Not too long ago I did a series on hiring a wedding planner, and posted a letter from a bride who didn't hire us, and how she wished she did. It's here if you want to read it.
Recently, I found a post on the subject with with a tragic series of event that occured because she didn't hire professionals. I found this on one of my favorite people's blog, Mark from Queen of Hearts in Philadelphia.
A Cautionary Wedding Tale
You know that sinking feeling when your gut tells you something is really not a good idea?
That’s the feeling I ignored when my fiancé talked me out of hiring Mark Kingsdorf as my day-of wedding coordinator.
At the time, we were living in an historic home with beautiful grounds next to a stables, and chose to have our wedding at home as an obvious choice. The owners of the stables had taken some bit of persuading to allow us to have a wedding next door: so much so that they insisted that we hire valet parkers to avoid any possible disturbance to the horses as they were brought to and from their stalls and pasture. But somehow, I got it all together, including with a hefty insurance policy and a list of conditions.
My husband-to-be had gone to spend the night with his parents, and as the day of the wedding dawned with blue skies, I felt reasonably confident that I was well prepared for the event to come. I got a lot of teasing about the fact that I had typed up and handed out timelines and task lists, and in addition, I tacked up large posters with even more lists of who was doing what, by when, and how.
Seemed straightforward enough. Until I glanced out the window during a bathroom break between hair and make-up and saw that the tables and chairs were still stacked in a corner of the yard. This part of the set-up had been allocated to my fiancé’s friends, and apparently, not a single one of them had shown up.
I looked up at my carefully choreographed list and saw that I had made one fatal mistake – in my timeline, there was no room built in for error. To get even twenty minutes behind at this stage meant there would be no way everything would be set up on time for the ceremony.
I didn’t know where my fiancé’s friends were and I didn’t have a number to get in touch with them. Frantically, I called my future husband’s cell to no avail. Next, I called my in-laws’ house onlyto be informed that my fiancé was in the middle of a massage and couldn’t be disturbed! My friends and family suddenly found their work load doubled, and I ruthlessly sized up both the very young and the elderly for their suitability to be roped into the task.
Fuming silently – okay, maybe not so silently – I returned to the make-up chair with my updo slightly askew, cursing, panting and lightly sweating. Luckily, I had hired professionals for this job, as I was hardly looking like ideal bride material by this time. A couple of medicinal glasses of champagne later, I finally regained my composure.
With about ten minutes to go before the start of the ceremony, I couldn’t resist looking out the window to check on the progress outside, and that is where I saw, to my utterhorror, a van parked right in front of the pasture gate with the musicians unloading, totally blocking the way for a highly strung horse and his even more highly strung owner.
Frantically, I began yelling to try to get their attention to move the van. Without thinking, I began pounding on the window, and all of a sudden, I had everyone’s attention as my fist went straight through the historic seventeenth century glass and I started to bleed – profusely, in fact!
Oh *****! was my first thought.
Don’t bleed on the dress! was the second.
I’ve just destroyed a piece of our nation’s historic heritage, what am I going to do? That was the last semi-rational thought I had before I unraveled completely.
As far as my second thought was concerned, I had the great fortune that my future brother in law is an emergency room doctor, and even better, he happens to travel with everything you need to stitch up a bleeding bride. It’s a great thing that bandages come in bridal colors…
I was even luckier in the serious matter of replacing a seventeenth century window pane. I came back from my honeymoon to find, by way of fantastic coincidence,someone had decided to do some architectural restoration on another part of the house, and there, up a ladder, I discovered my very own historic window replacement specialist.
Moral of the Story: I dont' care who you hire, but hire a professional wedding planner!