Looking back almost five months ago to our at home wedding reception, I can't believe we got through it. The madness was mostly my fault. I wanted everything to be different and unique but had a specific budget in mind. I couldn't have done it without my friend and wedding planner, Mary Bratko.
I met Mary through our photographer and we hit it off instantly. She was quite new to the wedding planning business but I trusted her ideas and judgement. We met at Chapters in Ancaster and over a Starbucks drink, looked through hundreds of wedding related images on her pink Macbook.
Mary's world is a million shades of pink and a thousand and one sparkles. She is, of the truest form a girly girl, yet a professional business person, all wrapped into one beautifully tall package.
I really wasn't sure of my wedding vision. I mean, I knew what I wanted but I wasn't able to conceptualize a theme. She allowed me to gander at all her images, all of course categorized in neatly titled folders, and we discovered that what I wanted was all things vintage.
She met with our families at the banquet hall and when the coordinator was quick to say "no" to every idea we presented, Mary tactfully devised a plan B, ensuring the hall's standards were met as well as the bride's vision was uninterrupted.
We were going through the same stresses as Mary's destination wedding was days after mine and we had the same photographers fly down from my wedding almost directly to hers. It was a lot of coordinating on both our parts and we had our at home reception weeks apart. We promised each other that we would, when the hysteria of the weddings were over with, sit down over many glasses of red wine and laugh about all the things that made us cry.
Since our weddings (we refer to each other as bride twins), Mary has had more time to focus on her business. I'm not sure what I would have done without her on our day. She arranged all our centerpieces for the most fantastic price, she lent us some of her beautiful decor to add to the bare spots of the hall, arranged our bouquets, gave me a shot of tequila when I was stressed out about latecomers, magically created a boutonniere for my uncle in which I forgot, surprised us with champagne, flowers and a note in our hotel room after the reception, and most of all, gave me the five most encouraging words a bride needed to hear on her wedding day: "I know how you feel."
Emotions run high on the typically most important night of your life and seeing Mary's face and listening to her comforting words when things didn't go exactly as planned, was worth every reasonable dollar I paid for her services. That being said, the friendship that developed after the wedding planning process is something you can't put a dollar amount on.
Mary's business has taken off. She's zipping around in her Wedding Girl-mobile from consultations to photoshoots to interviews. She's expanding her team of planners. She's got herself a spiffy new website which showcases something she has trademarked as bridecasts where she interviews vendors who wish to advertise their specific business. She has various brides or brides-to-be writing for her site which brings me to my next point.
It is because of Mary's belief in my writing style that I decided to start a blog. She always complimented me on the things I had to say and I really thank her for inspiring me to finally do something that I love. Life is full of ups and downs and you must find joy somewhere in your days, doing something that brings your inner passions to fruition.
So from wedding planner to friend to mentor, I'm truly thankful for crossing paths with this remarkable young lady.
Here's to Mary, someone who got "Married" away. (She'll totally get that inference.)
Now how about that glass or bottle of vino? :)