Monday, October 03, 2011

The Magic Clipboard

A couple weeks ago, I got a call from one of my previous college students whose wedding was Saturday.

Jill: "Sarah, I have a question for you."

Me: "Go for it."

Jill: "Austin and I were just talking about the wedding and we realized we should have a 'day-of coordinator'. You know, someone to be in charge of the timeline and make sure everything goes smoothly. Check in with the caterers, DJ, pastor, etc. And the first person we thought of was you. Would you like to be our day-of coordinator?"

Me: *pause* "Could I have a clipboard?"

Jill: "Yes."

Sarah: "Then I'll do it."

Seriously, I just wanted a clipboard. I've helped set-up lots of friends' weddings and I've seen the wedding coordinators running around. They ALL have a clipboard.

I don't have aspirations to be a wedding coordinator. But I wanted to see what it would feel like to hold The Magic Clipboard.

It. is. awesome.

Granted, I am exhausted. But it was a great experience. I would like to share...

What I Learned as "Day-Of Coordinator" at a Wedding

1) When you hold The Magic hold the power. Everyone will ask you anything and everything. The cake guy arrived and looked confused. Then he spotted me and walked over. "You have a clipboard," he explained matter-of-factly, without even introducing himself. "Where do you want the cake?"

2) You can get drunk off its power. I felt like I could boss anyone around. One glance at my clipboard and they knew they had to do what I said. Mwahahaha! *evil laugh*

3) With great power comes great responsibility. After your initial drunken spell, you sober up and realize your job is not to boss people around. Your job is to make sure things run smoothly so the bride and groom can enjoy their special day and not have to worry about anything.

4) You have to make big decisions. And dumb ones. It's super windy and knocking down the centerpieces? Since they could potentially break the glasses on the table (Oh wait, one already did?) we will take them off and pray the wind will die down before the wedding. Why do we have an extra table set up? No I don't have scotch tape for the namecards. The DJ's not here yet? Make sure the bridal party and families are staying hydrated in the sun. There are bees everywhere. Does the bride have her epi-pen kit with her? She's deathly allergic to bee stings. We don't have enough chairs? The bathrooms are over there. The cake is going to melt in the sun? Let's find an umbrella. No, I don't know where the ring bearer's fedora is. Where is the photographer? Hold on, I'll be right there. I'm pinning the 5 groomsmens' boutonnières on. And on and on.

5) Wear comfortable shoes. A nice sensible pair of ballet flats will suffice. You will be doing a lot of running around. Do NOT wear high heeled wedges. Especially at an outdoor wedding on grass. However, through this mistake, I DID discover a new dance move: the "Gopher Hole". It's really fun. While holding a clipboard, start strutting with purpose. Then quickly and swiftly crank your ankle 45 degrees to the right when your foot lands in a gopher hole. Regain your composure, act like you meant to do that, and continue walking. After about 9 or 10 times, the dance move will catch on and soon all the guests will be doing it, too. Woooo, party! And the DJ hasn't even started the music yet!

6) Speaking of the DJ, you hold the Magic Clipboard...but he holds the Magic Microphone. Microphone trumps Clipboard every time. You can tell him to announce toasts in 20 minutes and he'll get on the microphone in 10. Enjoy watching the caterers panic and run for alcohol to fill up everyone's glasses.

7) Some wedding guests will not listen to you. Even when you show them you're holding The Magic Clipboard. So get creative finding 5 or 6 different ways to say the same thing to the same people. For example:

- "Do you know where your seats are? Austin and Jill are waiting until everyone is seated before they come out."

- "Sorry to interrupt your conversation, but we need everyone to find their seats."

- "May I help you find your table?"

- "Once everyone is seated, the DJ will announce the bride and groom."

- "SIT THE EFF DOWN!!!!!!!"

Okay, maybe don't say the last one.

8) Eat fast. You don't have much time. Yes, the food is amazing. But Great-Aunt Harriet needs assistance getting to the buffet line.

9) In everything you do and say, you must be bossy but nice. Or nice but bossy. You can't be one without the other.

10) Enjoy the thought that you are helping make that day special for two people you love. It's all for them.

Congratulations Austin and Jill! I love you both very much. Magic Clipboard and I had a wonderful time.


Amy said...

Way to go Sarah! Welcome to the wild world of wedding planning. Watch out: that clipboard can be addictive.

When I help with weddings, I adopt John the Baptist's motto as I care for the "stars of the day" = they must become greater and I must become less. ;)

New Branch said...

hilarious. my favorite two lines 'microphone trumps clipboard' and 'sit the eff down'. haha. also you forgot to add to the list, 'always wear black'. to try and 'blend into the scenery''s better than wearing white.

Smarshie said...

Amy, John the Baptist's motto is PERFECT for wedding coordinating. Good call!

Amy (sister), oh yes, that should be #11. Wear black so you can shoot around like a ninja and no one can see you.