Updated: Feb 18
Years ago, I was at a venue tour with a couple who were getting married during San Antonio's wet months. It was a gorgeous venue, and the weather that day could not have been more perfect. I was happy for my couple, as the venue was exactly what spoke to them: laid back. As just their coordinator and not their planner, I was ready to work with whatever they chose.
We spoke about how it would be a gorgeous view to get married outside. I asked the venue coordinator what their rain contingency plan consisted of. The venue coordinator smiled and nodded but had no clue. She confessed she was new and had no idea what they did if it rained. She believed that they could easily perform the ceremony inside, but that the chairs would need to be moved back inside by the guests. In the rain. This is because the venue does not have enough chairs or the manpower to make it happen. The maximum is 300 people at this venue, and they have chairs for everyone. What they don't have is 600 chairs so that 300 go to the ceremony area and 300 go to the reception hall they have to be moved it the guest count is over 150.
My bride gasped. "I had not even thought about that." We then figured what it would look like. Where she would walk down, where the violinist/DJ/band would play, where the stage will be. We figured we would set up an aisle for their parents and then on we'd put the chairs back afterwards.
Wedding planners think of the possibilities. We see a bare venue, we start racking up the ideas. We also start thinking about all of the things that can go wrong. What I have to be is ,on my toes, because that morning a huge hailstorm flew in and the venue experienced massive leaks. The floors were flooded in the reception barn. I had no rain plan for the reception, either and that was something I could not imagine.
That morning the sky was dreadful. Forcast looked horrible, and I tracked the storm. If I left an hour earlier I'd be there when it hit and I planned for the worst. I drove an hour from my home in a hailstorm and walked in at 10am. Walked in and the venue was being beaten down by the hailstorm, water pouring from the ceiling onto the decorated tables. I quickly moved about, moved tables and chairs to avoid the leaks as best as I could. Both my belongings, my outfit to change in and my shoes fell in the mud. I stood strong and made it happen.
I mopped up that venue for 2 hours out of love. My assistant arrived and we fixed the tables, dried the chairs, and had everything ready to go at the same time the rain decided to subside. The venue manager wasn't due to be on site until later in the afternoon, so my assistant and I were exhausted but we got the job done.
Photo by Paty Araujo Photography (not the wedding)
Here's Another One!
I was once a guest at a very upscale wedding where the bride and groom chose a buffet style dinner. It was very delicious and hot because it was being served while on heat and off to the side where people could line up. The DJ announced they he would be releasing table numbers so that the line did not get too long and bothersome. It was quite a task, as the DJ was announcing numbers, the chatter of the crowd made hearing him impossible.
There was no coordinator walking around dismissing tables like I would be doing. At one point, there was no one in line, to which everyone quickly saw and wanted to solve that problem. A second later, the line was way too long. Guests just started to make their way over, in complete disregard to the DJ. The DJ lost track of what tables had been released and the dinner lasted longer than it should have. People kept going up for seconds and pretty soon, the food ran out before dinner service was over. It was hard to watch.
If they had a coordinator present, a lot of these problems would run smoother..
Photo by Wayfarer Photography
Finding you a new venue when your venue closes down 2 months before your wedding is never a good feeling.
I am admin of a local Facebook group and when a bride posted that her venue closed down and she was in distress, my first question was: "What venue is it?"
I need to know about the most up to date information in the local industry. If a venue is closing down, I would need to know so that I don't recommend them anymore, and to make sure I can help my clients if they also had a signed contract with the venue. Once this bride said what the venue was, I was in shock. I had a wedding at that exact wedding venue in a few months and my heart sank. This meant that my bride and groom who were scheduled to get married there in a few months had no venue.
I quickly called the venue to verify the closing and it was true. I then called my bride's phone to let her know and she was just as shocked to know. The venue hadn't called to notify her yet, we all found out due to the Facebook post, it was a very sticky situation. We saved her wedding by getting out there and finding a new venue, but it wasn't an easy road there..
Photo by Joy Photo & Video
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