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Behind the Scenes: A Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner

Updated: Jun 26


 

I. Introduction: Understanding the Intricacies of the Job

Hey there, gorgeous. I’m Leece Bachman. I’m a certified event planner who loves love. Weddings are my jam, and working with people is my peanut butter! My journey into the world of wedding planning wasn't a straight path. Like many, I stumbled into it, driven by a passion for organization, design, and creating unforgettable moments. Little did I know then that it would become a career filled with challenges, triumphs, and countless cherished memories. I started my journey back in 2009 when living in the middle of nowhere before Pinterest and Amazon Prime were a thing, I had to do it all on my own! Now I’m the owner and lead planner of my own wedding and event planning business and I have never been so excited to show my kids how to be thriving entrepreneurs who share their passions and skills with others while making a living out of having fun and traveling!


One of my favorite love stories is ‘Nightmare Before Christmas.’ I know, who would have thought? So when I talk to my potential couples about their love story and the ‘why’ behind it all, I sing in my head, “What’s this, what’s this? There’s magic in the air…” This leads me to my first point, what in the world goes on behind the scenes to make a wedding day truly magical? What do I, as the wedding planner or coordinator, do?  I've come to appreciate the intricate dance of coordination and creativity that goes into orchestrating the perfect celebration of love, and I want to share some of my insights with you!


Being a wedding planner isn't just about picking flowers and color schemes. It's about understanding the unique vision of each couple, managing budgets, coordinating with vendors, and navigating the inevitable bumps along the road to 'I do.' And when the big day finally arrives, I’m there (and usually I have at least one person from my team working alongside me). I show up on my flying unicorn with my magical wand and just prance around making all your wishes come true. Well, kind of.

Wedding bands in cushioned boxes over chiffon. This is an outdoor setting atop Little Rock pebbles. Both boxes are creme white.
Wedding bands in cushioned boxes over chiffon.

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Learn more about Leece's personalized planning packages by booking a free consultation today!


II. Preparing for the Big Day


Early Morning Rituals: Coffee, Planning, and Checklists

My alarm blares and I wake up instantly happy and chipper. Not! I set about seventeen alarms and give myself a good 10 minutes to lay in bed, say some prayers, and read my Bible verses. Then the day starts off with a hot cup of coffee and a review of my previous night’s ‘brain dump’, a look-over at my ‘to-do’ list for the day, and then triple-checking the meticulously crafted timeline. 


Vendor Coordination: Confirming Details and Timelines

Ensuring that every vendor is on the same page is crucial for smooth sailing. From the florist to the caterer to the DJ, communication is key to executing the couple's vision flawlessly. That’s why I get all of the venue’s and vendors’ information and contracted agreements way ahead of time, to make sure your day-of timeline flows smoothly and without any snags.


Final Venue Checks: Ensuring Everything is Picture-Perfect

Before the first guest arrives, every detail is analyzed and checked to perfection. From the placement of the centerpieces to the lighting in the ceremony space, it's all about creating a picture-perfect backdrop for the couple's special day. Floors are mopped, the chairs are whipped down, the music is perfect, and all the vendors and VIPs are ready to get the show rolling! And they can easily do so all by looking at the detailed timeline I shared with them and if they forgot it, I have extra hard copies ready to hand out! 


III. Managing the Event


Arrival and Setup: Transforming Spaces

I love planning. I love seeing your dreams and visions come to life. That’s why it’s so important for me to be there, overseeing and managing every aspect of setup and helping the couple and their bridal party members with anything from handing over a pair of scissors to standing on a chair to reach the neck of a groomsman to put on a bow tie! With the clock ticking, it's all hands on deck to transform the venue and space into a fairy-tale setting. From draping fabrics to arranging flowers, every detail is carefully curated to bring the couple's vision to life.


Guiding the Bridal Party: Keeping Everyone on Schedule

As nerves mount and excitement builds, it's my job to keep the bridal party calm and on schedule. From cueing the processional music to ensuring everyone knows their cues, it's a delicate balancing act to keep the day running smoothly. I have normal check-ins with the couple, the venue staff, the vendors, key people, and VIPs as we get ready to proceed to the ceremony’s line-up! Making sure that grandparents, the little active flower girl and ring bearer, and of course the person walking you down the aisle are all aware of their places and not wandering around is one of my favorite times - it means the ceremony is about to begin!

Cowgirl boots lined up outside of white barn door. Boots are on wooden floor with white bouquets sticking out.
Cowgirl boots lined up with white bouquets sticking out.

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Take a look at all the options available with  Elegant Events by Leece  with in-person planning packages starting at $800! Take a look at the affordable planning options by clicking here.


Dealing with Last-Minute Hiccups: The Art of Problem-Solving

Nothing ever goes wrong during any of my weddings. Everyone is present. All the guys are dressed.  All the ladies have used the restroom. None of the kids are crying or bouncing around from the sugar rush of a stolen cupcake. And the music is always on perfect timing and all the guests are seated and quiet. 

That’s unrealistic. But the good news is that with me as your planner and coordinator, you only see that as your truth. Despite the best-laid plans, sometimes things don't go according to script. Whether it's a missing boutonniere or a sudden downpour, quick thinking and creative problem-solving are essential skills for any wedding planner. 



IV. Ceremony and Reception Execution


Orchestrating the Ceremony: Cueing Music and Processionals

The ceremony is about to begin. Everyone’s attention is on the couple as they get ready to exchange vows. Behind the scenes, I'm orchestrating the perfect soundtrack and ensuring that every member of the bridal party knows their cue. Well, not me, but the DJ or band. Whoever is in charge of the music, they’re following my cues and signals, paying attention to the timeline, and remembering in what order goes what song and for how long for each section. As every musician knows, there’s always going to be hick-ups and someone is going to walk to fast, speak to slowly, or skip around. So the musical leader needs to have a keen eye to attention as I basically give baseball signs from the dugout. Close to it, at least!


Welcoming Guests and Directing the Flow

The couple has given their vows and have happily waltzed down the aisle to go get their golden-hour photos done. Now it's time to kick off the celebration. From directing guests to their seats, or cocktail hour floor, to ensuring the flow of the evening, my job is to keep the party going without a hitch. While the couple is off doing couply things after their ceremony, my team and I make sure everything else on the timeline is flowing like melted butter.

Despite the flurry of activity, which seems to pass by so quickly, there's a certain magic to making it all look effortless. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? From seamlessly transitioning from cocktail to dinner to dancing to ensuring the couple's every need is met, it's all in a day's work for this wedding planner!


V. Moments of Stress and Triumph


Handling Emergencies: From Wardrobe Malfunctions to Weather Woes

No wedding day is without its share of challenges. From wardrobe malfunctions to unexpected weather woes, staying calm under pressure is essential for keeping the day on track. My main goals for every single wedding I plan and coordinate are: (1) Be safe but be ready to have fun, (2) Don’t stress, it makes a mess, (3) This is your day, do what you want and everyone else can get over it, and (4) I’m your planner, not theirs - so tell me what you want and I’ll do my best to make it happen (within reason here folks)!


During your rehearsal, I joke about the guys making sure they pack their underwear. But it’s actually my friendly way of not individually taking someone aside and asking them if they have their unders. I also ask the ladies what jewelry they’re going to wear and have them think on if it will take away from the bride’s gorgeous glow. Nothing like some bling glistening on the sidelines while the photographer is trying to capture the unity candle lighting! And what about the vendor whose contract states, ‘arrival time of 2 PM’ but they didn’t show up until closer to 3? Guess what, you don’t have to worry about that because you’re the couple getting married. You’re wonderful planner has it all under control and you just breathe in, and let it out. Let the worries float away into thin air!


And if you've seen pics of me working on wedding days, you'll see me wearing my awesome 'emergency pack', the awesome fanny pack tied around my wasit that has everything you never thought you'd need. If it's not in my 'emergency pack', I have my 'Mary Poppins' bag hidden away in a trusty closet. My huge pink paisley printed bag has all the other stuff that's too big to fit in my handy fanny pack. Like the different sizes of mens briefs. Like the surge protector cord with multiple functions. Like the pack of sanitary pads your cousin brought but didn't need. Like the huge pack of baby wipes, unscented of course. The best part is, you don't have to think about any of this because I have it all under control. You get to enjoy dancing with your partner and your guests get to enjoy snapping photos of you smiling and laughing!


Celebrate Good Times: The Unforgettable Moments

Sure, there’s going to be chaos, but guess what you’re going to see? The celebration! You won’t notice your one guest wants a chocolate cupcake but got a strawberry vanilla. You won’t notice that your aunt didn’t eat the chicken she requested, swearing she wanted stake. You won’t notice your cousin’s girlfriend got mad at him and stormed off to sulk in the hallway. All you’ll notice is your partner and all the joy you are sharing in your new union! So amidst the crazy, there are also moments of pure joy and celebration. From heartfelt toasts to unforgettable first dances, it's these moments that make all the hard work worth it. 


Newly weds toasting with bridal party after ceremony.
Newly weds toasting with bridal party after ceremony.

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Stop stressing and start smiling by  booking a free consultation with Leece today!


VI. Post-Event Reflection


Breaking Down and Packing Up: The Unsung Heroes of Cleanup

I gifted a really great set of friends, who married each other, my coordination services. The venue took care of all the food, the florist and photographer teams did a fabulous job, and my team and I ran the show like the pros we are! As the night dwindled down and the last guests departed, I worked behind the scenes on the breakdown and pack up processes. While the party may be over, the work of a wedding planner is far from finished. Thankfully, I have previously reviewed all boxes and bins that belong to the couple and I know the assigned person they are going home with. My motto for my kids at home is my moto for my team at any venue, ‘Leave it better than the way you found it.’ I can’t take credit for that as my parents engrained it in me and it’s come in super handy over the past few decades!


Client Satisfaction: The Ultimate Measure of Success

Ever heard the song, “Whatcha Say” by Jason Derulo? My family gets so sick of me breaking out into the famous chorus line, but then they end up singing it, too! My success isn’t based off of how many times I can edit a day-of timeline or how many emails or phone calls I make to venues or VIPs. My true measure of success is purely based off the satisfaction of the couple. Knowing that I played a role in creating their most magical day, the one they'll remember for a lifetime is the greatest reward of all. Of course, an awesome testimonial and raving review helps, too!


VII. Conclusion: The Reward of Creating Dream Weddings

Someone asked my husband what he thought about the one day a week I work, which everyone thinks is just on Saturdays! He laughed and kindly explained that Saturdays are my favorite days and the months leading up to them are just as much fun. When my kids know the initials and date (‘A&M on 4/27’), they get their math hats on and tell their grandparents which stage of the planning process I’m working on at that moment, explaining that their mom puts a minimum of 80 hours of total work into a full planning package! An outsider sees the planner doing a few hours of coordination on the day-of, but the couple and the planner’s team know all the secret ninja-like stealth work to make it all happen!


Leece Bachman smiles as she holds her coffee mug. Wearing a light gray sweater, Leece has a holiday plant with red and green that is blurry in the background. Leece sits on a wooden chair and her name and title are on the top corner of the photo.
Leece Bachman in gray sweater holding coffee mug.

At the end of the day, when I’m back home snuggling my Boxer after giving hugs and kisses to the fam, there's nothing quite like the feeling of knowing that I helped create a day filled with love, laughter, and unforgettable memories. I like to check in with my newlyweds a month after their big day and keep in touch well after. Knowing what’s going on in their newest adventure as married brings me so much joy. When the couple and their photography team share the forever memories in forms of that magical night’s photos, I get overly excited in being able to add them to my family album. I mean, professional portfolio!

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Work with Leece and her team at Elegant Events by Leece for a wedding experience that exceeds your dreams and expectations. Learn more about Leece's personalized planning packages by booking a free consultation today!


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