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The Hard Truths of Wedding Planning, According to a Seasoned Planner by Sandy Malone,
05 Dec, 2016

There are some hard truths to planning — let's call them realities — that I wish all brides and grooms understood, without having to be told. I don't mean these things unkindly; they're simply facts of the wedding planning business. If all clients understood them, I think, the wedding planning experience would be better for both parties. Most wedding vendors love what we do — it's not an easy business, and to be able to design and create and please our clients on their most important day is an emotional experience. But in the end, it is business. Truth #1: Your wedding planner is not your friend. I am your wedding planner, and we are friendly. While I may really like you, and enjoy planning your wedding with you, I'm not going to go drinking with you until after you've said "I do.” After the wedding, we can socialize if we liked each other — I'm great friends with lots of my former clients. But on your wedding day, I will not be able to stand next to you and hold your hand when you're nervous, or provide a buffer from your opinionated mother while you're getting your hair done, because I will be on-site at your wedding venue coordinating the vendors, and making sure everybody shows up on time, and brings their A-game for your big day. I don't want you relying on me for emotional support that day. I will be doing the job you paid me to do, so that you aren't disappointed. I can't put myself in a position to prop you up, and make sure to cue the music to switch your processional, at the same time. Truth #2: There are very few bona fide emergencies during wedding planning. Very few things are urgent enough to require a phone call or text to your planner or wedding vendor after regular business hours, or on weekends. Yes, it's disappointing if one of your bridesmaids pulls out of the wedding party. It's frustrating if you have to change the flavor of your wedding cake from almond to plain vanilla because some cousin of your fiancé can't be in the same room with nuts. It's irritating when your future mother in law wants to dance with her son to a song that you hate. And it's upsetting to find out the photographer you wanted is already booked for your wedding date. But none of those things are actual emergencies. An email is fine, and if it's something that needs to be discussed, we'll schedule a conference call. Good wedding vendors monitor their email and will respond quickly if it's something that merits an immediate response. But remember, most wedding vendors work multiple evenings a week, and on weekends, we're usually working at somebody else's wedding. When we do have those rare weekends and evenings off, we need a break. Unless you've been specifically instructed otherwise, stick to email after hours. Truth #3: Wedding vendors are real people, and we like holidays too. We have lives outside of planning weddings, with families, pets, etc. Event planning means that we frequently miss holiday gatherings with our friends and family, because we're working at somebody else's holiday party or wedding. Just because you have a few days off around Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's doesn't mean that you should expect your wedding vendors to be on call for planning with you during those traditional vacation days. Caterers do not want to do tastings in the few hours they have between clients — they want to spend some time with their loved ones. By the time the pastry chef has pushed out the last few holiday treats, he really wants to go home to his children, not help you taste cake. Your wedding planner wants to go to some Christmas parties that she didn't plan, and not care if the service staff sucks. Unless you request it specifically, well in advance, don't expect your wedding vendors to be available for basic consultations during the busiest time of the year. Truth #4: A wedding planner is not a relationship therapist. Don't fight with your fiancé on the telephone with me, or in front of me. It's embarrassing. Don't fight with your mother in front of me, either. Equally uncomfortable. If the two of you don't agree on a decision that needs to be made, take that matter offline. Put it on a list of things to discuss AFTER our meeting. I have to work with both of you. I can't take sides — I don't want either of you to hate me. But I'll tell you this, as someone who survived her own wedding planning and has been married 12 years, if you cannot work together in a civil manner to plan your actual wedding, you might not be ready to get married. Married couples face far more stressful — and important — challenges. You have to be able to work together. Feel free to use your wedding planning as a way to learn to compromise better in your relationship, but don't do it in front of me. I don't get paid enough for that. 

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