jacksonville Wedding Planner
Having any event takes a lot of communication and planning. Even with the best vendors there may be some bumps in the road. This past weekend we had one of those bumps. Our caterer had mistakenly moved our event to another weekend. When we called and found out they were not coming, our team had to act fast to save the night. Our newest Intern, Jessica Kress, wrote the following blog on her experience. She really earned her wings with us Friday night. This was only her second event…
With Christmas around the corner, Southern Charm Wedding and Events is booked with weddings and other special events. On December 14, 2012, we planned a Christmas party at a historic home in Avondale. Guests started to arrive right on time, 5:30 p.m. Before entering the home, family and friends got to admire the classic red Corvette convertible parked in the front yard with
Santa waving and Rudolph leading the way. But before we the guests could arrive, a lot of planning and coordinating had to take place. So let’s start from the beginning, where everything started to make this event happen.
In order to set up for this Christmas party we first removed chairs and tables, filled coolers for drinks, began to blow up the Bouncy House in the back yard, and made a designated place for Santa. Next, we began working on the kids’ dishes: rolled meats, cheese cubes, grapes and apples were arranged. They were finished just in time before the cater was scheduled to arrive with the food for the adults. Time quickly passed as little things were being taken care of. We soon realized the cater was nowhere to be found! Thirty minutes before guests were supposed to arrive, we find out that the cater misunderstood the date of the event and accidentally rescheduled it for another weekend.
With some quick thinking and extra help, a trip to the Publix grocery store was top priority. Time was the key factor in this trip. Quickly choosing items that would be easy to prepare in a short amount of time, the grocery cart filled up fast! Shrimp cocktail, quiche, egg rolls, loaded potato skins, crescent dogs, hummus and pita bread were purchased. Speeding back to the house, unloading the groceries and preparing the food was a race for time. The shrimp cocktail was the first thing out adding to the collection of meat, fruit and cheese platters. Egg rolls and quiche followed. The potato skins and crescent dogs were last to make the table and seemed to be one of the favorites.
While we were making the Publix trip, Tanya was quick on the phone and called another caterer and asked for help. This second caterer was gracious
enough to help at the last minute and provided more food. We gained pecan crusted chicken on skewers, crab cakes, a variety of cheese and crackers and sauces.
Preparing multiple entrees was hectic. Timing everything, remembering what food was where in the ovens, what food needed to be reheated that was on the table, what food needed to be restocked; it was such an organized chaos without the cater. At the end of the night, the Christmas party turned out to be a success. Guests raved about the food and could not believe the story behind our madness.
It was unfortunate that there was miscommunication between vendors for this event, however, things like this happen. When they do, it is great to have an event planning team willing to pitch in and do what they can to pull off an event the best they can! This can also be a lesson learned for future hosts. Hiring an event planner will help keep everything in order. If chaos happens to break out, we are there to make sure everything is under control. We do what we have to do to ensure a great event for the host and guests.
As each of my interns start working weddings, I like to ask them to write a blog post about their experiences. One of our newest interns, Tara Close, is also a recent bride. After the last wedding, she and I were talking about all the behind the scene’s work and would she had hired a wedding planner if she had it to all over again. Here is Tara’s take:
Ten months ago I was knee deep in all of the wedding planning stresses that often grace the doorstep of each “do-it-yourself” bride. My mother and I were taking on all of the odds and ends that make up a wedding ceremony and reception, tackling each hurdle as it came, hoping things would go smoothly on the big day. From picking vendors, ordering decorations, sending out invitations, and dealing with various venues, the list of things to do and my stress level just kept growing and growing. By the time the big day came around, the last thing either of us wanted to do was worry about the details that may fall through the cracks, but when you “do it yourself,” you just take that risk. Although no major problems happened that night, having someone there to relieve the small jobs my mom was in charge of throughout the day would have been a great relief. Your loved ones, especially the ones who play a huge part in your big day, shouldn’t have to “work” at your wedding. Not only were my parents hosting the biggest day of my life, but they were also busy making sure everything turned out the way we planned.
Hiring a wedding planner is something that many people don’t find necessary, because they simply think they can handle it all themselves. Why add to the growing list of expenses? But wedding planning should be at the top of your list when it comes to preparing for your big day. The reassurance that you have a team of people working to make your wedding the best day of your life, should be reason enough to put it into your plans. Who wouldn’t want someone to take some of the burden of planning such a huge event off of their shoulders. Why wouldn’t you want to have that great feeling of knowing that someone is working just as hard as you are on your wedding, and that they do this for a living. That’s right! The wedding planning company that you pick is a professional! Attention to detail, flawless execution, and multitasking are their specialties.
Most wedding’s don’t go off without a hitch, and I think that is a concept most brides don’t understand because we are all focused on the fact that our day will be “perfect,” whatever perfect is to that individual. Often times, the flowers and cake are late, it’s to windy outside making setup of an outdoor wedding a nightmare, the caterers aren’t ready to serve dinner on time, or you forgot the unity candle you are using in your ceremony, and realize just moments before you walk down the aisle. That’s when you need a team there who is looking out for you and your guests. Ensuring that your vendors are there on time, that you have all of the elements you need in your ceremony on sight and ready to go at a moments notice, and most importantly handling the problems that will always come up so that you don’t have to stress and worry, and work on your wedding day.
So the big question is, if I could go back and do it all again…. would I hire a wedding planner? Absolutely! If peace of mind is all a wedding planner could give me on my big day, it would be more than enough. Just to know that someone is paying attention to the details, working behind the scenes, and ensuring that my friends and family don’t have to lift a finger on my big day is reason enough!
I recently asked one of my interns, Kristi Riley, to write me an article about the last wedding she worked with us through her eyes. This is how Kristi saw the day:
The last wedding that I interned with Southern Charm Events was anything but dull. The wedding and reception took place at Palm Valley Gardens in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. It was elegant and absolutely beautiful with deep red and silver colors in keeping with the Christmas theme. There was rain in the forecast, however, it turned out to be a sunny and beautiful, warm winter day. From the first moment we arrived on the wedding site we were hopping.
The first hurdle of the day was the bride’s father. He had fallen the night before the wedding and was taken to the emergency room with a very large gash in his leg. Nobody was sure he would be able to walk his daughter down the aisle. Luckily, he was able to pull it off….thank God for prescription drugs!
One of the groomsmen had lost weight since the last time he had tried on his tux. We had to pin him up to prevent any accidents. The grooms vest was too big….luckily Tanya has a HUGE emergency kit. This kit has everything imaginable! It has Pepto, antacids, safety pins, panty hose, make up remover and everything you can think of. About 10 minutes before the bride was to walk down the aisle, one of the bridesmaids ripped her dress. Of course, Tanya had a sewing kit and was able to sew her in her dress (which stayed in one piece all night.)
After the groomsmen and the bridesmaids walked out, it was time for the flower girl. The little 4 year old girl had a very long walk from the house to the garden by herself. Once she realized that everyone was looking at her she got embarrassed and decided that it would be best to cover her eyes. With her eyes covered, she could not see the pond beside her that she fell right in to. Other than being wet, she was fine. The wedding went on and was a success.
During the reception, the bartender came up to Tanya and told her we were running out of beer. With an open bar and a drinking crowd, this did not make the bride’s dad happy. I made a run to the liquor store and stocked up just in time. Nobody even knew that there was almost a bar disaster.
As the band started up and everyone danced and greeted the bride and groom, we helped the catering staff clear tables; we loaded gifts in the appropriate cars, passed out bubbles and cookies, and stayed BUSY! I heard so many people tell Tanya what an amazing job she did. It was so much fun and so much work at the same time.