Everyone starts as a virgin at something!
There is a time when every single person does something new that they have never done before. My virgin wedding was one of the scariest, most nerve wracking, yet exciting times of my life! What if I accidentally messed something up? What if I didn’t actually know what I was doing as much as I thought I did? What if I did something that would ruin the wedding? These were all questions going through my mind as young and naive girl who never had any professional event planning experience in her life. I was about to hold the fate of another person’s wedding in my hands and I was definitely going to wet the bed on this one…SO SCARED!
Let’s get into the story of how I even got this job.
In college, I was studying Hospitality with an emphasis in Event Management. We were required to obtain a total of 500 internship hours over 2 total internships and one of them had to be in our area of emphasis (ughhh so frustrating). I got an email from our SJSU department assistant that they had been contacted by a local winery who was looking for an Assistant Event Coordinator, and…IT WAS PAID!! I applied, interviewed a few days later, and I got the job about a week after that!!!
And then the adventure began…
I started working at this job in February and then about 1 month later we had our first wedding. What a way to just get thrown right in there! Sink or swim..
I was training with the current coordinator who was going to leave as soon as I finished training because she was pregnant. She showed me the ropes and how they handled planning weddings including the paperwork, ordering, etc. I definitely learned a lot working with the coordinator, but probably learned even more by working with the day of event staff. They taught me a lot about how to get everything ready for the big day including set up, folding napkins, maintaining the timeline (especially with the catering) and even handling those crazy drunk people who loved being a**holes. Trust me, there was PLENTY of those!
Of course, I did make some mistakes and not everything went according to plan but that was to be expected due to the fact that I am not perfect..WHAT A SURPRISE!
The coordinator I was working with had me run the entire rehearsal and day of the wedding; she of course was there to step in if need be and thank goodness for that. I was extremely frightened due to the fact that I had only ever helped with one other wedding in my life and it was a close family friend so I didn’t do that much. Just the pressure of it was making me super nervous. Like palms sweating and nervously having to pee type of nervous.
I remember during the rehearsal, she had me take the lead. We have gone over everything ahead of time but apparently not well enough because I was like a lost puppy dog. We were about to start and all of a sudden I had absolutely no clue what was happening. I was getting my words jumbled and I looked like a complete fool. She jumped in and saved me of course because this was a real wedding and she didn’t want things to go terribly. I felt so embarrassed! I just wanted to run away and hide in the vineyards..
So that happened and if that wasn’t bad enough, the next day when I arrived for the wedding, she told me that I would be the one running the entire day…UM WHATTT??? Did she want these people to have a terrible wedding? I didn’t have much of a choice so I just went with it and told myself that I could do it, no problem. That was the beginning of a seriously strange wedding..
I was the one directing the wedding party and telling them when to walk and what to do. I started to direct them and I was going too slow because I wasn’t sure how timing was supposed to work for that. One of the waitresses was trying to hurry me along from the side so I began going faster and then I was going too fast. I never really got training on this so I was a frantic mess trying to figure it all out. This was after the bride showed up almost 30 minutes late for her own wedding so come to find out later that is why they were hurrying me. Oh yeah and she also forgot her vows in her car and so I had to run and find those too……. This really did seem like a never ending nightmare of a day and it had honestly just begun.
The reception, as you can imagine, brought on an entirely new set of challenges. The bride was extremely emotional and would not stop crying during pictures. I had to constantly keep dabbing her face and clean up her makeup. It was a whole dang mess! Oh and they also had a chihuahua as part of their ceremony and pictures who decided to pee all over the bride in the middle of a photo. Yes, just imagine that for a minute….a white wedding dress which now had dog urine all over it. That would make for some great pictures now wouldn’t it??
Oh you thought I was done? No this was seriously like a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. We went on with photos and the photographer said she was just going to crop out the yellow dog pee. We went on with wedding party introductions, announced the couple, and began dinner. Everything was fine throughout the meal and then we went into the first dance. Yep..you guessed it; this was no ordinary first dance.
The couple decided that they were going to sing to each other during the first half of their dance. I then had to go in about half way through to get their microphones, as was their strange request but it was their wedding so I obliged. That wasn’t even the worst part. Then they kept dancing for the second half of the song and the bride accidentally stepped on her dress with her high heel and ripped a gigantic hole in it. Oh I definitely thought she was going to have a tantrum right then and there on the dance floor but instead she ran out of the building right after the dance ended. The DJ decided to play some music for the guests in the meantime, but oh my goodness…when was this wedding going to end? I remember thinking, “Is this what every wedding is like?”. If it was then maybe I was going into the wrong career… Way to waste thousands of dollars on studying event management in school right?
Last but definitely not least, the brides dad decided that he was going to take advantage of the open bar that he was paying for. We had to cut him off at a certain point because legally we are supposed to. He decided he didn’t like that very much. He was screaming that he was the one paying for it and he deserved another drink or he was going to leave. After some time of us trying to calm him, we had to get security involved because we couldn’t calm him down and the rest of the wedding guests didn’t need to see that anymore.
There were of course some high points of this wedding too but let me tell you..when it was over, it was a miracle that I actually did want to stay in the industry. This was my very first wedding and it went wrong in a lot of ways, some because of my inexperience and some because I needed good stories in the future apparently. I mean, I was bound to make some mistakes and even though they weren’t too bad, I will always remember them and have definitely learned from them. I also learned a lot that day on how to deal with the wedding casualties..
The wedding industry is definitely not for the faint of heart. I have learned that you have to stay strong, confident, and also keep a calm demeanor, especially when dealing with the bullsh**. I also want to mention that not all weddings are like this. There are usually some amazing weddings every year mixed in with the insane ones; I just happened to start on one of the seriously wacky ones! Lucky me…
If you enjoyed then stop in for future blogs!
Monday Blog: How to Deal with your Postponed Wedding
Thursday: The One Where the Bride and Groom almost fist fight…