Do You Need a Wedding Planner?

So you’re getting married.  How exciting!  As the days tick by and you start planning for the big day, it may become confusing as to how much to spend, where to obtain specialized services, and how to choose vendors. The worries mount as quickly as the cost of the wedding. After the excitement wears off and the reality settles in, it is shocking to discover how much preparation and cost is involved.   Do you need a planner?  I cannot answer that question for you but I can tell you that hiring a planner allows you to sit back and just be a Bride.  You have to do what is comfortable for you and your budget.  Is it worth it?  Well consider these little hiccups:

Last Saturday was a beautiful day here in central Illinois.  The weather was actually cooperating for the lovely tent wedding at Broadview Manor.  The preparations were going great.  Simple Elegance Planners and Decor Designers have been working on this wedding for a year.  We have our T’s crossed and our I’s dotted.

Life was good….and now the day begins and here comes the hiccups as they always do.

Here is what the Bride and Groom knew about:
We started out with mending hurt feelings as there was a missing boutonniere for the groom’s brother-in-law, who wasn’t in the wedding – it was a gesture of respect and love & the groom’s sister was pretty upset that her husband didn’t have it.   The Groom actually made the Boutonnieres out of leather (really cool by the way) and just missed by one.  Yes, at time we become family counselors as well as wedding planners.
The ring bearer was adorable but just decided he wouldn’t wear his shoes (he walked down the aisle in socks!).  Actually it was cute.
The Band forgot to do the bouquet toss & garter toss even though they had an itinerary and actually the bride & groom weren’t upset about it.  They didn’t realize it hadn’t happened until the end of the night.
The programs for the church were accidentally picked up by one of the bridal party with their things so there was a mad rush to find them.  The Dad  returned them.  Not so tragic!
Now here comes the good stuff:
These are the things they did NOT know about:
Tables and Trays The caterer needed 2 more tables for her wash station Doug at Broadview helped us carry two out from the basement.
The caterer needed 3 tray jacks for bussing tables & serving the champagne  a phone call was made to Medici’s and we borrowed them from Medici.
Garbage Cans Since this was a “Green” Wedding we had several cans designated for recylceable items.   There was general confusion over which garbage cans were for composting, recycling, & garbage – many explanations later and labels we were in sync.
Here is the Biggy!  The family was concerned about the heat so we had rented an air-conditioned bathroom trailer .  We also had to have a generator to run the trailer.  No worries all is in place.  Generator is delivered and tested running great Saturday Morning.  Noon rolls around time to turn the air on in the trailer so it is comfortable once guests arrive. We have a ceremony that begins at 1 PM, guests will arrive around 2:30 pm.  The planners have now left the reception site with all things ready to go.  NOT!   The generator for the restroom trailer & tent lights starts…it runs but is now not putting out any power to to the trailer (which is pitch black inside and hot) and no juice to the lovely Italian lights in the tent.   12:30 pm still not working.  The decorating team desperately try to remedy the situation before calling Amber the Senior planner in charge.  12:45.. fifteen minutes before the ceremony begins a call to Amber was made,  “Help the generator is not working!”  Amber responded calmly on the outside so as not to alert the bride or the family to anything.  She then helped line everyone up and gave the reins to Katie and Kim (our assistants) to get the ceremony off.  Thank goodness it was a Catholic mass as now Amber rushes back to Broadview feverishly making phone calls on her way there.  The repair man was on his way.  1:30 still no power, 2:00 still no juice to the trailer, 2:30 guest begin to come still no electricity coming from the generator.  The bride and groom were off getting pictures in the lovely Horse and Carriage from Zach Hileman.  They were happy.  Finally before 3:00 it begins to run.  Another world tragedy diverted.
Cocktail Hour music!  The Groom was going to drop off the speaker that was compatible to their IPod on Friday to be used for the cocktail hour.  The problem is they forgot it in Champaign so they couldn’t get it to the reception site until later Saturday morning.  In other words there was no time to test it Friday.  Well, yes you guessed it the two components to run the Ipod music through the speaker were missing.  So the planners jumped into action.  Who has another Ipod with a cord?  Doug from Broadview did have a cord but not the adapter.  Kim the assistant ran to 2 different stores to find the correct adapter – the music began working just minutes before the bride & groom showed arrived.
Extension Cords The band was fantastic.  Just what Andrea and Andrew wanted.  They arrived and did not have enough extension cords…SE fill in and went back to the shop and got more extension cords.
MIA Bridal Party  This being a typical Bridal party they did as most Bridal parties often do, they separate when formal pictures are over..  The problem is that in spite of the fact that you tell them to please be back at such and such a time for announcements it never fails they BECOME MIA.  I realize it is because they have just gotten caught up talking.  The problem is when you have three hundred people it is hard to find people you have just met the night before and Dinner cannot start until you do the announcements! So the SE planners began the hunt to find of them on this large property and get them to the proper place for the formal introductions.
Picky eaters… Kids.   Many  of the mothers of the 74 children present were concerned with the menu choices and that their children wouldn’t eat them.  The caterer graciously made the choice to procure spaghetti & fettuccine Alfredo for the children to eat.  Thank you Connie from  “A Matter of Taste.”
The Caterer was swamped with the hand washing of the hundreds of plates from dinner (since we did not have a kitchen and it was just tubs on tables for a wash station you can understand why they were overwhelmed) so they needed help with serving  the dozens of pies to the guests.   The SE staff plated the pie so that guests didn’t have to serve themselves. Shuffling pies, putting them on plates as fast as people would take them..whew!
The Tent company needed their tent Sunday for another client and no one from  Broadview was able to be there Sunday morning.   Fortunately, after a few hectic phone calls Shelly got another tent from Pontiac, IL
Finding Lost property  Sad to say a guest lost an heirloom necklace, the team spent a greater part of the evening searching the grounds  – don’t know if it was located but Broadview assured them they would search the property the following week.
Now think about it for a minute..if there had been no one behind the scenes who would have taken care of this?  The poor Mother of the Bride!  Do you need a Planner?   I don’t know it is up to you.  But I will say if you do not hire a planner you should designate two friends to run your day.  They will have to be two people you trust and ones that won’t mind taking care of craziness and possibly miss seeing you walk down the aisle.  Yes you will owe them the rest of your life, maybe even your firstborn but make sure you have help so you can enjoy the day.
We laugh at these moments when they are over but the day of a wedding is very hectic and stressful and we do this for a living!  We try very hard to make sure everything is in place but imperfection abounds and things always, yes I said, “ALWAYS” go wrong.
So you’re getting Married?  Keep it in perspective, enjoy the moment!

 

 

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