On your wedding day, you wake up in disbelief. After months or even years of planning, the big day has finally arrived. You take an extra long shower, you shave, you scrub, you dab perfume everywhere, you lie on your bed lathered in coconut oil (or was that just me?). Your friends arrive. Your mom cries. You get your hair done, you get your makeup done, and you put your clothes on. You feel the most elegant you have ever felt. Then you walk down the aisle to the man of your dreams. Then you will dance the night away atop your monogrammed dance floor. And everything will you planned will go off without a hitch, right?
For many brides this is not the scenario. The phone rings. The makeup artist isn’t coming, your officiant is late, the venue is locked for the florists, the flowers are dead, the DJ is caught in traffic, the rain is moving your ceremony inside, there is a leak at the church, your hubs is missing, your groomsmen lost their tuxes, your bridesmaid ripped her dress, and the list goes on and so on. There are a million things that can go wrong on your wedding day AND THEY WILL.
As someone who is a Type A personality, I can hereby attest that letting go was one of the greatest lessons I learned while planning our wedding. I planned it to a tee. considering every detail, but I had no control over how my “run of show” went. It was about getting married and I wanted to focus on love, not if everyone is where they were supposed to be. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the wedding thing and having this big day all for me and the Hubs BUT I knew what it all meant. It was more than a big party to me. It was an epic event not because of the linens on my tables; it was epic because we shared it with the most special people in our lives. I focused on the love but i was still ready for the issues that might come up. I wanted to be prepared.
As the Type A theatre gal I am, I was also a Pinterest freak for my wedding. I saw every centerpiece, favor, and mason jar accessory on there; I dreamed of DIYing everything but then I reined myself in. I was also all about prep and organization. My lists were epic and I really got down to business, a good balance of DIY and purchased items. Everything had meaning to us and honestly I felt so great about what we could share with our friends and family. My favorite link was apracticalwedding.com/2011/07/wedding-planner-tip/, How to Stage Manage Your Wedding. This woman was a stage manager and she tells you how to chill out and make it happen.
For those of you who don’t know a stage manager by definition is “the person responsible for the lighting and other technical arrangements for a stage play.” The TRUE definition is that they make everything happen for a show/production/concert. This man or woman is the shit. They are Yoda. Listen to them for everything and defy them if you are a glutton for punishment. They make shit happen, they call cues, they are the director after the director’s work is done, and in many instances, they make theatre magic and get no credit for it. Shout out to my former Stage Managers. You rule and thanks for not letting me be smooshed by a set piece or lit on fire.
A run of show is necessary for a wedding too. Even though it’s not a show, it IS a major event in your life. You want it to run smoothly. By planning it out and making a “run of show” or a detailed itinerary, you ensure that things will go in the order you want. Your DJ needs to know if you want t do a toast/slideshow, when you want to dance with your dad, who is giving toasts, when do you want to do the garter/bouquet toss, etc, etc. The venue wants to know what time the cake cutting should happen, how long you want cocktail hour to be, if you are doing a garter toss, etc, etc, etc… This gives you the chance to sit down with your future Mr. and do a timeline of how you want this day to pan out. It also will make you as a couple realize just how fast the day goes. Your wedding literally is over in a minute and you will be busy every single second. Thousands of dollars are spent for what feels like a flash. Take the time together to draw out how you want to spend that precious time. Build in moments of alone time, dancing time, EATING time, and time for LOTS of hugs and smooches. Prioritize your wedding day. Write down everything you want to happen. Awesome! So now you’ve taken care of yourself but what about everyone else? How do you know your bridesmaid won’t go to the bathroom when you want to take a picture at the reception? Where is your nephew? Did we get that picture of Aunt Sally and Uncle Frank? In he big poofy, ivory gown you are sporting, chasing down your loved ones ain’t happening.
This is what I’m saying, folks: YOU CANNOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN.
“Oh, but I’m not, I have my husband now and he will help.”
He cannot help you. He will be as busy as you are. Aunt Sally wants to pinch his cheeks and talk about her bunions for ten minutes. Ain’t nobody got time.
“What about my bridesmaids and groomsmen? That’s their job!”
Yea, try to get them away from the bar. Once my girls started in on shots, I’m lucky I saw them again. LOL just kidding, girls! Seriously aren’t they in all of your pictures with you? Haven’t they already done a ton for you?
Here is the thing. You need someone you trust implicitly to be your stage manager/day of coordinator. If you are having a big wedding with lots of elements, this will make everything go as planned. And now I will gush about my Goosey as I discuss her many responsibilities.
I have known my friend Goosey for years. I met her when she was an adorable yet mature 14-year-old who liked to hang out with the older kids. She became my little sister. She has been there for me through it all and I have watched her grow up from the little sister type to my dear friend. I limited myself to very few bridesmaids and it pained me to do so or Goosey would have been standing by my side. (That’s a story for another day.) I am grateful that Goosey was at every single wedding event. She was front and center at my bachelorette party, stylish at my bridal shower, and ever helpful with any task I needed her for. I never have to wonder what a true friend I have in her. I asked her early on to be my day of coordinator and when she asked me what that means, I told her simply to be a biatch. That’s right, a biatch, a hard ass since I can’t be. She was my “make sure,” my go-to person if there were any issues. If there was an issue, I asked her to take it on. (We were lucky to have only one or two MINOR snuafus.) She made sure everyone was ready to go for pictures, she made sure I got all the pictures of people that I wanted, she made my ceremony music happen, she made sure everyone was on schedule with hair/makeup/departures, she made sure Hubs got his survival kit, and she made sure I was breathing. She did so much more that I don’t even remember now, but she was there for me in a way that I will never forget. I was so grateful for her and so was Hubs; we know what a truly great forever friend we have in her. We love you, Goosey.
So my final words are to find your Goosey. Chances are you have a helpful venue staff but you still need someone on your side who knows more about your big day. Pick someone you can trust to make sure things happen the way you want them to. Direct your wedding and then hand it over to a Yoda you trust, a stage manager who deserves all the credit in the world. For me, that was Goosey. Who will you choose?