Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stress: It's Part of the Job!

It is so important for a wedding planner to always stay calm and collected no matter what during the production of the actual event. The planner must make it seem that everything is running perfectly smooth and under control even if the building is on fire. This can be difficult because there is so much micromanaging and so many elements to control, and it is just a naturally stressful situation. The key thing is to always smile. Even if you are bee-lining it for something, smile and pause to say hi to guests along the way, and just keep an overall collected composure to make everyone feel that everything is just fine. A coordinator is there to keep everything stress free, make sure that the event runs according to plan, and be ready to knock any surprises out of the park.

This is something that I know I will struggle with as a professional. When I get stressed, flustered, frustrated, worried, etc. I tend to lose control of my defense mechanisms, and I raise my voice and my communication becomes very negative and defensive. My dad and I both have this trait. Sometimes when I am handed bad news, I yell at the messenger even if I am just yelling about the situation.

The other day, I was lost and driving aimlessly, my navigation system was not being helpful, and my dad was on the phone trying to help me. He was getting frustrated because he thought I wasn’t listening when I was asking questions in my stressed voice, and we were just yelling at each other for no reason. We weren’t mad; we were just frustrated at the situation and were taking it out on each other.

I was working at a wedding with Constance Curtis Events, and it was one of my first times working with her. I was really self-conscious and stressed about messing up. I was trying to round up a very drunk group of groomsmen in the bar because it was time to line up for the ceremony. I didn’t realize that I was not smiling and was slightly frantic because they just weren’t paying attention and as soon as I thought I had everyone I realized another had wandered off. One told me that I was very intense even though I wasn’t saying much, and it made me realize how much I show stress on my face. I need to just learn to SMILE no matter what!

I have really been trying to teach myself to stop, breath, and think before saying anything. Sometimes this really does work because it can prevent you from saying something you really don’t mean.

Stress can be detrimental if not utilized correctly. We have to learn to steer it in the right direction and exploit it to our benefit. Planners are under stress to make sure everything goes according to plan. The second he or she gets lax, something will go askew. As long as there is a healthy amount of pressure or stress, the show can keep rolling effectively.

Other ways for preventing stressful situations is to prepare for them and be ready to remedy them quickly. Always have a plan B and know that anything can go wrong.

Have a stress free Wednesday!!

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