Interview with a Hollywood wedding planner

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Basically it’s my job to make sure everything is perfect. 

And how do you figure out what is perfect?

I ask a lot of questions. Weddings are very personal things, very stressful things for people. The color scheme of the cake and the dresses and the tablecloths, the music, the timing of every specific event, the china, the types of flowers, the spacing of the tables, the backdrops, the available parking outside, the guest book, the refreshments or meal, the bar and alcohol, the seating tables perfectly spaced, the dance floor. The details are endless. And most of the weddings I do are what we call destination weddings, so I help set up the lodging, the transportation from the airports, everything. 

That does sound supremely stressful. Why do you do it?

Well, I like doing it. I like setting up events like this. I like the chaos of it all. I don’t just do weddings. I do coming out parties, like for new celebrities here in Hollywood making their debut. I do themed parties. I do retirements, anniversaries, birthdays. But weddings is what I’m best known for. I like individualizing it all. This one wants swans, that one wants a perfect pink sunset, this one wants strawberry-creme dressing over vanilla, that one wants vanilla over strawberry. Americans subject themselves to the absolute worst kinds of stress in order to celebrate their lives. It is a delicious kind of irony. 

What kinds of destinations?

I’ve been to Hawaii a few times, Athens, London, some of the islands, Montana, Phoenix. It could be anywhere. You have these people here who have a lot of money, and they want the best, and I’m the best. I get to go to some of the most beautiful places in the world. I fly there, scout out locations, form contracts with local vendors, get it all mapped out. Then sometimes I go back with the bride or the couple and we look at things together. Then I go out again before the event itself, sometimes by a week, and work hard to get it all prepared for the big day. I travel most of the year in the good seasons. 

What are the worst parts of the job?

The ego! I can’t name names, but I have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. When I first came out here years ago, I remember being enchanted by the celebrity thing. Now I hate it. Everyone here is connected to the movie business somehow. This guy is a cameraman, that guy walk’s an actor’s dogs, this one mows lawns for some director. Anyway, I work hard for the people I work with, and some of them come in with this attitude that I should be happy to work for them. 

Give me an example.

Well, I can’t name names, like I said, but let’s pretend Marilyn Monroe is getting married. She hires me, I get everything perfect and work for weeks on it, then I give her the bill, and she shrugs and says, ‘Oh, I thought you might just give me the service for free. I mean, working for me must be good for your business.’ And I just smile and say, ‘Nope, you gotta pay me.’ I mean, she has a hundred million or whatever and she’s upset about paying for a service that she requested in the first place. It’s exhausting dealing with egos of that size. 

You sound like you really love what you do, overall.

I really do. It’s the best job in the world, at least for me. I love this job, even with all of the craziness. I get to dive through the mess and make people happy, and I get to go to the most beautiful places in the world to do it. 

 

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