Over my career I have been a part of producing many weddings. Off the top of my head I can probably name you a few that instantly stick out. There is one that I love to show my clients and I have continually stayed in contact with the Bride. The Wedding took place March 24, 2019 in Riviera Country Club in Coral Gables, FL. If you have never seen it, it is a stunning venue, and I will add the link below. The wedding was a perfect balance between lush and clean. From start to finish every aspect was done with taste and lots of planning. The day of the event everything went so smooth, when there was an issue it was easily overcome probably because of my lack of sleep the weeks before thinking of all the scenarios that could happen and we were prepare. Mind you, we had three major events that same day, so I was working with a third of my team but as I said before, I planned, planned and planned.
What do I mean by planning?
Well there is the part of taking out a pen and papers of course. We have our checklist that we normally create, so that was done. The flower recipe was done and as we receive the shipment of flowers during the week and we make sure everything is accounted for and looks good. The untold part is the hours of thinking days and weeks prior to an event. Lets face it, you cannot be prepared for something you have not thought about. I try to come up with scenarios that could happen and prepare myself mentally on what decisions will I make if this or that was to occur. I will add a link at the bottom to my blog post on planning and what is my normal routine.
Michelle was a special bride as most are. Michelle knows what she likes and let me tell you she has good taste. We met many times, as an event producer I am often faced with challenging designs and out of this world props. This was different. This was Elegant and Extravagant as well as simple and clean. Slowly meeting after meeting we started put putting her thought into a creation. We created a floral sample in which I will talk about in a bit. We put together her table design and every meeting we dove further and further into the details some brides do not even see. Ultimately, we had created in our showroom what would be the design of her tables. She was happy and we were happy. But that is not even the tip of the iceberg. Delivering the vision is the true test.
The Day of the Wedding (start time 7pm)
Like – The real work started at 4am Wedding Day. After a whole overnight of delivering the items into the ballroom It was a massive head start but one we needed when handling three large events. The flower arrangement was too large to transport, so they had to made on site. We had and area sectioned off in the ballroom and we even covered the floor where they were producing the floral arrangements to make sure it can be cleaned up quickly and protect the floor. Two floral designers created every floral arrangement and made sure that they all had the exact size and proportions. They had begun creating around 6 am. Each arrangement weighed approximately 100 pounds, I was one of the fortunate (sarcasm), to carry and place these monster arrangements on the glass vases. I know what you are thinking but going back to planning, we tested the glass vases with weightlifting plates, and we quit after placing over 200 pounds. We worked in pairs and we slowly elevated and placed these stunning (master)pieces one by one.
We had a team working on the wall draping as another placed charger plates and napkins. The wall draping was completed and ultimately gave the walls and ambiance the clean look white does. I always think that draping creates a sort of white cloud feeling because walls typically have lines and a beautiful completely draped room gives vast and dream like feel to your peripheral. I make sure our drapes are not wrinkled and it is a daunting task when dealing with satin, but we have been perfecting that task for the last ten years. We pride ourselves on what others might say is not important, but I digress. With everything completed by 2pm I remember myself thinking…. what did I forget? I have my checklist crossed off and everything is done but its only 2pm. Weeks of planning and prepping for so many imagined issues and circumstances and we are done??? I was feeling good and then the phone rang… immediately I tense up. For a moment I do not want to be bothered because I am basking in the glory of the completion of this party, I even think twice about digging in my pocket and taking out my cell phone.
I get the phone and David (Warehouse/Production Manager) says “hey just to let you know, we are all good with the other two parties, do you need help”? I was like “no David; I’m actually finished myself.” We laughed and joked about the stress leading up, but ultimately that day I realized what we were capable of doing as a team. A team without a plan is a group of people. Everything went on without fail and it was a great day. Could it be remembered by the beautiful final product, yes. For me I also remember the importance of planning and brainstorming when it comes to producing an event.
Unfortunately, in Weddings the bride does not see the room until all her guest are inside and she and her Newly wed Husband get presented in the reception as Mr. and Mrs. I am typically home by then, after sleeping only a few hours the night before and my crew will return 30 mins before the event ends to be ready to strike(breakdown). I did miss that opportunity to see her reaction upon walking into the venue that night.
If you ever planned an event you know the feeling. That high, rewarding feeling you get when you realize the sleepless nights worrying, missing opportunities with family and friends, sacrificing time, whatever you sacrifice was worth it because my vision and idea came to life. When your work is completed, and you are proud of what you have done it is an amazing feeling. I feel blessed to be able to have that opportunity after each event. It is also something, which is best shared, and I was not there to see her reaction because it was her vision too.
I had promised Michele’s mother that I would have someone take her some of the flowers from the reception home. That person I found out at 10 pm called in sick. I laced my Jordan’s up, and told David I would go and personally take the flowers in my truck so the crew could focus on the strike(breakdown). When I showed up, I was not expecting to see Michele. Her event had just finished and in Michele fashion she was dancing and having a great time without any music. My crew was waiting until the last guest leaves before they start picking up. I was in blue jeans, black Fantasy Designers t-shirt and Jordan’s. I was not expecting to be in a room still packed with black tie attire, but Michele saw me and pulled me to the center of the room. She gave me a hug and said this is the most beautiful wedding anyone could have imagined, and you made it happen. She kept telling anyone she can grab, “He is the one responsible for this!” “He made all this happen!”. It was very kind of her, I went on to collect as many flowers I can fit in my truck. I delivered the flowers and left.
I will tell you this, this was not the biggest, the most elaborate, but it is one, I will remember for a long time for all these reasons.
That amazing feeling is one all event planners, producers will get. It is an utterly fantastic feeling but be careful because it is highly addictive.
Planning? How much of it and Why?
Venue Website – https://www.rivieracc.com/