Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Perfect Wedding

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of helping my friend Alice orchestrate a beautiful wedding for 350 people. The ceremony was at dusk in a very old boxwood garden in that perfect climate of a soft fall evening. The bride was a vision in a lace gown from Monique Lhuillier The guests dined on quail under a tent made festive with the colors of fall: dark coral roses, linens of copper and gold, bronze candelabrum held hundreds of candles that lit up the space. Later the happy couple and their guests danced the night away in a lounge setting created just for the event, the low sofas were decked out in lush silk pillows plumped to perfection and the air was rich with the scents of fall. Ahh, what a lovely, flawless evening it was.

And now for the rest of the story…did things go wrong? Of course, this is after all real life not Hollywood. Did they matter, not a bit, they weren’t even noticed and here is why. First of all there was a planner. A planners job is to smooth out any rough spots. The caterer was running behind schedule and with 350 guests and four buffet lines it could have been a nightmare, but it wasn’t. The cake cutting was stretched a bit and the line of communication was working well. Rather then the planned unnoticeable flow from cake cutting to dinner the five minute or so wait allowed the anticipation to build slightly and when the doors leading to the tent were opened to was a grand ceremony met with ohhs and ahhs. What could have easily become a bottleneck of all 350 guests at the closest buffet line was averted by well placed staff directing the first guests to the farthest buffet. Everyone was served with speed and efficiency because the planner and catering staff worked together on the issue of crowd management. A minor snafu translated into perfection from the guests’ point of view. This is why you hire professionals.

The second reason that this particular wedding was so amazingly stress free and wonderful was because of the bride. You see, she is a wedding photographer. Having documented the good, the bad and the ugly she knows weddings inside and out. She knows what can happen and what can’t. Unlike a bride with no background in the business this young lady knew that being a bridezilla wasn’t going to get her anywhere. If, as happened, the flower girl refused to wear her hydrangea wreath upon her head that it didn’t really matter. It also didn’t matter that the ribbon roping off the aisle was not the right ribbon. This my friends is the difference: I have worked with brides that are so stressed and such hard core micromanagers that either of these things would have sent them into an ear blistering tirade or a fit of tears; thus in fact ruining the day. For this bride, the fact that at the end of the day she would be married to the man she loved was all that mattered. She understood that the rest is only window dressing.

It doesn’t matter if your wedding is for ten people in your parents backyard of 350 at a mansion, the right attitude and a bit of a this can be ok if we let it outlook will make all the difference in the world. Happy planning.

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