Mid-morning my phone rings. “Good Morning, the I Do Expert. How can I help you?” I said as cheerfully as possible for a Monday morning. “You could help me by doing what you told me you were going to do!!!” screeched the voice on the phone.
Robin Williams’ voice fills my head saying “GOOOOOOOOOOD Morning Vietnam!” As soon as Mr. Williams finishes, my mind begins racing as to who this caller could possibly be....and it hit me. Who could be that rude on the telephone? The only bride in the world who would be so rude as to serve only thirty guests dinner at her wedding reception. “Good Morning Sarah. Something seems to be bothering you, what can I do to fix it?”
It had been months since I had heard from “sweet”, “kind” Sarah. Actually, I was glad I hadn’t heard from her in a while. I had followed up with her via email immediately after our meeting with the estimate for her wedding reception and the fifth floor plan we had worked up. As we were still over a year away from the wedding, the firefighter themed wedding, I could not imagine what on earth she was so upset about. Then I thought, Billy realized what he had gotten himself in for and the whole thing was going to be cancelled.
To the silence on the phone line I said “Sarah, is everything okay with you and Billy?”
“Of course it is! Everything is not okay with me and you!” she barked.
“Sarah, what has you so upset this morning. You said that I haven’t done something that you wanted me to do?”
“Yes, where’s the floor plan you said you were going to be sending me?”
The floor plan that you have changed eight times? The floor plan that you insist on setting up completely different than anything I recommend? I wanted to say, but instead I kindly said “I am sorry you are so upset over this. I sent the floor plan the day after our meeting three months ago. Why don’t I go ahead and send it to you again.....” Well long story short, and I will spare you the obscenities that she called me, Sarah changed her email address and forgot to give it to me. She had changed from her maiden name to her married name already. Not once did she apologize for jumping off the deep-end over a floor plan for an event over a year away, but she shoved the blame off on me saying “Maybe you aren’t as good as everyone says you are because if I were you, I would have known that I would change my email eventually.”
Sure Sarah, aside from being a stellar wedding and party planner, I forgot to mention I am a mind reader! So I have her new email address and sent the floor plan on.
A few more months fly by, and Sarah, Billy, and I sit down to go over some details to finalize them (in pen this time)! We have a meeting scheduled. I had blocked off a good portion of my afternoon for the loving couple. We discussed decorations, menu, seating charts, etc. All and all the bride and groom were thrilled.
Let’s fast forward six months to the glorious day of the wedding and reception. Everything runs smooth at the wedding ceremony. The second string bridesmaids did a stellar job of looking like a fairy-tale for the bride. We finish up pictures at the church while the guests are headed to the reception location. Everyone is loaded into the fire truck and they are off. It was like a dream come true....sirens, flashing lights, and people staring to see what was going on. Sarah was thrilled. She was perched on the fire engine like she was the prom queen at a county fair parade.
We arrive at the reception hall and guests are lined up to see the spectacle. Once inside, we get everyone arranged to be announced into the reception when I hear something coming from the back of the line. I rush back to find the bride in the midst of a three year old temper tantrum. She was crying, stomping her feet, and all but flailing on the ground.
“What’s wrong, are you alright?” I say rushing to her and looking for any sign of serious injury.
“I saw someone wearing my shoes! Can you ask them to change? This is my day!”
Seriously? I am looking around for the a guy to jump out and say “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!” I want to say “Where’s Ashton Kutcher? Did I just get Punked?”
Instead I look at her and she is dead serious. She was the tiniest little bride and her dress was beautiful and full, you couldn’t see her shoes. When she pulled her dress up to reveal the prized possessions that someone dared to wear at her wedding, I lost my breath a little. No they were not Manolo’s, not Louboutin’s, not any designer. They were your run of the mill, clear heeled stripper shoes! I am surprised they didn’t have glitter or real fish floating around in the heels. It literally took every ounce of me not to bust up laughing at this point.
Out of my handy wedding emergency bag I pull a pair of white, glitterized ballet slippers. “Here Sarah,” I say passing them to her. “Slip these on, you are going to want to be comfortable the rest of the night and I can guarantee you no one else in here has a pair of these! I hand made them just for you!”
With tears in her eyes, she threw her arms around me and gave me the biggest hug. She was thrilled. So she was announced, went into the reception and had a fabulous time.
In the end, I convinced her to take the money she would have spent to serve thirty guests lobster and steak, and instead serve all of the guests a nice buffet dinner. So everyone ate! Yippee!!!!
6 Firefighter Uniforms (pants, boots, helmet, and suspenders) for Decor - $300.00 deposit to the Fire Chief
500 Buffet Dinners - $3,000
2 Fire Hoses for Decor - Free (they had holes in them)
Happy Bride and Groom - Priceless
I am so glad to have been able to give Sarah and Billy their dream wedding. I think that every wedding, reception and couple have a lesson they teach me.
Lesson Learned: Dream weddings come in all different shapes and sizes. It is not the final dollar amount spent on a wedding and it is not even doing things by the book. It is sticking to what makes you happy and enjoying every minute of it. Sarah especially taught me patience, smiling through it all. I definitely had to take a “kill them with kindness” mantra to get through this one!
The I Do Expert