Thursday, September 20, 2012

What It Takes to Be a Good Wedding Planner

Photo by Delbarr Moradi

I always find it amusing when I meet new people and they ask me what I do for a living. When I reply stating that I'm a wedding planner, they automatically assume my life is about spending large sums of money, attending great parties and being fabulous. The ULTIMATE career, right?. What people don't realize entirely is just how stressful being a wedding planner is. So yes, we can spend an outrageous amount of money, we do attend fabulous parties and we tend to dress fashionably (hopefully). However, what people don't see is what we do behind the scenes. Essentially, we are master project managers (if you are a good planner), designers and accountants. Oh, and depending on the day, throw couple's therapist in there too. We hold the dreams and high expectations of couples and their families on our shoulders and are expected to deliver come rain or shine. We are trouble shooters, task masters, split decision makers, miracle workers and motivators. Being a planner requires the ability to manage a hundred people at once producing various elements concurrently and making sure the high expectations are delivered above par, and most importantly, on time. We are constantly putting out fires that arise and managing many different personality types, which sometimes can cause those fires. All the while, giving the clients the best customer service possible. Also, if anything fails or falls short, no matter who is responsible, it's always the wedding planner's fault. Very few people can or want to handle the level responsibility or pressure that comes with this career, but those who can and do are some of the toughest people in the working world. Not to mention, we do it with a smile, without a drip of sweat and wearing a pair of great stilettos.

When I explain to people all that goes into an event production and how hard it is, they immediately respond with, "why do you do it?". Well, that's simple, because I love it. It's my passion and I wouldn't want to do anything else in this entire world. I am my biggest competition and I'm always trying to up the standard of my work to another level - to make the next event more perfect and more beautiful than the last. I just love it. I'm always striving to be better. I live to inspire and push my planning assistants to be the next best generation of wedding planners and have them share my same passion. I recently told my assistants in our last team meeting, "If you aren't passionate about this business, there is the door."

There is nothing like seeing a dream come through fruition because it's pure magic. There is something so incredible about seeing an empty venue transform into the most romantic and dreamy atmosphere full of music, candles, flowers, food and love - something that began with just a simple thought. There is nothing more powerful than dreaming and then producing that dream into reality.

I also get to guide very in love people through one of the most sacred rites of passage in life - a lifelong commitment. I work with many of my clients for well over a year and can spend hundreds of hours on perfecting their dream wedding. They really stop becoming clients and we become more friends after a certain point, and I truly take to heart all their wishes and desires and have a very big vested interest in making their day everything and more they've ever wanted. It's important to me. I truly feel so special witnessing their vows because I've walked the path with them and I know them on a personal level, and they have trusted me to make it all come together.

At the end of the evening when the event concludes, it's so anti-climactic. The clients always come up to me and say, "Now what? Can we still talk next week? Are we still going to happy hour or lunch or shopping? We are still friends, right?". I always respond with the biggest hug ever and say, "Of course, we are lifelong friends."

That is exactly why I do what I do. It's the best job in the world.