Subscribe to the Podcast - Download the Podcast
Here is a transcript of our discussion with Keri Wootton
Part one of Two
Welcome to the MusicForaWedding podcast with Will Taylor, where we help you realize your wedding music dreams. Please check out our new app – My Wedding Music- on the Apple App Store. It’s a free app that has over 40 songs for you to listen to and to help you organize the music for your wedding. That is the -My Wedding Music- app on the Apple App Store.
Before we get started with our special guest, Keri Wootton, today who is a wonderful, experienced wedding coordinator in the Austin area, we’d like to encourage you to send in your letters and let us know your questions and maybe we’ll read them out over our podcast. Please send your letters to Will@WillTaylor.com.
Will Taylor: All right, I am here with Ms. Keri Wootton, wedding planning extraordinaire, wonderful person that she is, right here in the room with me and we are going over funny stories from our wedding history. Basically what I am trying to encourage people out there to do is to trust in your vendors and trust in their experience. They have probably done a few more weddings and organized all of the minutiae a few more times than the client has. Do yourself a favor and listen to us. So here are a few examples of things that have happened:
“Why? Why? Tell me this, I have to know, do people plan outdoor weddings in Texas? It’s not fair to the guests, okay? In 101 degree weather…”, and I see this happen all the time. I am setting outside; I deal with it all. I will go with my tux and set up in the shade but then I see these elderly folks coming in off the bus and they are in their 60s or 80s and maybe they have a little couple of fans to pass out, but still, how do they convince their planner that they are going to do? “Oh, it’s only going to be 20 minutes outside. The ceremony is only going to happen 20 minute…”
Keri Wootten: I have one couple who is getting married July 23rd at Star Hill Ranch on Amy Arbor. The arbor itself is covered for them but their guests are all sitting out in sun. I said, “We can do this”, and this is a couple that’s on a budget I said, “We are going to do this but we are going to have the EMS on sight”.
Will Taylor: Well that’s good, yeah.
Keri Wootten: What we actually did was we went out to Star Hill Ranch on a Thursday evening at the same time in which their wedding was going to be, to see what the wind was like, see what the breeze was like and we waited from 6:30 to 7:30. Guest invitation said 6:30; we waited until 7:30. At 7:30 it was actually quite lovely and it was okay and where this arbor was, they actually made a believer out of me.
So we did and I have actually been talking to Adam from Star Hill every day, “How was your wedding last weekend? How were the guests? It was hot…” and we are also going to have a lemonade bar at the ceremony site.
Will Taylor: Awesome, okay.
Keri Wootton: So lemonade and cold drinks – they are going to cocktail hour since the invitation is at 6:30 and it will really start at 7:00. We are going to have them in this shaded area to have lemonade, relax inside with air-conditioning and then we are going to take them out right before the ceremony.
Will Taylor: Okay.
Keri Wottoon: If you are going to insist on an outside ceremony you have got to talk to your professionals and if you are going to have a musician or a cameraman, you have got to make sure you provide them the shade, not just for their bodies but for their instruments,. I had a chat with Will Taylor and he told me, “Gosh, my instrument’s $80,000.00”, who knew that an instrument can cost that much?
Will Taylor: Absolutely.
Keri Wootton: A frequently asked question: “Why is a DJ $900.00 for that or $1000.00 or a musician this much for the day?” What you have to realize what it takes for them to give you the quality of service you want. It costs money for them, whether it’s the software that is in their computers to give you a professional contract. It is the staff it takes to run their office to give you a professional experience. It’s the equipment that they are going to have to make sure that everything works. It’s the backup equipment that they are going to have – all of those things take money and so we all as vendors, have to price ourselves accordingly so that we can give you a level of service that you want and expect.
Will Taylor: Absolutely. I always like to say is if you are going to have an outdoor wedding you are basically increasing the unknowns that are going to happen and you need to accept that they are there.
Keri Wootton: And you need to have a backup plan.
Will Taylor: Yeah, have a backup plan like you said, support not only your musicians but your guests; you want them to be comfortable, like this idea of the lemonade – that’s fantastic, because it could be like you said, you went out there but that might be 104 but then you’ve got the air-conditioning inside, that’s great. So if you insist on that, that’s wonderful. Have some understanding for things like Murphy’s Law. Murphy’s Law of wind is one of them. Murphy’s Law of rain, of extreme heat, of sweat!
The other thing with musicians is that we actually are just sort of moving, swing players move a lot. The sweat comes off of our faces and down on our instruments. It’s not a beautiful picture. I have actually done these weddings outside.
Keri Wootton: Yeah, and then the photographers mapping pictures of all of us.
Will Taylor: Right, we don’t look great in these, right, our tux is sweating all over our instruments.
Keri Wootton: And inevitably your musicians, when they are positioned next to your altar are going to be in all of your wedding photos.
Will Taylor: Exactly.
Keri Wootton: And you want the musicians to look stellar.
Will Taylor: And hair – hair goes all over the place with the wind, music…
Keri Wootton: Sheets of music.
Will Taylor: Sheets of music is very hard to organize.
Keri Wootton: Close pins in my emergency kit, just for that reason.
Will Taylor: Awesome, that’s good, yeah. We just found some great new clips that are like plastic see-thru that do a really good job of keeping the music down now so we have with Pro-gigs [6:49]. They look much better than the close pins. They are a little more stylish. They are really good. What they call them, they are called ‘Musicmaide clips’ and they are very important [6:58], believe it or not.
So I had a wedding yesterday…
Keri Wootton: Always have a backup plan. That’s the backup plan. If you don’t have a coordinator make sure you discuss it with your caterer, your musicians, your videographer, your photographer and your site location. Trust the people that are giving you advice around you. We have done hundreds of these and we are not trying to crush your wedding dream; we want you to have a beautiful wedding. We don’t want you to have something that people are going to go ‘Gosh, that wedding was really funny’ or, ‘Gosh, that was very hot’.
Will Taylor: And then have a sense of humor because something might happen. If you are going to have an outdoor wedding it is very possible. Again, something might happen – just laugh it off. If the sheet music goes flying or you know…it’s one day.
Keri Wootton: It’s a happy occasion and you are getting married and the two of you look so beautiful that no one is going to think it less of you if the sheet music flies off. That is not a reflection of your plan.
Will Taylor: Yes, and your guests are going to actually, maybe a little bit of that would make your wedding more memorable, I mean when your guests slip back to it, they are like ‘Oh I remember the bride’s hair was flying off and this one…’
Keri Wootton: Yeah, I have had a wedding that was indoors at Star Hill Ranch. It’s in a little chapel and we had an aisle runner rolled out. We opened the backdoors of the chapel for the couple because that’s how you deal all of the men, right?
Will Taylor: Yeah, right.
Keri Wootton: But you know, you shut the doors and make the big dimensions of the couple, big huge gusto went right through those doors; the aisle runner goes… going up. I had have all of the guests step on the edge of the aisle runner with their feet and they are holding along and then it was fantastic and funny and it was wonderful and it wasn’t a big deal. This is an introduction to what is about to be your life as married couple.
When you are married, I have now been married 12 years. I have a beautiful child, that these things are going to happen in your marriage. This is it. You’ve got to have sense of humor and all with a vengeance.
Will Taylor: That’s really like, the first thing I would say is, have a sense of humor and then you will have a good time and you will look back. I mean it’s just one day. It’s the marriage, right? What do they say about that? It’s one day. It’s the rest of your life.
Keri Wootton: It’s the rest of your life, and you know what, I have been doing events for 18 years and I have never done an event where we didn’t have something. So it’s almost like it’s bad luck if something doesn’t occur.
Will Taylor: See, exactly. All music on the podcast can be purchased on iTunes under the album ‘A Bridezilla’s guide to classical wedding music’, or you can get it contained within the free app at the Apple App Store called ‘My Wedding Music’.
For any of your questions we’d love to help you out. Just email us Will@WillTaylor.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.