Part 2: Spilling the Wedding Tea

Wedding Coordinators Answer Our Wedding Planning Questions! 

Several weeks ago, we sat down with our Adventure Together wedding venue coordinators at the Grand Ol' Barn and The Wildflower 301 (our sister wedding venue in Greensboro, GA) and asked lots of wedding planning questions. At the time, we didn't realize how much fun we were going to have reviewing all 4 of our wedding coordinator's answers to the many wedding planning questions we had! 


If you didn't read part one of this coordinator's Q +A blog post, make sure you dive into that  blog post as well and meet all 4 of our wedding coordinators: Ashley Barksdale, Jamie O'Connell, Melinda Sabina of The Grand Ol' Barn in New Smyrna Beach, FL and Nicole Moore Dawkins of The Wildflower 301 outside of Atlanta (our sister wedding venue). Read part 1 now!


We believe the best weddings have coordinators, who ensure weddings run smoothly. When wedding professionals, who know a wedding property like the back of their hands are in charge, your wedding day will be more enjoyable. Your family and friends can actually enjoy being your guests and not your assistant(s) for the day with a wedding planner running the show. Coordinators also know how to juggle timelines, wedding vendors, unexpected delays, family issues, floral conundrums and more. Leave it the professionals and let's get into the details with our wedding coordinators....

 Grand Ol' Barn Wedding Coordinators Discuss Florals! Did you know we have on site florals at the Grand Ol' Barn?

Photo by Allie + Joey Photography! 

6.) What's a floral fiasco that made you think differently about wedding flowers? Center pieces that weren’t heavy enough and flew away with the wind? DIY bridal bouquets that fell a part before heading down the aisle?

Ashley (AB)
DIY centerpieces that were Harry Potter themed come to mind. These particular centerpieces had snitches (round chocolate balls with wings) that the couple prepped beforehand. Although, this was wonderful, when it came time to place them, the snitches and the centerpieces themselves, were all stuck together! Due to the glue dots on the wings, it took us 2 hours to untangle and separate them. 

Jamie (JO)
I don’t really have a floral fiasco, but many couples think they are saving a ton of money with artificial florals & they really aren’t. Also, unless they are extremely creative, or designers themselves, it’s always better to leave that part to the experts. Floral designers are just that, it’s not just a matter of throwing some flowers together. They pour their hearts & souls into creating gorgeous designs. 

Melinda (MS)

Having Ashley, our in-house florist at the Grand Ol' Barn, on site as your wedding florist is wonderful. I love that she's here to fix any snafu's that may arise. 

Nicole (NMD)
DIY florals are usually a bad idea. They are a lot more work than you'd expect. I had a couple tell me they did not sleep the night before their wedding because they were still building centerpieces and bouquets! Don't be that couple! 



 Keep wedding speeches and toasts sweet and simple. Learn more!

Photography by Dreamscape Photography! 

7.) What's your best planning advice when it comes to speeches and traditional dances?


When It comes to the speeches, keep it short, simple,& meaningful. Rule of thumb: wedding speeches should be no longer than 3 to 5 minutes. - AB


The best memories are the ones that are out of the ordinary, but made sense for them & their life. A memory, that was special to them. With so many different family dynamics these days, I love when they may have a special dance for someone that isn’t necessarily their parent. Maybe dad passed away & the bride dances with her uncle or stepdad that was always there for her. The Grandma that is the flower girl or even Maid of Honor. Really make the day YOURS. 

Keep speeches short, sweet & to the point. No more than 5 minutes. Also, don’t let it become an open mic night for anyone to talk. Keep it to a maximum of 4 people, aside from a prayer or parent welcome.- JO

I love formal toasts & speeches. A little insider tip to watch out for, is to make sure those who are delivering a toast or speech come up to the mic with a full cocktail to toast with. You'd be surprised how often this doesn't happen. - MS

Know exactly who will be doing speeches & make sure you set a time limit. If you need a lot of time for speeches, consider having speeches start once everyone is sat with their food instead of waiting until dinner is over.

I love to see the kids dance! If you have children, consider having a mommy & son dance to a happy + upbeat song, etc. I LOVE to see kids & couples let loose, it makes for great memories & super cute photos! - NMD


Family and weddings, our Grand Ol' Barn coordinators discuss family dynamics on wedding day!

Photography by Dreamscape Photography!

8.) How do YOU get family drama under control on wedding days?

I have had to personally step in & remind them that this is their child's wedding. To please remember, for just this one day, to put aside differences or steer clear from one another. Most time the couples handle it days in advance. - AB


Emotions can run high on wedding day. I always try to preempt any issues by having a conversation with my couple at some point during the planning process. I ask them if there is any family drama that I should know about to help keep things calm. I make suggestions for the couple to assign special tasks to people who may feel left out if they haven’t been involved in the planning or wedding party. It may seem silly, but putting someone in charge of handing out programs, or making sure a “special item” is taken care of & brought home safely can solve issues. -JO

As your coordinator I hear so much drama from both sides of the family throughout the day. How do I handle it? Simply put, I don't. I ask my bride + groom ahead of time if there's anything they'd like me to be aware of amongst their families. If couples haven't previously made me aware of issues, there's no need to cause problems. Also, I encourage those who feel the need to speak about family issues, to keep it to themselves. This day isn't about them. Loose lips sink ships after all and your wedding day is the Titanic. - MS

I literally do whatever my couples need me to do, I just handle it as it comes up. For instance, I've been asked to move an entire family to another table after they were seated food in hand, so I did! You do what you have to do, it's wedding day! - NMD


 Make NEW Traditions! Make your Grand Ol' Barn wedding all about YOU!

Photography by The Locke Agency! 

9.) What are the wedding traditions you are happy to see fade out?

The wedding bouquet +  garter. toss - AB

Wedding bouquet + garter toss. If it makes sense for your crowd, by all means, go ahead, but I am honestly so happy when couples leave this out. It really is such an awkward situation all the way around & definitely not needed. - JO

I'm beyond thrilled to see bouquet tosses fading out. As a wedding guest, it's so uncomfortable to be ostracized for being single while you're celebrating others  becoming a couple. For some guests, this is even a painful tradition.- MS

Receiving lines, white wedding gowns & the garter toss. - NMD


Wedding décor trends.  Learn MORE about Grand Ol' Barn's  included wedding  rentals  + décor!Photography by Allie and Joey!

10.) Wedding décor trends you love? Wedding décor trends you are not a fan of and why?


I love the greenery runners with or  without candles. It's simple & elegant & adds to the ambiance of the night. I'm not a huge fan of the candelabras. They are pretty, but such a waste of floral when most just get thrown away at the end of the evening. - AB

I love, LOVE lounge options in a quieter part of the room. Many of your wedding guests haven't seen each other in a while, sometimes years! A wedding lounge area, allows guests to talk at a normal volume, away from the party itself. - MS

I love pops of bright color, garden style floral design and colorful gowns + suits! - NMD


Want to know more?! Us too! The next Grand Ol' Barn wedding blog will be all about wedding florals, as we sit down with our in house florist, Ashley Lampe of Arrangements Floral Studio! Check out her designs NOW! 


Grand Ol' Barn offers in house florals and an on-site florist: Arrangements Floral Studio.

On-site florals at the Grand Ol' Barn are available through Arrangements Floral Studio. Photography by The Locke Agency. 


Need to book a tour of the Grand Ol' Barn? We can't wait to have you on-site with us! Find more info here!   Learn more about our Georgia wedding venue, The Wildflower 301, click here!