This is my first blog as an account executive! Not that being a wedding planning intern wasn’t super fun and all, but now I am the newest “big kid” member of the Weddings in Vieques team and I couldn’t be more excited! Also, my dog, Howie missed me while I was home in Colorado, and kept running away to the office. I think my co-workers were ready to have me come back!
I have learned more life and professional lessons in the last three months than I can ever put into words. The other morning, as our new interns prepared for their first wedding day, I was thinking about my first wedding as an intern – the planning, organization, set up, and execution of it all just seemed like sheer chaos to me. I laughed just thinking about what the girls would face in the coming hours. Now that I’m a pro at this, I realize it’s totally organized chaos… all the time! But that’s okay because we know what’s going on, even if it doesn’t look like it to the amateur eye.
Planning a destination wedding is no easy feat, but under the wing of Sandy Malone, I learned several very important lessons. So I figured for y’alls entertainment (and Sandy’s), I will share a few of the more memorable lessons I learned this summer:
– There is no standing around and looking pretty in wedding planning.
Despite whatever David Tutera has made you believe, wedding planning is not as glamorous as it looks on TV. As a wedding planning intern I have climbed on ladders, crawled under tables and moved countless stacks of chairs – just to name a few things. In the Caribbean, all this means that I get really funky – hair catastrophe, makeup smearing, smelly funk. There is no time for standing around and looking pretty. If it so happens that the tablecloths are not blowing off the table, then the chairs most likely need to be dried off due to a recent rainstorm, or we’re missing a bridesmaid (no really, like as in she’s nowhere to be found). Regardless of setbacks, it is our job to make sure it is taken care of and that the bride and groom never know about it (if possible) so they can focus on enjoying their special day.
– Flowers die – and it’s only funny when Angelica can bring them back to life.
There is nothing quite like walking into the office in the morning and finding all your hydrangea bouquets for the wedding that weekend are dead or almost there. But just like all other mishaps – it happens. The important thing is that the issue is resolved. Hydrangeas are thirsty little flowers and they will drink over a quarter of a bucket of water just overnight (we know from experience). Thank God Angelica (from our sister company Flowers in Vieques) has a green thumb and was able to soak them in water for a few hours and magically bring them back to life! Lesson learned here: there’s no such thing as too much water when it comes to certain flowers in the Caribbean. And now I know why Sandy ALWAYS orders extra flowers when we’re dealing with something delicate.
– Buttercream frosting and heavy cake toppers do not mix.
The bride and groom brought their own porcelain cake topper of a couple standing on sand. It was big and it was heavy. The cake was small, and moist, and frosted in buttercream. The wedding was at 12 noon – the hottest part of the day. Need I continue?
Buttercream frosting + heavy cake topper + Caribbean heat = quicksand cake! By mid-ceremony, the cute couple on the cake topper was up to their knees in frosting. It totally looked like quicksand. Not only was the topper sinking into the layers of the cake, but it was splitting the whole back side. Emergency repairs saved the day and the bride and groom saw the cake before it was a total caketastrophy, but it definitely wasn’t one of our finer moments. Lesson: Heavy cake toppers don’t work on a lot of cakes. Warn your wedding planner or pastry chef in advance.
– Drunk and disorderly is never becoming
It shocked me how inappropriate some people find it acceptable to act at weddings. As Sandy says, there’s always one common ingredient when it comes to these types of issues: alcohol. I understand that arriving on an island has a way of throwing people into care-free party mode, but that does not make it okay. We’re talking about someone’s wedding (probably your family member or close friend’s if you’ve traveled this far), not a wild spring break vacation.
While we do find it mildly amusing, as a bride, I would not find humor in my new father-in-law strutting around in his skivvies at my reception, or the groom insisting on changing into an orange-jumpsuit looking ensemble and harassing the band (no really, we have pictures of the FoG’s unfortunate boxer briefs and the groom’s prison garb).
I learned a lot last summer- mostly that it’s important to maintain a sense of humor while we plug along, doing our jobs, manage the bizarre and wondrous things that just seem to happen at weddings The organized chaos hasn’t scared me off yet and things are always interesting when it comes to Weddings in Vieques, but that’s half the fun!
Howie is happy to have me back and shows me by rolling in mud and then jumping on me when I walk in the gate which means a bubble bath for both him and me on almost a daily basis. It’s probably on purpose because he knows I let him sleep with me if he’s freshly bathed. I am ecstatic to be back full time, even though it means I will miss the fall and snow in Colorado- the humidity is growing on me. So don’t y’all worry, you will be hearing plenty more from me! And now you’ve met Howie, the official mascot of Weddings in Vieques too. Shhh… don’t tell Sandy’s dog Houdini.