Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Truth Comes Out at Weddings

What is the real purpose of having a wedding? As a host, that is the first thing you have to think about. Do you care about your guest's well being? Do you care about the people who helped make this dream come true? I always say, a wedding brings out the true colors of people. I once lost a dear friend at my own wedding, and I think I am not the only one to have that experience.

Being slow roasted in the hot July sun and then rained on with Typhoon #8 on the way were the highlights of the day. Today I volunteered in a HK wedding where I was in charged of booking the music talent, video crew, taking pictures for the planner and the design of a golf ball chocolate gift. I worked on this event based on the idea of seeing what a professional Hong Kong wedding is all about.

We were lucky that the rain did not come until after the signing ceremony and magic show. Yes they have a tent with air con, but no, they don't have a back up plan in case of rain. I just really feel for the bride and groom that melted in the heat, volunteers who worked at the venue and people who brave out the wedding. To say the least, it was memorable. The venue was beautiful but the service did not live up to the view. With no anticipation of rain, knowing Typhoon # 8 is coming, guests ended up having hors d'oeuvres on bare bone banquet tables with no tablecloth indoor.

However, the most memorable part of the whole day was when I was trying to leave the venue. Venue had shuttle bus that drops guests off at the parking lot or nearby bus and taxi terminal. There were no taxi available at the club house because of heavy rain, so I took the shuttle bus with a few guest from the wedding. Hopping into the shuttle with me was a lady dressed in a very nice silk dress along with her exhausted cute little 6 years old daughter dressed in a pink chiffon dress. We took the shuttle to the parking lot to try to catch a taxi only to find out there were none available. Everyone from the neighboring theme park were just let out because of rain. The bus lane were jammed with frustrated sweaty tourists, trying to avoid the rain and climbing onto the already full bus. Without an umbrella, the pretty mom willfully picked the little girl up and covered her head with a tissue paper and cue in line with the rest of the crowd. Finally jammed into the bus, they managed to squeeze into a wet seat and finally left the venue.

As an event planner, I really learned something new today. What is your true task? Sounds like everything. To satisfy your client, keep things under budget, ensure events go according to schedule, think about all the unthinkable, predict all the unpredictable, satisfy your guests and make sure your event ends with a high note. Like the end of a meal, who cares about the juicy steak when your dessert sucks. For all the event planners out there, keep up the good work and remember there is always something new to learn.