Ever since the movie “The Wedding Planner” came out, the role of a real San Diego wedding planner, consultant, coordinator, etc…has been ridiculously glamorized. It is surely the catalyst for young women who suddenly decide that they want to be a Wedding Planner!
For a small group of us, this is our heart and soul, bread and butter and our full time job. It’s not a hobby or something we thought might be fun to do. We take our role seriously and understand that there are no “do-overs” in a wedding. It must be done right the first time but there is a lot leading up to the Big Day. As a full service planner, lining up a bridal party and sending them down the aisle on cue, is a mere fraction of what I do. There are actually many hats we, as Wedding Planners wear during the process. Here are a few from my own experiences with almost 400 weddings successfully completed to date:
Shopping Buddy: Many of my brides are from smaller towns or out of town and want to shop for wedding dresses here in San Diego and they don’t have friends or family to bring along for a second opinion. Well, twist my arm – I will go shopping with you! Over the years I have really come to understand a bride’s style and with knowledge of her budget, am able to direct them to designers who are the perfect fit for them.
Secret Keeper: Over all my years in the business, I have kept many secrets on behalf of my couples. From a surprise fireworks display from the groom to his bride, to a bride’s brother who was overseas and wanted to surprise his sister by attending her wedding, to a couple who were already married but their parents didn’t know as they secretly eloped and now were having the big wedding!
Bad Guy: As a coordinator, we often have to step into the unpleasant role of letting guests know that their children are not permitted to attend the festivities (of course we find them a sitting service), or having to shush a very loud group of friends, typically near the bar, while the formal toasts are being given. And my personal favorite, fending off wedding crashers… It amazes me constantly that young people in board shorts and flip flops feel they will just blend in with the formal attired wedding guests and then are so offended when asked to leave!
Family Therapist: It’s unavoidable, with families comes drama. Families are different these days and to have two sets of married parents of a bride and groom is not as common. For divorced families, I have to ask questions about the relationship between the parents: can they both sit in the front row or do we need a buffer? Are they both paying for the wedding or only one of them? This can cause an uncomfortable situation down the road when it comes to the invitation wording, who is giving the Welcome Toast, etc. Sometimes it’s simply sibling rivalry between sisters, the older un-married sister or the younger sister being bullied by the older married sister who knows all about wedding planning.
Maitre’d: I make a point not to dress as a wedding guest when I am working and also not to eat amongst the guests. Wearing a suit, however, must make me look so official that I am constantly pulled over by dining guests who are too cold! too hot! need water! more wine! where’s the coffee? that light is blinding me! my hearing aid can’t take this rock and roll music! where is the bathroom? are there nuts in this sauce? I am deathly allergic to nuts! Can they cut the cake earlier because we can’t miss the last half of the series game!! Really???
Babysitter: I am sure almost every Wedding Coordinator will nod in agreement if reading this about how often we are thrown in as a babysitter of unruly young children while the adults delight in dining and dancing. I can firmly say that I am not a fan of young children at a wedding. Who hasn’t seen the dance floor being turned into a skating rink with children sliding around in their socks? Or the child who pokes their little finger into the sweet wedding cake for a taste? Or chasing each other endlessly between the tables of a grand ballroom, nearly crashing into waitstaff carrying plates of hot filet mignons. And of course, they don’t last long….one hour after the cake is cut and served, you’ll find the little guys tuckered out sleeping on four chivari chairs pushed together to make a haphazard bed using daddy’s suit jacket as a blanket. I’m just saying…..
Interpretor: It certainly helps having a hotel catering background in my job. How else would I be able to explain what an BEO or EO is (Banquet Event Order/Event Order) to family who has just booked a venue and it’s trying to understand their contract and estimate. Why can’t everyone just order anything off the menu they like when they get to their tables? Answer: because banquet kitchens are not set up like a restaurant – food is purchased after the guest counts come in. What do you mean one drink per hour, per person – who drinks that much? Well, twenty and thirty-somethings do, that’s who. While Mom and Dad and their friends may tee-total it after two drinks, it’s really a wash for those that drink more than the average. The estimate is always just that, but who wants to be surprised by bar bill?
Victoria Weddings and Events is a San Diego Wedding Planner with over 400 weddings planned, experience means everything! Most weddings involve as many as 20 different vendors, so think of Victoria as your conductor to an amazing orchestra of talent to ensure your day goes the way you expect!