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Author Topic: Not getting a planner/coordinator!  (Read 6090 times)

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sarahmacalalad

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Not getting a planner/coordinator!
« on: May 06, 2014, 06:16:35 AM »
God, my wedding was all but a disaster ><

I and DH were the first in our respective immediate families to have a traditional church wedding. I read up as much as I could, planned as much as I could, and worked on it as much as I could. In the end, I regretted not spending on a planner or at least a coordinator.

Among the many problems we encountered, these were the big ones:

1. My dress was expensive and, although beautifully beaded (which I had insisted on or else I would have had these patchy weird things), made me look wide in the waist thanks to a thick band of horizontal pleats. A planner would have helped me select a better designer than the expensive costume-y dress designer DH's cousin suggested.

2. Our hosts were awful >< Granted, I live in a country where English is only a second language, but they were embarrassing to listen to when they stumbled over their English (my British uncle was there, so they had no choice but to use it).

3. The wedding fell on a date that coincided with a huge local celebration (in nearly the same area). Roads were closed, traffic was horrendous, many of my guests and members of the wedding party were late or couldn't come, and, on top of that, it rained. I was getting my makeup done, and people were calling me up, asking me what we should do, how I wanted to proceed, etc. I didn't even manage to have my pre-wedding pictures because of it all. It ended up with the wedding starting late, me waiting in the car for an undetermined amount of time, and one aunt being offended (for legitimate reasons. she wasn't being a female dog).

4. Between the wedding and reception, there was supposed to be a cocktail hour while DH and I were getting our pics taken. Some misinformation occurred, so the cocktail hour was skipped over (even though the venue had prepped/set up for it), and we had to stop picture taking to start the reception program.

5. Money Dance! I never originally intended to have one; it was honestly supposed to be a "first dance" thing, but there was a cultural miscommunication somewhere along the line. Weddings where I live don't usually have "first dances" but they do have "money dances," so the guests (especially the older ones who are more familiar with this tradition) understood it as such and started getting up and pinning money to us (I later found out MIL had pins ready because she understood it as such too :o). I was sooooooooo embarrassed while it was ongoing, but didn't actually stop it (side note: what should I have done???). Maybe a planner could have avoided this? (Or better hosts in any case).

At the end of it, we were so tired that DH and I didn't even go home to 'get busy.' We settled bills, rested up a bit then went to a friend's restaurant to have a drink with some friends/family. At separate tables. Then went straight to bed.

Romantic.

When my SIL got married, the biggest piece of advise I gave her? Get a planner/coordinator!

She didn't.






Well, at least my wedding wasn't as bad as hers >:D

menley

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Re: Not getting a planner/coordinator!
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2014, 01:48:08 PM »
I'm really confused as to what you mean by the hosts?

Regarding the others, I did have a planner, and I'm not certain that having one would have saved you from #1, #3 or #5.

jedikaiti

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Re: Not getting a planner/coordinator!
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2014, 01:59:57 PM »
I wish I'd had one. As it was, I was stressed to the gills from having to take care of everything myself, and then the morning before the wedding was supposed to be my time off - I get to the wedding site to find out the groom had to RUSH out the door way earlier than planned because the rental guys showed up TWO HOURS before we were even supposed to have access to the venue! Also, I hadn't known that I would have to set up the PA system myself, and nobody could figure out how to work it - no instructions - so we didn't even have music. Also, the bartending service hadn't briefed the bartender that they were actually supposed to use the personalized pint glasses we'd had made (well, at least for beer & soda, they were bringing cups for wine), so she was giving those out in plastic cups too.

If I had to do it all again, I'd DEFINITELY have a coordinator, probably a DJ, and I would have spent less on the dress (the only way I could have had one I LOVED would have been to blow the entire wedding budget on getting one made, since I wanted sleeves, and nobody seemed to be making them at the time).
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TootsNYC

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Re: Not getting a planner/coordinator!
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 02:04:05 PM »
Re: the money dance. When your -guests- start it, I think you just go along with it.

When the guests are enthusiastic about the money dance, I'm not so terribly convinced it's rude. The problem is when people who have absolutely no history of it in their families decide they're going to do it.

#3: A wedding planner might have helped you avoid choosing that date, because a local planner with a few years of experience might be aware of that big event. And the planner could have been the one to handle all the calls that came in.

#1: As for the dress, I don't think a planner would have helped you there. You tried it on; if you thought it made you look wide, you shouldn't have bought it. You could have easily made the same miscalculation with any other dress supplier.

And I don't think a planner would have helped w/ the money dance thing (which I don't think was such a huge disaster anyway, except that it felt like one to you, which is enough of a disaster on its own.).

And I'm not sure what you mean by  hosts--the emcee at the reception? The person who was announcing what all was going on? I suppose a planner might have said, "Oh, if you need English, this guy isn't going to be that easy to understand." But I sort of challenge whether you need to regard this as a horrible disaster that ruined your wedding.

TheBardess

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Re: Not getting a planner/coordinator!
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2014, 03:11:46 PM »
God, my wedding was all but a disaster ><

I and DH were the first in our respective immediate families to have a traditional church wedding. I read up as much as I could, planned as much as I could, and worked on it as much as I could. In the end, I regretted not spending on a planner or at least a coordinator.

Among the many problems we encountered, these were the big ones:

1. My dress was expensive and, although beautifully beaded (which I had insisted on or else I would have had these patchy weird things), made me look wide in the waist thanks to a thick band of horizontal pleats. A planner would have helped me select a better designer than the expensive costume-y dress designer DH's cousin suggested.

I'm not really sure what you mean about "patchy weird things," but didn't you try on the dress before you bought it? If you did and you didn't like the way it looked, why did you get it? Just because your cousin suggested a particular designer doesn't mean you are then obligated to go with that- you're allowed to shop around.

Quote
2. Our hosts were awful >< Granted, I live in a country where English is only a second language, but they were embarrassing to listen to when they stumbled over their English (my British uncle was there, so they had no choice but to use it).

First, I'm confused as to what you mean by "hosts," but regardless- they were awful because they didn't speak English up to your standards? It was "embarrassing??" Speaking imperfect English does not make someone an "awful" host by any stretch of the imagination, and frankly, this is rather offensive. At any rate, if speaking English perfectly was so important, I'm at a loss as to how/why you couldn't have ascertained this beforehand and found different hosts.

Quote
3. The wedding fell on a date that coincided with a huge local celebration (in nearly the same area). Roads were closed, traffic was horrendous, many of my guests and members of the wedding party were late or couldn't come, and, on top of that, it rained. I was getting my makeup done, and people were calling me up, asking me what we should do, how I wanted to proceed, etc. I didn't even manage to have my pre-wedding pictures because of it all. It ended up with the wedding starting late, me waiting in the car for an undetermined amount of time, and one aunt being offended (for legitimate reasons. she wasn't being a female dog).

Big festivals like this are occur annually and/or are planned far in advance. Did you really not know anything about it until the day of the wedding? And if you knew about it in advance, why did you not choose another date or inform your guests "The X Festival will be taking place, here's how to handle it"? Was there nobody else there you could have passed phone calls to? (For instance, I know at my wedding, any phone calls about logistics and so forth would have been fielded by my mom). As for the weather- well, there's not much anybody can do about that, even the best wedding planner.

Quote
4. Between the wedding and reception, there was supposed to be a cocktail hour while DH and I were getting our pics taken. Some misinformation occurred, so the cocktail hour was skipped over (even though the venue had prepped/set up for it), and we had to stop picture taking to start the reception program.

5. Money Dance! I never originally intended to have one; it was honestly supposed to be a "first dance" thing, but there was a cultural miscommunication somewhere along the line. Weddings where I live don't usually have "first dances" but they do have "money dances," so the guests (especially the older ones who are more familiar with this tradition) understood it as such and started getting up and pinning money to us (I later found out MIL had pins ready because she understood it as such too :o). I was sooooooooo embarrassed while it was ongoing, but didn't actually stop it (side note: what should I have done???). Maybe a planner could have avoided this? (Or better hosts in any case).

Here, yes, a planner would probably have been useful, to help keep communication clear.

Quote
At the end of it, we were so tired that DH and I didn't even go home to 'get busy.' We settled bills, rested up a bit then went to a friend's restaurant to have a drink with some friends/family. At separate tables. Then went straight to bed.

Romantic.

Perhaps not romantic, but also not unusual. I read recently that well over half of couples (it may even have been as high as 60-70%) admit to being too tired to "get busy" on their wedding night. Again, I'm not really sure this is something a wedding planner could have helped with at all.

Quote
When my SIL got married, the biggest piece of advise I gave her? Get a planner/coordinator!

She didn't.






Well, at least my wedding wasn't as bad as hers >:D

Frankly, this just comes across as petty.

Honestly, most of what you've described doesn't rise to the level of what I would consider "disastrous," and I'm not sure how much help a planner would have been for much of it.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Not getting a planner/coordinator!
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2014, 03:38:07 PM »
Other than the dress, it does sound like most of the issues encountered were to do with cultural differences which I'm not sure a planner could over come.

I'm also not sure what the wedding "host' is. But if only one guest was English speaking only, I don't believe it would be appropriate to force all announcements or toasts to be in English. There could have been someone to act as a translator.

I think your maybe being too hard on yourself and your idea of a "perfect" wedding. We had a few mishaps but it just made the day that more interesting. Everyone needs a dinner party table tale of their "on no" moment at the wedding.

sarahmacalalad

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Re: Not getting a planner/coordinator!
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2014, 05:15:29 AM »
Sorry, I made have confused some of you. Cultural differences, I think (I'm not from the US).

By "hosts" I mean "emcees." And I suppose I was exaggerating with the whole English thing. It wasn't as awful as it could have been, but I should have relied on the advice/connections of a planner rather than simply getting who my MIL suggested.

Also, where I live, hardly anyone buys off-the-rack dresses (if at all!). Brides almost always have custom-made gowns and if they don't have enough for custom made dresses, either hand-me-downs, rentals, or second-hand dresses. My gown was custom made.

As for the festival, it was announced well after I had planned around my wedding--in short, no chance of changing the date. But a planner could have helped me worry about that instead of me shouldering the burden mostly by myself (DH has almost no interest or ability to plan these sorts of things and my MOH and BMs were more decorative than anything (they usually are where I live)). Family helped this to a certain degree, but it was still very minimal.

TootsNYC

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Re: Not getting a planner/coordinator!
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2014, 08:16:45 AM »
I think planners remove a lot of the day-of stress of organizing a very large party.

Of course, that's one of the huge reasons by the MOB used to be the hostess, and *not* the bride. She wasn't the one getting married, so she had time and energy to deal with party direction. The MOB used to be the party planner.

And if you'd had a planner on your side from the get-go, she (or he) might have been aware of the festival and found a way to work around it, and provided a way to communicate that to your guests -ahead of time.-

But sometimes I think that guests have gotten really, really lazy. And hostesses have let them. Figure out your own way to get to the church--why do you think the bride has any better idea than you do?

Once you start doing things to make their lives easy, they start to get really passive. Somehow all the burden has shifted to the hosts.

Arila

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Re: Not getting a planner/coordinator!
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2014, 02:08:37 PM »
I had my mother AND a "Day-Of" coordinator. I did all of the actual planning, vendor and site selection, etc. myself (w/ mother), but then met with a very competent lady to communicate my plan and vision for the day, and so all my mom and I had to do was show up! She made sure that the venue was set up as expected, and met the caterer, and kept the timing on pace.

CakeEater

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Re: Not getting a planner/coordinator!
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2014, 06:39:11 PM »

But sometimes I think that guests have gotten really, really lazy. And hostesses have let them. Figure out your own way to get to the church--why do you think the bride has any better idea than you do?

Once you start doing things to make their lives easy, they start to get really passive. Somehow all the burden has shifted to the hosts.

I agree. Wedding websites where every possible bit of information is conveyed seems to be the height of this. People used to find their way to weddings with just an address on the invitation. And these days, it has literally never been easier to find your way anywhere, and yet hosts feel the need to provide maps for locations on the main street through town. Accommodation options, or even provided, transportation for every guest etc. Not that those things are never necessary, but usually they're not.

On topic, I didn't have a co-ordinator, and it was fine. I had given pretty detailed timing sheets to everyone who needed them, we had our reception at a venue, DJ etc, and all were professional, and did their jobs on time, and pretty well. There was one issue with seating at the reception venue that my mother sorted out fairly quickly and that was it.


artk2002

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Re: Not getting a planner/coordinator!
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2014, 03:51:45 PM »
Hugs!

What you (and others) have discovered is that planning a major social event is hard! There are a thousand details that we normal mortals don't (or rarely) worry about, so we don't think about them. Even something as obvious (now) as checking for festivals or football games that conflict is hard to remember if those things aren't important to us. There are people in this life who take to this thing like a duck to water, but the rest of us don't realize that we're in over our necks until it's too late.

I agree, too that some of this is on the guests and wedding party. They're (supposedly) adults and can also check into traffic issues. I know that I do. Not all of this is the lack of a coordinator.

I hope you have a long and happy marriage, no matter how rocky the start was.
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