests. They were a more mature couple and all they were looking for a truly memorable day that was personal to them. They chose a rural café set alongside the canal to host their wedding reception, after their traditional wedding service which was to be held at a church.

The bride asked us to help coordinate everything for her special day, liaising with all the suppliers and the venue on her behalf to ease the stress and worry. She was quite an anxious bride. She found the whole situation sometimes very overwhelming.

How did the planning go?

We have already worked with many local venues, but we’d never dealt with her particular chosen venue before. Therefore, we initiated a visit and went along for a meeting with the owner to introduce ourselves. They showed us around to get our bearings on everything for the day.

Throughout the 18 months of planning, we had regular communication with the bride through email and face to face appointments in our showroom, and we discussed progress, keeping each other informed on how the planning was going.

During one of our appointments, the bride spoke about how they both loved Adele the singer and they’d like one of her songs for their first dance. We then suggested that we could actually do one better than that. Having organised a number of tribute nights we had connections for tribute singers, and we knew of an amazing Adele tribute act. When we suggested this idea to the bride-to-be, she was speechless. She thought this would be amazing, so she decided that she would book the Adele tribute as a surprise for her husband-to-be on the day.

Were things stressful on the final run up to the wedding?

Leading up to the final weeks before the wedding, we were constantly in touch with the bride, the venue and all the other suppliers involved in their big day. We needed to make sure everything came together as planned

We always keep a countdown schedule and regularly check and update it. This was a relatively small wedding in numbers, but as it was not held at a hotel, we acted as the co-ordinators on the day and were more involved than any previous ceremonies!

What services did you provide?

We’re able to offer quite a lot of services, and for this particular wedding we provided the following:

  • The invites and place names
  • The cars – a vintage car for the bride plus the executive car for guests
  • The flowers – at the church and the venue
  • The bride’s bouquet
  • Chair covers and sashes at the church and venue
  • Welcome signs – church and venue
  • Guest book
  • Post box
  • Venue styling
  • Table décor and centre pieces
  • Décor for the pagoda in the garden
  • A sweet cart
  • Adele tribute

The café had upstairs seating for the wedding breakfast meal. Then the downstairs was transformed after they had arrived (and as a surprise) for the evening reception and disco. That meant that there were three areas to decorate/transform: the church, and the upstairs and downstairs at the venue.

We had to visit the venue on four or five occasions to measure up, take floor plans, check where the fire escapes were, how many beams there were, and to assess how many lights and foliage was required to decorate everything. Every beam was swagged and lit with fairy lights. The client left most of these decisions to us as she wanted it to be a surprise on the day; as do most brides.

We had access to the venue two days before which we needed in order to be able to decorate each room. And on the day itself we had the room to finish and the church to decorate

What happened on the actual day?
We were very involved on the day, starting at 8am and finishing around 2.30pm. Then we were back at 6pm to transform the lower room and meet the Adele tribute. We wanted to see the surprise on the husband’s face! Our day finally finished at 11pm when the bride sent a text asking for the car to pick them up half an hour earlier.

On the day we had a detailed minute by minute schedule as we had to co-ordinate all the suppliers. Everything was timed to within the minute, as there were a lot of people who had to be in particular places at particular times, such as:

  • Hair/make up
  • Photos before leaving the hotel
  • Cars at the hotel for the bride
  • Cars at the church
  • Canapes
  • Drinks
  • Each course was timed
  • Speeches and of course
  • The Adele tribute

Did anything go wrong?

No, everything went really smoothly.

What went really well?

The biggest surprise – the booking of the Adele singer, and the way we re-dressed the downstairs room after they’d finished the meal upstairs.
We were there all day, but very much kept in the background. No one knew we were around, but we so wanted to see the bride’s face when she arrived, so we hid in the back of our van. And then we hid behind the screens in the room when Adele arrived so we could see the husband’s reaction, so exciting!

I found it amazing to see how much goes into a wedding. As a Celebrant, I’m only there for the actual ceremony, but it’s so important that each bride and groom fully gets the day they want. I’d love to hear stories of your wedding and whether you had any surprises on the day. Please do share.

I’d like to thank Make My Day Events for sharing their story with me. You can find out more about the company by visiting

Woodland wedding

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