I LOVE my husband, I love being married, but — given the chance — I'd love to redo my wedding.
Nine years ago, before joining Special Events Magazine, I just didn't know what I didn't know about weddings. If I did it again today, I'd make wiser choices.
For example, I'd double-check the floral order. (I arrived at my own reception to wonder, “Hmm, how did my cool, white-and-lavender palette turn into coral and yellow?”) I'd request another rehearsal of the processional so that the organist wouldn't end his rendition of Clarke's “Trumpet Voluntary” with me still 5 feet from the altar. (My, but a church full of people can be quiet!) And I'd definitely pay more for a better photographer. Mine kept asking me to strike canned poses, such as pointing to my freshly signed marriage license with a big grin and flashing the thumbs-up. At the reception, he helped himself to plenty of champagne and then made a pass at my maid-of-honor sister.
Apparently I'm right in step with the sentiments of the new breed of “encore” brides, as you'll learn in our cover story, “Retying the Knot.” Assistant editor Christine Landry interviewed planners who are setting some tender new traditions for brides and grooms heading down the aisle a second time.
Of course, my wedding was a breeze compared with the tales of matrimonial mayhem that our party rental pros share in this month's “Rental Essentials.” I didn't watch as my dance floor melted or have to fend off crowds of cicadas. Think you've seen it all? Turn to page 47 for some eye-openers.
Although many of these wacky wedding stories made me laugh, others gave me pause. Several party rental operators described thorny relations with their wedding planners that went beyond a difference of opinion.
These stories involved party rental pros delivering unwelcome — and expensive — news. In one case, the client wanted a dance floor on uneven ground but didn't want to pay for a subfloor. In another tale, the planner tried to save money by forgoing a floor under the party tent despite the prediction of rain.
In the first scenario, the rental company installed a portable stage with a leg-leveler and put the dance floor on the stage. The company ate the cost, vowed to do more site inspections but wound up with a delighted client. In the second story, the rain flooded the tent, and the planner, in spite, stopped payment on money owed to the rental company for two days' hard work.
I so often am struck by how quick event professionals are to share the credit for successful events. But the wedding stories I describe here show the flip side — planners too distracted or too smug to listen to good — albeit expensive — advice. For the best events, work with the best people and listen to what they tell you, even if you don't want to hear it. Words for the wiser.
(And speaking of redos, we're at work revamping Special Events Magazine, as you'll see on our cover. There's more to come; watch these pages!)