Sunday, September 16, 2007

Mishaps Happen

Yesterday was the day of mishaps. Note, I did not say disasters. They are very different in the wedding world. Disasters constitute me sprinting around like a madwoman cussing under my breath while mishaps are just that; they're easily rectified and I remain sane saving face for the bride. It's what I do.

Yesterday was a day I was not prepared for at all. My sweet, sweet bride had not had communication with me for the past 2 weeks meaning I had no timeline, no To-Do List, no Vendor Contact info, nothing. When we finally connected on Thursday night, I had to feverishly write down things she was saying as she drove. Ultimately, she gave me free reign to do whatever I wanted with the set-up. GASP! What?!? YOU planned this entire thing and now I just have to "hope" that I create it the way you envisioned with no direction at all? Ok, then. :)

After a very LONG drive to Racine (I-43 was closed, detours, all that fun stuff that would only happen when you have to be someplace on time) I arrived to the church ON TIME and before the bridal party. The florists were finishing set-up and it was beautiful. Then....the Church Coordinator appeared. It was clear I was on her turf and taking over her job. I introduced myself and assured her that I was just there to make sure the vendors were in place and that the bride and mom (LOVE her mom!) were taken care of. She then started to point her finger to direct me to do things. I can't even recall what those things were, but I basically just appeased her. The bride and her gals arrived and I met them at the limo bus to let them know how we were going to get the bride into the church without being seen. Ms. Church Lady comes running out as we're halfway up the walk and scoots in front of us to lead us "in the right direction." Good lord. I won't go on anymore about her, but it's amazing how nearly every church coordinator is the same. They hate me, they hate all people like me. And by that I mean, people that are professional Wedding Coordinators. Maybe it was their dream and the church part is all they ever got? I don't know...but my smile is forced with damn near all of them.

Ok, one more church lady story. As I'm hanging outside with the bride and her dad waiting for the big entrance, church lady is YELLING at us to come up the stairs. Um, no. You're supposed to close the doors after the flower girl goes down so no one sees dear bride therefore having the dramatic door-opening entrance like we talked about! Bride is getting flustered. I tell church lady of the plan and she tsks me. That's right...she TSKD me! Bride rolls her eyes and says fine and we walk into the entrance area. As I prepare her train and veil, church lady GRABS the train out of my hand and says "I'll do it, that's what I'm here for." Whoa lady...get a grip. (((Sigh)))

Fast forward to the reception set-up. I arrive at the venue which shall remain nameless; you'll see why later. The room is nearly all set with tables and linen, centerpieces are awesome, the cake is funky and cool, the staff is fun and friendly...but wait---something is definitely not right. I look at my scribbled notes and say "Guys, there are supposed be table runners on these tables." They give me a puzzled look as we review the BEO (Banquet Event Order for all you non-hospitality people, it details the event). The BEO says nothing about table runners. No, they dropped them off Thursday I say. A mad search ensues of every crevice in that place and sure enough...runners are found. This means that the catering staff had to remove 4 place settings and all centerpieces including scattered petals from ALL the tables in order to lay the runners down. A pain in the ass? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely. Much to my amazement, the staff did a great job and never once uttered a bad word about it. This put them behind at least 45 minutes, but they did it with professional grace which was awesome. However, THIS IS WHY PEOPLE HIRE ME. Had I not been there, that bride would have walked into a room without runners and the room would not have been what she had imagined. And trust me, they changed the entire look of the room.

As for all the other set-up, it ended up being fun to have complete control over what to do. There was a large box of stuff and I was able to use my creativity to create what I think ended up looking pretty darn nice. And mom thought so too. As I was finishing up Mom & Dad arrived so I was able to go through the set-up with Mom and make sure she approved. She did and I got a hug as well. Hugs are my way of knowing that all is well and everyone is thrilled. Great, time for me to go then.

Enter mishap #52 of the day (that's right, I didn't even bore you with the others). As I'm walking down the hallway to leave I see a mouse run right past my feet. A mouse! In the reception venue! With 30 minutes to go until ALL the guests arrive. I watch the little mouse for a while to see where he's going to go. He's freaked and scurries up the wall to the ceiling. Oh, little mouse please stay there I think. I RUN back to the catering kitchen and say "Can someone catch a mouse? NOW!?!?" Two female servers grab a napkin and a basket while I hear the Banquet Manager say "Shit, again?" Great. The gals and I spend 20 minutes chasing Edna (yup, we named her) around and finally one of the servers cornered her and got her in the napkin. She took her outside to a field far away and let her go. I only hope there were no further surprise rodent appearances in the evening.

While it was a short day, it felt much longer given the circumstances. I was glad it was over and I'm sure they all had a good time. To think that they'll never know there were no runners, there was a mouse hoping to party it up with them, and so many other things that I had to take care of in order for everything to look good. Just another day I guess.


Anonymous said...

There is no way I would ever be able to handle your job with as much patience and poise as you do. A-freaking-mazing!

Christi said...

I seriously think that every bride should hire a wedding planner! The last thing any bride needs on her big day is to be worrying about minute little details like table runners!!!!

I honestly think you have saved many a wedding simply by being around.

Molly said...

Great stories Danica! Those church ladies ARE hilarious in their firm hold of "their duties"!

Elizabeth said...

You are a saint. For real. As you know, I've been contemplating starting a little DOC business for myself but reading posts like this makes me wonder if I have what it takes. You have such an amazing attitude and the perfect personality for what you do!

Great post! :)

Tracey said...

Was the reception hall Racine or Kenosha? I can guess a couple of the halls......

Danica said...

Tracey, I'm pretty sure it was Racine proper.