This spring I had the pleasure of Officiating and Coordinating for an adorable couple. I’d met with them a couple of times before the big day and was really looking forward to being a part of it all. Then a week or so before their wedding, the bride contacted me saying the venue owner (and on-site coordinator) had serious restrictions on what I could (or more importantly, couldn’t) do.
I couldn’t move the chairs, centerpieces, or tables. I could not open closed doors and I could not move furniture or other décor. I also could not arrive prior to a specific time (which happened to be an hour after my already contracted time with the bride and groom). I could not go into the kitchen.
Huh? What could I do exactly? I actually started to get a little concerned. I felt this couple had paid me a fair amount of money but I wasn’t going to earn it. I even tried to figure out how I could refund a portion of their money – something I have never felt the need to do. I needn’t have worried.
Lucky for me, my bride was one of my most relaxed, laid back brides ever and she was fully aware of how challenging this particular venue owner/on-site coordinator was. So we worked around her. My assistant and I showed up at our previously arranged time and hung hid out in the bridal quarters with the wedding party, ready to run any last-minute errands that may pop up. Once I was allowed to be there I asked the venue owner/on-site coordinator to rearrange the chairs the way the bride and I had discussed. Soon after the chairs were all re-arranged we got the weather report – our beautiful and sunny spring day was going to turn rainy right at the ceremony time! So we asked the chairs and tables be moved under the tents – yes some guests would have to stand during the ceremony but it was short and it was better than the tables getting soaked.
There were more challenges throughout the day – the ceremony ended and the skies opened up a torrential downpour on us for at least an hour. Guests were ushered into the small venue by my assistant and me with umbrellas. We tried to wait it out but eventually started serving dinner while the rain continued – some guests ate inside and some outside. My assistant and I became de facto servers because there was no room under the tents for the planned buffet line. The timeline was re-arranged several times throughout the evening. And I eventually got permission to move in and out of the kitchen.
It ended up being one of my hardest, most challenging weddings ever. And I loved every minute of it. I was so glad this couple had hired me as their DoC – I cringe at the thought of how stressful things might have been for them, and their families, if we hadn’t been there for them.