One of the most common scenarios I see at weddings is that things rarely run on time, despite how careful you plan your timeline. This can add a lot of stress to the couple. As a wedding photographer, I try my best to keep my brides and grooms in a light and happy mood; it’s the only way I’m able to capture great photos (read about my tips for natural-looking and candid photos.) Personal butlers come in extremely handy when it comes to keeping things on schedule and stress-free. I had the privilege of working with Janet at Remona and Sharon’s Boston College Club wedding this summer.
Because I had such a fantastic experience working with personal butler, Janet, I invited her to talk more in depth about her role on the wedding day and how she helps brides and grooms to ensure they have a great wedding experience.
How’d you start your wedding butler service and where did you get the idea from originally?
Janet: “I was working for a catering company when talk started going around about how we could make the Brides experience on her wedding day less stressful. Having a personal assistant on that day is the result. Then the title came next. Personal Butler to the Bride seemed to fit. That encompasses everything. I’ve been doing this for 3 wedding seasons now and have not had a request I was unable to carry out.”
What are wedding butlers and how are you different from wedding planners?
Janet: “A wedding planner is someone you start looking for the day you start planning your wedding. They help you find a venue, maybe a caterer, florist, even a band if need be. In their business they have more contact with other vendors they have worked with in the past. They keep in mind 7 refer vendors to the bride who they have a working relationship with. On the wedding day the planner is busy with the venue director making sure things look and go as the Bride and wedding planner planned. I come in on the wedding day to assist the Bride with personal things. Helping her get dressed, bringing her food and drink before the ceremony. I help keep her on schedule with pictures, dinner and cake cutting.”
On a typical wedding day, when do you arrive/leave? And how do fit in when it comes to helping the wedding day run smoothly?
Janet: “The day of the wedding I arrive about the same time as the Bride. Maybe a little before if I can. I set the Bridal Suite up with ice, glasses sparkling & still water, cheese & crackers as well as a bottle of Champagne. If there is a Groom’s Room I will set that up too. The men need less attention. They want ice (usually for their beer or bottle of Sprite they may bring) and glasses.
After setting up the men I’ll go back to the Bride and see if she needs me for anything else at that time. If not I’ll do a run down of the day. What she wants to drink after the ceremony, what she wants to drink with dinner, what she’s having for dinner, and how the want to do hors d’ oeuvres. Mostly they (bride & groom) want me to follow them around with their own tray so they can pick as they go. The other way I may do hors d’oeuvres is to set them up in the Bridal Suite with a bottle of champagne and a tray just for them and give them some time alone before joining the reception. I help get the Bridal Party ready for introductions.
We are now ready for dinner. I serve the Bride & groom first then sometimes the wedding party.
After dinner I help with the cake cutting and any other formalities they may have.
At that point there is usually about 2 hours left for dancing & fun. I stay back at that time. Let them enjoy their guests. Bring them drinks as they need them. Help pack up their thing at the end of the night. And there you have it! My job in a nut shell.”
Personal butlers are no doubt very helpful to any wedding, but how can other wedding vendors benefit from you guys too?
Janet: “Other vendors, such as photographers have me there during pictures to help with any thing they may need me to do. For dinner I usually am the one to bring the vendors their dinner and drinks because now the bride & groom are eating & don’t need me there to watch them. I sometimes have information they may need to help them get through the event. I’m open & available to do whatever it takes to make sure the the Bride & Groom just enjoy their time & guests.”
Huge thanks to Janet for doing this interview. If it was up to me, I would hire a personal butler for all of my weddings without a second of hesitation. Hopefully, they’ll be more popular and become mainstream in the wedding industry.