The Wedding Planner Goes To A Wedding

I have to go to a wedding this weekend – as a guest. At one point in my career in events I moaned “Why can’t I ever just go and be a guest?” but these days I actually feel kind of uneasy at a wedding without a timeline in my hands, or  a headset in my ear.  I’m the ultimate accessory at this shindig – a groomsman’s wife.  So while my husband stands up looking handsome in his suit and tie, the poor bride, bless her heart, will have an event professional perched on a folding chair analyzing her celebration. It has nothing to do with her – she’s a perfectly lovely girl.  It’s a hazard of the profession that parties and weddings I attend personally (and didn’t have a hand in planning) become case studies. Sometimes I come away with brilliant, unique ideas.  Other times, things are woefully underplanned, and it’s painful to watch.  Even then, I end up making notes and learning a thing or two.

English: Wedding Planning also includes table ...

Picture me here – this weekend.

So I guess in the end, when you work in the event industry, anytime you go to an event, guess what? It’s work.  So to paraphrase seven little men, “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the wedding I go!”

I’ll be sure to share lessons learned and/or brilliant ideas.

Be well, and love well


Keep it Up! Using Your Weekend Wedding Planning Momentum

You brought your wedding plans

Keep planning this week! (Photo credit: petyr.rahl)

So you spent the weekend running around from wedding vendor to wedding vendor (perhaps you even worked in a visit to a certain Palm Springs florist?)
You got sooooo much done, you deserve a break, right? Well, you could but you’d lose a valuable commodity: your weekend momentum. You’re full of information! You know who to call next! Don’t take a nap and lose your place in the exciting story that is your big day. Just a quick tip.

Be well and love well

Coping When Neither The Candlesticks Nor The Happy Couple Dance With Joy At Your Being Their Guest

I posted recently about my hero, Lumiere the candlestick from ‘Beauty and the Beast’, who choreographs elaborate musical numbers to honor his guests. My point was that at its core, the point of party you’re throwing is celebrating with guests, if they are unhappy, something has gone wrong.

Alas, not all couples have gotten the memo.  Amy Dickinson, brilliant syndicated advice columnist and another (non-animated) hero of mine, addressed the issue of dealing with the fallout in her column today.  I repost her wise response to this worried MOB from the Toronto Sun.

Groomzilla plans wedding no one can attend

Amy Dickinson, Advice Guru My Little Flower Shop

Amy Dickinson, Advice Guru and a personal hero


   By ,QMI Agency

First posted: | Updated:

DEAR AMY: How can our family move forward from the mess of an overplanned, underattended wedding in Europe? The groom (in his mid-30s) has planned everything and excluded me, mother of the bride, from any of the plans. The bride’s siblings can’t afford (or can’t get vacation days from work) to attend.

Tuxedo Shirt 6-10-08 -- IMG_0638

Involved grooms are a good thing – don’t overgeneralize!

Yesterday, the groom called our son and offered to fly him to Europe for the wedding but made no such offer for the bride’s sisters. Of 200 invited guests, only 40 are expected to attend — no aunts, uncles or cousins. As the bride’s parents, we gave a fixed sum of money for the wedding but now, due to the small gathering expected, the couple will be making money on the deal.

Yesterday, the groom announced that the one family friend who can attend is not invited to the rehearsal dinner, after traveling 6,000 miles. A destination wedding sounds, at first, like a good idea, but when the day nears, it feels exclusionary, hollow and pretentious. As the mother of the bride, I am filled with sadness.

The couple has been engaged for two years, and we feel so burdened by the build-up, the bad decisions, the exclusions, waste and self-centredness of this event. How do families recover from this? I can’t see these relationships ever going back to normal.

I love my daughter very much, but I believe the consequences of this wedding will be the unravelling of our family. Is there any hope? — Heartbroken

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: You aptly describe the challenges when couples pour all of their attention into trying to create a fantasy day while causing real-world problems. Often these couples return home after their fantasy weddings seriously let down by the reality of marriage and family.

You and your husband should meet with the couple. Do not pile on and accuse them of creating a hollow and pretentious event, but do ask that they commit some of the money you contributed to helping family members attend the wedding.

Otherwise you should accept that this is not what you would have planned and not what you want (and perhaps not what the couple wants at this point, either). If your daughter is completely dominated by a “groomzilla” who is demanding and disrespectful, she is going to need your support moving forward. You may also have to accept that you and she have very different values.

Though this event might rend the fabric of your family, don’t make the mistake of assuming it will unravel.