by Danielle Andrews Sunkel and a bunch of WPIC Certified Wedding Planners
One of my favorite blog posts to date is, “The Not-So-Glamorous Life of a Wedding Planner“. WPICers told stories about their craziest and least-glamorous times on the job, so here is Part 2.
People think being a Wedding Planner is all glamour and fluff, not real work, well let us tell you about that…
I asked our WPICAlumni community, “What have you done for a couple that you never realized would be a part of being a professional wedding coordinator?”, most of us had many examples:
- “I made several dress holders out of garbage bags so my bride could pee in private and not require anyone to hold her dress.
- I’ve driven the couples’ grandparents home during the reception.
- I’ve also driven a stranded bridesmaid home after a fight with her boyfriend at the wedding.
- Cleaning a bathroom when the venue refused to because they said the guests were too messy, LOL.
- Written the entire MC speech and program for a very reluctant MC (the couple had no idea, still don’t).
- I cut and plated the wedding cake for 100 guests because the caterer was used to corporate events and had never cut a wedding cake.
- Something I never thought I would have to do: fold the napkins for the entire guest list. ” -Danielle Andrews Sunkel, The Wedding Planners
“The list goes on and on, but includes:
- Building & Staking 180 solar lights.
- Running guests from the reception tent to the washrooms under an umbrella all night (over 200 guests and not 1 brought their own umbrella-they used the 3 I had for the whole night.)
- Busing tables.
- Learning how to run a generator.
- Finding lost items in the reception site the day after the wedding.
- Picking up garbage and beer cans from the grounds.
- Driving to 3 different venues the day after the wedding to collect various borrowed and rented items.
- Making 2 trips into town to buy beer, wine and water on the father of the groom’s credit card.
- Asking guests to use the bathrooms provided and not pee 10 feet from the tent.” -Ashlie Metcalf, Harmony Wedding & Event Coordinator
- “Helping a catering company to cut and pass out the cake (Same catering company helped me earlier to get rid of 10,762 ants that came out of the peonies in centrepieces)
- Folding 199 napkins into pocket folds for menus (with Gaitree, LOL!) because the venue would only put them in glasses
- Driven a photographer home from Caledon to downtown Toronto, then he asked me out for drinks…(I said no)
- Break up a photo shoot that the MIL set up for herself, so that the couple’s individual shots could get done
- Hidden a couple from the parents so they could practise their first dance & have a few minutes alone, & blocked the door (I ushered them outside & told the Mother I hadn’t seen them)
- Filled toilet paper and paper towels dispenser. I had to get supplies from an upstairs room that was supposedly HAUNTED. *My assistant refused to come with me…LOL” -Tracey Manailescu, Tracey M Events
- “Lifted up a bride’s dress during the photo shoot to place a battery operated fan underneath her dress (over and over again as they walked) to keep her cool.
- Drove to the bride’s family house and “broke into” the house (with the permission) to get her speech
- Checked in on a dog ring-bearer throughout the night to make sure he had enough food/water
- Pulled a wedgie from a bride’s bum, UNDERNEATH her dress because she couldn’t reach it
- Set up an entire wedding tent (ceremony chairs, head table, guest tables, bar, linen, cutlery, glassware and flatware, folded 200 pocket napkins) on a farm (next to a mosquito infested marsh) with an assistant who was 5 months pregnant in the middle of July
- Ordered 150 cheeseburgers from McDonald’s and picked them up for a late night buffet
- Cut a wedding cake with a rubber spatula on the back patio of a venue because we were evacuated for possible building combustion (needless to say the cake looked spectacular on paper plates! LOL)
- Drove a photographers car around downtown Toronto because he decided last minute he could capture better photos if he was on the bus with the bridal party
- IRONED satin napkins to a fold because the bride had to have a pocket fold with her slippery satin napkins
- Went to the MoH’s hotel room (she gave me the room number, and key) to get her speech. The key didn’t work, so I had to go to the front desk to explain what was going on, thankfully they let me in. I texted the MoH when I got there and didn’t find the speech. Found out I was in the WRONG ROOM and had gone through this person’s things! Had to go back down to the front desk to get the key for the right room. [Seriously sometimes I think I could get charged for breaking and entering.]
- Running servers from the food tent to the reception tent with a umbrella over the food so that it stayed dry, meanwhile we were soaking wet!
- Chased a guest outside the venue to track down rented escort card holders, table number holder and napkin rings they thought they could keep!
Oh my gosh! There are so many!” – Kim Choy, Morganley Events
“I had to find my bride’s chihuahua that was hiding in her parents basement because she wouldn’t leave for the church without a photo of her and her dog.” Maria Sun Dela Cruz, Envision Elegance
- “Ordered & paid for pizza for a band because the venue didn’t want to feed them
- Convinced party crashers they weren’t the brother of the groom at a NYE wedding at an ultra-formal wedding (crashers were white and wore jeans, groom is a family friend and Chinese)
- Set up an entire tented wedding while 5 months pregnant … Wait, Kim already mentioned that one.
- Ate dinner from common dishes by the light of cell phones with 4 photographers behind the backdrop.” -Erin Bosak, Erin Bosak Weddings
- “Assembled candelabras at the venue for the centerpieces – in two hours!
- Chiseled incorrect names off an ice sculpture for the ice cream bar .” -Alessia Velocci & Daniela Voci, aVd Events Inc.
“Having to use the Men’s room at a park wedding (not by choice)!” -Valerie Gower, The Occasion Sensation
- “Escorted a venue security guard off the premise, as he was asking guests for food.
- Booked a (last-minute) nail appointment for the bride as she decided to `fix`her shellac nails 2.5 hours before the ceremony. I tried to stop her, but she refused my suggestion for having my assistant and I fix her nails instead. She was willing to `sacrifice`other things for the nails…such as first look photos…
- Confirm that there was indeed a DEAD DEER in the middle of the driving path down to the main roads.” -Phoebe Lo, Phoebe Lo Events
- “Folded 100 Napkins in a very complicated napkin fold because the venue couldn’t.
- Printed out menu cards for the couple because the printer messed up and put the wrong couple’s names on the menu.
- Became ‘security’ for a couple’s mother-in-law when she attempted to cause a scene disrupting the reception introductions.
- Cleaned up Bathrooms at a venue.
- Stepped in as the MC when the original MC got too drunk to perform his duties.
- Stepped in as a ‘photographer’ when the hired photographer decided to leave early.
- Steamed table linen at a venue. Etc. Etc. Etc. There is soo much.” -Denise Newell, WeDDings Jubilee
- “Moved over 100 chairs for an outdoor ceremony with 2 other ladies (since the “men” asked didn’t show up)
- got a band member to download the first dance song to play on their laptop since the person with the song didn’t have it on their phone
- reattached fake eyelashes with a toothpick several times
- got suckered into dancing with an old family friend of the bridal couple.
- made a toss bouquet out of centerpiece flowers 2 mins before the bouquet toss
- spraying a band down with bug spray as they were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes
- protected cupcakes from being devoured while they were being set up so the couple could see them and the photographers could get photos. Guests were trying to reach around the cake makers!
- I had to assemble 137 favors (glue lace and ribbon on jam jars and add stickers), and 2 hrs before ceremony was told flowers needed to be made out of fabric and florist wire! In 2 hours my assistant and I made flowers, boutonnieres, and made 3 bouquets. We were given limited instructions, but at least the bride had flowers to walk down the aisle with! Also had to put up a makeshift backdrop using fishing line, table runners and safety pins to hide huge grey emergency exit doors behind the head table. It was a long, hard day, but so worth it when the couple (and brides parents) told me I saved the day! ” -Amanda Kueneman, Like A Star Weddings & Events
“Running to the liquor store to replace 4 dozen bottles of wine.” -Louise Muller, Perfect Day Ventures
- “Shaving the back of the groom’s neck because he realized, while getting dressed, that it would probably look better in pictures if his hairy back didn’t merge with the hair on his head….
- Talking the bride out of leaving the reception in the middle of dinner… in the rain, in a very muddy parking lot
- Washing the walls at the reception venue during set-up because they were “clean enough” despite being covered in weird brown sticky stuff….
- Combing a rather large park trying to find a rather small broach that the bride lost at some point during photos.” -All Bandry, Ally Kat Designs
“My first and last “Day of” Co-ordination, the bride told me she was DIY’ing the centrepieces and bringing them to the venue already put together. All I had to do was place them. No Problem. What she really meant was she was gonna roll in 30 min before guests arrive dump a dozen buckets of fresh flowers on me and some floral foam and wish me luck! Thank god I had my pruning sheers, wire, and floral tape in my emergency kit. ” -Arthur K., Fusion Events
- “Climbed up a 10ft ladder at 1am to pull down 200 lanterns because the decorator couldn’t come back for the rented magnets holding the lanterns up!
- Transport 26 table decorations (12 inches wide) in the limo bus to the venue in 40 degrees.
- Stood out in the pouring rain waiting for the taxi to turn up from McDonald’s with 200 cheeseburgers for the night table.” -Vicky Nicholas, Perfect Planners
- “I wrote the MOB speech welcoming the groom into the family because she didn’t know him that well.
- Once I grabbed flowers from the bushes outside the Church for the bride and MOH when the bouquets were left in the limo that pulled away and gone…..
- Scripting name cards for 100 guests when the bride forgot them – gotta love your calligraphy pen
- Pay [out-of-pocket] for items that weren’t paid for
- Babysit white doves until their release (they are really pigeons and they do strange things in that box)” -Claudia Kent, Nestleton Waters Inn
- “I helped a maid of honour up to the bridal room cause she was [very intoxicated] and held her while she was sick.
- One bride hated mosquitos but refused to put bug spray on… so she gave me those electric mosquito wackers that looks like a tennis racket… hahaha so I walked around all night at her outdoor wedding…wacking mosquitos LOL” -Cisilia Chan, CC Weddings & Events
- “We too wrote an entire MC speech on the spot because he showed up with nothing prepared and thought he would just “wing it”
- Acted as a bouncer outside a bridal suite so that the couple could have a private moment (aka get it on) before cocktails. True story – we even had to ask the one of the videographers to leave the room who was using the space to work on their same day edit that was being shown that evening.
- Assembled two antique doors used for a ceremony backdrop onsite with a drill, hammer and nails. This was of course supposed to be dropped off assembled.
- Had to ask a guest to leave and escorted them off the premises as she was beyond intoxicated and making a scene.” – Liz Scheniman, Gush Events
- “Taping the ‘ladies’ into dresses
- Cutting people off from the bar
- Driving home stranded guests who then in turn throw up in my car
- Cleaning up dog doodoo from the ceremony entrance prior to bride walking down the aisle at an outside location!” -Charlotte Burhoe, C Jayne Events Ltd.
“I had to wait in the parking lot at the back of the banquet hall in the middle of November, in the dark,while a truck with a vat of Portuguese soup was supposed to arrive to be served during the dinner. One of the groom’s relatives made the soup and didn’t provide enough sausage for everyone, so after having my husband (who was my assistant) carry the soup on a cart into the kitchen, I had to explain to the manager to cut the sausages into tiny pieces so that everyone got enough.. Lol.. Not to mention, the people who delivered the soup didn’t speak a word of English, so there was no asking questions of any kind..But it all worked out and the soup tasted great!! B & G were happy so thats all that matters in the end!!! ” – Malvina Pelleriti, Brilliant Weddings
“Had to pull apart the bride’s and bridesmaids bouquets and create completely new ones with the existing white flowers already in the bouquets. Bride ordered purple flowers and got everything but purple in them. It was an outdoor wedding at the venue and the bride used the venue’s florist, who went home after she made the bouquets. The bride walked in and saw the bouquets and immediately burst into tears and hyperventilation. That is the fastest I have ever made bouquets.” – Maxine Gacek, A Wedding by Maxine
“My personal favourite was putting together an entire ice cream buffet table because the caterer ‘didn’t have time’. There we were cutting up strawberries and bananas & setting out waffles bowls LOL.” -Jennifer Clark, Kiss The Bride Wedding & Event Coordination
- “Put out a fire at the church when the florist had her nephew (to save $ on have a staff member help her) light the candleabras, and set some of the fake flowers on fire
- Cut up ALL the pies, cakes, tortes etc. at a buffet in record time as guests were lined up for dessert but the hall had no one available to cut them
- Provide some body spray from my emergency kit for a groomsman that I caught in the bridal suite sneaking through the bridesmaids bags, looking for their deodorant (he’s a sweaty dancer lol)
- Instead of sitting at the vendor’s table, bride had me sit at a table and police her “sketchy” cousins who were capable of stealing the venue silverware, etc.” -Candice Meier, Stages by Candice
- “Got very up close and person with a bride to get her dress to not show off some of her assets. She said, “This isn’t the first time you’ve done this is it?” (I guess I had some skills her bridesmaids didn’t to solve the problem)
- Stop a very drunk groomsmen (numerous times) from playing a very, let’s just say sassy, video of the groom and friends at a party. I told him I couldn’t get it to work, on top of that it wasn’t a good idea.” -Amanda Douglas, Amanda Douglas Events
“A few of my most memorable:
- I had to find seats and meals for 20+ late guests (like 2 hours late!) who also did not RSVP! And some of them wanted to sit with people they knew!
- I helped a bride “put together” centrepieces the day before the wedding. I didn’t realize that all of the vases, candles, and rocks would still be in boxes, with stickers on them and uncleaned. It took us 4 hours!
- I had to find and pick up a new bouquet for the bride two hours before the ceremony started because she didn’t like the one that was delivered. Thank goodness there was a florist that had enough peonies on such short notice!” -Tiffany Lue, Tiffany Events
I’m not saying we’re superheroes, but no one has ever seen a superhero and a wedding planner in the same room.