Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Weight of Weddings

This Sunday will be my 70th wedding. You'd think that by now I would be perfect and wouldn't make stupid mistakes, but I did at a wedding a few weeks ago. Correction: you'd think I wouldn't make stupid mistakes that my clients find out about (if only they knew what I quickly corrected!). I'd say about 98% of mistakes I'm able to catch before they become apparent and mess things up, but sometimes I can't. And the weight of that mistake, (while in actuality was small to my clients, thank God) made me cry on the way home from said wedding and woke me up the next morning with that guilty feeling of "I did something bad".  Oh, and don't even get me started on clients who were over the moon happy on their wedding day then after "reflection" send a nasty text or email about the things they disliked. That's another blog/therapy session.

When it boils down to it, as a wedding planner, I'm the couple's insurance policy against anything going wrong. And an insurance policy is, by definition, risky. With every wedding I do I become more seasoned about what can go wrong, how to deal with what is about to go wrong, and how to avoid it going wrong. I also learn more about human nature and mob mentality and can tell you with absolute certainty and if your guests want you to go up in chairs for the hora and the wedding planner stops them because she knows that you don't want to, then there is going to be a riot on the dance floor. And not the good kind either.

However, the weight of weddings is the yin to the yang of the joy there is in being such an instrumental part in the celebration of a new family. The emails, calls, letters, gifts, and reviews that happy clients send my way ease the weight and help me keep on keepin' on.



Janice Carnevale said...

I know exactly how you feel Amber. While most recent events have gone nearly perfectly, (we won't talk about the events from 5 years ago) there are always a few things that I realized that I missed, or wish I had handled differently, and it does keep me up at night. One time recently I thought that I probably threw away the ring boxes from the jeweler. I asked the MOB, she hadn't seem them but didn't care about it. I still stressed about it so I sent the couple a ring bowl. Sigh. The risk is worth the reward, for sure. But it seems like there is always a "mistake" to harp on later.

andie said...

Amber, I love you and you are INCREDIBLE at what you do. And the fact that you feel badly if you make a mistake only makes you stronger - because that's a mistake that you will learn from and never make again. The day you stop caring is the day you know something is wrong. xoxox

Country Sugar Events said...

totally "get it". i sent a bride down the aisle without her bouquet a few weeks ago and just about lost it driving home.

Michelle Loretta said...

Amber - I love you for writing this. We are all human and we make mistakes. It's a lot of weight for us to carry - these weddings. The planner carries the ENTIRE weight of the wedding on her shoulders. YOWZA! What a weight!

But we're human. Life is made of all its imperfections - some inconsequential & some more consequential. But - alas - still human.

We are so hard on ourselves. No one is perfect - not in any profession. And, thankfully all we have to carry on as 'risk' is making weddings as happy and as beautiful as they can be. I know I wouldn't want to carry the risk of being a heart surgeon.

Will you feel the gravity of this mistake in 5 years? 10 years? If not - then it's not as serious as it may seem right now. In the grand scheme of things, it may not matter.

Thanks so much for being so open!

Deanna Tat said...

Perfectly said Amber! Thank you for writing this and for being so REAL!


Juliet Douglas said...

I LOVE your honesty Amber! Thank you for being so open.

Stefanie said...

Such a good, good post Amber - I second Michelle's comments...thank you for being so open! As a newer planner, trying to do the due diligence to give great quality service, it's encouraging to hear that I will always be learning and growing! Thank you for sharing!

Petronella said...

Amber, thanks for sharing & being so open about all the emotions that we creative professionals deal with when it comes to weddings ;)

Amber Events said...

Woo! This post struck a chord with my planner friends!

@Janice, yeah, one time I had an assistant not check off the personal items list at the end of the night and the Tiffany toasting glasses disappeared. I replaced them, of course. There's a reason we make someone sign off on those items at the end of the night!

@Andie, thank you! I totally agree that the day I don't care is the day I should stop this biz.

@Country Sugar Events, I have yet to do that (knock on wood) but I've come close to not placing the ring pillow in my hand into the RB's hands!

Michelle, glad you like this post. I think this is kind of a "dirty secret" that we wedding planners have. We all screw up but we don't like to talk about it. I felt it time.

@Deanna, glad you liked!

@Juliet, you're welcome, love!

@Petronella, it's sometimes surprising, isn't it? How personally we take all of this. As hard as I try to stay disconnected to protect myself, I just can't.

Diary of a Wedding Planner TV said...

Thank you for such an honest comment. I no longer plan weddings, just assist planners from time to time, but I remember the feeling of absolute dread when I'd make a mistake. Most times no one was the wiser but it was still a feeling that was hard to shake.