I’ll be honest, when I first started with Vanity Affair I had no idea what to expect. I had written about weddings, helped plan a close friend’s wedding (sort of), and obsessed over them on Pinterest. I knew not to glamorize the industry, simply because the magazine industry I was a part of was often glamorized despite the inside dirty work. I learned pretty quickly that the wedding industry is a whole other beast–and the pictures only show the stunning results of a crazy, in-depth production.
Kelsey and I were headed back from a site visit outside of Corvallis when I asked her what the weirdest question she’s ever received from a client was. She didn’t have one, but rather she found that the public’s assumptions of what wedding planners do were the most puzzling.
You can’t really blame someone for not knowing what goes on in an industry they’re not a part of. I’m clearly not equipped to recite the job qualifications and daily schedule of a surgeon or a construction worker–though I could guess. But sometimes the lack of seriousness or the expectations set by people can be far from realistic.
“No one really takes you seriously until you show up and they realize you actually know what you’re talking about,” Kelsey said.
Movies have seemed to butcher the occupation. Even the way planners are portrayed in the media reflect airheads obsessed with the frills and giggles of a wedding. I can guarantee you we’re not throwing glitter and confetti, styling dresses, or running around with ribbons during our work hours (or off hours).
It’s a little more nitty gritty than that. And a lot more emails and organization than one might think. Kelsey has given a foot massage to a bride-to-be, handpicked worms off a dance floor in the rain as vendors (male ones mind you- you had to be there, too funny!) watched, and had her kickass boyfriend drive three hours to help with a printing error on a client’s menu and made it back just as cocktail hour was ending. The planning process isn’t glamorous and it’s not perfect. Shit happens, and even if it happens day of the wedding, planners turn into the emergency cleanup crew, putting out fires and fixing messes before they happen or before it can domino into something worse.
Wedding planners are often behind the scenes and behind the screen. We’re taking calls and responding to emails, collecting proposal after proposal, and refining the details of timelines to the couple’s last step out of the venue. It’s tiring, but it becomes a wild, fun addiction after a while, one that we never want to give up.