by Cindy Li, WPICC
I was always just a guest at a wedding until I became a Certified Wedding Planner through The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada (WPIC) Inc. and started volunteering for other planners, eventually leading to paid assistant jobs, to now owning my very first business. In the past, when I was invited to weddings of my mom’s friend’s children or relatives who were getting married, I did not attend the ceremony, but I was always present at the reception (naturally, for the food) – and I never saw a problem with that.
Now, I cringe when my friends skip the ceremony and come only for the reception portion at our friend’s wedding. The only reason there is a reception in the first place, is that there is a wedding taking place! As an invited guest, you should try your best to make it out to witness the couple’s union and commitment to each another. It’s not about the party – and certainly not about doing what fits into YOUR schedule that day!
I start to put other people first and do what I can to make their lives easier, their day happier and more beautiful, and to ultimately, save them time and stress – and I find it so satisfying when I’ve done just that. Some couples will never know the things that we, as wedding planners, have done for them. In past weddings, I’ve unclogged a toilet, wiped down the sink, picked up napkins and garbage off the floor; put comfortable shoes under the head table for the bridal party at a bridesmaid’s request (I didn’t hesitate, but I definitely didn’t expect this to be part of my job!); cleaned up fake petals lining the aisle runner on CARPET (what a horrendous clean-up experience for my assistants and myself, and dare I say, never again!), lined up floral mason jars along the aisles and rearranged them several times to get it perfect (as perfect can be), had 50% of the chair covers changed at a venue that dared put ones up with holes and/or stains; called up a locksmith ASAP (after multiple attempts of using other techniques) when a bridesmaid left the key inside the bridal suite by mistake – we had to drill the lock, put in a new one, clean up the metal on the floor – all before the brides came in to change into their red dresses for table toasting. Did I mention that I love surprises? I do… when I’m on the receiving end or if I’m the one delivering the surprise to a special somebody. But when I am the middleman and have to keep all surprises a secret and make sure they get executed as planned – that’s a whole other challenge and I couldn’t be more happier when I get that checked off my task list! Future clients may not know the extent of our services and just how far we will go to make their day just that much more special and seamless for them – it is up to us to effectively communicate this information to them.
Ever since I became a Wedding Planner, I also became a leader. I’m still getting the hang of it, but each wedding is a new opportunity for me to improve on creating timelines, delegating tasks to my assistants (my events would not go as smoothly without them!), developing relationships and working with vendors, dealing with last minute changes and requests, problem-solving and making quick decisions on the spot, dealing with difficult and/or emotionally charged people on wedding day, cuing all activities – all the while, keeping my clients happy and worry-free! It’s a tall order to fill, but one that I’m sure my fellow planners would agree on – is absolutely rewarding (especially when we really like the couple!) –and we couldn’t be happier to oblige!