I was contracted by a bride for her destination wedding.  She had booked a Disney vacation with her family and now needed the wedding.  With 20 guests and a small budget, I was given the following criteria:

  • Had to be a certain Saturday evening date, no flexibility – about 3 months away, close to Disney, and inside/air-conditioned. No DJ, just some ipod music with speakers. “Simple.”
    Challenge: Venues not already booked are still hoping for an event of  50- 75- or 100 because with the possible exception of the number of servers, they still need to setup, staff, and strike a room for 20 same as a room for more. With limited transportation for wedding party and guests from Disney area, a 15+ passenger van for 4-6 hours on Saturday could run close to $1000 or nearly 20% of the wedding budget.  
  • Week One (from receipt of bride’s contract/needs list. Bride wanted modern, lounge feel, nothing traditional. We discussed possibility of a modern art gallery. I asked for photos of “the look,” but she couldn’t scan or upload photos to e-mail, so I’ll wait for snail mail. 
    Challenge: Did I mention that 6 of the 20 guests are children?  Sure I could take the “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach with a venue, but I’d never be welcomed back.  Needless to say, the response was similar to trying to rent an apartment with an agressive pit bull puppy….
  • Week Two. Half e a dozen venues down, the bride leaves a message that she found a venue she likes on the internet.  Great, I have a contact there, but it’s the weekend and they are closed on Monday, so I’ll leave a message and hope to chat with her on Tuesday.  In the mean time, I brainstorm with a few colleagues and get a lead on an art gallery that appears to be just what she wants, but I get the IT guy when I call, so he takes the information and assures me someone will get back to me….
    Challenge: Bride is getting impatient with me and not having a venue yet.
  • Bride calls.  She has found a venue SHE MUST HAVE (change from 48 hours ago), and has already reserved it.  Now the date has changed,  it’s on the near opposite side of town from Disney, it’s historic and rustic,  and is best for about 100-150 guests, not 20.  She’s found a caterer, a DJ and a cake, and will be buying all her own liquor.  So, now she’s a wedding expert,  and doesn’t think she needs my services anymore…. but she’ll let me know closer to the wedding whether I’m still needed or not.
    Challenge: The candy bar is out because it won’t look right for just 20 people, but a chocolate fountain is definitely “in.”  Can anyone else visualize 6 kids with chocolate in an art gallery? And now the art gallery has called me back and is willing to host this wedding. 

I wish her all the luck with her wedding….