Wedding bloopers straight from the horse's mouth
The florist has arrived and has begun setting up bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces. The caterer, on the other hand, seems to have confused the headcount. While the wedding cake knife, innocently lying on the table, has been borrowed without permission, the emergency medical kit for the night seems to be missing. While it is the biggest day of bride and groom’s lives, it’s just another day in the office for the wedding planner.
Seating charts, toast sheets, guest lists and vendor lists dominate an event planner’s clip-pad as they go about executing a wedding they have choreographed for months. While every planning team strives to put up a flawless show, last minute slip-ups are something no one can avoid. To put things into perspective, Everything Experiential decided to go behind the scenes and speak with wedding planners about the moments in their career when they were driven to the edge, but experience and a level head saw them through.
Candice Pereira – Creative Head and Co-Founder for Marry Me Wedding Planners, speaks of one such experience. ‘For a wedding in Mumbai, the registrar had to come to the venue which the client had arranged'. However, just a few hours before the wedding, they realized the registrar had been transferred. Now the onus was on us to find a registrar to get the bride and groom married! We immediately got on a hunt for one and had to get the whole process rolling in order to get them married. This involved paperwork and sending passport photos while the baraat was on.We eventually resorted to taking photos of the couple on our phone right there and sent them off to get it printed. Luckily we got them married that day!
‘I have a few stories to recount', says Vibha Arshana, Founder, Solitaire Events. ‘Once a client, at the eleventh hour, came to us with a request of providing them with 300 torches and a bicycle for an activity. We thought on our feet, found candles and convinced our client to use them. As for the bicycles, there was no chance of purchasing one since there was no shop around. We eventually requested the watchman of the venue to lend his cycle to us. He obliged and there were no hiccups.’
Chetan Vohra, Co-founder, Weddingline, shares an inspiring story. ‘This February we were managing a large wedding at the Unitech Golf Course in Noida with a thousand guests due to attend. The place was picturesque and boasted of top-notch amenities. However, a day before the sangeet, our weather app threw up a prediction of passing showers. As contingency the least we could do was waterproof the food area. The Sangeet was supposed to be an elaborate affair with 15-20 groups of dancers who were due to perform. We reassured our client not to worry about the rain scare and covered most of the stuff. At about 12 PM on the day of the Sangeet, it rained cats and dogs. We heard that it had rained enough to flood Delhi entirely. At the venue, we had inches of water on the sheets. For us, cancelling the wedding was not an option. We tried the nearest five-star hotel but negotiations fell through. Taking a leap of faith, we decided to go back to the venue and do what we have to. It was 4:00 PM. We convinced the client to come back to the venue by 7 PM.
‘We quickly bought cleaning equipment and some sponges. We had exactly three hours to pull off a small Sangeet plus dinner party. But what happened next was unbelievable. In my twenty years in the industry, I have never seen people work with the kind of dedication like they did that evening. Every supplier of ours cooperated. Every person in the vicinity chipped in. The adrenalin took over and we pulled off a better Sangeet than we had originally planned. We were drenched from head to toe but we were smiling from ear to ear. This was our monsoon wedding experience!’ he gushes.
Ironically so, another wedding planner went through the same turmoil due to unplanned showers. This is Lalita Raghav, Vice-President, FNP Weddings and Events sharing her version. ‘Everything was going perfect. The theme, the décor, the lighting, the infrastructure … but on the day, it poured so heavily that the entire was drenched with in water. Six hours before the ceremony, we took the call to shift it to another venue, and believe it or not we actually recreated the same look and feel in that time.’ Talk about turnaround times.
While these accounts are testimony to the unpredictable situations wedding planning throws up, what learnings do planners have to share with the new entrants in the industry?
‘The only thing I would want to suggest to aspiring planners is that any wedding might be just an event for you but it is a once in a lifetime event for your client. It’s a daughter's wedding for a father.’ says Lalita.
Chetan has just one advice. ‘We don’t get a case of nerves in times of crisis because of our experience. Just like pilots bank air miles, it’s crucial for planners to have experience behind their backs. Every event teaches you something new.’
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