Saturday, September 10, 2005

Tales from an Amateur Wedding Planner

There has been much talk about me launching a second career. One, not as noble, as in I will not be shaping young minds nor moulding the future of our nation but infinitely challenging and just as out there, with the people.

For the past week, I have done nothing but help plan K's wedding. Right down to the rose petals that should get strewn in the bathtub right about now. And it's been almost has exhausting as getting married itself.

The furor actually started on Thursday. There was the picking up of the stickers to place on the presents, the ribbons for the presents that had to be tied and attached and then K needed to be taught how to walk down the aisle. Step, sweep, step, step, sweep, step... more ribbons, more stickers, more presents, then it was Friday where there was the customary- for the bride to relax- spa which inadvertently stresses the bride out because there's too much to do to actually relax and do nothing for an hour and a half, followed by the picking up of the wedding gown and the traditional-stare at the designer in incredulity when he suggests you try on the gown since whether or not it fits, it is far too late to alter- look is used to the max.

The day had only just begun.

There was also nails to be done at LMD's place which was actually quite good until I heard that she had 19 hamsters and was looking for people to adopt them. I am almost as fearful of hamsters as much as I am of lizards. This is a bizarre turnaround seeing that I did have hamsters when I was younger. I seem to recall my first hamster was an albino one named Hafetry and it ran away and was probably eaten by the numerous cats that roamed our estate.

Anyway, there was also the rehearsal dinner, the most upmarket chilli crab/pepper crab dinner I have sat through under a marquee at One Fullerton's Palm Beach. As with other seafood based meals, I sat there and ate garnishing and vegetables, occasionally dipping bread in chilli crab gravy. What left me slightly slack-jawed was how these Americans were ordering bottles of Remy Martin's XO as if they were iced lemon tea. It seemed like it was the groom's delayed stag night with the amount of toasts that he had to drink to. Packrat and I tried to discreetly switch his glass of XO with Chinese tea, but these Yankee friends of his were quite sharp despite the fact that they probably weren't going to be able to walk in a straight line if their lives depended on it.

The wedding itself was beautiful with the bride being as flustered as she is supposed to be, but turning into a picture of calm while waiting for the doors of the church to open on her. I spent most of the time stressing about the speech that I had to give. I realised that an occupational hazard was that I speak at my best when I'm pacing and I couldn't pace up and down the stage lecturing the wedding guests on how great K was. Anyway, I had learnt from YM that, a) you should have a copy of the speech somewhere because you won't remember it later and b) "When I got married, insert name of bride had the easy job..." was a cheesy line that I had to use just for the heck of it. Thankfully, it went well. Someone said I should hire out my services as a speech giver at weddings and I put it down to her being quite drunk from all the wine at lunch.

I did like the fact that it was a lunch instead of a dinner, people seemed more alive and animated. I did also like the fact that there was a bubble machine and a live band that anglo-fied a Chinese 8 course meal.

Being K's body man/woman, I was bridesmaid, wedding planner and errand girl. She had forgotten an essential bit of her honeymoon trousseau. So in my floor length, bridesmaid gown and hair held together by half a can of hairspray and 4 fresh flowers, I swept into a near by mall, much to the amusement of onlookers to buy something in 10 seconds that cost $320. The salesgirl must have been quite pleased-can close shop for the day, commission for the day settled in a 10 second purchase.

By then, it was 5 in the evening and my feet hurt. I knew that I still had a long evening ahead of me because I had to remove the pins that held together the beehive that was my hair and all the hairspray. I think hair dressers, not industry people are the most environmentally unfriendly people around! My head was, in all seriousness, bullet proof. It took 4 washes to get out all the hairspray and half a head of hair came out with that.

Conclusion. How do I do this for a living? Dan says get help, don't go it alone. I might end up slapping the bridezillas. I am also intolerant of well meaning friends who fuss around the bride just before she walks into the church and fuel her insecurities telling her that they do not like the way the gown looks or that there's too much fat hanging out in unsightly places. Not something you tell a bride, any bride is insecure enough the moment before she steps into a congregation of 500 eyes looking her way. Also very slap-worthy. So no, I can't do those bits. I will lose business.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 20:34

3 thoughts...

3 thoughts...

At 5:03 pm Blogger Tym said...

Errr ... am I the friend who was "drunk from all the wine at lunch"? Because I recall making that remark in jest and now I sound like a lush...

More importantly, it's a valid point. Okok, if you're not going to hire yourself out as a speech-giver, part of your wedding coordinator package could throw include a bonus "wedding speech consultation" with the bride/groom's best friend(s).

At 10:59 pm Blogger Ondine said...

No, I wasn't referring to you. If I were, I would have said "Tym, in a wine induced haze..." It was an American old lady. Think it's the groom's mother's best friend.

At 10:38 pm Blogger Tym said...

Ah yes! She was a lovely lady, and yes, she liked your speechmaking abilities very much.


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