This is a personal story that I experienced last Summer and has made me realise the importance of why we all need wedding planners. I won’t go into all the reasons you definitely need one but this story will certainly help you realise at least one good reason to hire an event planner. And I’m not just saying this because I also work for an events management company 😜
To introduce this story I have to tell you a little about who the happy couple are to us and why we would do anything for them.
By us, I mean my fiancé and I, as the groom was really his best friend from as early as he could remember. They were next door neighbours until his best friend moved a couple miles away. Many years down the line and we have moved closer to him and his new wife. Not that we were that far apart but living 5 minutes from each other now is much easier. His family have a nice big house to accommodate the 4 sons who bedsit every now and then. Every year, either for Summer or New Year’s Eve, the family hold a house party you’ll never forget. They definitely know how to entertain their guests. For example, one summer they had a garden party with a Caribbean steel band, another they had a Mariachi band, and yes it was the actual band from the Doritos advert. One year they even made their back garden into a Hawaiian beach! For New Years Eve they turned the ground floor of their house into a casino with a bartender and magician. So imagine how their wedding would be!
Organising a wedding can be so stressful but everything seemed to be in hand on the day and all the preparations by the bride and groom were going to plan. Everyone arrived at the church on time, the ceremony ran smoothly, guests lined themselves outside the church to shower the newly weds with confetti.
After the greek traditions at the Church in London we all drove up to Bedfordshire for the reception where we were treated with Canapés and Prosecco. Except I only managed to get one sip of my bubbly and a bite of my feta pastry before I was swiftly taken to the side in a hurry.
“We have a BIG problem! Did you bring your calligraphy pens?”
“Of course I did…what has happened to my mirror?!” I yelped.
“Your mirror is fine but the florist for the centrepieces hasn’t turned and got the wrong month, she’s in Greece!!! I need you to make something with your calligraphy to use as a centrepiece!” he proclaimed.
Although I would love to do more calligraphy for the day, there was just nothing to write on that would look good in the time I had to prepare. I also had a clingy 2 year old stuck to my leg who had just woken up from her car ride nap. In this situation I had no idea what to do. I knew by this time, at five o’clock, most of the local florists would be soon closing by the time we found them. I then got roped into finding all the groomsmen for the wedding photos and checking into our room for the night. It was absolute chaos but we kept this all out of sight from the bride.
Fifteen minutes later… my fiancé, who for once was more on the ball than I was, comes strutting through the doors with another groomsman. Their arms filled with an assortment of flowers. Sunflowers, Tulips, Roses, Orchids, Lilies. You name it, they had it.
Dilemna number 2… where can we find vases? Luckily, we were staying at the stunning Hinwick House that boasts elegant decor dating back to 1710. Running up and down the stairs the boys managed to rummage and gather 12 vases. Ok, one was a water jug, but 11 vases was incredible to find at the last hour. We then gathered all the bridesmaids and my mother-in-law to arrange all the pretty flowers into the vases and onto the tables with one minute to spare before guests entered through. Phew!
Calm and orderly is how my father-in-law normally drives, but if it has anything to do with a family emergency then he will whizz that car around town like there’s no tomorrow. Of course, you must be thinking how they could get flowers at this late in the day? And yes, the local florists were already all closed. So being in the middle of nowhere they screeched the breaks and pulled alongside two young lads walking across the road. A little bit startled by the formally dressed men popping their heads out of the window, shades on like they were the Men in Black, they reluctantly approached the car to offer their help.
“There’s a florist across the road but they are closed like all the others around town. Have you tried the Co-Op here? You could just buy all their flowers if it’s enough.” one of the young lads advised.
Off they ran into the local mini market.
“How much discount will you offer me if I buy all of your flowers right here, right now? There’s no way you’ll sell all these flowers before they die!” my fiancé explains to the lady behind the til.
You have to love him for his skills in negotiation. A little flirtation from the second groomsman and the deal was done for half price. Fantastic, job done and off they zoomed back to Hinwick House.
Planning parties and weddings can be fun especially when it isn’t your day job, and with our own jobs we all have to have some organisational skills. We even have to schedule our own lives even if you’re a stay-at-home mum, so organising a wedding should be a breeze, right? Well, we all know it’s not and how much do we actually know about planning a wedding if it’s not actually our day job? We don’t have the experience from learning from our mistakes, unless of course this is your second wedding. With a wedding planner, they will have that experience. The experience like this story knowing to keep on top of your suppliers and make sure everyone is lined up and scheduled to turn up on the day. Signing a contract 6 months before your wedding and relying on all your suppliers to be organised and reliable normally does work. A planner however, will double check everything and has factored in the time to do this.
Another lesson to learn is that a wedding planner, especially those who offer On The Day services can help you in these types of emergencies. We were lucky that my fiancé was quick on his feet to save the day but he did have a lot to do on the day already. It did take him out of some of his other duties as well like taking pictures with the bride and groom as Best Man for the official photos. He was also running all the logistics of the day with his own printed out schedule. Sounds very familiar to an event planners role. He was first to the church to welcome guests and as soon as the couple were wed he jumped in the car and shot up to the reception venue making sure all was set up and again he could welcome and direct guests as they arrived. Don’t get me wrong, he loved every minute of it and it definitely gave him an ego boost but he never got to experience being a guest himself until the dancing started.
So, are you planning a wedding any time soon? Just remember that it is your special day and you want to enjoy every moment of it and so do your friends and family. If you have the budget for it, take a step back and let someone who has the experience make your special day run smoothly.