If this whole wedding-planning thing has your head spinning, you’re not alone.
If you can afford it and want to avoid the headache entirely, hiring a wedding planner is a good option. But like any other service professional, the market’s got its superstars — and those who aren’t so great. This is a personal story - one that I promise you will NEVER happen in my business.
Several years ago, I was blessed to enter the life of a spunky little girl and her itty bitty sister. I loved them from the first second- they were IT to me. Flash forward to last year when a boy asks that spunky girl to be his wife and they start wedding planning...of course, I wanted to be part of it...but I was already booked. My heart was broken, completely. After all, I really wanted to see her get married more than I wanted to be the planner.
Over the past year, a series of events caused me to become available to help her with her wedding - so I sent out a "Yay, I'm available and I'll help you." Sadly, they had hired a wedding planner. Okay, okay, I get to be a guest! Yahoo! That NEVER happens! Sweet!
Unfortunately, this post is not very fun or light-hearted. In fact, it's just the opposite and why I decided to blog about it. Friday noon - just before leaving for a 643 mile trek across Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia, I decided to send a text to "just see if they needed anything." A panicked bride called and said, "Our planner has been dodging us, I have no idea what's going on, he isn't answering my calls/texts and he was supposed to be setting up at 11am and he's not there." I was seriously confused...this guy was paid far more than what I charge for weddings, why would he dodge a couple the day before their wedding? Seriously, I thought maybe he was late after picking things up...I mean, a wedding is a lot running around to get everything you need to make the day perfect. So, just as a precaution, we loaded some wine bottles, burlap runners, lights, signs, votive candles and holders, my toolbox, clothes and we started on our trip.
Then the text message came and it was something to the effect that he wouldn't be coming to the rehearsal that night because he had to work over. What?!?! Okay, I said, "just take some notes on the order of the ceremony and I'll make sure things go well tomorrow." In my head - still thinking - this guy is going to show up tomorrow with linens, flowers, centerpieces and I'm worrying about nothing. But he didn't....
I didn't grab linens, I had no idea what kind of tables we would find...no clue, why bring linens for rectangle tables if they may only have round. So, as my husband is driving, I'm on Facebook Marketplace sending messages to anyone within 20 miles of the venue, explained the situation and how I wasn't sure what kind of tables but I may be contacting them if they would be available. (This guy will at least have linens right?) I got a reply and they said they could be available...okay so now we have linens and my runners, wine bottles, some signs, lights...it's starting to come together...but surely we won't need to do this, right?
So, let me tell you about Saturday and how we put together an entire wedding in 5 hours! I checked with the bride as soon as I woke up. All stores opened at 9 so we had to plan our route very carefully because everything had to be done by 2:30. First up, Michaels - floral tape, scissors, plum ribbon, burlap ribbon, hot glue gun. Then Sams, plates, napkins, bottled water. Next up, Dollar Tree and 13 wine glasses. Kroger for 7 bunches of babies breath and send a message to the lady with the linens. I called my sister and told her we needed greenery - she called and found some. One of the brides friends (this girl is incredible) also found greenery! BINGO! We show up, I put together a table and several WONDERFUL people pitched in, hanging cafe lights. stuffing bottles with babies breath, putting candles on tables while I made bouquets, bouts and corsages...then the phone rang. "The planner wants to meet someone to pick up all of the brides stuff that she gave him." WHAT?!?!? At this point, I'm angry...I don't get angry...but as a wedding planner, how do you get paid to do a job and just not show. So, we send my husband because there were some very important things that he had that we needed. I'm going to tell you - I was nervous the entire time because at this point everyone was just in disbelief and I was sure that my husband was going to have some choice words for this guy. I finished up seven bouquets and my sister went to deliver them to the bride and bridesmaids, then I started making bouts...I laugh because a lot of time was wasted trying to cut corks for the stems that never worked so I went back to my old faithful, twine covered stems...always works...ALWAYS! Done! Corsages - DONE! Time to breathe...I haven't brushed my hair and I need to change clothes...and my dress pants are MIA. (We found them...but not until the following day.) I threw my hair in a side pony, a bunch of bobby pins, a ton of hairspray, some makeup and voila...I was transformed and so was the venue. Time for a glass (or bottle of wine) right?
Why am I telling you this personal story? These are big problems you don’t want to face at a very critical time.
Make sure the person who says they will be there, really will be there. The couple had no clue, after all, they know this person well...and never dreamed that would happen to them. I don't think ANYONE can imagine that it will happen to them - I couldn't believe it either. Seriously though...I said, "I can't believe this" - about a million times that day.
I got a lot of thank yous and a lot of we couldn't have done it without you...but when it's all said and done, it's the love I have for that spunky little girl who had dance parties in our living room, pizza parties on Friday nights when she could have been doing other things...who has those beautiful big brown eyes and that incredible smile that I love to see happy - that day - she was incredibly happy...and that's what it was all about to me.
"I loved you then, love you still, always have, & always will"