June Marrier orders a tall cappuccino at the counter at Starbucks. She checks her appointment book. “Uh oh,” she thinks. “Better make that with low-fat milk and sugar-free caramel syrup,” she tells the barista.
June has two wedding cake tastings today that threaten to sabotage her diet. First, she rushes to meet her 8 a.m. appointment with a couple - Rick and Emily Sue, who recently moved to the area from Texas. Once they are all seated in her office, June pours champagne into two glass flutes. It’s important to create a festive environment for couples. By the looks of these two, they are going to need some pampering. Emily Sue looks stressed. She has a stack of bridal magazines, two photo albums and a purse containing an even-tinier-than-usual Chihuahua. Rick looks a bit wary of the whole situation. Especially of the Chihuahua, who is giving him the evil eye.
June starts off the interview asking them how they met.
“She was Miss Rodeo Texas,” Rick replies, “and we met at a corporate event for my father’s oil company.” Yep. That sounds like Texas all right.
“When can we talk about my wedding dress?” Emily Sue asks, her eyebrows so furrowed she makes Taylor Lautner look wide-eyed.
“We can talk about whatever you want,” June informs her.
“I want a wedding dress like the dress I saw Kate Hudson wear in Bride Wars. Did you see that movie? I was pulling for Anne Hathaway’s character. Also, I do not do dairy, fish, gluten or peanuts. Can you handle that? My colors are a canary yellow, burnt orange and nightingale blue. My mother and father won’t sit next to each other during the reception, but are willing to be seated in the some row during the ceremony. They’re divorced. Now, what does your portfolio of weddings look like?” Emily Sue says all of this without pausing for a breath.
June shows them her wedding portfolio. It includes weddings she’s planned in all types of venues, such as barns, historical houses, beaches, resorts, national parks and churches. One even took place on an airplane. As a certified wedding planner, June has not only the training, but also ten years of experience tailoring weddings to her client’s needs.
In addition, June goes over her tiers of service. To manage the wedding from start to finish, she charges 15% of the overall budget for the wedding. Her second tier is charging an hourly rate for negotiating with vendors and venues. Finally, her third tier of service is charging one flat fee for overseeing everything on the wedding day. Because Rick and Emily Sue are from out-of-town, they feel that going with the top tier of service will save them the hassle of driving around and dealing with every tiny detail. Considering Emily Sue’s fragile emotional state, they probably chose wisely.
June sends them out the door feeling confident that their wedding will be a success. She then runs over to a nearby bakery to meet another bride. This one wants the cake to look elegantly tropical, but not too tropical that it will clash with her colonial American themed wedding. June knows immediately that she will have to push the baker for a toned down cake with light pastel colors to make the centerpiece of the reception work with the rest of the room’s ambiance. After her meeting, she runs over to an event rental company to see about the cost of leasing a mechanical bull for Rick and Emily Sue’s wedding. Nothing but pure class for those two. Not that she’s judging.
Laptop in hand (actually, laptop in two hands – it’s a delicate piece of equipment), June rushes over to a barn to meet a client looking for a rustic venue for their wedding. Barn weddings are popular, but they are more work to transform into a venue. She’s worked with Apple Barn Farm before and knows that the owner is true to his word about keeping the pigs away from wedding guests. And vice versa.
These guys look like they just got back from a reception.
Her stomach starts to growl. Luckily, her next meeting is a late lunch with an old friend, a wedding photographer, whom she hires frequently. The afternoon is a whirlwind of checking venues, meeting other clients and coaxing a bride out of a dressing room.
“No, you don’t look bloated,” June says as the bride weeps in a sample dress. The bride does, in fact, look bloated, but part of June’s job is telling a bride whatever will make her happy.
She makes it home just in time to make dinner. Her husband pokes his head into the kitchen to ask her if she needs any help and goes to set the table. Her mind drifts off and she briefly recalls her own wedding day. Most would think that, as a wedding planner, it must have been extravagant. However, it was actually a day much like the one she just had. She met clients in the morning, met her now-husband at the courthouse in the afternoon and came home to make their favorite pasta. It was simple and wonderful. Also, it reflected their casual intimate lifestyle. Like most of the weddings she plans, her own was a success. The “garter fiasco” aside.