“The Wedding Planner” is a movie about a hard working wedding planner named Mary (Jennifer Lopez) who is very professional and successful in her career. Just like any wedding planner Mary has a social life. Life starts to spin when a doctor named Steve (Matthew McConaughey) saves her from almost getting killed and they fall in love with each other. Steve turns out to be a client and the husband to a future wedding she is planning for his wife Fran. This wedding is very important because the family wants to make their wedding a high profile event as they own a small business which is starting to sky rocket successfully in business. If the wedding planning company book this event it will increase the resume of the wedding planning business that Mary works for. If Mary successfully plans the wedding she will receive a promotion and become a managing partner in her business. Between balancing her social life and career Mary is forced to make professional and emotional decisions for her happiness. In the beginning the film really focuses on Mary and how she works as a wedding planner.
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The movie portrays the wedding planner as calm while keeping a huge operation under control as she swoops through the venue from fixing the bridesmaids dress to queing the music on a headset. They also display how organized she is when she comes home from a big day precisely folding her clothes and being very organized with her work. Whens she is pep talking the bride who starts to get emotional and self-conscious about how she looks for the wedding by telling her “You are the luckiest girl in the world, when I did Whitney Huston’s wedding she was even more nervous than you and you look ten times better than she did…. Look at me, you are exquisite. Your timeless and you’re the envy of your future sister in-law Janice whom I overheard at the last gown fitting ‘look at those thighs, I’d kill for Tracy’s thighs. This is a tactic that she used in assisting her client. In a time of despair and insecurity she became a friend and a psychologist. She let the bride know that she is beautiful and compared her to a celebrity.
By using famous names such as Whitney Huston not only was she able to reassure one client on how she looked but was able to realm in another. When she was speaking to the family of the high profile wedding that she was trying to score for her company she told her assistant to prepare for “the Murdock” file (another high profile family). This not only gave her leverage with the family but psychologically imprinted in the mind that they are speaking with a very prestigious and renowned planner. Mary is very good at speaking with clients which is how she was able convincing her employer a shot at the partnership. She told Geri (the owner of the wedding planner company) that she has brought in a lot of clients in her 5 years of working for the business and without her they wouldn’t have been able to make the business as big as it is to be now. It is very important that a wedding planner such as Mary is very good at speaking because it helps with decision making. Providing vendors is a very important role of a wedding planner. Not only does it comply with decision making to a couple but it creates relationships with the wedding planning company.
One vendor used in the film was the dance studio that Mary set up the couple Steve and Fran with. When she goes to meet the couple at the studio she chats with a employee as if she has a relationship with them. When Steve and Fran are searching for a location she helps influence a decision on the park as a location by suggesting that they would be the first couple to do it making it sound appealing. The movie elaborates on the love affair between the husband Steve and the wedding planner Mary who end up getting married at the end of the film. As romanticized as the story line is it does raise an ethical issue which can be realistic. The best way to resolve the issue would to keep any transaction between the clients completely professional and to not put themselves in their lives in any personal way outside of being the wedding planner.
I think the film was an overall good portrayal of a wedding planner being organized, a friend, designer, decision maker, and service provider. Despite the romantic love story which was intended for the story line it did a good job of showing the main purpose a wedding planner has however, I do not think they elaborated very well on realistic features such a finances (a budget) and how stressful putting on a huge event (especially the one Fran wanted) can be in a wedding planners office. I believe she wouldn’t have had much time to focus on social issues.