Destination Wedding Planner in theTrenches: Lost In Yonkers

Destination Wedding Planner Stories

destination wedding planning stories

Back when I was just starting with Sasha, she had booked an event that was to take place in New York. Sounds glamorous, right? Well, readers, it’s a pretty big challenge to take this show on the road, especially when it includes myself, Sasha, our floral designer and her staff of 8.

We own a lot of our own props, especially things like draping, pillows, containers for centerpieces, etc., so we decided to either truck it or ship it. This worked well for the flowers and such, but there were boxes of pillows that we shipped to our hotel to be used all over the floor of a Moroccan-themed lounge tent. They were pretty important.

Back in those days, I had a pretty good track record for balance issues….meaning that I fell down a lot. I actually one time slid face forward down a flight of stairs in my house only stopping because of the wall at the base.  I think there’s still a dent there…Anywho, the week before leaving on the trip, I proceeded to take a spill walking on the sidewalk, cracking open my knee.  And, then, in a rush to get out of the house and down some wooden stairs in my front yard, I fell again, opening up that wound and adding a few more. So, as you can imagine, I looked pretty beat up already.

Did I forget to mention that this was summertime? On the east coast? It’s ridiculously hot and super humid. And the event was going to happen completely outdoors, under a tent canopy at a historical landmark located near water. Which equals bugs…so many bugs.

The day before the event was setup day. We do a pretty great job, despite the heat, and one of the lighting guys getting stung in the eye, getting most things into place, including a ton of draping, along with dressing all of the tent legs. Pillows have not arrived yet and we are concerned….keep in mind that this was a while ago, so we didn’t have Amazon Prime, so stuff could just linger out there in oblivion.

That night, it rains. Not just a sprinkle here and there….it was a major east coast summer storm with somewhere around 300 lightning strikes, killing 3 people.

I wake up the next morning COVERED in insect bites, that are swollen, making me look like some kind of diseased person. And I have to wear shorts because it’s still incredibly hot and humid out. We get to the venue and everything is drenched. We spend all morning literally wringing out the entire event.

Soooo, we find out from Fedex that the box of pillows had been delivered to our hotel, finally, but the hotel insisted that they did not receive them. This prompts Sasha to send me out into the unknown on a search for replacement pillows, along with a scavenger hunt of a list of items to get as well.

I get in a van that I’ve never driven with my list and go get on the highway. I have never driven in New York before. I get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic….for 3 HOURS. I finally get to Yonkers and find a strip mall, where I surprisingly find most of the items on my list, BUT there wasn’t enough time to go searching for pillows, so I took a chance and went back to the hotel to check just in case. They were in the freaking broom closet.  FOR A FEW DAYS. I could have stabbed someone….but, I had everything and the Moroccan tent would be saved. Hooray!

I get back to the venue, just before the event begins, giving me no time at all to change…and Sasha needs me to cue the music for the ceremony. I’m hiding in the bushes while the guests are arriving and milling around with their pre-ceremony beverages. A woman, sees me hiding in the bushes in all my horrid glory, leans in and asks, with much concern, “Are you OK??”

Here’s what I learned:

  1. Yoga helps with balance. I am a much more stable person now.
  2. Keep insect repellent and Benadryl on hand for any event happening on the east coast during the summer.
  3. Make nice with the people who work at hotels right away, so they will be happy to keep an eye out for your stuff. They work really hard and deal with a lot of crazy, so a smile and an acknowledgment can make all the difference.
  4. Exude confidence at an event, whether or not you are heavily covered in what looks like the plague and crouched in a bush. My response to that lady was, “Yes ma’am! Go ahead and take your seat for the ceremony, because we are about to start.”

Until next time,


Sasha Souza Events is an award winning event planning company considered one of the top event design & wedding coordination companies in the US. Sasha Souza Events has offices in Napa Valley, Sonoma, San Francisco & Los Angeles