If you ask a future bride from the UK, who intends to celebrate her wedding in Israel how she is organizing the event, she will tell you “lots of planning, lots of lists” and, of course, this is really necessary.
Even small details, sometimes the most important, need to be considered. The wedding dress, for instance; in what state will it be when it’s been transported 2,500 miles? It is a good idea to find a dry cleaner, close to the hotel where the bride will be staying, who would be able to steam out any creases in the wedding dress. A recommendation will usually be available from the concierge at the hotel.
Reliable transportation, in the form of coaches, needs to be arranged for guests from overseas, to travel to the wedding venue from their hotel. A close, reliable friend, or, better still, a representative of the event organizer, should be in charge of the transportation on the day, in case of any delays
I was supervising the set-up for a wedding in a stunning banqueting garden in the center of Israel. When I phoned the sister of the bride to inquire on the progress of the hair and make-up, there was a moment’s hesitation before she replied that all was well, except for one minor hiccup. The water sprinkler in the bride’s room in the hotel had unexpectedly started spraying dirty water all round the room and, unfortunately, on to the bride’s wedding dress, which was almost ruined.
As this particular family was known for its off-beat humor, my first reaction was that this was an attempt at a rather bad joke, but soon realized that this was no laughing matter. Fortunately I had a very competent assistant at the hotel, who efficiently took charge of the situation. She contacted the local dry cleaner and dressmaker who were prepared to deal with this immediately. My assistant accompanied the bride, who was surprisingly calm, and was extremely impressed at the speed and efficiency in which the cleaners and dressmaker cleaned and repaired the dress.
In the meantime, my assistant also had to deal with the transportation, and was able to arrange for the coaches to be delayed. The limousines for the bridal party also had to be contacted, and a new timetable organized.
The bride eventually arrived, looking radiant and relaxed and, although the wedding had been delayed 90 minutes, none of the guests, or even the bridegroom, were aware of any problems, as we arranged for the reception food to be served for longer than was originally planned, and the musicians ensured that the music was lively and entertaining.
No-one can really anticipate such disasters but, surrounded by competent, professional and knowledgeable people, problems can be overcome.
Trouble-shooting is very important attribute in an event organizer – one who can sort out problems whilst appearing calm and confident. In fact, an event organizer has been compared to a swan – one who is calm and serene on the surface, but paddling like crazy underneath.
Joan Summerfield is an experienced events planner.