Will you be my wedding planner?...
… the subject line of an email I received from a delightful bride-to-be . My heart skipped a beat when I opened her email, early this morning, over a cup of coffee. No coffee no workee. Today, I'll embark on the planning of her wedding, which will take place in Highlands, North Carolina.
It may seem trite, but it truly is an honor to be asked to orchestrate ones wedding. After 13-years of event planning and over 300 weddings, I am keenly aware of how special is it to be 'the one' they turn to for design advice, contract review, etiquette, matters of the heart and taking-the-edge-off. This time last year, a mother of the bride said to me, 'You're kind of like the doctor who delivered my babies. We'll remember you forever.' This job goes far beyond logistics and making things pretty. It's a beautifully awkward task at times. Such as when I shaved the bride's armpits shortly before her first look… asked the bridal party to check their teeth and reapply lipgloss after they enjoyed some pre-ceremony hors d'oeuvres… held a squirmy toddler as her parents walked down the aisle… asked the bartender to cut off a guest because he'd just grabbed someone's urrrmm… enough said.
But it also goes deeper than that. Our job is relational. With a bit of coaxing, we make it possible for family members, who've been at odds with each other for years, to sit on the same row and behave themselves. We deliver love notes and surprise gifts and share in the joy they elicit. We're invited to hold hands and pray with loved ones. We make sure that the song that the mothers enter to is a lengthy one because one of the honorees is in a walker. We've even danced with the father of the bride because his own 'bride' didn't live to see their daughter marry.
Here's a sampling of what a wedding day is like for us, behind the scenes:
Over the course of 10-hours, we've delivered tampons, assured the groom that we, also, have a dysfunctional family, super-glued dress shoes, sewn on buttons, trimmed branches, removed suntan spray from a chiffon gown, tied thirty bows, lit one hundred candles, administered Pepto, crafted an extra boutonniere, sent 15 texts to various vendors, held tightly to the edge of a Chuppah to keep it from falling over in the gale force wind, from behind the drapery, given toast tips to the best man, taught an anxious bridesmaid the Lamaze breathing method (No, now is not the time for a Valium. Have you seen Sixteen Candles?)… removed sparklers from the hands of a 4-year old boy, helped the bride adjust the fit of her built-in-bra then attempt to anchor a weighty corsage onto the grandmother, who isn't wearing one (then crafted a wrist corsage). All while ensuring the wedding party is well fed and hydrated. On an average wedding day, we walk a total of 6-miles while onsite. We know the importance of good shoes, a pleasant smile, patience and discretion. But most importantly, we know that this precious day, will be a day remembered for the rest of their lives. So we do these very necessary, and sometimes unsavory, duties in order to make the day as stress free and flawless as possible for the bride, groom and their family.
And so, as I jump into this next wedding, which is sure to present it's own unique joys and challenges, I prepare my heart, mind and gigantic wedding emergency kit.
XOXO - Eva