Confessions of a Wedding Planner

Sabine Scherer Photography

It's time to get something off of our chests. There are many secrets that we, your wedding planners, will take with us to the grave. And our job, in many cases, consists of making sure that you never know about certain details that may have gone haywire behind the scenes. We loved this list of "13 Things Your Wedding Planner Won't Tell You" from Reader's Digest: 13 Things They Won't Tell You and hope you enjoy seeing a little further behind the curtain. 

Wedding planners and pros from across the country reveal the messy side of making your wedding day unforgettable. Here's what they wish brides knew.
1. I keep secrets.  At one wedding I planned, the cake went missing after the bride and groom cut it. The bride soon asked where the cake was. Turns out the servers had taken it upon themselves to eat it! We cut the pieces smaller and the bride never knew. Keeping things quiet is the secret behind making the bride think the wedding was flawless.
2. If you've been engaged for a week... And your wedding planning organizer is thicker than mine (which usually contains paperwork for the five or six weddings I'm currently planning), then I automatically tell you that I'm booked on your date...and your backup date.
3. Your parents are paying?  I hope you understand you may not get what you want!
4. I feel like a therapist when I am forced to step in to help with family drama.   My insight is to be polite and respectful. Often, meddlesome people just want to be heard out. Since I’m an independent third party, I’m able to bring neutrality to emotionally charged situations.
5. I'll go to great lengths to make sure your wedding is perfect. Your wedding is my job and I'll do everything I can to make it memorable, including walking miles to a florist in Jamaica to correct the $700 bouquet that arrived to you spray-painted purple. 
6. I do manual labor and other dreadful tasks. I cannot even tell you how many times I've been on my hands and knees, sweating. I sometimes have to count the napkins and linens before they go back to the rental company. I'm talking dirty, smelly napkins, with food, gum and whatever else is on them. Talk about gross!
7. I wish you'd respond to my emails... As quickly as you expect me to reply to yours.
8. I'll make sure everything you're offered is in the contract. If the first manager you work with offers you a complimentary toast, get it in writing. If that manager leaves for whatever reason, you won't be forced to argue about these details with his or her replacement.
9. Don't forget the tax and service charge.  Many couples overlook the “plus plus” when planning a menu. Everything has a tax and service charge, and it really adds up, trust me!
10. My job is to make sure you don't have a big overage...  But many caterers will fix five percent more than what's guaranteed. While the buffet food can't be salvaged, what's leftover in the kitchen can. Ask your catering manager to send the extra food to a food bank.
11. Reuse flowers...  From ceremony to reception if at all possible. If you're planning to do this, tell your florist, otherwise your flowers may arrive one-dimensional, and won't look as nice in an open space.
12. Stay focused on the big picture.  It's easy to micromanage all of the details at the expense of the big picture. As long as people marry for the right reasons, the details of wedding planning are really secondary. Don't make decisions to please or impress others.
13. I still cry at weddings. Being part of the family for that short amount of time is truly rewarding. It’s when I’m sent baby photos that I know I had a real impact on a couple.