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Professional Wedding Planners Recall Unforgettable Weddings

All weddings are royal--and unforgettable. Here, professional planners recall their favorites.

I'm sure the feeling will fade by the time you read this. But as I write, it's not quite a week since the royal wedding, and I'm still feeling a little dizzy from all the beautiful buzz.

Within the onslaught of news coverage, I loved seeing the staid business publications predicting the impact of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, from its economic implications to the potential political fallout.

One remarkable moment came in the sermon by the bishop of London, who said that weddings are so important, “In a sense, every wedding is a royal wedding.”

Certainly the professional wedding planners I speak with recall weddings that are just as unforgettable to them as the royal wedding will be to the world.

Chicago's Frank Andonoplas, MBC, will never forget one special bride — a pediatrician who rarely wore makeup and “was not a size 6.” A “nervous wreck” as she dressed for the ceremony, the bride turned to Frank and asked him how she looked. “I said, ‘You need to see for yourself,’” he says. She looked at herself in the mirror, gasped and exclaimed, “I'm beautiful!” Frank recalls, “She cried. Her mother cried. And, yes, I joined in and cried too. It was a moment that I will never ever forget, and reinforces why I do what I do.”

For Joyce Scardina Becker, CSEP, her unforgettable wedding was her own. “I had the most fun planning little details that I had always wanted to do for other people's weddings but could not,” she says. She and husband Dana were married in the same San Francisco church where her parents wed in 1937. With myriad surprises — such as a “prenuptial picnic” and a custom video showing photos of the guests over the years — it's no surprise that Joyce received thank-you notes from many in attendance.

For Barbara Wallace, CSEP, of Barbara Wallace Weddings in Corona del Mar, Calif., her unforgettable wedding was a small one for a couple who faced personal challenges along the way. After initially hiring Barbara, the bride-to-be postponed the wedding for four years as she and her intended worked though dark days. “I was happy to wait and honored to be called upon when they were ready,” Barbara says. “It was just a wonderful and special wedding.”

The royal wedding reminds us that whether we are participants or spectators, weddings bind us to one another. They create a community of the heart, imprinting emotions upon our souls that we will never forget.

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