Revenge of the Wedding Planner
When my husband and I got married three years ago, we were fortunate enough to hire a wedding planner–a lovely one named Frank who did everything from stuff, lick, seal and send our invitations for us to do lighting design and event space walk-throughs that we didn’t even have to attend. At our wedding, he and his lovely minions dressed in stage blacks with Madonna headsets on and stage managed the event like it was the newest big Broadway show. In short, he was marvelous.
After our experience with our beloved Frank, I was hoping for–nay expecting–something similar earlier this month when I was the Matron of Honor in my cousin’s wedding. I was wrong. And I am still fuming.
As the Matron of Honor, you are given a lot of chores. As I understand it, the main ones are:
1. Plan a bridal shower and/or bachelorette party
2. Make sure the bride’s dress/veil are laying correctly during the ceremony, during which time you may also hold her flowers
3. Bustle her before the reception
4. Drink and dance even if no one else is
5. Generally follow the bride around and ask her if she needs anything from time to time
I think most of you would agree with this assessment. As far as my cousin’s wedding planner saw it, my duties were to do her job for her while she bitched at me and anyone else who got near her. At the rehearsal dinner I hid as she bossed around/snapped at the bride and our family. On the wedding day, I called her first thing in the morning on the number my cousin gave me to ask her a question for the bride; she returned my call hours later and yelled at me for calling on the wrong number. I tried to bring the flowers, as my cousin asked, to the groomsman only to have them ripped from my hands as she scolded me that they weren’t the right ones.
Ultimately, I sat in the wedding suite, salving my wounded pride, wondering what to do. It was one thing to be snapped at by the bride (who may have gotten a little tetchy here and there before the event, but that is to be expected), but the planner? It got so bad that we bridesmaids were in various states of undress in the bridal suite fending off hapless wedding guests who kept inadvertently barging in because the planner put a big “restrooms” sign pointing into the suite, and I was too afraid of getting yelled at to take it down.
After the ceremony I thought I was in the clear, but it turns out Ms. Thang had another surprise in store. She promptly passed off her two-page list of guests needed for photos to me, saying, “Can you do this? You’ll know who these people are so much better than I will!” and then disappeared–obviously to go kick her heels up and drink some wine. I nearly lost my mind.
How was I supposed to attend to the bride while wrangling forty elderly, ornery and overheated Jews down a hill for photos when there were hors d’oeuvres waiting for them elsewhere?
My husband, a groomsman, and the bride’s brother–God bless them–all helped me wrangle and we made it through the photos, all while grumbling about how the planner had bitched at them, locked them in the hot grooms’ suite for hours and refused to bring them drinks. Now that the big day is over, I can’t help but wonder–where does this woman get off? My cousin undoubtedly thinks things went swimmingly, and hopefully for her they did. The wedding was beautiful, which is clearly a testament to her taste and work, not Ms. Thang’s. But as for me, the joy of getting to be her right hand woman–something she did for me, and something we’d been planning since we were kids–was overshadowed by the bad taste this horrid woman left in my mouth. Instead of getting to watch her enjoy herself and be happy, I spent hours running around in heels doing someone else’s job.
The worst part is, I’m pretty sure I will now always think of that woman when I think of this wedding–and that’s not a memory I want. I can’t tell my cousin–she’s a sensitive sort, and it’s still too close to her big day for her to hear anything like this without shooting the messenger. But the good review she may otherwise give this planner is certainly neither a deserved, nor an accurate one. At this point, I can only hope karma exists–and that on her wedding day, whenever it may be, a giant wasp stings her in the face while a turkey pulls out her eye. Maybe then I’ll be happy.