You Can't Do It All
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I should write on my blog. I go back and forth from tips and tricks for brides, how to's, helpful thoughts about wedding planning but then I realize there’s a lot of that out there. So instead, I decided to write about the things I’ve failed in, the things that don’t always go well in wedding coordination. I know, you wouldn't think a “just-getting-started” wedding planner would want to show the world the areas she failed in. It doesn’t seem good for business, right? But, I truly believe it’s not just about how I failed but how I learned and grew and began to really understand the wedding industry and man, do I still have a lot to learn. Plus, everything is more fun when it’s connected to a story!
I have been planning / coordinating weddings for about four years. The first few years were just helping friends here and there but in the last few years I decided I wanted to make it into a business. I always loved the idea of planning and coordinating events but I didn't even plan my own wedding because I had so little idea about what to do that I thought it wasn't possible ( side note: planning your own wedding is hard because the pressure is on you and all the focus is on you...planning other’s weddings is much easier, so hire me please!) Anyway, I decided to go for it and have learned a lot of lessons the last few years but one of the biggest was my first wedding for my best friend.
Almost five years ago my best friend got married. I was the maid of honor and also helping plan the wedding. It went well up until the day of the wedding. I had to be in two places at once all day, and as we know that’s not possible. Despite what we, and I, often think. I missed out on a lot of the big moments in my best friend’s day because I was setting up table cloths, candles and talking with caterers. I would set something up and run back into the house to help put her dress on, pretend to not be stressed, relax for 5 minutes and go running out the door. At one point, I was outside setting something up, It was almost wedding time, and the photographer came out (he was a friend) and told me he needed me back in the room for photos. I started to cry and realized that I had missed out on some good moments in the day. He told me it looks beautiful and it’s time to be done and be with my best friend. He was right. It was time to go be with my friend. As I walked back into the house, I vowed never again will I plan a wedding and be in the wedding.
Well, I didn't keep that promise. I say it every wedding I do that but I keep doing it. I think I have been in four wedding while also planning it, all have been stressful and at the end i always say, "I will never do that again." but every time I have learned something different. Here’s what I learned from my best friend’s wedding.
1. Never be the maid of honor and plan the wedding because both jobs are a big deal and both jobs need a lot of attention. You’re going to miss things, you’re going to forget things. Both deserve you at your best and unfortunately they can’t be done well by the same person.
2. Be extremely organized and create a team that can take over if you are in the wedding and need to go. In the event you are asked to coordinate and be a bridesmaid, you’re going to need a team for those crucial moments you can’t be away from the bridal party. In the future I’ll write more on the different roles your team can play and how to keep them on track.
3. Even if it gets stressful, which it will, try to enjoy it. You never want regrets when it comes to your best friend’s wedding. You want to be fully present, taking it all in and making memories.
Bonus Tip: Hire a coordinator who isn't in your wedding, it’s just simpler that way. I once thought coordination was a lost art and no one hired coordinators anymore. That was the 80's / 90's "father of the bride" era. After all the weddings I have been to, been part of or planned, the ones with coordinators seems so much more relaxed and fun. And YES! I’m available if your looking!