Isabella, founder and head honcho at Bella Mia Events, has a lifetime of experience under her belt, making her one of the most trusted and loved wedding planners in the business. With a lifetime of experience she learnt the bones of a good wedding by working as a waitress, wedding coordinator and then a wedding planner, designer and stylist of her own right. In short, Isabella may have seen more weddings than ALL of us!
As there is so much unknown around the role of a wedding planner (though anyone who has had one will simply refer to them as a ‘bloody lifesaver’), we thought we’d get Isabella to map out exactly what she does for her couples by talking through what an average wedding weekend for her really looks like.
THE DAY OF THE WEDDING
6am (sometimes earlier) // Wake up and instantly check phone to make sure there have been no last-minute dramas.
6:30am // Make a VERY large coffee and down it in about three seconds flat.
6:45am // Send our beautiful bride to be a good morning message and thank her for entrusting us with all aspects of her special day. I am a big believer in how you start the day, will always set the tone for the rest of the day – if we wake up happy, calm and not stressed it’s going to be a good day.
7am // First stop, brides house, time to check in, make sure she’s happy, calm the nerves with a few champas, make sure her flowers have arrived and then “Bye Felicia” – we have important things to take care of at the venue.
7:30am // Head to the venue, whilst calling various vendors on the way to see who has arrived first and what’s going on, making sure everyone is sticking to the plan and every meticulous detail we have set out for them.
8:00am // Arrive at venue, unload my VW Golf of all candles, stationery, dresses, signage, wishing well, my wardrobe to change into after and basically any other item I have taken care of on the bride’s behalf. It blows my mind just how much I can fit into that thing, I become a Tetris master.
8:15am // Arrive with a bang, ask any of my suppliers – I know how to make an entrance, my signature when walking into a room is ‘OHHHHH HAAAAAAAAAAAAY!’ Going back to what I mentioned before, if you start the day on a happy note, the rest of the day is going to be flawless – fingers crossed.
9:00am // Majority of any ceiling installs have begun, florists have arrived and are prepping and starting to assemble.
10:00am // (pending install size) Chandeliers are in, now we can proceed with laying the dancefloor, assembling the main table and positioning the stage. While all is this happening, I am usually filling up vases, placing tealight candles, menus, table numbers etc, just finessing the table set up.
10:30am // Main table is in, now the florists can start working on the main table runner and backdrop. Candelabra supplier has arrived by this time and is assembling on site and placing on each alternate table.
10:45am // By this time everyone is itching for a second coffee, so it’s time to sweet talk the Sales team into letting me use the bar, dependant on who’s on site and which venue I’m at, I will usually play barista and take full advantage, there are only few venues which I can make myself at home like that and get away with it.
11:00am // Now that majority of styling and decorative items have been installed, it is safe for our external chair supplier to arrive and begin set up.
12:30pm // I am now in a comfortable position to leave the chosen suppliers on site and let them work their magic. It’s time for me to head to the ceremony location.
1:00pm // Arrive at the ceremony location, say hi to Groomy who is patiently waiting for the Bride to arrive, I’ll usually place the church books, finesse the flowers, fix up the boy’s buttonholes and bow ties – believe me when I say that I have seen some shockers. Emergency safety pins are a MUST for any wedding planner.
(You know that scene in The Wedding Planner when J-Lo opens her vest and she has safety pins, hair ties, hand sanitiser, booby tape, band aids all ready to go – that is actual me. All I need is a head set.)
1:15pm // Get an ETA on the bride and how far away she is.
1:30pm // Bride arrives precisely as per my schedule. Time to calm the nerves, fix the dress, put the bridesmaids in order, give the priest a five-minute warning and it’s time to get married!
2:15pm // Ceremony concludes, time to launch 1000 rose petals and grains of rice at the bride and groom as they exit the ceremony, need to make sure everyone is loaded up with the goods. Quick set of family photos, and it’s time to get the bridal party into the cars and off to location shots.
2:30pm // Time for me to head back to the venue, as we have the cake, band, DJ and MC arriving soon.
3:00pm // Arrive back at the reception venue and oversee completed set up.
3:30pm // Decal (personalised sticker) positioned on dance-floor.
4:00pm // Cake arrives and is placed on the cake table.
4:15pm // All gloss seamless sheets removed for that – EXTRA SHINE, if anyone dare walk on the dance-floor with shoes on at this point they will face my wrath.
4:30pm // Band and DJ to arrive and sound check, in-house AV to test lighting. I finesse all finer details of the table settings, straighten up place settings (forks, knives, glassware), straighten chairs, centre EVERYTHING on the table – God help any waiter who moves a chair and doesn’t put it back in its correct place.
4:45pm // Time for a quick outfit change, by this point I am usually sweaty AF, my hair is all over the place and I stink from running around all day. Quick makeup touch up, dress and heels on, deodorant blast, hair straighten and I am ready to go for the night.
5:15pm // Bridal party and immediate family have arrived at the venue, time for room reveal, and in room photos – this is the moment we wait for after a year of planning, the first time the couple see the room is probably the most humbling feeling. As soon as those doors open, their eyes light up and it’s smiles from ear to ear, sometimes even tears, hits me in the feels EVERYTIME.
5:45pm // In-room photos done, back to the bridal room for some food, because let’s be real who has time to eat jumping from home, to church, to photos, to reception. Don’t worry, we have your back on this, we will make sure your bridal room is STOCKED.
6:00pm // I am back upstairs and assisting the venues operation team to seat guests.
6:25pm // Your reception is finally here, it’s time to enter, eat and dance the night away, I will be there alongside you making sure everything is going as per our schedule.
9:30pm // It’s been a LONG ASS DAY, but there is no place I would rather be, once I have cried happy tears after witnessing your first dance as husband and wife, it’s time to say goodbye, this mama needs flat shoes, a new back and bed.
Day After The Wedding…
After an amazing sleep in (of course), it’s time to binge watch Dynasty, red wine in hand, no bra on in the comfiest tracksuit I own and just chill out. I usually wake up with a thank you message from the clients which as I mentioned earlier, sets the tone for a great day.
…As you can now probably tell, being a wedding planner and stylist is no mean feat. Isabella is a magician and takes the mayhem in her stride to ensure that she handles all the stressful elements and you just get to sit back and relax knowing that everything (literally, everything) is under control. Remember, this is just ONE DAY of work for her, and there are months and months of preparation and planning that go into getting everything in line for your wedding day. We dive into what is involved in the pre-wedding prep in another article which you can read here.
If you want to have Bella on your side for your big day (because, who wouldn’t?!), you can get in touch with Bella Mia Events right here, right now. Trust us when we say this will be the single best decision you make about your wedding. We mean, bar the bloke you’re saying ‘I Do’ to, of course!