I walked around the wedding venue admiring the decorations and pretty things. The handsome and charming guy making my life difficult [in whatever way he could] was staring at me. I ignored him, going about my business. I had a wedding to execute.
OKAY- that first part never happened. But I really wanted to feel like I was in a Hallmark movie during this internship. However, I soon realized that a wedding planner on Hallmark is never actually shown decorating a venue for SIX+ hours and dealing with overly-excited guests. There were also no cute guys acknowledging me or trying to make my life difficult that I then fell in love with… what a rip-off.
In the fall of 2016, I applied to be a wedding planning intern for a company working with brides all over the East Coast of the United States. Because I have only attended one wedding- when I WAS FIVE- I was terrified to apply. What was even popular nowadays? I didn’t know anything about the wedding industry, yet I pushed my fears aside and applied. After what seemed like weeks, I heard back- I HAD GOT IT! No previous wedding experience, a Political Science major, my work experience being government-related jobs, working at a fitness studio, eradicating algae at golf courses and substitute teaching- why in the world did the wedding planner pick me??
The wedding planner and I met at the local Barnes & Noble. We talked flowers and about the wedding business. Anyone that knows me KNOWS I probably couldn’t name a flower if it was put in front of my face. (Now, I probably still can’t except for the obvious ones like roses and tulips.) She was upbeat and energetic- everything that I imagined a wedding planner being- and resembled me. I found out that she lived a couple minutes from my house and I began meeting her on Thursday’s and having Skype sessions with her creative assistant located in Richmond.
Both weddings that I completed were in Charlottesville, VA (the Clifton Inn and Keswick Hall). They are both gorgeous venues (and are very different)- check them out!
Things I learned from my weddings:
- Still kinda annoyed at how precise everything needs to be
- Who knew you actually had to measure out the distance between place cards when arranging them on a table? I think I spent about 40 minutes taking my ruler and arranging blocks of wood with name cards sticking up out of them. What made it worse is that there was a center piece you had to work around. You can’t just “trust your eye” with this task. This annoyed me because people were going to be messing them up immediately when they grabbed them up. However, if this was my wedding, would I want perfection? I probably would.
- Was forever wishing I was the photographer
- Every moment was a “photo op” where I wished I was the photographer.
- You meet all kinds
- The Clifton Inn venue only had one bathroom on the main level that we knew of. This was a disaster since the vendors all gathered in the room where the only bathroom was. Guests would walk by me constantly. I would try to be nice and smile even though I really wanted a nap. A Chinese guy went to the bathroom 36 times (or that’s what it felt like). Each time, he walked past all the vendors and “thanked us for all our hard work.” I appreciated the compliment, but once, twice (or even five times) would have sufficed. And while going to the secret bathroom in the basement later, WHO DID I HAPPEN TO RUN INTO? Yep, the Chinese boy- screaming when I met him on the steps, claiming I “gave him a fright!” (No, he was not drinking.) I met some of the band members that played at one of Donald Trump’s children’s weddings and a weird bartender who kept trying to give me alcohol claiming it wasn’t alcohol.
- The hard work pays off
- There is something so satisfying seeing everything finished and knowing that you did the work. It’s even more amazing when the couple acknowledges that you have created their dream wedding. However, nothing beats that feeling when it’s time to go home.
Would I do the wedding planning again? NO WAY JOSE! I love interacting with people but I believe this may have not been the best fit for me. I, however, am thankful for the opportunity and I am glad I tried it. The take-away: don’t be afraid to apply for any job or take any risk. You might find your calling, a new hobby or a new love. You might not. You do get some amazing memories and learn lots, especially about yourself!!