As I sit here sipping a massive vat of coffee with one eye open and pondering this week’s blog, it occurred to me that we’ve never really featured any pre-wedding goodness. And, well, why would we? With no pretty wedding pictures or behind-the-scenes sillies to share, it never seemed logical. But I’ll tell you, the planning is where it’s at, friends. All those pictures we like to show off from our awesome photographer friends with so many pretties from our equally as awesome wedding pro friends? Those photos tell stories. Stories of laughter and growing friendships with our couples; of to-do lists and the daily race to conquer our inboxes; of phone calls and meetings and collaborating and drawing and revising and calculating and laboring over the dreaded R-word (I know…); of tears of joy and tears of exhaustion; of pure excitement in knowing we had a hand in bringing a couple’s wedding vision to life . . . So many stories where the heart and business collide, that not sharing seems borderline absurd.
You see, as a wedding planner (or anyone in the wedding industry, really), there’s no such thing as a “typical day” at the office. One email or phone call can become an immediate priority, oftentimes consuming an entire day, and plans of conquering that to-do list and/or inbox are quickly deflated. A planning call with a bride, for us, translates to: at least an hour or so of prep-work reviewing the wedding and getting our ducks in a row (because let’s face it, these little brain folds are losing their oomph and the ability to store thousands of wedding details across multiple weddings at a time is not so much working out. And I usually try to answer questions with more of a response than “uhhh…”), an hour or so on the call itself, and immediately tackling the to-do list that oftentimes transpires from that call (again, brain fold retention at an all time low = need to tackle follow-up items ASAP…). What about those days where we’re “in meetings”? Meetings = lots of driving. Lots. And lots of talking and note-taking and advice-giving and voice-of-reasoning and playing mediator and thinking logically — and they’re generally an all-day affair. How about the wedding day itself? As much as we would love to wake up next to our sweet brides with a mimosa in-hand, or hang out all day fluffing and buffing and running errands, or show up an hour before the ceremony to send everyone down the aisle (and then party the night away at your reception!), that’s just not the case (thank you, reality TV and JLo). We’re ensuring all those moving parts are singing together harmoniously, and there aren’t any major snafus to sort through (lost power? no problem. A/C unit blowing heat into the tent? no problem. tide coming in higher than we expected and have to cram 300 chairs on the beach for a ceremony? no problem. rental truck blow a tire? no problem. rain cloud appear out of nowhere and now we’re scrambling to protect your pretties? no problem.). When we say “we’ve got this”, we really do. And we kind of like knowing that you’re going about your day none-the-wiser. :) That itinerary? Yeah…
In a tiny nutshell, that’s the “business” side of being your wedding planner. The side we don’t like for you to see. The side we try to keep at bay so you can keep on pinning (channeling my inner-Dory) and so we can handle the busy-work to keep things running nice and smooth on your end. The side that we, as your wedding planners, don’t really share because we genuinely love our couples . . . and know that the day-to-day of what we do can sometimes seem like it lessens the special-ness of your day, or may cause you to think you’re “just another bride”. Well, I can assure you, you’re not. There’s a whole other side to being a wedding planner that – while you probably do see a small side of it – also doesn’t get shared much because, honestly, it’s tough to articulate. And since I obviously have a really hard time with words (hello, current word count of 687…), I’ll do my best to explain.
To be a wedding planner, you obviously need to be a people-person. You also need to have a thick-skin, juggle being pulled in multiple directions and be able to “turn on the happy” at any given moment. Wearing your emotions on your sleeve doesn’t work well in this industry; brides look to you as their sense of calm and as the person who has it all together. Broadcasting how crazy your life is on social media is a big no-no, and whining about the 18-hour day you just put in won’t exactly win you any awards in the awesome wedding planner category. No, brides want calm. Brides want no stress. Brides want someone they can go to as their peace-keeper and their side-taker in any situation. Brides want to feel as though they’re your only bride — special and unique and different from the others. But I’ll tell you very honestly: Although we have a million things zooming through our brains at any given moment, and way too many people to try and make happy everyday, every single one of our brides IS unique and special and different from the others. This is where the business-side and the heart-side collide for us, and where I personally struggle separating at times. This has been weighing on my heart pretty heavily lately — and after a meeting with this weekend’s brides yesterday, and the true friendships that have formed with these two amazing people, the heart-side of what we do day in and day out definitely hit me pretty hard. No matter how challenging life gets or how much work goes into a wedding, at the end of the day, the heart-side, for me, triumphs.
Though I write this from my perspective, I can imagine this rings true for so many of us in the wedding industry. I never thought that almost three years after starting this journey planning one of the most important days in a couple’s life, I’d have so many reflections of clients-turned-friends. It’s surprising to me, yet humbling and heart-warming all at the same time. As I read through the sweet notes and emails from couples-turned-friends, and reflect on the graciousness of you all, I can’t help but sit for a moment and be truly grateful to have formed so many bonds with so many amazing people. And I think about how for you, too, the heart triumphs through this entire process. We genuinely take your wedding to heart, and truly, genuinely hope for your wedding to be the best. day. ever.