Sunday, December 19, 2010

The final week....

The final week of any wedding is stressful, it's inevitable and just part of the process, right? Muliply that times seven and you'll have an idea of this last week for us as we worked to finalize all the details for these 7 simultaneous weddings.

When we started out on this journey, we knew it would be challenging, but never in our wildest dreams did we imagine just how challenging the final week would be. It started like any normal week, until Monday morning I received a phone call at work that my mama, a very special member our our ETM team, had been rushed to the hospital! I spent the day with the family, trying my best to keep up with the questions of the brides, planners and vendors while keeping tabs with doctors, nurses and family members. (Mom is on the mend, although still hospitalized though.)

Got home from the hospital to check emails to find a couple inquiries about rain plans. Sent a quick email to the event organizer to inquire about rain plans to soothe nerves of the inquiring brides and then went to bed after a very long day.

On Tuesday the decision was made to cancel Benefitall, due primarliy to the rain - no doubt a difficult decision for the organizers after all the planning put into the event; unfortunately, that decision also eliminated the venue for these 7 weddings, now just four days out. At the time that I should have been finalizing delivery times of the donated tables, chairs, linens and food - I suddenly found myself scrambling to try and find another venue able and willing to house these weddings - there was just no way I could call these brides and cancel or ask them defer without trying to find an option. That would be just so devastating to them, and I couldn't do it without giving it everything I could to save it. I just had to try - I gave myself 24 hours and began emailing, and had my team start calling. I emailed the other planners to let them know of the decision and got on the hunt! Between us all, we called hotels, restaurants, showrooms, office and warehouse realtors; one of the first emails I sent out was to the Crystal Cathedral who'd inquired about working together with our Angel Brides program next year - the second was to Lori @ the Register to see if she might be able to get a quick post up seeking help. I emailed Jennifer Bjorklund @ Channel 4 for the same thing - she was out of the country, but forwarded message to her editorial group; many people had space, no one had space they could, or would donate. Running out of time.....

Then along comes Kari Moeller and the Crystal Cathedral. They opened their hearts, their doors and welcomed our couples into their main sanctuary - their staff volunteered their time and helped us to take what could have been a tremendously sad day and turn it into something our brides will remember forever.

Kari, Pastor Goodrich, and Volunteering Staff members, from the depths of my soul, I thank you!

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