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Wedding Bells & Ball-ups

Tales from an event planner



Some weddings are simple and intimate, while others can rival a Broadway production. Either way, planning a wedding takes hard work, and while not every couple hires a wedding planner, chances are pretty good that by the end, they wish they had. 

The reasons for being in the business of wedding planning—and surviving in it—are multifold. They include a passion for serving others, the ability to think creatively, patience, and being a good listener—a degree in psychology doesn’t hurt, either. Personally, I find it rewarding to pull off such a momentous event. Chances are you’ve been to your share of weddings as a guest. But if you’re dying to hear what happens behind the scenes, read on. 

In the wedding industry, especially when dealing with destination or luxury weddings, it isn’t unusual to receive challenging requests. These can range from a guest arriving by helicopter, to a bride’s father arranging for a fighter jet to do a fly-over at the end of the ceremony, to a groom deciding to make his ceremony entrance to the James Bond theme music.

A few years ago, I assisted with one nuptial where the cast of Fiddler on the Roof was brought in to do the show’s “Bottle Dance.” Eight dancers came in by bus from NYC for the evening festivities. At the end of the ceremony, they performed the iconic number and then, during the Hora, lifted up the chairs holding the bride and groom. At that particular wedding, the guests also enjoyed an $85,000 Sylvia Weinstock wedding cake. Her name alone raises the price tag of any confection, but for those unfamiliar with her work, she creates amazingly lifelike flowers out of sugar. This cake also included a collection of (sugar) Fabergé eggs.

My duties are wide and varied. I’ve been asked to be a dog handler for the bride’s cherished pet, who would be walking down the aisle in a Chanel outfit, no less—no, not the bride. The dog wore Chanel! And I’ve even been placed in charge of a VIP guest’s special bottle of Tequila that he had flown in especially for himself.

I’m not the only wedding planner with a tale to tell. Some of my peers have experienced circumstances that were totally unexpected—and took some quick thinking by the event team. At one wedding, somewhere between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception, the now-married groom was caught making out with one of the bridesmaids. All was forgiven, apparently, as this couple is still together. During another reception, the groom got into a fistfight with the uncle of the bride—who had paid for the entire event.

One wedding guest who drank a few too many wandered off the property of one my favorite local venues, only to be found the next morning—naked—on a neighbor’s front porch. At another wedding, sadly, one wedding guest literally dropped dead on the dance floor. After the deceased was removed, the partying continued until the wee hours of the morning.

Although a little rain on your wedding day is said to bring good luck, a torrential downpour is never a good thing. One such day comes to mind during which a beautiful sailcloth tent split open from the weight of rainwater, and nearly everything underneath was ruined. The event staff acted quickly to move the party to a nearby building, regrouped, and, despite the near-catastrophe, the wedding ended on a high note.

On occasion, wedding-party members decide to bring items that the planner is unaware of. This was recently the case when several bowls of “adult” gummy bears were placed around the reception. By the end of the evening, everyone was quite happy, and the venue reported several incidents of guests “getting to know each other a little better” in some of the darker corners.

One of the clauses in my contract states: “If you choose to hire a vendor with whom I have not worked, I cannot guarantee the quality of their service or product.” Only rarely does this pose a problem. However, you just never know when the drummer from the band your clients bring in from NYC will show up without his drums—he simply forgot them and didn’t realize it until the equipment was unloaded at the reception site. Fortunately, a team member made a few calls and found a local drum set that was delivered before the guests arrived for dinner and dancing—and the wedding party had no idea what happened until they were told the day after.

And then there was the occasion when the groom frequented the open bar a bit too often, got sick on himself, and ended up enjoying the rest of the evening amidst his guests—in his underwear.

At the end of the day, most of the situations that occur at a wedding are just memories in the making and, hopefully, will be looked upon in the years to come with laughter and perhaps a few happy tears. So, be kind to your wedding planner—who is, among other things, making sure your guests get on the right shuttle (we liken this to herding cats) or running interference between the crazy aunt with rolled-down knee-highs and the father of the bride who can’t stand her. Remember, we very well might have a few stories about your wedding.

 

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September 2018

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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The Ridgefield Historical Society is pleased to present a series of pop-up exhibits featuring WWI: Ridgefield Answers the Call at different locations in town through November 2018. This exhibit of...

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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Historical Society is pleased to present a series of pop-up exhibits featuring WWI: Ridgefield Answers the Call at different locations in town through November 2018. This exhibit of...

Cost: Free

Where:
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Website »

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Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
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Gunn Memorial Library
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Ridgefield Playhouse
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Historical Society is pleased to present a series of pop-up exhibits featuring WWI: Ridgefield Answers the Call at different locations in town through November 2018. This exhibit of...

Cost: Free

Where:
, CT


Website »

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Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
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Martin House Workspace
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Wednesdays, September 26 – November 7, 2018  (no class on Halloween) 6:30-8:30pm Adam Broderick Whole New You Series Partially underwritten by Reliance Merchant Services This...

Cost: 425

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
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Cost: $12.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
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Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Library
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Sponsor: Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center
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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Historical Society is pleased to present a series of pop-up exhibits featuring WWI: Ridgefield Answers the Call at different locations in town through November 2018. This exhibit of...

Cost: Free

Where:
, CT


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Facilitated by Nina Bertolino This program will meet every other Wednesday from 10:30 - 12:30 on the following dates: September 12th & 26th, October 10th & 24th, November 7th & 21st, December 5th...

Cost: Free

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Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
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with Antonio Sanchez, Linda May Han Oh & Gwilym Simcock Moffly Media Evening of Art, Wine & Jazz Series Join us in the lobby at 7:15pm for an Italian wine tasting by Pera Wines and an...

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The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Historical Society is pleased to present a series of pop-up exhibits featuring WWI: Ridgefield Answers the Call at different locations in town through November 2018. This exhibit of...

Cost: Free

Where:
, CT


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

On Thursday, September 27, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich will host its first-ever Oktoberfest celebration. Featuring German beer from Paulaner USA, Oktoberfest at the Bruce...

Cost: $30 for Bruce Museum members, $40 non-members

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Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Hunt Hill Farm
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Friday mornings from 10:30 to 12:30. Free, no registration. Open to adults and older teens. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies in, but some basic supplies will be provided by the...

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Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
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Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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Opening Act: Rock Academy Band Friday, September 28, 2018 – Gala & Show Only tickets available Gala at 5:30pm (includes open bar, dinner, silent auction) Live Auction &...

Cost: Gala Tickets: $250 Orchestra Seating & Gala Show Only Tickets: $125 Mezzanine &

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Historical Society is pleased to present a series of pop-up exhibits featuring WWI: Ridgefield Answers the Call at different locations in town through November 2018. This exhibit of...

Cost: Free

Where:
, CT


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

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Aldrich Undercover, a “secret” art exhibition and sale, returns for one night only to the Museum’s Leir Gallery after a six-year hiatus. Hundreds of original artworks will be on...

Cost: $150 - $500

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Cost: $65

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
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The Ridgefield Historical Society is pleased to present a series of pop-up exhibits featuring WWI: Ridgefield Answers the Call at different locations in town through November 2018. This exhibit of...

Cost: Free

Where:
, CT


Website »

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Laura from Olive My Skin will be joining us to talk about her lovely natural soaps, wood wick soy candles and skin care line, all proudly made in Connecticut. All Fair Trade, paraben free,...

Cost: free

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The Smithy
10 Main Street
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Sponsor: The Smithy
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Contact Name: susan
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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Evocation of light is ever present in the romantic and experiential landscapes of Ira Barkoff. His recent works convey the spontaneity and the maturity of the artist’s hand and dedication to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
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Sponsor: 1953
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

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