A TOPP WEDDING: The Wedding Coordinator

Our venue is a bare venue – as in, we hire the bare bones – the land, the rooms, the facilities.  Everything else we want, we have to bring in ourselves – the catering, the alcohol, the decor, the people. There are so many pro’s to having a venue like this (wahey BYO alcohol!) but one major con is that there is no one to do the stuff on the day. 

The stuff is things like – setting up the tables, putting out placecards, hanging up decor, dealing with the caterers when they have questions, cueing the music for the bridesmaids, keeping an eye on the time and moving guests in to be seated for dinner, collecting any lost property at the end of the night. You know, STUFF.

Wedding

Many wedding venues include a coordinator (usually the owner, or event manager) who you can liaise with prior, and who just handles these things on the day. When I was bridesmaid at a wedding a few years ago, the wedding coordinator of the venue was waiting when our car pulled up to the ceremony, with glasses of water. I remember thinking that it was so thoughtful – she knew we might all be a bit flustered (especially the bride), we might need to just stop, take a few breaths, and a sip of water to help our dry and nervous throats – and so she had pre-empted it and was ready. Even better – the glasses had straws in, so we didn’t ruin our lipstick at all. It was just so organized of her, even though she probably does that many times in each wedding season – I know I really appreciated it!

With other venues, you are lucky that the decor is pretty much done for you. The venue is how it is, the table settings are how they are – you just turn up and get married. This can work extremely well if you are planning a wedding from overseas and don’t want to be burdened with all the extra decor planning, organising, and setting up. Check out my friends Dayna and Matt’s wedding details recap – they got married in a gorgeous venue in BC, Canada – where everything was handled for them.

But back to the Topp Wedding. I knew (from reading MANY blogs like A Practical Wedding) that I.COULD.NOT.DO.THE.STUFF.MYSELF. I also knew that delegation was going to be a necessary – something that I am not very good at. Because our wedding is a semi-destination wedding, I didn’t want to ask any of our guests to do the stuff – if they were travelling to come to our celebration, then I wanted them all to enjoy themselves, rather than be bothered by the stuff. I thought about whether we had any family friends (or their teen children) that we could ask to help – but I knew that a) I might not trust them fully to get it right and b) some of the things we might ask of them could be out of their confidence level (ie. instructing suppliers to do certain things).

Please say hello to Aimee.

Aimee Your Perfect Day

Aimee is a friend of mine who I (way back) met on twitter and then face to face when I was up in Auckland. We both were living in Canada at the same time, and she spent time in Whistler with me and Jase, and we spent time in Vancouver with her. We moved on to London, while Aimee moved back to Auckland – and, as luck would have it, started her own Wedding Planning company called Your Perfect Day (can you hear the chorus of angels singing right now?). When Jase and I got engaged, and once I realised what I was taking on with planning from overseas – I got in touch with Aimee to see whether she thought she could help us at all. Her email back to me 100% sealed the deal – I knew I needed her there!

Fun fact: Aimee is a Whole 30’er too! 

Your Perfect Day

Aimee’s “day of coordination” package means she will:
– confirm the vendors in the lead up to the day
– create a detailed timeline for distribution to all relevant parties on the day
– coordinate and manage the rehearsal the day before
– manage the wedding day set up – the ceremony area, the reception area, and anything else required
– manage and timekeep the suppliers delivering and arriving on the day – florist, hair & makeup, celebrant, caterers etc
– completely manage everything ON THE DAY – all enquiries, problems and crises will go to her and not to the bride/groom/bridal party/family members
– stay to the end of the night and coordinate the pack down of the venue including centrepieces and linen, presents, any lost property, and straggly guests
– plus anything else we might throw her way

Aimee Your Perfect Day

I feel really lucky that we will have Aimee there on the day. With this being her business, she has the experience and knowledge to read the situations and preempt anything that we might not have thought about. While I am a super organised planner myself, knowing I have someone I trust (and a friendly face that I know personally) to hand over to means I can completely relax on the day, and not worry about anything. That’s the plan anyway!

You can check out Aimee’s website here: Your Perfect Day. 

Are you a planner like me? Would you hire an expert or go with a friend on your day? 

Want more wedding goss? Catch up here with the rest of A TOPP WEDDING posts:

A TOPP WEDDING: The Venue
A TOPP WEDDING: The Engagement
A TOPP WEDDING: My Bridesmaids
A TOPP WEDDING: Asking the Bridesmaids
A TOPP WEDDING: The Photographer
A TOPP WEDDING: The Celebrant
A TOPP WEDDING: The Invites

Life by Numbers

Right now everything is on a countdown, a week, or being done by numbers. My brain is filled with dates and times and days and weeks. My calendar and appointments and to-do lists are etched into my brain. EEK.

  • First week back at work. I was given a new role (same company) a few weeks before Christmas which has meant a giant learning curve. I love my job, my company and the people I work with…but man I am also looking forward to having some space in my brain back! I’ve made it through one Monday – only five Monday’s left!
  • First week back on Whole 30. 30 days of strict clean eating. I want to make it a Whole 60, or 70 – I want to be feeling the best I can by the time D-Day rolls around. If you want to follow my Whole 30 journey I’ll be posting my meals daily on Instagram – follow me @naturallyleah. Whole 30 My whole 30 Day 1 meals. SO happy to be back on this again – much needed after the festive season!

  • First week of official marathon training has started. One vomit inducing speed session on the treadmill done. 15 weeks, or 109 days to go.
    London Marathon Training
  • First Team Naturally Run group run done. It felt like settling back into my old groove – running along the river in the freezing cold, chatting away with the girls, followed by steaming hot coffee.
    London Marathon Training
  • Seven sessions at The Power Yoga Company left on my pass. Seven Friday morning classes scheduled with my favourite teacher.
    The Power Yoga CompanyThanks to Lululemon, Elle and Alpha for giving me the gift of presence (and a free class) before Christmas – I enjoyed a wonderful class which helped de-stress!
  • 120 credits purchased for Project Fit – I’m totally addicted to the endorphin high I get from these ridiculously hard workouts.  I’m aiming to get there twice a week – gotta use em up!  Wanna come?
    Project Fit
  • 3 races left on my race calendar – this weekend it’s the Battersea Park 10k, I have Hyde Park 10k on 25th Jan, and then my farewell to London race on 1st Feb – The London Winter Run (10k). Oh yeah, then there’s that marathon thing.
    London Winter Run
  • Seven (point 5) weeks, or 54 days left in London.
    London Winter Run
  • 30+ hours of flying.
    New Zealand
  • 56 days until I set foot in NEW ZEALAND again – it will have been 2 years, 11 months and 16 days since I was last there, or 1083 days. That is far far too long, and I get very over-emotional thinking about that first glimpse of home out the plane window.
    Topp Wedding
  • 10 weeks, or 73 days until the wedding and our epic adventure starts (including that marathon thing)!

What are you counting down, or up, or away from, or towards? 

Please excuse me if my blogging is a little erratic in the next wee while – things are about to get cray-cray, but I will check in when I can! 

2014 Race Recaps & Medal Count

2014 medal holderI snapped a pic of my medal holder the other night, and thought it might be cool to revisit all the bling I have collected in the last 12 months. I can only keep one years worth of medals on my holder at a time because it has fallen off the wall from the weight before. Before I wipe it clean for 2015, I wanted to take a walk back through my race recaps and remember some of the great races I have taken part in over the last year. What can I say – I love my medals!

In 2014 I ran (and got medals for) 19 races. This is not including the events/ races I completed which didn’t award medals (Nike We Own The Night 10k, I’m looking at you!).

If you fancy reading a race recap or two, click on the event names below.

1 Marathon:

Paris Marathon 2014

Paris Marathon

2 x 24hr Relay Races:

Adidas Thunder Run 2014

Adidas Thunder Run

Spitfire Scramble

Spitfire Scramble

2 x Relay Marathons:

Geneva Marathon Weekend

Geneva Marathon Relay

Helly Hansen Beauty and the Beast trail marathon

Helly Hansen Beauty & The Beast Marathon Relay

3 x Half Marathons:

Brighton Half Marathon

Brighton Half Marathon

Bacchus Half Marathon

Bacchus Half Marathon

UK Run Chat Half Marathon Challenge (no recap)

2 x 10ks:

Summer Breeze 2014 Wimbledon Common 10k

Summer Breeze 10k

Regents Park 10k

Regents Park 10k (no recap)

1 x 8k:

National Lottery Anniversary Run

National Lottery Anniversary Run (no recap)

1 x 7k:

National Trust Night Run

National Trust Night Run (no recap)

5 x 5ks:

Geneva Marathon Weekend

La Genevoise Women’s 5k

Run Hackney 5k

Run Hackney 5k

British Heart Foundation Canary Wharf Jog (5k completed) (no recap)

Teach First Run the River

TeachFirst Run the River (no recap)

Run Through Christmas 5k

Run Through Christmas Run (no recap)

1 x 1mile:

City of London Mile

City of London Mile

1 x 10k Obstacle Race:

River Rat Race London

Shelter River Rat Race

What was your favourite race in 2014? What medal are you the most proud of?

Paris Marathon 2014

Mine has to be the big bit of bling I got from Paris – I even slept with it on!

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