by Amanda Kueneman, WPICC, of Like a Star Weddings
Planning and managing weddings is a stressful time for wedding planners. No matter how seasoned a planner may be each wedding is unique and needs our undivided attention. The great thing about being part of WPIC, is we all have the opportunity to work with other certified planners who have the same training, and code of ethics to rely on.
Being an assistant is no small feat, whether you are volunteering and getting some amazing hands on experience, or are being paid to assist a fellow WPIC. Remember, you are representing the Lead Planner’s company that they built from their own blood, sweat and tears!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when assisting:
Read your contract thoroughly
Make sure you understand what is expected of you, and what your duties of the day will be. Each Lead will have a legally binding contract with THEIR couples, and your contract will reflect that. Some Lead’s will allow you to take personal photos while others may not. If you will be provided with professional photos, ask what you are allowed to do with them after the wedding. Many times, you can use them in your hard copy portfolio only – giving full credit to the Lead. Double check with the Lead to see if you can share/repost photos on your social media sites too. Confirm the times you will be expected to work with the Lead. You may be able to leave after all the milestones are complete, or after dinner service, but do not ask to leave early. Plan to be there for the duration of the reception.
Dress the Part
Some planners have a brand or business image and dress accordingly. This may be written in your contract so understand what you are expected to wear. The Lead is looking out for you, as well as their image, so dress appropriately. If the Lead knows there will be a lot of set up/bending/climbing there is a reason, they would want you in pants and not a dress. I always tell my assistants to dress as a guest but on a more professional side so that they are comfortable, and able to work confidently through the day.
You are there to assist the Lead as much as the couple who is getting married. You are the Lead’s right hand, so if you see they are busy dealing with a manager, or even going over something with the couple or DJ, and you see something needs to be done jump in and help out – don’t tell the Lead what needs to be done. Be proactive! Jump in and fix that chair cover, or help a bridesmaid sew her dress strap. Don’t wait to be told what to do. You and the Lead to be working as a cohesive duo.
Respect the Lead and the Couple
As I mentioned before, the Lead built their company from an idea to their business, and you are a reflection of that business. Carry yourself in a professional manner, and act in a discreet and tactful way. Do not dig into family issues, act inappropriately or do something that may offend the Lead or guests. Remember that even during dinner service or downtime you are still representing the Lead. If you are sitting at a guest table, act as a guest, and be aware of the events and happenings during the reception. The wedding needs your full attention at all times, so do not start a selfie marathon during dinner, or hijacking a guest’s snapchat story!
Do not under any circumstance talk about your company (if you have one) or your weddings. Even if this is not written in the contract you signed, be aware or your conversations and actions.
Just remember when you offer to assist a Lead planner; they trust you to represent them and their brand with respect. Like the old saying goes “treat others how you would like to be treated”. So act as if you are representing your own company.