I am certainly not saying that bride's are like preschoolers, but when you compare the similarities between coordinating a wedding and running a preschool.....
My first career, after becoming a Mom, was operating a preschool. I loved it! I loved planning, and I especially loved the preschoolers. And, not surprisingly, I encounter much of the same things in coordinating events as I did running my preschool. Let me lay it out for you;
Momma's giving away their babies - I dealt with more separation anxiety from mom's than I did from my preschoolers. There was the occasional child who didn't want to leave mom but as soon as I tempted them with the fun ahead the reluctance dissipated. The Mom's were often the one's that needed the affirmation that their "precious" was going to have fun, be fed and grow as an individual once momma let go. Mom is still important but the role is changing as their child grows up.
A well planned program - You must be well prepared for Preschool, every aspect of the day well thought out or you will lose control. From the moment the children walked through the door until they were picked up, was planned for. You plan for arrival, program, rest, eating, and exiting. Does this sound like a wedding day or what!
Dealing with a lot of emotions - The beautiful, and sometimes extremely frustrating thing about preschoolers is that they show exactly what emotion they happen to be feeling, appropriate or not. They want that emotion to be acknowledged and sometimes it also needs to be directed and dealt with. Ummm... wedding people, let's be honest it is much the same for participants in a wedding. As an adult wouldn't you like to plop down right where you are standing and just start wailing?
Preschoolers want to choose what they wear and it's not always what parents like - I absolutely loved when a parent allowed their child to express their individuality through their clothing choices. I have pictures of my own children wearing ridiculous costumes and have gone shopping with cinderella, and out in public with offensive colour combinations and worn out "favourites". Allowing a child to choose what they wear is a harmless way of allowing self expression and encouraging independence. Granted they might look back at photo's and wonder what they were thinking at the time. And, sometimes they need to be offered more appropriate choices when their frilly bikini is not suitable for bicycling out on the road (or you allow them to wipe out and learn on their own).
Preschoolers want to feel they are the centre of your world - It's not always constant attention but it meant acknowledging each child. "I will be able to listen to you/help you as soon as I am finished here". An encouraging word to indicate that you have noticed what they have done or are doing, a hug, an offer to help. All valuable in a wedding event as well, acknowledging whomever is trying to be helpful, elicited or not. Words of encouragement can diffuse a lot of anxiety.
Art isn't to be named but described - This was pounded into me in college. Making children "name" their artwork doesn't allow for the experience of expression. So instead of saying "what did you draw/color" we were taught to say "tell me about this". We are so programmed to follow whatever is in style at the time that we focus more on that, than on what makes us unique. Trends should inspire us, not dictate to us. I love working with a client to tell their story, what makes them unique or is special to them.
Good snacks - Need I say more?
Planned Rest - A preschool program that doesn't address providing down time or quiet time will produce cranky "little people". Something often overlooked for bridal parties and families is rest. This can be planned for, a basket of refreshments sent with the photographer so that the moments in between shots can be restful, the time between ceremony and reception spent relaxing and not decorating or coordinating (a plug for hiring a wedding coordinator). These planned for moments allow for the energy required to sustain an 18 hour day.
Crowd Control - Not every day in preschool is rainbows and butterflies. A well planned day and a cheerful greeting did not always mean that an overtired or stressed child wouldn't act out. Wedding guests and parties are much the same, you can't guarantee that every participant will be on their best behaviour. And, like in preschool, some people just need a "time out".
And just like when I was a Preschool Teacher, I am always learning. In preschool each child was unique and deserving of my acceptance and love. I find that with my clients as well, everyone has a story and deserves to be loved.