Wedding Planning Success Lounge: Protocol for your assistants
When I coordinate a wedding, I usually hire extra help (unless it’s a very small, intimate celebration). This will allow me to provide stellar service to my couples by dedicating my time while they get ready, while they are taking pictures, and during the festivities. Depending on the size of the wedding I usually have assistants (or interns, especially during the summer season) helping with setup, ceremony processional, transition to cocktail hour and reception, and following the order of events with your DJ / MC or the band during the reception. You can’t really do everything by yourself so choosing reliable, responsible, and professional assistant coordinators is key for a successful event.
In the last few years, I collected a list of requirements that I always discuss with my assistants before each wedding. I’ve seen so many faux pas in my career and I can’t simply allow these to happen over and over again. Even if those assistants previously worked with me, I still ask them to review the list to refresh their memory – That way there won’t be any misunderstandings or unexpected surprises on the wedding day 🙂Have a protocol for your assistants, they represent your brand - Here's what to include Click To Tweet
My protocol includes a variety of requirements:
Before the wedding day
I invite the assistant to review all the information I send her (vendor agreements, banquet event order from the location or caterer, timeline, diagrams, etc.) before the wedding so she has the time to ask me questions if something is not clear and come prepared. I had assistants showing up on the wedding day without a clue of what was going on. Since then I review the timeline and special requests from my brides and grooms with my assistants a few days earlier so we’re all on the same page. If it is a large wedding that requires multiple assistants then I assign specific tasks to each assistant however, I always ask them to become familiar with each other’s tasks because last-minute changes can always happen and they need to be ready to assist where needed.
On the wedding day
Never assume anything! Always make sure that your assistants are very familiar with the timeline and they behave properly in front of your clients and their guests. Remember, they are representing you, your company, your brand, and if you think they’re not appropriate for the job they cannot work for you. You don’t want them to damage your reputation.
When I go over the requirements with my assistants I always stress out the fact that they should become familiar with the location and restrooms before guests arrive. Our job at the wedding is a mix of wedding coordinator and hostess, and a constant smile and positive attitude must be kept for the entire day. Always smile and have them smile even if the cake is not there yet or the best man is missing!!!
Another thing we discuss at the meeting is regarding pictures or video. Your assistant should not take pictures of the wedding at any time, it’s not their wedding so they don’t need to use the images for anything – social media included. They’re there to work for you and they’re not supposed to share such information with their friends. If the assistant has her own company and she’s shadowing you to make some experience, make it very clear that she cannot talk about or post anything about your wedding on her website, blog or social media accounts.
It’s always a nice touch to give some of your business cards to the assistant. If a guest has a question about your services and you’re not around, she can give him or her your card. Very important: make sure that your assistant is polite and pleasant with guests but doesn’t engage in friendly conversations and doesn’t answer questions that she doesn’t know about. Again, your assistant is representing your company so make sure she understands how you want her to engage with guests.
Another very important point to discuss: food and drinks. I always take care of their meals: lunch boxes when we set up, and the dinner is usually taken care of by the client. I also invite them to bring their own snacks if needed. Make sure that they don’t grab appetizers during cocktail hour or they order drinks at the bar. They should eat and drink in another room. We’re there to work, not to have fun with the guests.
Even though we work behind the scenes, that doesn’t mean that guests won’t see us. We will be present and visible at the ceremony, cocktail hour, and during the entire reception so we will need to be presentable all the time.
Business attire is a must, I don’t want to see my assistants wearing short skirts or short dresses, or flip flops. These are big no’s. I list suggested options depending on the style and formality of the wedding. I always prefer a black or dark grey suit or dress with a white or cream top, but a top or blouse with a little pop of color is allowed in certain cases (the color should match the wedding color palette, of course). If it’s a very casual, outdoor, garden wedding then a simple dress can work but it has to look professional. In all cases, flat shoes are mandatory!
Hair, makeup, and jewelry requirements are also listed, and I make it very clear that any visible tattoo should be covered.
There’s more of course! My Protocol for Assistants or Interns has a list of 20 requirements and they are clearly specified so there’s no room for mistakes or misunderstandings.
Put together a list of requirements for your assistants or interns based on your experience and make sure they understand the importance to follow them for a successful wedding.
Would you like to get the entire list that I use for my assistants and interns? Buy it below!
Holistic Precision Life Coach, Brain Wellness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with epigenetics, neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.