The one question I get when people find out I am a wedding planner is, "what is the worst thing that has happened?"
I am not sure why people always want to hear about other peoples down falls but it is entertaining to them. I actually have a hard time coming up with these stories on the spot because I feel like the good out weigh the bad and also because nothing has ever happened (knock on wood) were it totally ruined the whole wedding. So I figured now would be the time to write a post about some of the things that have happened and also tell you how I fixed them. This post serves two purposes, to explain what can happen on a wedding day and also the importance of hiring a professional that will make sure you never even know about it.
1. DJ FORGOT CHARGE CORD TO LAPTOP
This happened a few years ago. The wedding was going and I happened to be standing by the DJ when he realized he didn't have his power cord to his Mac laptop which was the sole supply of music and entertainment for this dancing crowd. I quickly sent my assistant to the nearest store (which was quite far away) and had her run through the store and rush back just as the laptop was at 3%. I was pretty frantic on this occasion calling my assistant every two minutes asking if she was almost there. She got there and no one knew any different. That my friends is why having a professional team on site to not only make sure things run smoothly, but to be able fix problems if they do arrive. I always have at least one assistant if not two on weddings for situations as these.
2. NO SHOW VENDORS
This is a very rare occurrence since I contact all vendors prior to the wedding day to confirm arrival time, but it can still happen. This happens mostly with vendors who say they don't need contracts nor deposits. REDFLAG! This is a time I did not refer this company but contacted them and spoke directly to them the week of the wedding. Wedding day comes and when I called to ask why they haven't arrived yet he acted like he didn't know who I was or what wedding it was for. This vendor was for on site churro making and the bride was so upset that her large family was not going to get their amazing churros she had told them about. So, I called a Mexican restaurant down the street and they quickly made us a large order to go and I went and picked them up. Now, they weren't fresh on site made churros, but her guests had dessert and they were happy. Have a professional that can think quick on their feet to solve problems that do arise.
3. VENDOR SCAM
I pride myself in only referring quality and reliable vendors to each of my clients. On occasion though, clients come to me with their amazing vendor they found on craiglist or what not for an "insane deal!" Their words, not mine. Anyways I had a photo booth company I was trying to get ahold of to confirm their arrival time for the day of wedding and I couldn't. Finally week of the wedding I decided to see if they had a any reviews on yelp and lo and behold review after review said "scammers! Took money and never showed". So I got a hold of my client and had them reach out to their credit card company while I called around trying to find a photo booth company who was still available last minute. Thankfully one of my vendors was and it was a hit. That is why having someone with a network of people under their belt is imperative!
4. BARTENDER NO SHOW
I had bartenders that were hired through a third party for a wedding that was completely DIY. They usually arrive about an hour and half before the cocktail hour starts to set up, put drinks on ice and prepare drinks for the big rush of guests. I started calling to see where they were at and just no answer. Thankfully both my two assistants that day and myself had years of experience in the service industry specifically serving and bar tending so we handled it ourselves. We set the bar and they took over playing bartenders until the hired staffed decided to stroll on in. I pride myself on making sure to not be too good for any position I have to play in a wedding. I have been bartender, cleaned up plates, cut cake, set up rentals, etc. I will get dirty if I have to and so will my team!
5. CAKE WITH WRONG INITIAL
A beautiful three tiered white cake shows up with the wrong initial in the icing on the front. I was confused for a second thinking back to their names and nope completely wrong letter. Thankfully we were at a hotel in which we could get a knife and a bag of buttercream to change that letter to the correct last name! No one knew what had happened!
6. CLOTHES MISHAPS
I have had to sew far too many buttons and ripped seams to count. I am so glad my mom taught me to sew at a young age because it has come in handy multiple times. I have sewn a bridesmaid or two into their dress before walking down the aisle. I have sewn a guest's dress which ripped from the top all the way to the bottom (that took forever!) I have staple gunned and glued shoes back together. Sewn bride's dresses. Fixed bustles. Fixed torn veils. You name it, I've done it. Emergency kit to the rescue!
7. GROOM FORGOT SHOES
Recently I had a Indian/American wedding in which there was two ceremonies. The groom told me before the Indian ceremony that he forgot his shoes 40 minutes away in San Diego that were for the American ceremony. Since it was a 14 hour day I had two shifts for my assistants and they both live in San Diego. So I sent one to his house to grab the shoes and meet with the other assistant that was coming to start before American ceremony. Easy and quick and the bride never knew!
8. GUEST HURT AT WEDDING
It is always so tough when someone gets hurt at the wedding. One wedding a bride's mom took a fall and had to have ambulance called. This left a huge damper on the wedding as it was during dinner and the festivities were still to continue. What I did was try and calm the bride and then also not go straight into anything like toasts or cake cutting. We wanted to gradually turn the wedding around and not push aside the feelings of worry like they didn't matter. We finished dinner, then did some slow music for the couples and once the bride felt up to it moved on to toasts/ dances/ cake cutting. I have also had other weddings where guests fell (no one was hurt) but I tried to keep the bride and groom from seeing it and helped get the guest taken care of and back to their seat with the help of a family member. I tried to keep the crowds from gathering so the couple wouldn't worry unnecessarily.
People come from all over the country to get married in San Diego because of the gorgeous scenery and perfect weather. Thing is our weather is so unpredictable. Doesn't matter that last January was perfect and sunny or that August was clear skies. I have had a storm happen in the summer on a random August day and have hot summertime weather in January at the beach. That is why you need to always be prepared and know how to handle changes. The worst weather experience was a few years ago in January at Scripps Seaside Forum. We knew it was going to rain but nothing like it did. Our couple still wanted that outdoor feel for the ceremony like they always envisioned so we got a clear tent. Problem wasn't the rain, it was the incredible wind like I have never seen it. It was blowing our huge tent up off the ground and water was flooding the inside of tent. The groom finally convinced his bride that we had to move the wedding inside. I had myself/ two assistants/ catering/ even the photobooth company help me get all 180 chairs inside, flowers for the altar put up and couple down the aisle with only a 10 minute delay. I don't think I have seen a team work so well together or so quickly! The day may not have been exactly what they envisioned but it was still beautiful and their guests loved every minute. Point being, things change and you need to adapt. Make sure to have the right team in place that can make sure it changed quickly and efficiently.
10. NO CHAIRS!
I had a wedding where we almost had no chairs for our guests to sit down! Sounds crazy, but really its true. The couple rented chairs for their reception from a rental company. I had contacted them that week and day of they acted like they had no idea what wedding it was for. These were for the dark wood folding chairs. I had about an hour and half before reception. I was figuring we may have to move all the ceremony chairs from the other side of the hotel property and they were not what the couple wanted. I begged the company to please, PLEASE, PLEASE pull through and bring us some chairs! He was able to pull together and rush to get some beautiful dark wood chiavari chairs and get them to us. We had to keep cocktail hour about 15 minutes longer as we rushed these chairs in the back door. We had all hands on deck to get them set up and open doors without anyone knowing any different.