You may think you're asking a lot of your wedding planner, but the reality is that your questions and requests are probably of the very common variety. In fact, she probably adores having you as a client in comparison to some of the couples she's worked with in the past. While there's nothing wrong with being nice—in fact, we encourage you to treat all of your big-day pros with the utmost respect—you can take comfort in knowing that your late-night emails and carefully crafted ceremony playlist is totally normal. What's not normal? These out-there requests wedding planners have been on the receiving end of. Here, find out what the pros have been asked to pull off for some of their clients.
To announce that the wedding was off.
Brandi Hamerstone, wedding planner and owner of All Events Planned, may have received the craziest request of all. Nearly a decade ago, the pro was working with what she describes as "the sweetest bride in the world" for a few months before the fiancé came into the mix. "After several meetings, I could tell that he was not excited about wedding planning. I tried to get him interested in the music, food, or even just the bar and he wasn't having any part of it," she remembers. "The bride and I continued to have a wonderful time planning and we became close in the process. About one week after our food tasting, which was six months prior to the wedding, the groom called me out of nowhere and asked me to tell her that he was calling off the wedding." Hamerstone tactfully let him know that there was no way she'd have that conversation with the bride and that it would be best for him to speak with her directly. "She called the next day and told me he had called it off. We remained friends, but I'm grateful that she didn't end up marrying him!" Hamerstone adds.
To drive four hours for after-party fare.
Larissa Banting, a destination wedding planner with Weddings Costa Rica, has been asked to handle everything from a monkey-turned-ring bearer to bringing an ice sculpture into the jungle where there's no air conditioning, so for her to call a request "crazy," you know has to be out there. The oddest request? "One bride wanted McDonald's cheeseburgers as a late-night snack. While that might not seem too crazy, the closest restaurant was a four-hour ride away from where wedding was in the rainforest," she explains. When Banting explained the logistics, stressing the fact that there was no way to have fresh hamburgers from her favorite burger joint, the bride simply said that actually worked out better because she liked them best when they've been reheated. So, what did the pro do? She drove four hours for burgers! "These 100 cheeseburgers were picked up in the morning, sat in a cooler for the drive, then went into the hotel's fridge until being reheated the next night. The chef was appalled by the very thought of it," Banting explains. "Other than the bride, no one touched them."
To purchase umbrellas for the entire wedding just hours before the ceremony.
Here's why a rain plan is so important: On the day of one of her fall weddings, Danielle Rothweiler, wedding planner and owner of Rothweiler Event Design, says that there was a high chance of rain, so her team asked the bride to decide between moving the ceremony indoors or taking the risk. "When we asked the bride what she wanted to do, we were told—not asked—to go get everyone umbrellas. That would be all 180 guests, the couple, and the wedding party," Rothweiler says. "This was not an option. It was especially ridiculous when she snapped her fingers in the face of one of my team members and told her that she had to do it because she was paying us. Between the costs, the logistics and the total ridiculous aspect of this request, there was no way we were going to do this. We explained that it was not an option, and she decided to just go forth with everything outside, rain or shine."
To plan a wedding in three weeks.
Not every couples wants to spend a year planning their wedding, but having at least a few months to iron out the details is more or less a requirement. Still, Shannon Leahy, founder and creative director of Shannon Leahy Events, was able to plan a wedding for 200 guests in just three weeks as the request of one couple. But the short notice was just the beginning of the craziness. "They didn't have a venue, dress, or anything at the time. We found them a fabulous available venue, but the contract was delayed by a week for a series of nontraditional requests, such as having goats at the reception and a bubble fight at midnight," Leahy says. "The venue did not allow farm animals or a soapy slippery bubble fight due to safety reasons, but we were able to negotiate bringing in the goats on leashes as long as they wore goat diapers and the bubble fight got changed to a confetti egg fight so we could get the invitations out before the big day. Finding real eggs filled with custom white confetti with a week-long turnaround time was another story. Did I mention the bride wore goggles during the egg fight? It was a lot of fun!"
To use wedding gifts as a form of payment.
Nicole McCann, principal planner at Exhale Events, has heard her fair share of odd requests, but being asked to use the couple's wedding gifts for payment might just take the cake. "One of our couples realized they left their checkbook back in New York City where they were from, so there was no way they were able to make for their final vendor payments," McCann says. "We had thought the final payments were sent in and this point, and credit cards were not an option. The bride and groom looked at the gift box and asked if we would use the gift money. Needless to say, our team did not feel comfortable doing this!"
To get an elephant through rush hour traffic to attend the wedding.
"Early in my career, while I was working for a boutique event company in D.C., I was asked to rent an elephant for an Indian wedding," says Taylor Keenan, owner of Events Custom Taylored. Getting an elephant to a wedding is no easy task regardless of the circumstances, but Keenan had it even worse. "I had to shut down Constitution Avenue on a Friday during rush hour! After a lot of phone calls, many emails, and pleading, Minnie the elephant walked down Constitution Avenue during the baraat."