What I Learned from my First Wedding with NGE

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Hey guys, my name is Brynn! I am the newest member of the Nicole George Events team as their Spring intern. Although my past event experience is a bit more corporate and I have attended a handful of weddings myself, I assisted on my very first wedding in February (how is it already the end of March?!) from start to finish. I find it valuable to hear the behind the scenes side because ya know...everyone doesn't really see just how much time, effort, and energy goes into one day not to mention the months of planning beforehand. Here are three of my favorite "learning moments" from the day!

Nicole George Event Planning & Design // Photography by Fog & Dawn

Nicole George Event Planning & Design // Photography by Fog & Dawn

1. The lingo.

The first thing I learned was how so many specialized vendors are involved in a wedding....for now, I'll focus on rentals. While assisting, I was asked to set up or move certain tables (Sweetheart, 8', 6', King, Farm, Bar tables...so many different kinds and uses!). Knowing the sizes and names was new for me but easy to catch onto. There are also belly bars (also known as high tops or high boys) which are the small, round, high tables which are appropriate for cocktail hour. Another new term for me was "linen" not "tablecloth". I found out that most linens come with lines sewn in that you can use as guidelines when lining them along the edges of tables or to the floor. These are simple and ordinary terms to anyone in the industry, but definitely something I didn't even think about going into the day! There are many other terms I learned throughout the day but in order to set up efficiently, it will help anyone to know the above information.

Photography by Half Full Photography

Photography by Half Full Photography

2. KNOW the logistics

The best part of the day was assisting with the actual wedding ceremony processional, recessional (also new words!) and reception timeline. I learned the order of events and how important it is to stay on schedule for a variety of reasons (i.e. catering serving time, photography contract time, etc.). For the wedding I learned about how the planner needs to know the music for the procession and to ensure the DJ knows when to start or switch songs depending on who is walking down the aisle. I also learned how to properly set up ceremony chairs, which is to have one chair length in between each row.  For this wedding, the ceremony and reception were in the same space, so after the ceremony was over our team needed to “flip the space" (or transition from ceremony to reception). I learned that this is not ideal for flow, staffing, and photography purposes, but if required and a transition team is in tow, it is possible. The biggest thing I learned from this was to know  the room setup post-flip and who was in charge of what aspect of the flip, so that the room was prepared for photography, catering, and guests. Considering how well prepared we were, we transitioned the space in 15 minutes, perfected by putting down place cards, adding centerpieces, positioning chairs, etc. for another 10 minutes, then had enough time for the photography team to take a ton of detail shots (photographs of details such as place settings and flowers),  as well as time for the bride and groom to see the space alone before guests...all within 45 minutes! This leads into the most important thing I learned... to be organized!

Photography by Half Full Photography

Photography by Half Full Photography

3. Stay organized

Being my first wedding, I remained very observant and watched to see how Nicole organized and addressed each situation. She started by having a master folder full of information such as contracts, vendor timelines, the master timeline, assigned seating, layouts of each space, etc. This was helpful throughout the day because even if Nicole didn't know the answer off the bat, we were able to look up the answer immediately. Most importantly, I was impressed that vendors stuck to their pre-assigned arrival times so that they weren't delivering one on top of the other or taking over the loading zone. I credit being organized, both internally and externally, that allowed the day to flow so easily.

Looking back, it was an amazing learning experience and something I will never forget. Every event will be different, and I look forward to expanding my knowledge this year!

Love, Brynn