Good evening ladies and gents!
This blog is a little more serious than others. I don't even really know where to start.
At every.single.wedding, SOMEONE says "I don't know how you do this every weekend." Usually, it's when the bride and her father are patiently waiting behind the closed ceremony doors. The tension is always super high then, and its my number ONE priority to keep my lady calm and focused on whats about to happen. I can hardly think of a time where the bride didn't look at me and say "I don't know how the (insert bad word) you do this every weekend." Sometimes, I don't know either.
I truly believe I was born to do this job. Some weeks are really, really hard. Planning a wedding is hard. Planning thirty weddings is HARD. In my personal opinion(please don't get offended anyone) to be an "AMAZINGLY TALENTED WEDDING PLANNER", you have to plan weddings. From start- to finish. I can rock out a "month of wedding" like no ones business, that is what I am trained to do. Planning a wedding from beginning to end is down right hard. Doing styled shoots and playing in pretty things all day does not make you a wedding planner. I have nothing against styled shoots, but you will NEVER see me posting a styled shoot picture on an advertisement as representation of weddings that I have planned. To me, a pretty picture that vendors donated the items does not make me a wedding planner. It makes me a great stylist, but not a wedding planner. I understand sometimes this is necessary when starting out. I had NO PICTURES for about 7 months into the planning world. I used my logo (it was awful) and a very generic wedding planner picture. To be a damn good wedding planner one must balance the stress of the real life budget issues, timing crisis, anxious bride, overbearing mother, keeping track of all those payments due, being able to respond to emails within 24 hours while you are out doing site visits and daily meetings all day- all of the above wrapped into trying to juggle more than 10 brides at a time. Whew. It's not walk in the park. It's not playing in pretty things. But it's worth every second.
I am going to be straight up honest here(again.) My first year, I was the hot new fresh wedding planner. Everyone and their momma (really) loved me. I'll be the first to admit it, I took way more weddings than I should have. But boy oh boy did I learn some lessons. 1)I can be a fabulous wedding planner to all my ladies when all I have to do is email all day and go on the occasional meeting. Keep in mind when someone hires you, their wedding isn't for probably another 6 months to a year away. In my first year, I wasn't running around the city like a mad woman for my bride who deserves every bit of my attention the week of her wedding. I was free to give attention to everyone. This absolutely changes the second year. 2) I cannot stress this enough. I get asked advice all the time on how to be a wedding planner. My second year was brutal. I managed to pull off nearly every wedding, but I pretty much worked myself to death. I didn't realize that the second year I was having to work a wedding every weekend. On top of being focused that week for the weekends bride, I was meeting with NEW brides for the FOLLOWING year, going to THEIR meetings, planning THEIR weddings, all in the meantime of keeping up with my current brides AND this weekends brides. Do you feel my stress?
I took a totally different approach for 2012. No way am I getting myself in that hell again. Never ever ever again. I now know what I can take and what I can handle. First year wedding planners (and brides) do not realize that of course their wedding planner is fabulous in her first year. Why wouldn't she be? Wait until their 2nd or 3rd year to start summing up how "amazing" they are.
I do not know how I would have made it without my catering experience. There were so many moments where I made a decision in a split second, and got miracles accomplished in 5 minutes. It's all part of the hussle. It really does take a special personality type to make it in this industry. While I can love weddings, love the knot, love me some ruffles and bling bling, no way in the WORLD would I have survived without my experience. Not everyone can master this and by no means am I claiming that I have this down to a science. But I try my hardest, and I am so thankful for all my old bosses who pushed me into perfection in my previous events.
Sometimes, a wedding goes bad. Really bad. Sometimes there are things I could have prevented, and sometimes things are simply out of my control. It's how you handle it, how you fix it, and how you move on. Some brides understand that sometimes things go wrong, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes they get really upset, and sometimes they don't. I've had my share of both. Any wedding planner that claims they have always had 100% happy brides is lying. If she's telling the truth, she hasn't worked many weddings(see above.) If you are like me and eat breathe and sleep your job, a bad wedding haunts you. When sometimes so tiny goes wrong(like the third candle up the aisle blowing out as bridesmaid number 3 passed it), I think about it all night. I never ever want the smallest detail to go wrong when a wedding is under my watch. I pride myself on keeping my cool even in the craziest of situations and 9 1/2 times out of 10 have what they feel is a perfect wedding. I don't know what it is, but as soon as we enter work mode something *clicks* and the light is on. This is what I call passion for your job, and I have plenty of it. There are MANY days where I am just tired. People have no idea the amount of hours, time, stress, loss of sleep, etc that goes into this job. Nothing annoys me more than someone saying "I want to start a wedding planning business, it seems so FUN!" Fun? Sure, it's fun. It's fun watching your bride and her groom dance the night away, it's fun watching them smash cake in each others face, that's all fun. What's not fun is doing hours of banking paperwork, payroll, marketing, licking envelopes to mail out business cards to the new 400 brides of the month. People have no idea. Are we complaining? NO WAY! But really, people have no idea.
Do I love it? I wouldn't be here if I didn't love it. There is nothing more satisfying then seeing my bride smile. That feeling that I get at the end of the night just warms my little heart. Nothing compares to that feeling of accomplishment. Seeing everything come to life and the flow of the wedding pan out perfectly. Ahhhh, almost better than a margarita on Sunday afternoon...
The lesson of this story is honesty. I get really annoyed seeing other vendors, particularly planners, just boast and boast about the color pink, sparkles, and the PRETTIEST dress they have EVER seen! Planning a wedding is a serious, serious job. I am no debbie downer, I love drooling over the pretty stuff. I looooove going to visit florist and help create the MOST perfect centerpiece ever. I l-o-v-e seeing my bride in her dress at the final fitting. I REALLY love going to the cake tasting and building a cake the bride has dreamed about her whole life....but after hours....planning a wedding is 70% logistics. Sometimes I think the bride doesn't realize how much time and effort goes into the behind the scenes(which is our #1goal!) I giggle like a little girl when I see the perfect bouquet, but what really gets me going is seeing my timeline pan out perfectly and all my vendors show up on time. A well planned AND executed wedding = a happy bride.
Nothing is sweeter and prettier than that.
The last lesson that I learned in 2011, is that I am not perfect. I will never be the perfect planner. To me that doesn't exist. Sometimes I just need a day to sleep(trust me you first year planners, you will get there.) But- I will wake up every single day, even on Sundays, and plan my heart out. I will stay up till all hours of the night and totally throw out business hours to get my work done. I will never, ever give up on a wedding-no matter what sh*t starts hitting the fan. I will meet a bride on a Saturday when I don't have a wedding. I will always always have my bride's back 100% and live eat and breathe her wedding as it is my own. My passion for this will never die, no matter how tired I get. I will forever know that I am meant to do this. I have met many great vendors along the way who have sent me positive messages pushing me to great success. I thank you for this!
"I don't know how you do your job." This is how. Too see that smile when they look at me with the ultimate thankfulness. It never gets tiring.