A Lot to ‘I Do’

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I was sitting in Starbucks the other day—a more frequent habit than I’d care to admit—and I overheard a conversation at an adjacent table. It didn’t take me long in my casual eavesdropping to pick out words like “corsage” and “flower arrangement” and figure out the thrust of the conversation: wedding planning.

Three women sat at the table, as did one (completely silent) man. While the convocation first appeared to be composed of two wedding planners, a bride and a groom, it became increasingly clear that it was in fact composed of one wedding planner, one bride, one groom and the bride’s best friend or sister—a kind of consigliere to the bride’s godfather. My first thought was, “That poor guy.” My second thought was, “That must be nice to have a friend (or sister) who can help you make decisions.” My third—and most profound—thought was, “My gosh, there’s a lot of stuff to keep track of when planning a wedding.”

Having planned my own Sacramento nuptials from 3,000 miles away in New York City (where my soon-to-be husband and I were living at the time), I’m no stranger to the mountains of minutiae and deluge of details that accompany one’s Big Day. It never really crossed my mind to hire a wedding planner, since I was neither in the city of my upcoming ceremony, nor was I particularly fond of the idea of paying someone else to execute my ideas. As we all know hindsight is 20/20, I’d like to offer two words of advice to the future brides out there: GET. HELP.

While keeping track of phone numbers and budgets and logistics doesn’t seem like any great feat—especially to those of us who, y’know, are human beings with lives—the concept of allowing someone else to wrangle and finagle and prep and plan (and stress) seems like a dream. So if you’re a can-do bride or groom and you think you can handle it all, come hell, high water or your linen of choice being out of stock, why not let someone else shoulder some of the burden and enlist the help of a professional?

Some venues offer the assistance of a wedding coordinator right on site (civic spaces like the Sacramento Zoo and the Memorial Auditorium as well as certain churches), while at others you’ll need to hire from the outside. Event Architects will actually “design” your wedding from the ground up—much like their name implies. Lora, the owner of A Day To Remember—who’s been featured in the print edition of Our Wedding—is not only a coordinator extraordinaire, she’s also a member of all the associations for planners, caterers and bridal consultants you can conjure. Artistic Wedding & Event Planning even has different levels of involvement, from full coordination to partial coordination to elopement packages.

No matter what service you choose—or if you enlist the help of a willing (and very, very patient) friend or family member—the bottom line is this: Help is there; all you have to do is ask. Better to save that hair you’d be tearing out for your wedding up-do, anyway.