Some of you might know me as Quinn Perkins on ABC's Scandal. If you do, then you're familiar with Quinn the badass-leather-wearing-gladiator. Personally, I can’t hack and I’m not super into torturing people, but Quinn and I definitely share, at least, one thing in common: Gladiating. You see, before Scandal changed my life, I, too, used to gladiate...weddings.
Quinn and the Gladiators.
Before I could pay my bills acting, I spent years as a wedding planner's assistant, planning weddings big — and very big — for the who's who of Hollywood. I would hire all of my unemployed actor friends to work for me, and that included my now-husband-then-boyfriend, Adam Shapiro. While most kids my age were out getting wasted, I would spend every Friday night at a rehearsal dinner, every Saturday night at a wedding, and every Sunday morning at a brunch. I worked hundreds of weddings and I can thankfully say that every single one went off without a hitch. Pun intended. Not only did the bride get what she wanted, she also found a best friend in me. I was even nicknamed: bridewhisperer. (whispers) And I loved it. If hashtags were a thing back then it would have been mine.
Throwback to Adam and I as kids catering a fancy schmancy wedding. This was just before the moment I yelled at him for eating all the passed apps.
Ok so fast forward to me landing Scandal (Who has two thumbs and wants to be a gladiator in a suit? This girl!) I was now as busy as I had ever been, and my wedding planning days had come to an end. That is until I had to do one more: my own. Otherwise known as Camp Shapirlowes. We rented a sleep away camp for the whole weekend. 215 guests in cabins around a lake and for 48 hours we mashed up Dirty Dancing with Wet Hot American Summer. And it was bliss.
Here we are singing around the Camp Shapirlowes campfire after the reception. Yes I’m wearing pajamas. And yes, we’re wearing “Husband” and “Wife” hats!
After the honeymoon, I knew I would retire my wedding planning clipboard for good. But then the strangest thing happened. We came home to messages from our soon-to-be-married friends and family who had attended our wedding, and they were all asking the same thing: "How can we do this for our wedding?" “Do you guys do other people’s weddings?” “Can you officiate our wedding?!” And just like that Adam and I were back in the biz! We went online, got ordained, and started to officiate! Many weddings later, I write this article!
Officiating our dear friends Jamie and Steve’s wedding.
So I have worked hundreds of weddings, planned my own, attended hundreds more, been a bridesmaid countless times, spoke at dozens, and we’ve now officiated six with more on the horizon. And here is my parting gift to you!!! (Take a tip from the #bridewhisperer).
How Not to Muck Up Your Girlfriend’s Big Day!
1. I could just write this 10 times: DO NOT bring up anything about yourself. This ain't your day. You ordered a different lunch to the room during hair and makeup? Figure it out. Or starve. Anything but actually tell Jen that you only eat soy cheese. Screw your soy cheese. This is Jen’s day.
2. No matter what you actually think, everything, including the dress, is beautiful! And tell her so. You have a better idea for the bouquet? Write it in your journal. This stuff has already been worked out.
3. Don't drink too much and make a scene. (It is, however, OK to get nicely drunk and hook up with her hot distant cousin. That is totally OK. But keep it classy and discreet.)
4. Ask if there's anything you can do to help. And if there's an answer to that question, get it done. Can't handle it? Then make an executive decision and delegate it to someone who can. She’s not asking you to do it. She’s asking you to get it done.
5. Smile and be calm. The energy on the day-of is everything. The absolute best thing you can do for a bride and groom is to be and remain positive all day! This includes when you’re around the family!
6. Introduce yourself as a dear friend to any family or friends. Become the wedding mayor. The bride and groom will never forget the effort you made to make their friends and family feel comfortable.
7. DO NOT wear white. At all. The entire weekend. Oh but you just got that amazing white bathing suit and it’s the only one that fits right now. Leave it at home. Don’t go swimming then. Somebody probably needs help with the centerpieces anyway.
8. DO NOT act like the belle of the ball. Again. This ain't your day. Even if you are feelin’ it in that bridesmaid dress. I see you, girl!
9. Eat your salad quickly. Why? So when the DJ asks for everyone to join the dance floor. You’re ready to go. Even if you hate the song or the vibe. Get out there and commit. Give it 100% from the start. Everyone else will follow and the bride and groom will be grateful.
10. Number 10 sums up the other 9. Be present. Cheesy I know. But true. Put your phone down (unless it's to add pics to their insta hashtag) and just be there. Be there for your friend and take it all in. These are the moments we talk about the rest of our lives. Enjoy it!
Any questions? Tweet me! @katieqlowes
And you know the hashtag! #bridewhisperer
Happy Wedding Season!