Ever been with a friend looking at her wedding album and hear her make this sound, “hmph…you won’t believe what happened”. You then listen to her lament how they couldn’t find parking at the church and her dress got wet running into the church AND the caterer forgot to serve a whole section of the reception hall OR the MC embarrassed the bride and groom (a pair of introverts) in front of family and friends by making them ‘perform’ ridiculous activities for 15 agonizing minutes.
Sometimes these stories are cute and comical, or in worse cases face palm moments, but hey, the weddings over right? What’s done is done? Move on to the next one.
Well I for one have had enough of these stories, there’s no reason why with the proper planning some of these incidents can’t be avoided: I mean we all know a wedding can be a fast running train with many moving parts, but if ever vendor (cog in the wheel) did what it was meant to surely, the horror stories told in the aftermath can be cut down significantly.
1. To the Wedding Planner– Keep the bride updated– sounds simple right? I mean who wouldn’t… She’s the bride surely every detail needs her approval. You’ll be surprised how many brides walk into their reception halls to find crucial details are just not right. Like the table centre pieces aren’t the short dainty flower arrangements she asked for because 6 weeks ago the planner found she couldn’t deliver the right number, so she substituted them for tall vases that eclipse the view of the hall that the bride had envisioned for her wedding. Madam Planner is terribly sorry, but the bride is scowling, the photograph is taken, the moment is immortalised, the planner loses a reference and the new Mrs will never forget.
2. To the dress maker/supplier– All fittings where possible must be completed at least a week or two in advance-Whether your dresses are being flown in, made from scratch, or adjusted, this rule saves you finding out on the morning of the big day that zips have broken/ dresses are too tight/the wrong colour/too big etc.
3. To the Event Manager– Keep track of the time schedule– If hair and make-up, dressing up, traffic to the church and pictures with friends is not monitored, it can all add to delays that make the lovely ‘soon to be Mrs’, later than fashionably late to the church. Ever heard of a service being conducted without the bride? Yeah…this is why someone needs to be the event Manager tasked with keeping the time lags to a minimum.
4. To the Drivers/car park attendants– allocate the right spaces to the key members of the families– there is nothing more vexing than a bride getting drenched in rain because the car was parked too far away or the parents of the groom have to walk through a long car park to the hall because there is no room for their car.
5. To the Hall Manager– test all the equipment 12hrs before the ceremony begins…nothing is as uncomfortable as a room full of 800-100 of your family and friends cramped in a brightly lit room with no air conditioning. As the sweat and make up drips slowly to the floor and tempers rise, you hear cries for the Floor manager over the PA system, while the band try hopelessly to over compensate by playing the music louder. Meanwhile, poor over-dressed guests wonder silently, ’ah, why didn’t they just check the machine siiince?’
6. To the Bridal train– while they aren’t really vendors, they are a part of the couples idea of a perfect wedding so Dear Friends, Thanks for participating, but remember today isn’t really about you– I once met a bride who gradually lost touch with over half her bridal train…it was weird…she wouldn’t talk about them, didn’t want to see them or care. I took one look at her wedding video and I caught on to why. While the new bride was navigating her way down the aisle, these ladies hung back for reasons best known to them. They grudgingly dragged their feet into pictures delaying the process; didn’t dance in with the Mrs, were conspicuously absent from the dance floor, wearing matching scowls at the far end of the room talking only to each other. Their attitude begged the question,’ why’d you agree to be on the train in the first place?’ I never brought them up with that bride again.
7. To the Band/DJ– make sure you actually have the right music requested by the couple especially for the First dance…I once saw a couple have to dance to, ‘nwa baby’ and visibly cringe when the speakers blared, ‘ ASSSHHEWOOO’(for our non Yoruba speakers that means prostitute). Now while there is nothing wrong with the song, it was incredibly uncomfortable to watch the couple bumble through this song when I know their actual song was Robin Thicke’s Lost without you.
8. To the MC or Alaaga or officiate of the ceremony– Review and respect the program– it’s easy to overlook…you are busy planning your reception, your mom/aunts are worrying over fabric and the menu. Once hired/appointed, one just assumes that a competent MC will just know what to do and sometimes, that’s the case. But often, you and your guests are plagued by a Master of Ceremony who drones on too long or off topic, ignores the key parts of program you painstakingly added or removed. A good event planner will convey your wishes surely, but it never hurts to pass on this instruction in person.
9. To the food and drinks vendors– serve the starters and meals in the right order, at the right time to the right section.-This is a funny one, because provided the hostesses, waiters are properly managed, even the lackadaisical caterer who sets up late is urged to keep to time and not leave your beautifully dressed starving guests disgruntled for too long.
10. To the Baker, Master Cake Maker– Deliver the cake and charge of the cake to a designated member of the wedding team– I was once at a wedding where the wedding cake was stolen…fapped, swiped, pinched. I couldn’t pick up my jaw to ask the question how. Some family member was meant to meet the baker and arrange the precious 5 tier tower’s transportation back to the parents of the bride’s house but somehow, story-story-story, he just didn’t. And the cakes were lost and that was that.
Now I want to admit that as I wrote this list another half dozen ideas came into my head *manic head scratching*, and I know even with most of these measures adhered to there is always room for the unexpected. Which brings me good ladies to the final point: remember, if things should go a little awry; remember the camera man is following you ALL DAY. There is no such thing as a good picture of a scowling bride, so breathe, relax, look into your Groom’s eyes and remember, it’s the beginning of the rest of your lives; things should only get better from here.
Just keep calm and “Sparkle”!