3 Crucial ways to avoid a major wedding planning disaster

This poImagest is inspired by a bride I had a conversation with earlier this week who is in the middle of what some may consider to be a bride’s worst nightmare.  Imagine having booked your wedding venue, and having a coordinator assigned to you who says they are taking care of everything with regards to setting up the décor and the buffet.  You have out of town guests attending your wedding that is less than 6 months away, invitations are in preparation, your DJ, photographer, florals and cake have all been taken care of. Even your wedding dress and bridesmaid’s dresses have been chosen and paid for! All seems to be going well…until you can’t get a hold of your venue coordinator. Panic starts to set in as you stare at your empty inbox, you call the venue and get voice-mail, no one returns your calls until…you call one final time to be informed that your coordinator no longer works for the venue!

And that my fellow brides, is how you spell disaster. At this point, panic sets in and you have a million questions going through your mind. All of which are leading you into a downward spiral towards bridezilla on steroids at the corner of “you’ve got to be kidding me”. I felt so terrible for her; she was baffled, angry and worried about what she was going to do considering her wedding is 6 months away! 

So the question is; could this situation have been avoided?  Well in a perfect world, we would all love to be able to control everything…ok ok, maybe in MY perfect world. Reality is we can’t control whether or not someone keeps their job or decides to leave it, but we can take measures to ensure our best interests are protected.  When sealing the deal with any venue, they will want an initial deposit to hold  the wedding date for the venue, however that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t walk away empty handed.  

First, before you sign anything, ensure both you and your fiancée read over the contract and make note of any revisions you would like. If there is no contract, there’s no deal, no deposit…you need a contract!  Verbal agreements don’t protect anyone’s interests, having a contract makes all terms legal, binding and will protect you if anything should go wrong.

Secondly, if you are assigned a coordinator from the venue, sit down with them and discuss the terms of the contract and make certain you have the contact information of another coordinator or their assistant if they have one.  Discuss, in the event that something happens and your coordinator can’t be there or leaves, whatever the case- who will take over the planning of your day. You can even go as far as asking that something be put into the contract before you sign it.  It’s important that you think ahead and have a backup plan if plan “A” falls through.

One last thing for you to do in the event that something like this occurs is keep all of your email correspondence between you and your coordinator.  This way, if someone else needs to take over, you have everything on file and can easily forward them everything they need to take over quickly.  This will save time in meetings, phone calls and you can clarify any questions they may have and move forward.

Here is hoping this never happens to you, make sure you plan ahead and plan strategically, leaving nothing to chance.  Your wedding day is one of the most important days you want to remember…not the stress you went through to get there!

The big day…are you ready?

One of my favorite scenes of The Wedding Planner starring Jennifer Lopez was the first 10 minutes of the film.  She is giving the bride the “You’re timeless” speech, telling the minister “nature must call back later we are starting soon.”  She then gets her assistant Penny to demolish the “dark tower choking the AV” and then asks for the FOB (Father of the Bride) to be sent over…wait…Penny sent him over 2 minutes ago. In wedding planner code she says to Penny: “cover me up front the FOB is MIA” then, in a calm, elegant fashion she stops the flower girl from walking down the aisle and tells her “Count to 100 then start again ok?” She then finds the FOB slightly intoxicated, sitting on the stairwell and is talking to himself.  Jennifer Lopez opens her jacket and has EVERYTHING down to crazy glue, q-tips and mineral water spray for his face!! Then when he asks who she is, she smiles pleasantly and says “I’m the Wedding Planner.”The Wedding Planner

I would watch this with stars in my eyes and think to myself… I want to be like that. Of course Hollywood has a knack for making it look that easy and glamorous but I’m sure my fellow planners can relate.  It is so important to be ready, whether you realize it or not how smoothly the entire day runs…is all on you.  One of the most important life-saving tools you will need if the wedding is of reasonable size, is an assistant. It doesn’t make you look inadequate but the truth of the matter is: there is one venue, one if not many picture taking sites, one reception hall and one you.  So unless you want to be crazy gluing your heel back together from running and spraying your face the mineral water because you are sweating-have another pair of hands and divide and conquer that wedding like a boss!  Another detrimental thing to not only have memorized but have a hard copy of for you and your assistant is the “Day of Itinerary”. Consider this to be your Bible for all intents and purposes.  For the “day of” you are: commander of the troops, time keeper, problem solver, possibly but hopefully not the Dr. Phil/Referee and the Queen of “plan B” and you better have one! Itinerary; have it, know it, breathe it, live it, love it- become “one” with it.

Another essential thing as a wedding planner that you should have for every day of is a “Wedding First Aid Kit”.  This kit should include a few things such as pins- safety and bobby, sewing kit, Tide stick, breath mints and band aids.  A more extensive list can be found at the bottom of this post- I hope you find it useful in solving saving dresses, shoes, freshly manicured nails and mishaps during the day!

Lastly and probably just as important- stay composed at all times. Everyone and their “friend’s brother’s godmother” will be looking for you, calling you and relying on you at all times and if you aren’t collected- it comes crashing down.  A few days before the wedding do your best to try and foresee any potential road blocks or possible problems that could arise and formulate your back up plan. Be sure to discuss things over with the bride and groom so they are aware and can help you determine what is feasible or the best course of action to take.   Communication is essential before hand as the bride and groom will be occupied with family, friends and enjoying their special day so it’s up to you to be ready see that it’s as happy and as stress free as possible!

Wedding First Aid Kit:

  • feminine products
  • clear deodorant
  • clear nail polish (in case the panty hose gets a run),
  • nail polish remover
  • safety pins (in case the groom’s pants get a bust),
  • tissue (in case you get teary),
  • gum and mints (for in-close hugs and kisses),
  • case of water
  • bandaids/ Polysporin
  • sewing kit
  • refreshing face spray
  • superglue
  • double sided tape
  • Stress Tabs- any drug store
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tide stain removal
  • Comb
  • Bobbie pins
  • Eye lash glue
  • Boob padding
  • Nail clippers/File
  • Wet naps (for sticky fingers)
  • Face blotting tissues
  • Q-Tips
  • Tweezers
  • Razor