Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Comedy of...Errors?

Or something like that. More like mishaps I suppose. Yesterday's wedding started out just like any other. A bride and a groom both getting ready with their respective parties, photographers taking pre-pictures, guests beginning to arrive, a Mother of the Groom suddenly ripping her dress so badly at home it needs major repair....you know, just another wedding day!

That's right, only a half hour before the ceremony was to begin there was a frantic, crying Mother of the Groom trying to figure out what to do with her dress. All we knew at the church was she was going to be late. And in terms of the ceremony, that meant starting a half hour late. Surprisingly, no one freaked out too badly....except the Priest. When I knocked on his door to inform him of the delay, his reply was: "Hmmm....well, I need to be at the nursing home at 2 so I don't know how this is going to work." To which my reply was: "We're going to start at 1:30 instead of 1, that's how this is going to work. We're not having a wedding without his mom."

He agreed (of course! There's NO other option) and then made his way to the altar to make the announcement to the guests that there had been a wardrobe malfunction. No really, people. We're serious. Laughter followed by groans followed by a mass exodus so people could smoke outside, let their kids run around, and just stretch their legs for a half hour.

Mom did show up dress in tact and looked gorgeous. We started the ceremony, everyone is down the aisle and it's Bride's turn! My favorite time of any ceremony of course. I fluff her dress, position her flowers, give her and Dad a pep talk and they're off! It was a windy aisle in order to get to the main aisle and as she walked down the second part of the aisle, she stopped. STOPPED! What?!?! I look on and I see she is looking at her train. I make a mad dash over to her and sure enough, her train has gotten stuck (and slightly ripped) on part of the wall. I get her unhooked, fluff her dress again and this time she made it all the way to her waiting groom.

I couldn't stay for the ceremony as I had lots of work to do over at the reception site. Let me just say this....I have done many events at this venue, which will remain unnamed. It never fails that it is just shy of a disaster. Staff arrives late, they never have all of the information, they book back to back events leaving no time at all for setup, etc. Below is the list of what I got to deal with yesterday:

1. No chairs at the tables upon arrival
2. An event going on in part of the ballroom so all of the tables were smooshed into one area for the time being.
3. Event next door didn't get over until 30 minutes prior to the start of this wedding
4. Once the staff arrived, they were under direction to set each table for 10 guests. NO! Each table was to be set for the exact number of guests that the Bride had arranged for. I didn't get my way on this and each table ended up being 10-tops. Whatever.
5. Awkwardly shaped oval tables with 10 guests just don't make sense. Can we say elbow to elbow?!?!
6. Even though I arrived 3 hours before the start of the reception, I literally had about 90 minutes to get everything done due to them not being set up yet.
7. As guests arrived, setup by the staff was still being completed. WRONG! Guests should NEVER see this. It's like the cardinal rule of banquets.
8. The event taking place prior to the wedding included a lot of kids. Who thought it was fun to play with the placecard table I painstakingly set up. I say painstakingly, because I took a lot of time creating a very unique design with the cards...all 250 of them.
9. Let's not forget about the four sets of people that walked into the ballroom while I was setting up and wanted answers about the venue. After explaining that I am the Wedding Planner and not a representative of the venue, they want to talk to me even more. Which florist do I like best? How would I set this room for only 100 guests? Buffet or sitdown or stations? And on and on. I politely excused myself from each group after a couple questions, but one group (with an entourage of 8 women along) said "Oh, we'll just follow you around while you do your thing. We really need help with this wedding." Ummm.....then ask me for my card and pay for my services. I'm on a job here, people! I'm happy to help, I give out referrals ALL the time and never charge for it, but this was crazy. Indeed, they followed me from table to table as I completed my setup. Apparently, I need to get better at acting frustrated because they clearly didn't get the hint.

So, that's about it. It of course ended up fine. It always does. But it was touch and go there for a while. I also plan on meeting with the Events Manager at this venue to let him know that this is just plain old bad business practice to continue holding events like this.

But the happy couple is on their way to warmer lands tomorrow for a nice relaxing honeymoon with all wedding details and planning out of their mind forever. Such a great feeling!

Congrats Stephanie & Jason. You guys were awesome!

4 comments:

*~ Jane ~* said...

it sounds like we had about the same fustrating weddings this weekend! Ugh thank god for happy pills lol

JennHenn said...

ooooh so happy you are baaaack!

Danica said...

Jen! hi!!!!

Yes, I'm back. :)

Rebecca said...

What a fun blog! I'm totally single (so I won't be able to use your services..darn!), but used to think that being a wedding planner would be the perfect job for me (always the bridesmaid and all....) Now I can live it through your eyes ;) You could probably write a very humorous book with all of your experiences!

I look forward to reading more posts!