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“Feeling Good” Chronicles of a Wedding Coordinator

By: Tracey Manaielscu

I asked our WPIC Alumni recently to share some of their most rewarding memories from weddings they have coordinated. We will be sharing these memories with you, our readers over the next few months.

Mary Swaffield of Lavish – Wedding Planning & Design in Calgary, AB sent us this :

Photo credit: As I See It Photography

Mary "One of the most rewarding experiences I've had as a Planner occurred last summer at Chateau Lake Louise. The bride had scheduled her 5 bridesmaids (most of whom had just flown in from Japan for the wedding) to have their hair done at the hotel salon. However, the morning of the wedding, when they went to the salon for their appointment, they found it locked up. The bride contacted me and my team went to work trying to find out what the explanation was. As it turned out, the stylist who had been scheduled to do their hair had been rushed into surgery back in Calgary and would not be able to make it. The back-up stylist for the salon was unreachable.

The bride was devestated and asked me what could be done. Her bridesmaids were panicking and upset. Surely we could do something…

I remember leaving the set-up of the reception area to sit down and brainstorm. Lake Louise is not exactly a bustling metropolis – there was no-where to call, no salons that we could contact. Banff was hours away, and it was a Saturday in June – undoubtably, every stylist in the Rockies was probably booked solid.

Suddenly, it came to me!

The day prior, we had visited the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner was to be hosted. The manager had taken the time to show us around and give us the history of the unique restaurant. During this time, she talked quite a bit about her own history… which included working as a hair stylist for a decade.

BINGO! I grabbed my phone and called the restaurant. No answer. I hit re-dial over and over again for about 15 minutes straight, until I finally reached someone. I asked for the manager, and they told me she was unavailable. I expressed my urgency and they promised to find her and have her call me. In the meantime, I was fielding calls from the tearful bride, who felt that she had let her friends down and ruined their experience. Please oh please couldn't I help? I crossed my fingers and waited for the phone to ring.

Finally – the manager called me back. I explained the situation and said that I needed someone to do their hair. She said, "there isn't really anyone in the area". I said "well, there kind of is, actually". Silence. "OH," she exclaimed – "you want ME to do their hair!".

Amazingly, she agreed, and after finding someone to take her place at the restaurant, she made it to the Chateau in no time flat, and managed to get all 5 of the bridesmaids done, just in time for the ceremony.

The bride was beyond pleased – everyone looked beautiful, and the bridesmaids each came up and expressed their gratitude to us for solving their hair dilemma!

This was one of the first few weddings of my career, and I remember feeling elated that the team had been able to come up with such a creative (and lucky) solution to what could have been a no-win situation. This wedding had many, many other issues, and my team was able to handle each and every one of them calmly and creatively. Many, MANY lessons were learned that day, and to this day it remains one of my favourite weddings, not because everything went smoothly, but because very little of it went smoothly, but the guests and the bride and groom had virtually no idea and were able to enjoy what seemed to be a perfect day!"

Mary Swaffield, Calgary AB
Lavish – Wedding Planning & Design


  1. What a scary/great story with a happy ending! Mary is a great wedding planner, I would highly recommend her.

  2. Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care

  3. I want to to thank you for this good read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to look at new things you post…

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