My Worst Wedding Nightmare

It’s no secret that successful wedding planners have a strong team of professionals behind the scenes. It’s also not secret that event planning is not for the weak.

It means starting at 5:00 a.m. and finishing at 5:00 a.m. It involves sleep deprivation for days on end.
It’s working in 95-degree heat or in the pouring rain and everything in between.
It’s heavy lifting, cuts, bruises, sunburns, climbing stairs, ladders, and trees.
It’s playing with flowers, fabrics, timber, and paint. It’s serving as a therapist, a surrogate mom, a
mentor, a motivator, and providing a shoulder to cry on. It’s what I live for and what I love. Now that we’ve established that your body truly does need to be in optimal shape to sustain wedding week, let me jump right in to the first time I had to miss a wedding because of an illness.

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You know that client that you immediately spark a chemistry with? You meet and know that you were meant to plan her dream wedding? For me, that client was Nicole. Nicole reached out to me on a whim. She emailed that she was getting married in November (this was in July), so I checked my calendar, confirmed I was available and set up a meeting. Fast forward to the conclusion of our initial meeting and as I am confirming the date, we realize that I am referring to November 2019, however, she wanted to get married in November 2018… Just a mere 4 months away. Soo, after re-grouping, I confirmed I was only available on November 24th and that we needed to call the priest and venue ASAP to essentially see if the stars would align. And they did, so the planning began immediately.

Here is where I should mention that I live in Louisiana and Nicole lives in Dallas, making the planning process a tad bit more difficult, but luckily she trusted me to make decisions without her having to approve every detail. Our team hustled hard for 4 months and finally the week of the wedding arrived. Now, Nicole’s wedding was during the week of Thanksgiving and only one of my assistants was available that week. Not a big deal (at the time). We had competent, reputable vendors. The venue was one I had worked in literally hundreds of times. Nicole was easy going and I wasn’t worried about the lack of assistance.

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Rehearsal day comes and goes.. All went smooth (seamless, actually). I left feeling calm and excited for WEDDING DAY!!! 7:30 a.m. on the day of the wedding rolls around and I wake up and can barely move my legs. I pull back the covers to discover what I like to refer to as 2 eggplants attached to my hips. My legs were numb, weak, and purple. Panic ensues… Less than 30 minutes later, I’m sitting in the ER with a frantic nurse and preparing for an ultra sound. Meanwhile, I am dreading the phone call I have to make.

I called my assistant and basically said “are you ready to have the most stressful day of your life”? Here’s the deal. I do not share all of the details of the wedding with my assistants. They have designated areas of responsibility and most of them are pretty standard. In other words, I held the majority of what was supposed to happen at the ceremony and the reception inside of my brain and in my personal timeline. As easy as I viewed this client’s wedding day, in hindsight, it had A LOT of moving parts. We didn’t just a band, we had a band and a DJ. A family friend who was going to share the band’s equipment, which required a quick tutorial on the day of. I was also in charge of creating a beautiful donut display right before cutting the cake, which required explaining my vision and the importance of timing to a frantic assistant. Oh, and moments before the ceremony, we realize the LED lights the client purchased to go in the floating balloons for the ceremony exit were too heavy for the balloons to float, so as Nicole is walking down the aisle, we are on the phone trying to figure out how to get these balloons to light up AND FLY at the same time.

Did I also mention I was the florist for this wedding as well? As some of you may know, florists usually save the most delicate flowers to add on the day of. Well, how was I supposed to do that from a hospital bed? The flowers were still in my cooler at my studio, so my wonderful fiance had to leave me at the hospital to deliver the flowers to the venue before the photographer arrived. Oh, did I also mention that I was the VENUE MANAGER for this wedding? Yes, I do freelance work for this particular venue, so it was also my responsibility to manage every single venue related responsibility as well. I was able to call in another event coordinator, but she was not skilled in wedding specific event protocols, so when I wasn’t texting back and forth with my planning assistant, I was texting and talking with her about vendor load in, and timelines, and liquor packages.. If my purple legs weren’t life threatening, my blood pressure was about to be.

My saving grace was a wonderful photographer by the name of Morgan Negard. She stepped in and assisted in ways that, no doubt, made the wedding go as smooth as it possibly could, given the circumstances. Lesson learned - Share more with my assistants. Make sure that if I am not able to be present for a wedding, there is someone on my team that can step in and handle business, just the way I would.

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I want to thank Nicole and her family for being so supportive and understanding of something that was in God’s hands. I was devastated. I had fallen in love with Nicole’s mom and dad and wanted nothing more than to see their expressions when she vowed to love Paul for the rest of her life. Paul is just as special as Nicole is to me and they will both share a special place in my heart forever. In the end, love won, I learned a very valuable lesson, and Nicole and Paul are happily married. Lastly, thank you so much Morgan for going above and beyond.

View Morgan’s work here

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Tricia Stewart