Compiled by Danielle Andrews, President of WPIC Inc.
Being a Wedding Planner is so much more than planning pretty parties. A Wedding Planner is expected to make sure a couple’s dream day goes off without a hitch, running smoothly and seamlessly. Most people have no clue what it takes behind the scenes to make that fairy tale happen, often with just seconds to spare.
On the Wedding Day, a Wedding Planner’s key tool is their Emergency Kit. Planners often carry unexpected items like zip-ties, cake knives, and extra wedding rings, because you never know what you might need!
Some of the things I have had to do at weddings for my company, The Wedding Planners, include:
- I have a white shawl that I carry in my Emergency Kit. It has been a table runner, a table cloth for the signing table, and a shoulder cover for my bride when her priest refused to marry her if she didn’t cover up.
- I had to grab a hotel bed sheet to use as a table cloth for a signing table.
- I fashioned a garbage bag as a wedding dress holder so that my bride could use the facilities without asking her bridesmaid for help.
I asked the members of WPICAlumni, to share stories of how they used an item in an unexpected and innovative way to save the day, and here are some of the things they have done:
- I’ve used table linens to create a backdrop to cover large metal exit doors behind the head table
- I’ve sewn bustles with fishing line
- I made bouts out of tissue paper when the bride ran out of time making paper flowers
-Amanda Kueneman, Like A Star Weddings & Events, in Winnipeg, MB
- I have had to take the ball off of a straight pin to re-attach a rose head to its stem on the grooms boutonniere just seconds before he walked down the aisle.
- For a hoop skirt malfunction, Hula Hoops were the perfect fix!!!
-Chelsea Lawrie, River City Events, in Edmonton, AB
I used shepherd hooks as a stake to keep the entrance closed of a tented wedding during a windy and rain down pour.
-Liz Joveski, Alfresco Wedding Planner, in Durham, ON
In the case of a bouquet going missing right before the reception starting, I picked one flower out of every other centrepiece, arranged and cut the flowers to the right length with my shears, and tied them together with gold ribbon and boutonniere pins from my emergency kit to make a lovely little bouquet. She was ecstatic!
-Sidra Ahmad, Ruby Refined Events, in Toronto, ON
- I had 30 seconds to make a toss bouquet at a recent wedding, I used green zip ties.
- We had a wedding for 140 guests on a private property. The bride had so many DIY touches and one of them was a seating chart inside an standing accordion room divider. Well it was too windy to stand up on it’s on so we gathered some wrought iron patio furniture from the gardens. We tied the seating chart to the table and made it look like a “scene” instead of just a seating chart. It worked wonderfully and didn’t fall over ever again!
(Decor created by Bride and friends, Flowers by VanBelle Flowers (shoutout to Vanbelle Flowers, they helped us MacGyver it too)
-Kim Choy, Morganley Events, in Durham, ON
Glue malfunction on hand-made guest name cards. We had to fix all of them, once I ran out of tape, I started using eyelash glue. Worked like a charm.
-Jennifer Dewar, First Comes Love Weddings and Events, in Durham, ON
- It was a corporate event on a popular hotel rooftop with a painter who had a spinning easel. A very windy day nearly sent it into the streets below (who knows where it would have landed and what or who it would have hit) but we took a ratchet strap and secured it to the balcony.
- Also having electrical tape to make a water proof seal around any extension cords power connections has saved electrocution a few times when a torential downpour had everything sopping wet.
-Samuel Fleming (aka DJ Efsharp), Evolved Entertainment, in Toronto, ON
One of our couples DIY’d the frame for their ceremony backdrop out of PVC tubing to hang a heavy lace fabric from. We had to use a lot of fishing wire to suspend the top of the frame from the surrounding trees because the piping couldn’t bear the weight of the fabric.
-Janis Martinello, Brocade Events, in Greater Toronto, ON
I used flowers from the brides bouquet to recreate the grooms bout for the pictures.
-Suzzette Patten, Exquisite Occasions, Greater Toronto, ON
Our clients wanted to bring their own DJ and their DJ didn’t bring a table to set up his equipment!! We had to move a table out from the villa so he could use it. (Having your own Wedding venue allows for a much bigger emergency kit)
-Jennifer Borgh, Borghinvilla Wedding Venue, St. Ann, Jamaica
At one of my recent weddings, my bride bought beautiful calligraphy-style table numbers… but forgot to buy stands for them, so essentially they were like sticks with no base. Luckily I always carry a box of votives in glass, and so we were able to spear them into the votives to create a makeshift stand for each table number and no one was the wiser.
-Alisha Chadee, Whim Event Planning and Design, in Toronto, ON
The wedding napkins were put into a fancy fan fold by the venue ahead of time, but the bride had been very specific about a straight fold to be placed under each plate. We grabbed an iron out of a guest room and I had to iron all 90 heavy silk napkins in record time!
-Tracey Manailescu, Tracey M Events, Toronto, ON
Used black satin ribbon I had in my kit to extend the Best Man’s bowtie. He’s a bouncer by trade, and a neck full of muscle to prove it, lol. It wasn’t perfect, and it was stitched quickly, but it held and he could breathe, most importantly.
-Jennifer R. Maxwell, The Wedding Coach, in Durham, ON
At one wedding, there was a chair cover emergency situation. When the chair covers arrived on the morning of the wedding, they were white instead of black (they needed to be black). Fortunately, the linen rental company rushed back the covers and brought back the correct ones. We put them on as fast as we could, and there was 30 minutes to spare before the ceremony began.
The couple had no idea!
-Hevin Mueller, Story Weddings & Events, in Edmonton, AB
- In setting up a head table, the bride’s toasting glass got tipped over and the stem broke off of the glass part…. I used Hot glue gun and thin bits of clear tape to re-attach the stem to the glass.
- Also at a very windy outdoor wedding, the beautiful framed welcome sign on an easel kept blowing over – so I used bungee cords to attach the frame to the easel and attach easel to a tree… worked great.
- Massive amounts of duct tape were rolled into many tape rolls and used at another windy outdoor wedding to keep the signing table linen and overlay from blowing away… and also to secure a dainty glass “honey pot” to the overlay for a honey-dipping ceremony… overlay was a Persian embroidered linen that the wind just played havoc with … duct tape to the rescue!!!
- Paperclips came to the rescue at my son’s wedding this summer as they had lots of assorted sized silver geo-shapes and disco balls to attach to strands of lights across a tent… silver paperclips worked perfectly!
-Gayla Matos, Leave the Details to Me, Waterdown, ON
- Had to use tablecloths to create a backdrop in record time because the decor company had forgotten about it.
- Made wedding bands out of elastics, because the best man lost the rings (he ended up finding them during the reception)
- Glued down centrepieces to the linens at an outdoor wedding because the wind kept knocking them over
-Andrea Romero, Royal Blue Events and Services, in Toronto, ON
It’s safe to say that a lot goes on behind the scenes at a wedding or event, thank goodness these wedding professionals were there to save the day!