The Wedding Planner of Westeros – Interview Series
Being such a high-profile wedding planner in these lands can be both a blessing and a curse. Maria has famously said in the past:
But I love it, if it wasn’t challenging it wouldn’t be fun. I hope I’m making the best out of it”.
It’s no wonder that the majority of all the Royal Weddings are planned by the reputable House of ‘Make Happy Memories ‘.
Today we’re going to get an inside look into how bad it can really get.
Joaz: Maria, thank you for joining us in this interview. How is the wedding season going so far?
Maria: Thank you for having me Joaz. It’s crazy busy, actually. Winter is coming. Lots of couples are rushing to do outdoor weddings while we still have enough light and temperature is above zero. Plus, there are rumors that The Wall has fallen as well as stories about freaking zombies and white walkers marching south. This will make it very difficult for guests to travel, so, you can imagine, I am fully booked right now.
Joaz: Of course! Thank you for finding a small slot in your busy schedule for this. We know it can be really difficult to do what you’re doing. This is actually the theme of this interview. We want our readers to see the human story behind all the glory and fame. We want to experience your stresses, maybe hear about moments you look back with regret, get a glimpse of your vulnerable side. Here comes the question then: Maria, what has been your worst wedding so far
Maria: Hmmm. This is a tough one. Thinking of Daenerys’ and Drogo which turned out to be a hippie orgy, but that was an interesting one, so, I wouldn’t label it as my worst one.
I think the Purple Wedding was pretty bad. I kinda hated the guts of the groom though, so it had some interesting highlights.
The Black Wedding (as everything even remotely related to that Ramsay Bolton dude) makes me kinda sick in the stomach to think about….
Okay, I got it. My worst one has to be the Red Wedding. This one really takes the cake. From the very beginning it has been a total disaster.
I always face all my challenges with a smile
Joaz: Yes, we’ve heard the stories first hand. Well actually, not sure that’s the right choice of words since hardly anyone survived to talk about it, but… yes, brilliant, please, do say more. Tell us everything!
Maria: See, I wasn’t very hopeful going in this project. The problem is that I am a very romantic person, I believe in true love and that we all deserve to be with “the one”. The vast majority of my customers get married for different reasons. It is basically a game of thrones. You see virgins marrying old Lords to bring title and wealth to their families, you see second-cousins tying the knot just to join armies, you see parents exchanging their kids’ lives like business transactions. It’s a real downer. This one was more of the same old story.
But it doesn’t always have to be like that. Take for example the gorgeous couple Robb Stark and Talisa, who were on the guest-list.
Oww , look at those lovebirds…
The King of the North was such a cool guy, very handsome and photogenic and his queen Talisa was such a glowing young mother-to-be. I loved how sweet the couple was – living proof that love is the most powerful force in the universe… well… “living” proof until this disgusting ugly idiot Walder Frey and that creepy meddling Lord Roose Bolton conspired with the Lannisters to throw a monkey wrench in the whole thing and ruin my event with a bloody massacre.
I always get furious whenever I think about it. But anyway, even without all the murdering and the blood, this event was destined to be embarrassing. Look at what I had to work with, Edmure, the lazy bum of a groom, and Walder one of the most tight, stingy, penny-pinching fathers I’ve met!
I had to shell out budget from my own pocket just to make sure the event was marginally acceptable.
Joaz: I see your point. In a recent reader poll we did, the general consensus was that Walder Frey is a bloody idiot, mean, tight-wad, ugly as a salad and together with Roose Bolton they are on the top 10 hated people in the Seven Kingdoms. But let’s take it back to the planning part of the event. When did it all start to go wrong?
Maria: Well, yes, Walder Frey was enough reason to reject the job, but in the end I couldn’t, because it involved two of the great houses of the Seven Kingdom. Plus I cannot say no to Lady Catelyn Stark who personally asked me to do it for her brother. She’s always been a good sport to me, given my card to all her friends and I’ve organized the baptisms of all her kids. The people of the North may come across as a bit cold, even stone-hearted, but they are the nicest bunch to work with.
Back to the wedding preps, first problem was the choice of the venue. This ancient douchebag Walder Frey insisted to have a closed-door ceremony and reception at the Twins. They could have picked a more beautiful location, but he was able to coax everyone to agree. The place was hideous!
Then was the number of guests. Both parties insisted to invite almost everyone from Westeros. 15,000 guests! Can you imagine that?
With 15000 guests, the logistics were really painful
I almost had a nervous breakdown thinking how I will be able to manage that many people. I had to rent hundreds of horses and carriages, it was a logistical nightmare.
Joaz: So, the father in-law played a big part in this chaos. How about the rest of the members of the family? Were there other impossible demands?
Maria: Yes, definitely. The bride was kinda cute, (Edmure couldn’t believe his luck when he saw her), but too meek and timid.
Edmure was staring at her all night like a hawk. He is thanking the old gods for arranged weddings… this bird is totally out of his league
She tasked me to handle her sisters. All of them divas who wanted to be a bridesmaid. All of them ugly, by the way. The make-up artist almost backed out.
Maria: I tried my very best, but even I can’t pull a rabbit out of a hat.
They didn’t even want to hire a florist so I had to make do with what they had – candles and torches! At least the glow was a bit romantic.
The decor of the reception was very minimal, I was working with a shoestring budget
Maria: Oh Gods don’t get me started with the food. I know you wouldn’t believe it, but they only had salt and bread!
Talisa trying the food. Her facial expression is priceless.
Plus, really, really bad wine.
You would think they’ll serve some Dornish red or even Arbor gold but no. They didn’t even have fresh produce from Highgarden or seafood from the Iron Islands! I know that it’s almost Winter and there’s the War of Five Kings going on, but they could have stepped it up a bit. It’s almost like they don’t want to feed the guests.Salt and bread? Who honestly does that?!
Joaz: It sure sounds like a dreadful affair. Was there any entertainment to lift up the mood of the guests?
Maria: Yes, the Lannisters thankfully provided a band. The thing is, they could only play one song! How stupid is that, right? All throughout the affair the guests were waiting for them to start playing, and when they did, the tune was not exactly starting the party. I mean, I like the song, but it won’t get young people full of excitement, jumping into the dance floor to celebrate with their friends, right?
Regardless all my efforts, the dancefloor stayed empty
Maria: It sure looks like it! All this power and wealth corrupts people. It is all a Game, a game where if you do not win, you die!
I am surprised that I am still sane and functional after planning all these crazy weddings, to be honest. But as we say at Make Happy Memories, the show must go on. And of course, I always try to keep it professional, bloodbath or not.
This particular kill spree has an interesting back story. Apparently, sneaky and dirty Tywin Lannister has this running beef with the Starks and used the wedding to lure the Northerners. He employed trashy Roose Bolton to carry out this evil, evil plan. Another scoop I got from one of the serving maids is that it was really King Robb who was promised to marry the Frey daughter. He instead had a secret elopement with Talisa. How romantic! Old miserable Walder’s pride got wounded and got in with the revenge.
I was the wedding planner and I was kept out of the loop. I guess they knew I wouldn’t have allowed this evil plan to unfold!
Damn you Walder Frey and your stupid pride… he should be crowned with the honorable title of “The Drama Queen of the Seven Kingdoms”!
Joaz: How did the couple take it, were they pissed?
Maria: Well, honestly, the couple was not even in the room when the chaos was unleashed. They went ahead with the bedding ceremony with a bunch from the bridal party. I guess it was used as another diversionary tactic of the sneaky Freys.
I remember I climbed on a chair and cheered with the wild crowd, while of-course also keeping an eye on the alcoholic drunkards and making sure things stayed descent
Until now, I don’t have any idea about their reaction. Poor Edmure, I hear he’s a hostage at the Twins now. You know, as the wedding planner, I just did what I had to do: made sure that the program was followed, and traditions were practiced.
Joaz: What happened then? Did the party suddenly end?
Maria: It didn’t, actually. The Freys, Lannisters, and the Boltons continued with the drinking, merrymaking and singing of that awful song.
As to what happened with the guests from the North, it was too graphic to describe, it’s the kind of thing that once you’ve seen it you can never unsee it. I’ve been doing intense therapy sessions.
oh the terrors ….
Let’s just say that seeing someone’s head you really like getting replaced with a direwolf’s and paraded outside can seriously mess you up. It was nasty.
Joaz: What was the greatest challenge for your post-wedding?
Maria: Well, it’s a no-brainer, the egress and clean up, of course! Imagine tidying up after that pandemonium. I had to beg all the house helps to work past their shift to make sure that the place was spotless the next day. All that blood had to be scrubbed the whole night, and I was there to make sure that everything got cleaned and organized. It’s part of my personalized service, however difficult that may be.
Cleaning up was such a mission. I don’t think the place will ever be completely clean. These halls need exorcists and priests.
I also had to squeeze out my fee from the weasel Walder Frey. The nerve on him, he wanted to pay less, because according to him half of the guests left the party early… so his point was that I had half the amount of neanderthal drunkards to attend to! I have news for you mr Walter Scrooge. I have standards and not everyone can afford me. I dragged my bum from King’s Landing to the Seven Gods knows where and I need to cover my expenses. Not to mention the nightmares I’ll have for the rest of my life… No way.
Joaz: That is quite an experience, Maria. You truly are the best wedding planner in Westeros. After the Red Wedding, what tips and advice can you give to other royals and common folk who are planning their wedding?
Maria: First of all, disclose everything to your wedding organizer so she can plan ahead – from logistics, wardrobe, the number of guests down to “side activities” if you want something non-traditional like a little mass-murdering, carnage or genocide. And of course, make sure to pick a theme that will fit your budget. You wouldn’t want to borrow money from the Iron Bank or Braavos because those guys are not messing around.
If you want a destination wedding, The Eyrie has a beautiful castle which you can use as your venue. You won’t stress over people crashing your wedding. They can try, though. If you want to be surrounded by greens, Highgarden has the most beautiful manicured lawns perfect for an afternoon nuptial.
If you want to bring pets like direwolves or dragons, make sure that the venue you will choose allows it. Not all Lords and Ladies have a pet-friendly policy for their land.
Finally, if you’ve found your soulmate, hurry up and send a pigeon to the House of Make Happy Memories without delay. Winter is coming.