Written by: Alison VanMelle, Day of Coordinator
It seems like it’s every girl’s dream to work as a wedding planner – Or maybe that’s just me after I watched J. Lo on the big screen in ‘The Wedding Planner’. Regardless, I get to come to work everyday and work my LITERAL dream job. Working a job that challenges me and fills my cup to the brim is a dream come true. I started working at Grant Venues in the Fall of 2022. I came into the wedding industry with prior jobs and lots of life experience that made Grant Venues feel like home. It was a perfect fit.
At the beginning of 2023, I took on my first clients and it was off to the races. The Merry’s (Marissa and Brandon) were my first wedding clients who entrusted me with their day. They had experienced many outside conflicts leading up to their wedding and had made things really stressful and decided they needed to have a Day of Coordinator through the venue. The day went flawlessly and without a hitch, and I instantly understood that my job was so much bigger than just “planning a day”!
Client after client this year poured their trust in me to carry out their dreams of having the perfect wedding day. While weddings are fickle beasts and they aren’t without stress, emotion (good and bad), worries and hopes they are some of the best days to experience. I quickly realized that I have two favorite moments of every wedding day.
The first, when the clients are about to walk down the aisle and they have nervous jitters. I get to lend them the quick reassurance that they look amazing and that their significant other can’t wait to see them at the end of the aisle. It always gets me and sometimes even chokes me up still.
My second favorite moment is once open dancing starts and the dance floor is full. People are full of smiles, drinks in hand, dancing their hearts out. I can look and say “I did that. I made this night happen”. When my clients leave at the end of the evening they feel like they are leaving more like family than strangers as I have had the opportunity with them for at least 6 months. And then sent them off into the world as newlyweds, never knowing if I’ll see them again after their day.
It’s a role that I don’t take lightly but also one that is not without stress. I’ve jokingly said to many couples that on the day of their wedding I become a professional firefighter and put out fires before anyone sees the flames. Thinking on my toes has garnered some of my biggest fulfillment from this job (and maybe some gray hairs along the way too).
When I reflect on my biggest challenges from this year there are a few things that come to mind. I have “played” the role of DJ, sewed a bridesmaid back into her dress, tried to fill the role of therapist to an anxious bride about to walk down the aisle and fixing a cake that a Dad smooshed on the way to the venue! My biggest goal with every single client is to alleviate any stressors prior to the big day along with keeping their stress at bay on the day of their event. My clients can kick up their feet, sip champagne (or a beer), and know that every detail is completely and utterly being taken care of by me.
It truly is unbelievable how much I have grown this year professionally – as a Day of Coordinator and the manager of the Day of Coordination Team. I have always had the mindset that I would never ask a single person to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. And man have I accomplished a lot this year! Nothing brings me more satisfaction and joy than watching my team of Day of Coordinators pour into their clients everyday. Helping my team to navigate through issues and guiding them to come up with appropriate solutions really is my jam. I love watching them walk away from a weekend knowing that they just slayed the day and it really doesn’t get any better than that!
2023. What a year, and honestly one of my biggest blessings. I’m not sure how any year could top it, but I’m already working with my 2024 clients and I’m so ready for the wild ride we are about to go on. With more Day of Coordination clients than ever before at Grant Venues, 2024 I’m ready for you!