According to the National Wedding Council we are just days away from the official start of wedding season. In fact, June 21st marks the day when the nation will be caught up in a joyous few months full of the sights and sounds of happy couples saying 'I Do', guests breaking into rapturous applause and celebratory confetti being thrown into the air.
For the majority of brides and grooms making sure their guests feel welcome, included and entertained is high on their priority list and this year is no exception. Recently, I have noticed an increase in interest from couples wanting to employ my expertise as a Professional Introducer to ensure their guests' social needs are looked after on their big day, connections are made and conversations started. If this is a new concept to you then let's look at the reasons why having a Professional Introducer present at your wedding could prove to be a match made in heaven.
There aren't many occasions in your life when you have the perfect excuse to gather together all the people you love most in the world with the sole intention of having a jolly good time. A wedding is exactly that and no doubt the guest list will include friends from childhood through to present day, family members young and old and people coming from near and far. Of course it mustn't be assumed that all the guests know each other because they won't. There will be at least two different families merging together, just knowing who's who and how they fit in can be difficult for family members who haven't been briefed beforehand. Then there are respective friends, some of whom will form into a happy - but exclusive - huddle and those who will only know one or two people. There will be the parents' friends who have known the bride or groom since childhood and would enjoy being introduced to new faces. There will also always be someone on the periphery, a work colleague perhaps, or neighbour, who has come on their own and doesn't know a soul.
Brides and grooms want their guests to meet each other, hit it off and have a really great time at their wedding. What a wasted opportunity it would be if the introductions you've always wanted to make just didn't happen because, in reality, the happy couple are not going to have time to pay special attention to specific guests. They can plan a memorable day and create the perfect setting but the rest is down to.... well down to me!
In the run up to the wedding I will spend time with the bride and groom to go through the guest list to find out who's who. In particular I'm briefed on those who won't know anyone at all or only a couple of people. I also like to know who has travelled from overseas and made an enormous effort to attend. I ask for a wish list of introductions the couple would love to make. This might be a best friend from childhood with a best friend from university. It could be family members from each side of the family with similar interests or circumstances or guests in the same field of work. Whether or not you employ a Professional Introducer it's a great exercise to do, it makes you really consider your guests and you'll be surprised at the number of interesting connections you can make.
On the day I can be in attendance for the whole event or a set period. A great time to employ a Professional Introducer is during the drinks reception. This presents the perfect opportunity to make introductions as it can involve a lot of standing around while the bride and groom greet people or have their photos taken. I'm not there to talk at length to guests, on the contrary, my job is to read the room and first hone in on the people looking lost or standing on their own. I quickly find out who they are and then, because I am fully prepped and prepared I'll know whom they might like to meet. I also have the bride and groom's wish list to fulfil and I effortlessly make the right introductions and help get the celebrations started.
I've worked at hundred of events from Royal occasions to fashion events and social parties but nothing beats a good wedding. The buzz you can achieve when you connect people who may have only heard of each other in passing, or make introductions which could lead to lasting friendship - or even love - is contagious.
Roll on wedding season because I for one am looking forward to it!
Rachel Fay is a Professional Introducer. For more information please visit www.rachelfay.co.uk or contact Rachel Fay on Rachel@rachelfay.co.uk