Ask the Planner: What is “Wedding Hangover”?

If you follow many wedding professionals on Twitter or even Facebook, you’ve probably noticed the phrase “Wedding Hangover.”  And wondered, “Hey, wait a second, were they DRINKING at last night’s wedding???”

Almost across the board (there are the occasional DJs who feel that it’s a totally normal part of their job; I won’t get into my feelings for that here, but let’s assume you’re hiring true professionals, ok?), the answer is a resounding “NO!”

I get asked this question at least once a month by someone who sees one of my posts.  They wonder how I can do my job while drinking.  The answer is that I couldn’t – I am very sensitive to alcohol and tend to fall asleep after more than a single sip!  You would never see me drinking on the job.  But I still suffer from “Wedding Hangover.”  Like, after every wedding.

So what is it?

In short, wedding hangover is the soreness and exhaustion a wedding vendor’s body feels the day after a wedding.  Planners, coordinators, designers, photographers, videographers, DJs, and catering staff are on their feet, running around, for hours and hours on your wedding day.  We often forget to drink water (it’s not uncommon for us to forget to hydrate altogether until dinner and from then until the end of the night), don’t typically eat often enough, and ignore our own bodily needs until it’s convenient for us to address them (I’ve seen pros completely ignore cuts and sunburns for hours, work on sprained ankles, and forget to use the restroom all night….).  It’s just part of our jobs; weddings happen on a certain schedule and we need to be there to do our parts.  So it’s no surprise that we feel the effects afterward.

Do you know how it feels to be hung over?  Whether from alcohol, running a long race, or being a new parent, it’s the same.  Foggy, fuzzy-headed, ready to nap at a moment’s notice, sore and achy, with stiff joints and dry skin.  That is precisely what wedding professionals feel after every wedding.  Many wedding professionals (myself included) try really hard not to schedule meetings the day after a wedding, so that anyone they’re meeting with doesn’t get the wrong impression.  My energy level is usually extremely low the day after a wedding, my throat gravelly, and my eyelids heavy.  Sometimes I’m so hopped up on caffeine that I can’t stop talking at the speed of light.  True story.  It’s no way to really meet me.  Because I don’t do back-to-back weddings, I will not be “hung over” on your wedding day – so I’d rather you meet me when I am more like myself.

But any time anyone says, “Oh wow, what a fun job!!!” (or the downright silly of this statement, “Oh, wow, what an easy job!”) I laugh.  To clarify, I love, loveLOVE what I do.  I adore being a wedding and event planner, working with amazing brides and vendors, and making beautiful and happy things happen for my clients.  But it’s not always fun (see above, sunburns, cuts, and sprained ankles, all of which happened to me in the last two weeks) and it’s definitely not easy.  It’s a ton of work, ten to fourteen hours at a time (next weekend I’ll be working or driving to my wedding from 9:30 am until 11:00 pm; the longest day I’ve had was at a gala when I worked for the nonprofit, it started before 8 am and wasn’t over until after 1 am the next day).  It’s exhausting.

Today is the day after a wedding.  Alexis + Chris got married yesterday in Coronado.  I woke up on Wednesday with a sore back (I still can’t quite figure out exactly what I did) and have been dealing with it on and off ever since.  Yesterday I wore a brace all day (it was 80 degrees and that thing was HOT!).  While looking for my assistant (who, thanks to summer beach traffic, had to park three or four blocks away and couldn’t find the reception room), I rolled my ankle.  I somehow managed to cut my finger (luckily not enough for it to bleed, just enough to sting).  I got home around midnight and had to wake up at six for my day job.  I’m hobbling and every muscle in my body aches.  I am desperately in need of more coffee but I don’t know if I can make it to the cart a block away!

Why do I tell you all this?

Because I had the most amazing time yesterday.  My bride was stunning, my groom handsome.  The vendor team was incredible.  The details were fabulous.  I woke up this morning sore and tired and didn’t really want to move.  But I woke up smiling.  I am so proud of yesterday’s wedding.  Wedding hangover is no match for wedding high.  No drugs or alcohol needed.

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One thought on “Ask the Planner: What is “Wedding Hangover”?

  1. Pingback: Happy Belated Anniversary, Marisa + James! | Events by Elisa

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