5 things Wedding Planners NEED for pain free weddings

As a wedding planner, you no doubt love helping couples get married.  The emotions, the flowers, the cake… what isn’t to love?

Except, wedding days are TOUGH on vendors.  

16 hours on your feet, blistering heat, freezing rain, no time to eat… no wonder the industry created the term “Wedding Hangover!”  

But, there are ways to make wedding days just a little bit easier, tricks I’ve learned from over half a decade in the industry.  And I want to teach you how to make wedding days less painful, less frustrating, and maybe even help those aching feet and backs!  So here are five tips, tricks, and products I use at every wedding to help keep a smile on my face and a bounce in my step!

Five things wedding planners need for pain free wedding by The Polished Process

1.) Git Yerself a Wagon, Buckaroo!

One of the best investments I ever made was a $70 collapsible wagon.  I am pretty strict in my booking process and in my contract about what I will and will not transport or load-in for weddings.  For example, I require the florist do load-in and strike. I require that rented chairs be set up by catering or the rentals company.  But couples always have some amount of decor that is my responsibility. Not to mention my emergency kit, waters for the team, a change of clothes, etc.

Getting a wagon will reduce the number of trips from cars into venues, from ceremony location to reception spot, and during load-out at the end of the night.  It will reduce the strain on your body when carrying heavy items. And if you let vendors borrow it to schlep their items, they’ll love you forever!

2.) Develop a “Mary Poppins” bag to keep with you all day

Wedding day timelines often come down to minutes. Racing for photos before the sunsets, trying to squeeze in a ceremony before a rainstorm, or working to seat guests rapidly so that catering doesn’t blow a gasket, these are all things that need to happen at a very specific time.

So having to run across a venue to grab something from your emergency kit often won’t work.  During setup, I wear a cross-back apron that has deep pockets (like florists often wear). When I wear this over leggings, it looks like a dress and is easier for me to move in than using a fanny pack.  I keep my phone, keys, a pair of scissors, glue dots, safety pins, and a small tube of aspirin in the pockets.

Once I change into my wedding clothes, I wear a leather cross-body bag for the entire evening.  

In the bag, I keep:

  • my phone

  • my keys

  • a pair of scissors

  • a long stem lighter

  • glue dots

  • safety pins

  • a few bobby pins

  • tissues

  • a small tin of mini mints and gum

  • a pen and a sharpie

  • a mini lint roller

  • a few pre-moistened wipes

  • a small tube of Aspirin

I rarely need to dig into my full emergency kit because these are the most requested items.  Couples and the wedding party are always impressed when I can just whip something out of my “Mary Poppins” bag!

3.) They might not be sexy, but compression socks are amazing!

Listen, I get it, no one thinks the orthopedic-looking compression socks that our grandparents wear are haute couture.  But on a wedding day, nothing, I repeat NOTHING, is more important for Wedding Planners than keeping your feet comfortable.  Comfortable, supportive shoes are a great start. But if you are able to add some compression socks or tights into the mix, your life will be changed!

Since I started wearing compression socks (I am a pants kind of planner, not a dress kind of planner), my feet and ankles no longer swell.  My feet ache a lot less and my legs are more comfortable. The socks and tights come in lots of colors, fabrics, and styles - I am confident you can find a pair that will work for you and not be noticeable.  Once you try them, I doubt you’ll want to do a wedding without them!

4.) Is there anything worse than having your phone die at a wedding?

Wedding Planners must be able to use their phones at weddings.  Vendors and couples may need to reach us, sometimes we need to access documents “in the cloud”, or even use our phones as flashlights for a late-night load-out.  Having your phone die is simply not an option.

But we don’t always have access to an outlet or charging station.  Or using one requires that we leave our phones unattended in a public area.  I frequently work on private estates with no access to electricity other than a generator, so there truly is no charging option!

I invested in an external battery/phone charger to solve this problem.  It is compact, can charge my phone multiple times, and has saved my bacon on more than one occasion.  The best part is that I can keep my phone with me while I am charging it!

5.) Use good, old H2O to fight heat and exhaustion

Out of everything on this list, water might be the most important!  It can help in multiple ways:

  1. Obviously, it helps to drink it.  Staying hydrated will boost your energy levels, help with aching feet and muscles, and can stave off hunger when vendors meals just aren’t cutting it.

  2. Water can do a great job of cooling you off during hot Summer weddings.  I freeze several bottles of water the day before a hot wedding so that I have cool, refreshing water all day long.  I also keep thin dish towels in my emergency kit to soak in water and wrap behind my neck while setting up.

  3. It can make vendors love you!  It consistently surprises me how many vendors don’t bring water to weddings (*cough, cough* bands, I’m looking at you).  If I know the venue doesn’t provide easy access to sufficient water (those little plastic cups just won’t work for vendors running around and setting up), I’ll grab a 32-pack of generic water from the grocery store and bring it with me.  I don’t want vendors getting heat stroke on my watch!

I don’t bring a nice, reusable water bottle with me to weddings, I’ve had too many of them disappear.  I usually buy a six-pack of one-liter bottles and aim to drink at least four of them during a wedding day.  If I am working at a private estate or it is particularly hot, I will add a gallon jug of water that that amount and know that it should be finished by the ceremony start time.  If you aren’t needing to use the restroom during a wedding day, you aren’t drinking enough water!

I hope these five things help make wedding days just a little easier for you!  I would love to know (in the comments) what unusual tips or products you use to decrease the pain and frustration that can come with 25,000 step, 16-hour days!

And if you are interested in making your wedding planning process smooth like butter and wedding days to effortless that guests and vendors are blown away, check out my Wedding Management Workflow template!

Gorgeous mountain top image by Sara Lynn