Here’s a little follow up to Saturday’s wedding by Christina Gargano Lupo or planner who was working with Joanna and Jon…

Christina- small

I woke up Saturday morning to some iffy weather. I really hoped the rain would stop for our bride.  Joanna and Jon’s ceremony and cocktail hour were scheduled to be outdoors about 10 hours later in the beautiful gardens of the Morris Arboretum. I had a backup plan, of course, just in case.

My first call is to Joanna to make sure the hair stylist and makeup artist have arrived. Check.

Call from caterer. There’s a problem with the chair rentals….moments later problem was solved. Rentals – Check.

Called groom to check in.…everything is ok. Check.

Arrive at hotel to check on Joanna. Personal flowers have arrived and florist is on site putting up the chuppah. Check.

Shoshana and Kristin have arrived to assist. Check.

Shuttles, limo and bridal party are at the hotel. Check. Check. Check.

All is set and ready to go. I leave Kristin and Shoshana with Joanna and the shuttle to make sure the bride, bridesmaids and guests arrive at Morris on time while I head over to check on ceremony and reception setup.

By the way…the sun is peeking out of the clouds. Hooray.

Ceremony site is set and ready to go. Chuppah looks beautiful. Check.

Cocktail hour and reception setup are under way and we are great on time. Check.

Programs, escort cards, menu cards, golf cart transportation, sound system and DJ. Checked.

Groom and groomsmen are on property and girls on are their way. We will start on time. Perfect.


What do you do when multiple phone calls are made with unreturned voice mails and your officiant is not there? In the words of the sage Tim Gunn, “You make it Work.”

The guests are seated and thankfully the string quartet, led by Virginia Shawacker of Shaw Strings, keeps playing. The catering manager, Susan Kennedyof Jeffery Miller Catering, is right there with me making sure the food will be perfectly served on time even with all the delays.

Surprisingly, the bride is extremely calm. She decides she would like her brother to perform the ceremony.

Mark Kingsdorf (Queen of Hearts) has offered to drive over later to sign the marriage license since, as we all know, you need a licensed (ordained) professional to do so.

Luckily, Jo and Jon had hired Laura Eaton to photograph the wedding. Not only is Laura an amazing photographer, but her husband, and partner, Paul Eaton, happens to be ordained through the Universal Life Church.

Perfect! Jo and Jon both agree they want Paul to do the ceremony and he graciously complies.

Paul really does a fabulous job!

I have barely any battery life left in my iPhone. The missing officiant finally shows up (better late than never) and simply signs the marriage license. Even after a long delay, the guests are perfectly happy, the cake is cut, and the bouquet is tossed. The last guests are seated on the shuttle.

Jo and Jon had a beautiful ceremony and are married. They are extremely happy and have a great story to tell.

Another successful wedding. Such is a day in the life of a Wedding Planner – where is my next challenge!?!