This is the latest in our Designer’s Notebooks series in which designers turn back the pages of their “notebooks” to revisit their favorite events, or in this case, their award-winning events. This wedding just won the Special Events magazine 2015 Gala Award for Best Wedding, Budget $1,000+ per guest.
By Lynn Fletcher
One of the most important aspects about planning a wedding is preparing for the unexpected. Although some say it’s good luck to have rain on your wedding day, that may provide little consolation for a couple who has spent months, sometimes years, preparing for the big day. This was just what happened with one of the clients of Lynn Fletcher Weddings, and while rain plans were in place, sometimes nature creates something so powerful that no amount of planning can prepare one for what’s to come.
In this case, the day began as planned although the sky was beginning to darken. The site chosen for the ceremony was the groom’s family church.
Hundreds of custom fabricated items, thousands of flowers, extensive lighting and special effects and entertainment from across North America created a wedding this city has never seen before, which is saying a lot for a crowd that has seen it all.
Guests were treated to champagne, cordials and premium scotch upon arrival. A five-course gourmet meal, a French patisserie, popcorn bar and beverages served from a massive four-sided ice bar, were offered to guests to satisfy the most discerning of palates.
A 20-piece orchestra provided background music during dinner. After dinner, guests were led outside to witness an Earth Harp (the largest stringed instrument in existence), a drum percussion group, the haunting sound of a lone violin, and a romantic acrobatic act executed by Cirque-styled performers. The grand finale was a synchronized 20-minute, fireworks display, which was supported by full-scale lighting and production elements. Once back inside, a 15-piece band played a two-and-a-half-hour set and the DJ finished the evening with guests dancing the night away. But we get ahead of ourselves. I know you are wondering what’s happening with that store that you know is looming…
Everything was going well. Then, 15 minutes after guests had been seated for dinner, the sky, which had been threatening, opened up with a torrential downpour. Every available hand came together while guests dined blissfully, unaware of what was going on outside. In order to avoid complete disaster — as the walking paths/tents became rivers of muddy water — I gave the order to cut power to the kitchen. We were underway with the preparations for the final entrée and electrocution was a possibility. Overturned dish crates were also used as makeshift gangplanks to keep the team out of hot water. Or in this case, rain water. Thankfully, the storm ended as soon as it began and dinner service continued.
By the end of speeches, the rain had stopped, water was gone, and the newlyweds got the best gift of all … an event that ended happily ever after.
- Precise communication was paramount to ensuring the smoothness of this event. Vendor team leaders reported directly to the planners, which created a very clear line of communication with the entire team.
- The planners understood the family dynamics, food preferences, transportation needs and special requests. It was important to communicate with each guest and greet them personally on the day of the wedding.
- Guests were transported to the ceremony and reception sites by limousine, luxury coach or taxi cab. Two team members were exclusively assigned to manage the transportation details on the day, and provide drivers with laminated cards containing guest names, cell phone numbers and reservation details.
- Daily deliveries to the event venue were sorted, arranged, color coded and packed “backwards” so they would be easier to unload and organize upon arrival.
- Layered performances were scheduled throughout the day starting with the organist, sextet and soloist that performed during the wedding ceremony.
- Special effects including fog and lighting were rehearsed, so that on the day it simply became a matter of positioning the family so the photographer could work his magic.
Photos by Alan Maudie
Editor’s Note: Would you like one of your events to be considered for a future Designer’s Notebook? If you have a favorite event that was an award entry for any industry award and therefore already written up, please send a query to firstname.lastname@example.org. All will be considered!