The Regimental Sargent Major Wedding Planner

The Regimental Sargent Wedding Planner

The office phone rang, insistently. The type of ring that you know is going to be trouble.

“What time is your team going to be here?” the voice said.


“What time is your fireworks crew going to get here, this display is supposed to be a secret, they should have been here at 11am to get set up before the guests arrive”.

Now this time was not asked for by the venue, nor was the person doing the demanding my contact at the venue.

So, who was it? The wedding Planner, somebody who works for the venue, and supposedly the person who is tasked to make sure the Bride and Groom have a special day.

“OK so what time will they be here, I need to know within 20 minutes what time they will arrive on site?”

After explaining that we had to travel over 200 miles to get there and due to traffic and road conditions it is not always possible to predict within 20 minutes what your time of arrival will be.

“Well we certainly won’t be using you again” she said as she hung up.

On arrival I contacted the venue owner who was my contact for the evening, she showed me where we were setting up and said, “The horses will get curious, but I will get them stabled as soon as I can”. So, no problems, the horses kept kicking over the racks and equipment but at least they didn’t eat any of it.

A very severe downpour caused us to lose about 15 minutes of our setting up time, but we were still on track to start on time. Then I noticed a bloke leaning over the fence waving at me to come and talk to him. “she is bloody furious he said. She demands to know what time you will be ready to fire. By now I am getting a bit bloody minded, “Tell her I need about 5 minutes extra I said.

He went back in and my mobile phone went off. “I am the event planner stood at the top of the hill where you are supposed to be setting off fireworks, you will have these fireworks ready to fire at 9.30 according to the plan” and she hung up.

I put the phone back in the car and carried on setting up, doing the finishing checks and making sure everything was safe to fire. At about 25 past 9 the guests started to come out of the marquee, and I put on my hard hat and eye protection. I could see the Bride was not yet out on the lawn, so I waited. As I saw her, we started the show. This was about 9.32. The show went well, we went up afterwards to speak to the Bride and Groom and they were highly delighted. So back down to the firing site, cleared away, packed everything away, got into the car and set off for the 200-mile trip home. At that time, I checked the phone and I had had 15 missed calls between 9.25 and 9.29 The last 1 she had left a message to say we were unprofessional, and she would never use us again.

Now my point is this, if you are arranging something that needs split second timing then maybe you have the right to be rude and demanding. If you are arranging somebody’s wedding party, then perhaps you need to chill out a little. The idea of the exercise is that the B & G have a super day and it is irrelevant if your “timed to the second” event plan is not adhered to.

And... No, you won’t get the chance to use us again, because if the venue, who make the decision by the way ask us and you are the Sargent Major in charge, then I am busy that night.

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