Last Minute Event Success

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

I have pulled off many last minute events in my day (mostly not by choice). Every #eventprof will tell you that they triple check all details and they know the ins and outs of their entire event. Sure, they delegate, but they are aware of everything so that if something goes wrong, they can jump in as needed. Last minute events are hard to even double check. They often work out, but it's close. Too close for comfort. It's always best to have enough time to plan adequately, book guests way in advance and promote the event regularly. Customers notice when things happen last minute. And besides, why add the stress?

Here is my ultimate last minute #eventsuccess. In October 2016, my mother-in-law calls to tell us that she and her much older husband would like to visit in 2 weeks from South Africa; likely a final trip for him. We were surprised and overwhelmed by accommodating this last minute trip. We took a big breath and thought about how we could essentially stop our lives for company, under such a short timeline. So, we decided to out-surprise them. We decided to get married while they were here! We talked about it for a few days to see if we wanted to commit (to the wedding, that is).

I told my now husband that if exactly 1 week before the wedding date, I could pull off enough planning, that we would move forward and contact close family to invite. 1.5 weeks before our potential wedding, I thought I should get my hands on a wedding dress! I had looked online before, in case we ever eloped, and lucky me, I found one. It was 2 blocks away. I tried it on and it fit like a glove, it just needed some hemming. I bartered for it and got a brand new dress for $300. It was stunning, I loved it and I didn't have to try on dozens of dresses. Step 1, achieved!

Here's what 1 week before the date entailed.

- book a time slot at the wedding chamber at City Hall in Toronto

- find and book an available officiant

- get marriage license

- call local seamstresses to see who could hem my dress

- book and attend hair appointments

- find a restaurant with private dining

- make my bouquets and table settings

- coordinate our walk down the aisle timing to "The Dog Days are Over" by Florence and the Machine

- book a hotel room for me and hubby

- buy rings

- book and attend dental appointment

- pick-up cupcakes

- call our 40 guests to share our news and hope that they are available!

As for the rest, we just winged it. It's amazing how everyone came together to make it happen when we shared our story. We told my husband's parents when they arrived and they were ecstatic. Their joy made the madness totally worth it! And not having any opinions or build-up was a relief! We had some funny stories to go along with the madness as well. Our favourite photo is of us outside a sketchy apartment building, right beside some dumpsters. All you can see in the photo is us and the remarkably orange and red coloured tree behind us. We pulled over just for that shot.

Back to my point about last minute events; they are absolutely doable and sometimes totally worth it. There are misses though, so you have to decide if it's worth it. For us, the miss of not having a lot of time to plan an after-party with friends and family was a risk we were willing to take. It was unfortunate, but we had the wedding we had dreamed of, with only 1 week of wedding chaos!

Any crazy last minute event stories from you? Feel free to email me

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