Saturday, February 28, 2015

Only You Can Prevent Worse Case Wedding Scenarios

A little Flashback this weekend from one of my old BAB posts. Enjoy!

Photo: Marissa Maharaj
So, those of you who’ve been following me around know that I found my copy of The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Weddings this week, and have been laughing my butt off ever since. From how to get handcuffs off after a bachelor party, to what to do if your dress is ruined or lost (“Select a bridesmaid that is closest to you in size. Take her dress … and inform her gently that she is out of the wedding.”) the advice is harsh, hilarious and dead-on. But it got me thinking about two of the worst worst-case scenarios that I’ve faced in the past six years and how you can avoid them.
Yes, now is the time when I put the Fear of God into you. Strap In.

Get All the Rentals You Need
I love telling the story about the first wedding my assistant Maeline ever worked with me on, about three years ago. Talk about a baptism by fire — I’d been given the job by another planner who had pretty much had it with the bride’s family, and vice versa. She eventually quit planning weddings altogether. Yes, that’s how bad it was. So, of course, I was more than happy to take over, a week before the wedding. I was so young. All I had to do, I was assured, was double-check the vendor arrival times, and run the day according to the timeline that the ex-planner gave me. Sidebar: if anyone starts a sentence with “All you have to do”, they are lying. The family got all their rentals from their synagogue and they were all a bunch of crap — the soup bowls were the size of creme brulee cups, they didn’t bring enough plates or silverware, and their portable oven, which had to connect to an actual, potentially explosive gas tank, had a frayed hose. I sent Maeline to a barbecue supply store (they laughed at her when she showed them the hose),  the hardware store, Michaels and Target, while I put out other fires at the venue with a big smile on my face. Of course, the bride never knew what was going on, which is the whole point, but oh, man, did it get loud there for a minute. Plus, luckily, Maeline always keeps a roll of duct tape in her car — it was for the oven hose, NOT for the bride’s family. At a wedding a few months after that, the florists  dropped off a bunch of outdoor heaters … without telling anyone how to  turn them on. And of course, since they were florists, they’d gotten them from somewhere else, so once I finally tracked them down, they had no idea how to work the heaters themselves.

So, note to you: Get your rentals from an actual rental company or directly from your venue. Sit down with the company and go over all your wedding details with them, event by event and hour by hour. If they tell you that you need a certain amount of whatever, get it. It is always better to have and not need, than need and not have. Always. Try and look at as much of the rentals as you can beforehand. If they are dropping off anything that needs to be lit or connected or turned on or off, make sure that there is someone on-site who knows how to do that when it needs to be done, even if that someone is you.  And, just in case, know where the closest grocery and supply stores are to where you’re getting married. Won’t hurt.

Prep For Your Outdoor Summer Wedding
It’s hot. And it’s going to be hot even if it is your wedding day. And depending on where you live, it might also be humid. Yay. I think it was … what, the third wedding I ever coordinated: I went to check on the wedding cake right before the reception, and the back side of it was melting. Melting! If I close my eyes, I can still see it.  I didn’t know that cake frosting could do that, and now you do, too. I’ve also had guests faint because it was so hot out. You guys in the South and on the East Coast are lucky, because when the sun goes down it’s still warm out, but here in the L.A. desert, the temperature drops, and suddenly you’re shivering like a wet dog in your low-cut sundress. And people forget that all the time, it cracks me up. Am I the only one who remembers to leave a jacket in the car? Anyway, note to you: Cakes do not belong in direct sunlight, or if you’re inside, under hot lights. Your venue has dealt with this a thousand times before, so ask them what time you should have the cake delivered and where it should be placed in order to keep it in one piece. And please, please, for me, don’t try to move the cake once it’s been set. At Ellen and Patrick’s wedding in a couple of weeks, there will be pitchers of water and lemonade set-up at the ceremony site. Aim for over-hydration. If you’re getting married outside, wear sunscreen … maybe even have a couple bottles out for your forgetful guests. My sister-in law bought a bunch of parasols (cheap, downtown) for her wedding guests, which also cut down on sunburns. I know that you east-coasters get rain in the summer, so if the forecast says so, don’t be a hero. Get a tent, or make plans to move inside. You’re welcome!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

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