The Wedding Troubleshooter: Boxes and boat

Experienced events planner Joan Summerfield explains the importance of being prepared for the unexpected.

Sea and clouds (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Sea and clouds
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
When planning  a wedding in Israel, its advisable to work out a budget beforehand, and then to realize that the actual event will probably cost more then you anticipated - approximately 15 percent more.
There are ways, of course, in which to save money. For instance, a DJ would cost less than a band and, for the decor, choose flowers that are grown in Israel, rather than importing flowers.
However, if the event is over a few days, and involves different locations, it’s uneconomical to save money by trying to arrange everything yourself.  A professional event organizer would smooth through all the arrangements and visit the locations in advance, to ensure everything is in place. Even if there are problems, the event organizer should be able to deal with them, without stressing the client.
One of my clients wanted to have a post-wedding party on a boat, in Herziliya Pituah. I visited the boat, and met with the company that was catering the party, and also the designer who would be responsible for the decor.
The evening arrived  but, because of the boat's schedule, I was unable to deliver the boxes of party goods until an hour before the guests were due to arrive.
A taxi dropped me at the harbor, and I asked the driver to wait whilst I located  someone on board who would help me bring in the heavy boxes.  
When returning to the place where the taxi had dropped me, I realized with horror that no taxi was in sight. I had a sinking feeling that the driver had driven off with all the boxes, and was just about to call the telephone number on the receipt, when I noticed the boxes had just been dumped in a dark corner of the harbour.
Extremely relieved, I then waited for the person who was going to help me take the boxes on board. After 10 minutes, I realized no-one was coming and I would have to find another solution.
I eventually stopped two young men, who happened to be passing by, and explained the situation to them. They were more than willing to help, hoping that the party was for singles!
After the boxes were safely on board, I then went to find the designer, who was not answering her phone. I asked her to take the party goods, and arrange them on the appropriate tables. She followed me to where the boxes had been placed on board - but the boxes were, once again, nowhere to be seen.
Again, I had a terrible sinking feeling, and had no idea what could have happened to them. No-one on board had seen them, and I couldn't imagine where they could be. 
I then noticed a pile of garbage on the dock, on top of which were some cardboard boxes. I ran to the pile hoping that they were the missing boxes and you can imagine my enormous relief when discovering that they were indeed the missing boxes and, even more important, were still intact. 
I eventually learnt that someone was over zealous in trying to get the boat cleaned up before the party and thought that they were just trash, without bothering to check the contents.
The designer and I then had 35 minutes to distribute the party goods, and to regain our composure.
When the guests eventually arrived, everything was in place, and the designer and I were able to greet them, looking composed and calm. No-one had any idea of the drama that had unfolded before their arrival.
Even the most meticulous plans sometimes go astray and, even though there were heart-stopping moments, the clients were blissfully aware of any problems and had the most amazing party.
Joan Summerfield is an experienced events planner.