I always love when I have the opportunity to work with amazing people! At the beginning of August, I had the pleasure of officially meeting Michelle of The Bride Organizer. We had already spoken multiple times as she was planning Elise and Mike‘s wedding day, but it was nice to put a face to her sweet, and always calm voice. Throughout the day I couldn’t help but notice how Michelle went above and beyond, making sure everyone was on schedule and every carefully planned detail was in place. Her warm smile had a way of making those around her feel at ease and it was obvious she felt a real connection to her couple, tearing up a little when she went to say goodbye to Elise and Mike at the end of the evening.
I hope all of my couples have the opportunity to work with someone as amazing as Michelle, which is why I have brought her on as a guest blogger today! Michelle was nice enough to answer all of my questions about The Bride Organizer and I can’t wait to share what she had to say. Without further ado, meet Michelle! 🙂
Tell me a little bit about “The Bride Organizer” Why did you start your company and what is your vision for it?
The Bride Organizer was created to organize and de-stress the bride. My vision is stress-free couples and families enjoying the wedding day, embracing in the celebration of love. In order to do this, I offer a variety of services including Day-of-Coordinating, Full Wedding Coordination, Bridal Planning Bootcamp, and more.
I have become mostly known as the “Day-of-Coordinator.” Day-of-Coordinating, (DOC), services are like “month end planning services.” DOC services start the month before, involve weekly phone calls leading up to the wedding and being present all day on the wedding day. Sometimes it also includes attendance at the rehearsal or other various meetings prior.
Here is a list of services that are included in my “Day-of-Coordinator” package:
- Weekly Phone Calls
- Weekly phone calls the month before the wedding to review all key points below.
- Overall Wedding Review
- Review the vision, details, logistics of the wedding
- Review vendor and timeline information
- Review ceremony processional and recessional order, along with reception details
- Key point checklists (ex: marriage license, rings, favors, escort cards, and much more)
- Vendor Confirmation
- I call each vendor to confirm the overview of their contract as well as timing and location and find out if they have any specific requirements (ex: special cables or outlets that are needed for set up).
- During these vendor calls, I ask many questions to determine the length of time the vendor will need for their responsibilities. Specifically referring to Hair, Make-Up, Photography, Videography, Transportation, etc. These vendor calls also build a rapport with the vendor to ensure we all work well together on the wedding day.
- A Day-of-Coordinator benefits all of the vendors as well. It’s a guarantee that they will have enough time to get what they need done. And on the day of…they don’t have to do any “yelling” to get people where they need them to be!
- Timeline Creation
- Based on my experience and expertise, along with my client’s wishes, the vendors’ requirements and other major events for the wedding, I create a good, healthy timeline.
- My healthy timeline allows for my clients to take deep breaths and enjoy the day. I reduce the stress and the intense parts of the day. The timeline I create also allows plenty of time for the amount of pictures and video that need to be taken. I strive to have all formal pictures out of the way before the reception starts. I never want to pull my bride and groom, along with other people, out of the reception for pictures that were missed prior.
- With a healthy, “Bride Organizer,” timeline, the day is much less stressful and by the time we get to the reception, the bride and groom are free of responsibilities, ready to dance the night away and sit and eat dinner together
- Stress review
- My client unloads all her stress to me. We hash out whatever it is that is bothering her, whatever is left to figure out and deal with, any potential drama prior to the wedding and more.
- My husband often refers to me as, “The Bridal Therapist.” Sometimes…he’s right; but, I absolutely love providing the needed stress relief for them!
- Ceremony and Reception review
- Processional and Recessional order
- Key questions about the ceremony
- Reception introductions
- Reception order (toasts, and other formalities such as cake cutting and parent dances, etc)
- Relationship building
- I work to build a relationship with my bride during our phone calls and from the minute she books me. I want her to know that, I, “The Bride Organizer,” will be there on her wedding day to take care of everything. Because we build this relationship, she is confident in me and trusts me. I never want to be another stranger or vendor that is showing up that she needs to keep track of. When it comes time for her wedding, she feels better knowing that I have reviewed everything and will take care of everything. This month-before-relationship helps to build this.
- Unlimited availability
- Although, my main focus is the month prior, my bride is welcome to contact me at any point that she has questions or is stressed, once she has booked me. Often brides will get timeline questions before the month before, and at that time, they of course can reach out to me for consultation.
- My bride is also welcome to contact me at any point, in general. Her questions are not limited to our weekly phone calls. I often get tons of texts, emails, phone calls and facebook messages. I am always available.
- Wedding Day / The “Director”
- On the wedding day, Im the one with the watch and will be able to tell everyone what they need to do and when. I know who to check in with and when to check in with them. I know who needs “babysitting” and who needs a little extra push to be ready on time. The bride doesn’t have to worry about telling people what to do and where to go, or knowing who needs to be where. She never has to worry if her vendor has shown up; because I am on top of it. I am on top of everything. She really just needs to sit back and watch the day she planned unfold, soak it all in and enjoy all the sacred moments.
- I serve as the point-of-contact for all the vendors, so the bride doesn’t get bombarded with questions.
- I can hold on to, and/or, give out gratuities for the bride and groom at the end of the wedding.
What is the difference between a day of coordinator and a full wedding planner? What do you suggest brides consider when choosing what is best for them?
A Day-of-Coordinator can best be described as the “Director.” I execute the best laid plans, as well as fine tune the details as I go along, putting in my experienced opinion and advice to ensure everything is set up to run smoothly and it is what the couple has envisioned. This can be done on a “Day-of-Coordinator” level, as well as a “Full Wedding Coordinator” level.
A “Full Wedding Planner” develops the plan and makes decisions with approval from the bride. She is the “Producer.” Perhaps one of the decisions the Wedding Planner will make, will be for the bride to have a Day-of-Coordinator!
I enjoy coordinating because it empowers my couples to have the confidence to plan their own wedding, but gives them the reassurance that all is going well and it will go well on the wedding day. I thoroughly enjoyed planning my wedding and I enjoy that I compliment that experience for any bride.
As far as which is the “best” option. Both are. Every bride is different and depending on her time and finances, along with knowing how much involvement she wants to have in the planning of her wedding, she will make the best decision for what suits her needs.
What is your favorite moment on a wedding day?
My favorite moment on the wedding day is when the bride walks down the aisle. Never again, in your life, will you have a room full of that many people, sitting and waiting to watch you walk down an aisle and celebrate YOU and your fiancé. It’s the bride’s “moment.” I get goose-bumps and teary-eyed at every wedding.
So much effort is put into a wedding. Not to mention the relationship that has grown over time with your fiancé. So, at that moment, when you stand at the end of the aisle, the “whole world” stands up for you as you celebrate the love and the marriage of your two souls to become one and enter the next phase of life together, forever.
A marriage is so very beautiful and special. Sometimes, we get caught up in the stress and drama and time consumption of planning the wedding, we forget that we are there to announce a love and a forever bond and become the “entity” of “husband and wife.” No matter what has happened along your planning process, when you stand at the end of the aisle and start to walk… everything else disappears. Nothing else matters but the man that stands in front of you, the smile you exchange with him and the love that both of you pronounce and commit to forever.
Three things you cannot live without?
I added four because they are all equally important. 🙂
- A listening ear
- A watch
- My husband
- I have been told I have the “patience of a saint.” I have the ability to take a hectic situation, with a million things going on at once and make sense of it and provide direction. I love being in the middle of things as they seem to might be falling apart and having the ability to pick up the pieces and move on as if we were never altered. I also love dealing with a multitude of different personalities for each wedding. And it takes a lot of patience to understand that sometimes different personalities need to be handled differently and finding that perfect solution for everyone. Every wedding contributes to making me a better person.
- Being a good listener seems easy, but it’s very hard to do. Every wedding I am involved in, I remove myself and my own wedding desires and really hone into my bride and see what it is that SHE wants, that SHE envisioned. Without a good listening ear, I am only doing what is best for me, and my responsibilities are not what is best for me; it’s more so, all about what is best for my couple.
- As a coordinator, I am THE watch. No one else needs a watch on the wedding day. It’s my job to keep everyone in line and take the stress for everyone. I watch the watch, no one else has to.
- My husband is my ROCK. My true soul-mate that brings out the best in me. I always say he is my “morning coordinator.” He keeps me focused on the morning of the wedding. He helps me pack my bags in the car and stands, cheerfully with my son; waving, as I drive away He is an amazing man. And every day I am so thankful to have such an outstanding partner to live this life with. Perhaps the love in my marriage is the reason why I love weddings so much. Everyone lives a different journey, but with the right person, the journey is never in the wrong direction.
Finally, tell me a little more about yourself.
I am a middle child of 3 girls and a Taurus. A lot of that sums up my personality. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management; as well as another complete Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics. I received a perfect 4.0 GPA in my Mathematics degree. I love Mathematics and see that most of everything is a problem to solve with multiple solutions.
I am a terrible writer and am so pleased that my husband has his Master’s Degree in English. We are the perfect compliment. I hate writing in paragraphs and do best in bullet and list form. However, we come together and both agree that things get done the most efficient when there is a list!
I was married to my husband and soul-mate on August 30th 2008. A fun-fact: this year I DOC’ed a wedding on our anniversary, and the couple’s song was the same song as our wedding song. (“You are So Beautiful”). I cried when I heard it.
My husband and I have a son, Sawyer Bryce and another son along the way, due in March 2014. We also have a 14 year old mix-breed dog, named Benni. I adopted Benni from the pound when he was 6 months, long before I even knew my husband. We thoroughly enjoy having company and hosting at our home.
We also enjoy traveling, hiking and being outdoors. Our greatest accomplishments include: a 9 day backpack trip across Ireland, hiking and camping for two nights at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, climbing Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, and seeing the sunrise at Bryce Canyon. Yes, of course, we travel with an itinerary!
In my “spare” time, I volunteer for La Leche League as an accredited leader where we support women to reach their goals. I also serve as a volunteer board member for my local temple.
My family is THE most important thing to me. Above everything that I love to do and strive to become, as long as my family is with me, I am happy.
I have the grand privilege to work with so many talented artists over the past 5 years as The Bride Organizer has grown and flourished. I have, and continue to, learn so much from every vendor, bride, groom, family member that I work with. I walk away from every wedding learning something new and glowing because my Bride and Groom are glowing and have had an awesome wedding day. My goal is that, “The Bride Organizer,” business continues to grow and flourish as it has over the past 5 years. It would be amazing if every bride had “Day-of-Coordinator” on their list of things to check off for their wedding. It’s like the “hidden gem” of insurance that guarantees all will go smoothly.