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  • Martine Dardignac

Everything's Under Control

In the course of meeting with clients and potential clients, I often do a lot of educating. Sometimes it’s hard to put in to words exactly what I do. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not sexy. And when it’s done correctly, you might not even notice what was done on your behalf to have a happy, fun, loving day with your friends and family. But just because it isn’t easy, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. So moving forward, I’m going to do my best to explain exactly what goes in to wedding planning using wedding day stories (no names or dates, just examples).


First up: the “we’ve got everything under control” story. I recently had a bride say they had the best day ever, and she was extremely thankful for my help. She followed that up with “you are so detailed” in a way that made it seem like I really just needed to calm down a little. The reality? I am extremely detail-oriented and that is a benefit to you when you hire me.

Here’s some background: this was a small wedding that was being hosted by friends and family. Everyone was trying to scramble as there was a really short turnaround time on the wedding. The original person who was supposed to help plan and was responsible for contacting all the vendors sent out one email and then essentially disappeared. That’s it: she didn’t help find additional needed vendors, she didn’t answer questions when asked, and didn’t follow up to confirm any details. When I got involved, what was already a short turnaround time became even shorter. I contacted the florist: she was unaware of where the wedding was taking place, the bride and grooms contact information, or even what was officially required of her. Fun, right?


What the bride was unaware of was that shortly before her wedding, almost every single vendor had no idea what was happening. I considered it my job to handle it, and I didn’t want to bother her with the specifics. What may have seemed like inconsequential items to the couple (or even what seemed like me trying to stick to a certain plan) was really just me attempting to get them a wedding day they could remember with a smile. Without my presence, they would have had the wrong number of places set for the wedding, they wouldn’t had had flowers or decor, and even the officiant may not have shown up.


So I got all the vendors there, but what about the actual day of? My goal is for you not to have to worry about the details, but also to keep the day moving. When you contract with your venue for a certain number of hours, they are typically pretty strict about those hours. In other words, if you’re running late, that doesn’t change their plans. This makes sense if you think about it as they have to pay their employees to be there longer. The thing is, no one in the bridal party is watching the clock on wedding day. In order to ensure that you don’t waste all the money you just spent, I am there to help keep you on time and be sure that all the elements of your wedding (from getting hair and makeup done, to getting important family portraits taken, to cocktail hour, to cake cutting) actually happen. It may seem like a small thing, and your motivation may be to just let everything flow freely, but unless you’re okay with either paying overtime fees or skipping some (previously established) essential items, someone has to keep the time.


In the end, I want your wedding day to be about the two of you, and I want you to remember it with fondness. If you’re really okay with rolling with whatever happens, and you don’t care if you hit all the “big” things, then a wedding planner may not be for you. Just understand that this may also result in wasted time, money, and energy, along with missed expectations. Which would you rather?

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