The Llama Incident

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A llama. As a ring bearer. Not my idea.

So back in 2005, I was doing a wedding for a couple named Elsie and John. Elsie’s family was from the La Have area on the South Shore so we held the wedding at a gorgeous spot near there called Fort Point Park.

In the months leading up to their wedding I remember being at a meeting with them and a supplier. During the meeting, Elsie off-handedly brings up the fact that she is going to have a llama as her ring bearer. Say what?? I didn’t think I heard her correctly so I asked her to repeat what she said. Yup. A llama. “Why?” I asked. It turns out that Elsie and her best friend had a thing about llamas ever since a Grade 9 field trip where they had their photo taken with one. For years after that they would send each other llama cards, llama gifts, anything and everything llama related. So when her friend found out she was getting married she told her she was going to get her a llama for her wedding. A live one.

So I quickly ran through in my mind all the reasons NOT to have a live animal participate in a wedding ceremony. The conversation with the bride went something like this:
“Don’t llamas spit on people?” I asked.
“Not to worry, this llama is very tame, he’s been in nine weddings already.” Wow, he’s a pro.
“Where is this llama coming from?” I asked.
“Oh there’s a llama farm in Nova Scotia not far from LaHave.” Who knew?
“Who will clean up after it?” I asked.
“Oh he comes with a handler, don’t worry, you won’t have to deal with it at all.” Right.

So I tried to put this llama business out of my mind. After all, I had plenty of other things to worry about. Like getting permission to use the park in the first place, arranging a tent, catering, worrying about the rain plan, etc. Luckily it didn’t rain. The day was absolutely perfect. Sunny, slightly breezy with not a cloud in the sky.

About 20 minutes before the ceremony I was busy in the tent, when one of Scanway’s servers came up to me.
“Uhh Claudia, I have to tell you something.”
“Yes, what is it?” I said.
“The llama pooped in the middle of the aisle.”
(Insert many curse words here I cannot put in writing.)

I went to where the chairs were set up for the ceremony to survey the damage. There was a large pile of llama droppings smack in the middle of the aisle in line with where the parents were going to be sitting in 15 minutes!! Luckily llama poop is kind of dry, like rabbit poop, only bigger. So I went back to the tent and asked that poor server if he had any gloves and to go and cover the pile with paper towel before anyone accidentally steps in it.

I then ran to find the llama handler…who should have been watching her llama.

After explaining what had happened and that she needed to go clean up the mess ASAP, I continued on with preparations for the ceremony. Five minutes later the mess was cleaned up. The ceremony began on time, the bride and groom knew nothing about what happened and as you can see from the above photo, the llama performed his duties well, without pooping again.

I wanted to share this story A) because it’s funny, and B) because you simply never know what’s going to happen at a wedding, especially when there’s an animal involved. Sometimes in this business you just have to go with the flow and deal with the curve balls that are thrown at you as best as you can. Being a planner inherently means we need to make sure every detail is well thought out and every contingency considered. The llama pooping somewhere was one of my concerns, but I knew that if it happened the handler would clean it up. I didn’t expect it to happen where it did and when it did though! But in the end the couple was happy to have the wedding they wanted and the llama was a big hit. And that’s all that really matters right? Right.

Claudia

Photo credits: Intrepid Photography

10 Years. 150 Weddings. 1st Blog Post.

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I don’t know much about blogging, but weddings on the other hand, I know a lot about.  After a decade of planning weddings in Nova Scotia, I realised I have some stories to tell!  A lot has changed since I first started doing weddings.  Smart phones didn’t exist, there was no Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Skype. No iPods or iPads.  I could always spot my brides when I would meet them for the first time in a local coffee shop.  They always had a binder with pages ripped out of bridal magazines, or a wedding planner they had purchased.  Some still do, but now I get clients bringing me their iPads and showing me their Pinterest boards, which is great! I’m a big fan of sharing information and technology has made it so much easier!

Speaking of which, if you have looked around my site you will see that I am on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, so if you’d like to follow me on there, I will do my best to keep the stuff I post interesting and current.

I have worked with many suppliers over the years and many I still work with today and consider them friends (you know who you are).  Having great relationships with suppliers is essential when working on a wedding together.  I strive to make sure everyone has a clear understanding of what is expected of them so we work together as a team.  After all, there are no “do-overs” for your wedding day.  You get one crack at it, so I like to make sure I’m working with people who get that.  And thankfully, most wedding vendors around here get it.

I am also really grateful to live in such a beautiful province that people want to come back to for their weddings.  We really do have something special here in Nova Scotia.  Maybe it’s our well-known Maritime hospitality, maybe it’s our stunning natural beauty, maybe it’s our affordability compared to some other places.  Whatever it is, I’m glad to be a part of it and I hope to be for another 10 years!

So check back regularly as I do my best to share funny stories of past weddings, impart some wisdom, and show you why I love doing what I do.

Claudia

 

P.S. Just a note about the photo in the header above.  It’s from my very first wedding in October of 2002, before I even dreamed of doing this as a business.  Note the grainy image?  That’s because back then, photographers worked mainly with film.  Digital photography was relatively new, so when I wanted photos for my site, photographers had to scan the negatives and email them to me. My how far we have come!  

A big thank you to Sandra and Anthony (pictured above).  Without your faith in me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Photo credit: Emma Rose Photography