December 13, 2010

The vendors who saved our asses: my big day

When 2E's and I stepped into our vintage taxi cab as our wedding was coming to a close, we found a small basket in the backseat, the contents of which included a handwritten note, two slender glasses and a chilled bottle of champagne. The basket was a congratulatory gift from Elif Aksoy, Lisa Friesel and Erica Greenblatt -- the ladies of My Big Day Planning.

I begin at the end to prove just how dedicated these ladies were to ensuring that our wedding was as enjoyable and carefree and perfect as it could be ... and to illustrate what it truly means to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Like our videographer, we never intended to hire a coordinator. What can they do that we can't do ourselves? What does coordinating even mean? How difficult could it possibly be to get through the wedding without the roof of the reception venue caving in on us?

Oh, silly us.

In the months prior, 2E's and I would Skype with Elif and walk through both the larger and smaller elements of the wedding. She asked us all the right questions and reminded us of all those picky little details that brides and grooms tend to forget in planning. She volunteered to research guest transportation options and costs, taught us about traditional wedding etiquette and gave us some amazing suggestions when we were at a total loss. At our rehearsal, Elif and company helped us push through our agenda and organize our wedding party. And when things got hairy with our ceremony venue contact, MBDP stepped in and handled all correspondence from then on. 

Elif and 2E's en route to the ceremony

What we found most comforting about MBDP was how willing Elif and Lisa and Erica were to take things off of our plate, work around our schedules, and set and coordinate all of our meetings. In the days leading up to our wedding, they were always on call, ready to tackle any unexpected obstacles that we might encounter. And on the day-of, they didn't let us do an ounce of work. Having all of the ladies present (with their combined expertise and enthusiasm) as opposed to just one coordinator was a true blessing, and all three of them were aware of the sequence of events and all things that needed to be done.

In planning, you'll continually ask yourself, Boy, who's going to do that tiny, thankless job at the wedding? Well, whether it was their responsibility or not, Elif and her team were pleased to do all of them. The ladies even gathered our gifts, belongings and leftovers at the end of the evening and delivered them to our hotel in the wee hours of the morning. It was no surprise to find an email from Elif in our inbox at 10am the next morning with a few updates and reminders and pending issues.

It's strange now to think that Elif and I met over Twitter; she and 2E's didn't meet in person until the week of our wedding. And I suppose those details make their contribution that much more heartening. I'd call them a triumvirate if it did them justice. Instead, I'll call them our respirators ... helping us breathe just a little bit easier.

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