Just a Party Planner

In 2020 the COVID pandemic landed on the planet and took over…well…everything.  Events were really rough, because it was literally unsafe for us to gather.  Those of us who tried to remain in this profession watched celebrations fall apart and brides try to redefine what they really wanted for a wedding day.

One of my clients was a very young, early-twenties bride who—like many brides that year– had her wedding venue cancel.  She secured a second venue, which was also eventually canceled. Finally, it was decided by this girl and her sweet groom (whose parents were diagnosed with COVID during this third round of planning) to go ahead and get married at their original ceremony-in-the-park destination but switch the location of the reception to their newly purchased home.

During this transition the couple would schedule and reschedule the closing on their new home several times, have their dog fixed, and navigate the ever-changing rules from the Health Department… all while saying the sentence, “We just want to get married.”  Their calm demeanor through this entire process impressed me so much that I included it in my book, Wedding and Things: Tales from a Midwest Wedding Planner.  This couple planned their wedding three times… and fortunately for them, the third time was the charm.  They ended up closing on their darling little ranch in Northwest Indiana the day before the wedding, followed by the sweetest backyard reception a family could ever produce.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting that darling ranch home, now two years later, remodeled and ready for Baby Boy.  What an honor to be invited to this family celebration!  Their co-ed shower involved a houseful of family and friends on a sunny Saturday afternoon, with enough fried chicken and sandwiches to feed the town and a nursery cute enough for a magazine.  But the best part was walking up to the door and hearing the groom (and daddy-to-be) announce to his young wife when he saw me walking up the sidewalk, “Rebecca, Jenny’s here.”  And the two of them greeting me at the front door to hug me and tell me how happy they were I came.  I hugged the wife’s mom (gramma-to-be) and thanked her for inviting me… and her response was, “well you helped them get all of this started.”

And I almost cried in the middle of their kitchen.  Because I’m just the wedding coordinator!  I’m just the party planner!  I didn’t know these kids or their people beforehand, I was introduced to them at a coffee shop by a mutual friend and started taking notes.  That’s how it starts. But my vendors and I say every day what a privilege it all is… how chosen we feel when we get to participate in the memory-making for these families.  How much we end up loving them, like family.

So, brides: choose your vendors wisely.  Yes, look at budget and Yelp reviews.  Ask around.  But at the end of the day, make sure your personality matches the personalities of those you are paying to attend to you on your wedding day.  Do that the right way and hopefully your mom will be hugging your wedding coordinator two years later over fried chicken in the kitchen. 😊 Goals.