The Unconventional Bride: Does Hiring A Wedding Planner Make Me A Princess?

Lizzy Dening didn’t spend her childhood fantasising about getting married. Now she’s engaged and navigating the weird world of weddings. Send help.

The wedding planner

by Lizzy Dening |
Published on

Let’s play a word association game.

You say: ‘wedding planner’

I say: ‘spoilt, princess, Jennifer Lopez, more money than sense, seriously just make a spreadsheet and woman up.’

Or, at least, that’s how the game would have gone down a few months ago. Now, as I look up at you from the table where I’ve fallen asleep with my head on a pile of wedding brochures, a crazed look in my eyes and a plastic cake-topper stuck to my chin, I would sell my front teeth for someone to just take over the planning. And so I’ve decided to.

Susannah Lee (known in my household as Archangel Susie) doesn’t accept payment in teeth, but she does accept normal human money in exchange for her magic wand of organisation and bullshit-filtery. She’s one half of Revelry Events who organise weddings and parties, and what she doesn’t know about spreadsheets wouldn’t fill… well, a spreadsheet (I’m very tired, ok? Weddings are hard.)

We’ve only known each other briefly, but it was love at first Skype. As someone who is a bit (cough) of a control freak, I thought handing over my wedding day to a stranger would give me heart palpitations, but in actual fact it felt incredible. A bit like handing a crying baby back to its parents. I don’t know about weddings; Pinterest gives me a migraine and I’ve never seen a jam-jar and felt it would be improved with twine and a tea light. But that’s ok, I don’t need to wade through the acres of wedding material in magazines or online, I have Susie.

She’s a wedding version of Siri except I actually want her available on my phone, and she knows her way around a church/yurt/marital pig sty. When we first spoke, she was a month away from her own wedding and she looked totally chilled – no cake toppers impaling her face. If that’s not proof that she’s a woman who can hold stuff together, I don’t know what is.

We’re meeting in June to look at the venues my fiancé and I have chosen, and in the meantime we can send over everything. Costings, budgets, email addresses, any notes on what we want or don’t want, and really just any random late-night thought I have (typical stream of conscious: Napkins! Ribbons! Dancing penguins! Champagne fountain! Magical talking shoes!) It’s such a relief to delegate all of my crazy.

The only thing that strikes me is how unlikely the film The Wedding Planner actually is – if anyone would fall in love with J-Lo, surely it would be the exhausted bride, rather than McConaugh-cool. It’s about as realistic as the fact that JLo’s character is called Mary. Have you ever seen anyone look less like a Mary?

So I can’t help but wonder, in my best Carrie Bradshaw voice: does hiring a wedding planner make me a princess? My answer: don’t know, don’t care. I’m getting into my golden bed for my first undisturbed sleep in weeks.


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