The Other Side of the Aisle

Everyone is seated, the organ is blaring beautiful ceremonial music, my smiling family members litter the crowd, and I’m frickin freaking out because I’ve forgotten where I am for a moment and am momentarily convinced that there’s no way the bride, my cousin, will know when to walk down the aisle if I’m not there to cue her. She will wait behind the curtain forever, not knowing the proper time to step out onto the aisle, and we’ll all be waiting here forever in wedding purgatory aka the literal nightmare of a wedding planner.

Events, especially weddings, are living things. They need to have certain things to survive and , most importantly, thrive. The purpose of the event should be accomplished, like a marriage at a wedding or a dinner at a dinner party. The guests should both understand what to anticipate and also be happily surprised by fun quirks and unique touches. Guests know a marriage is going to take place, but do they know that there will be animals at the ceremony? (A trend I’m in full support of, by the way). Finally, the guests should feel how the event is supposed to make them feel. A fundraiser should inspire compassion and generosity, a dinner party should be conversational and effortless, and a wedding should be a reminder of love in every sense. The love of the couple, the love of their friends and family, and the love of having a good time and whipping out dance moves you probably shouldn’t.

This is why I wanted to become a wedding planner. I like making things look perfect, being creative, working with other awesome creative people, and making an atmosphere that can remind people of the best things in life in beautiful and unique ways. However, I am also an incurable control freak. This can be good! I like the responsibility of making sure something goes perfectly (possibly why I was attracted to working for Perfectly Planned…). However, this can also be bad. Like when you’re asked to be a bridesmaid in your cousin’s wedding and you have to resist the urge to take literally everything over. Even when everything is (without me???) running smoothly, looking beautiful, and well-organized, I want to take charge and whip out some Aisle Planner magic because that’s who I am and that’s what I do.

My cousin, Grace, planned her own wedding and I have to say, she kicked some serious butt. Bad weddings are all too common. Weird color schemes, long wait times for guests, bad food, no flow, awkward DJs, and a whole slew of other little things that can make guests say “yikes”. These weddings don’t usually involve a planner because it’s our job to have good taste, advice, recommendations, and to run eventually run the show so that everyone there can just be present in the moment. Grace is one of those brides that did pretty much everything and managed to avoid all of the above. Grace told me after the wedding that she wished she could have had someone to delegate the nitty-gritty-not-so-fun parts of planning, but was happy that she could make everything exactly as she wanted it.

The ceremony took place at King Avenue Methodist, the family’s church for years. My aunt and uncle, her parents, had their wedding there. The color scheme geniously fit in with the Scottish heritage of both families as well as the colors of the church. Burgundy, taupe, navy blue, blush, emerald green, and silver accents (which is quite the color scheme) were woven together perfectly. Everything was perfect, beautiful, well-organized, frickin classy, and the reception was a huge party where even my grandma got down and diggity.  I asked her what her favorite moment was and she told me this,

“I think the whole day was my favorite but if I had to pick one moment, it would be on the dance floor during one of the slower numbers near the end of the night. I just looked around at all of my favorite people on the same dance floor- smiling and talking and dance and drinking and having a great time. It was the reason for the whole day.”

From a planner’s perspective, these moments are what we live for. Color schemes, vendors, budgeting, etc. are what we’re great at, but helping to create these moments is why we do it in the first place.

xoxo Hannah