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Headache thinking how to spend 25 million USD, in the top 5 most stressful jobs in the world

Colin Cowie was born in Zambia and raised in South Africa. His name is associated with lavish events, super luxurious weddings for celebrities. His clients include the princes of Qatar, Nicole Kidman and Ryan Seacrest.

But that was before Covid-19 appeared, causing large-scale events to be postponed for 18 months. Now, the unprecedented large-scale weddings have returned. These events are so big that there is enough budget for 7 days.

A survey conducted by Wedding Report predicts that by 2022 there will be 2.5 million weddings. This will be the busiest year for event organizers since 1984. And 45 of those events will be led by Colin Cowie. organization, a 50% increase from pre-pandemic levels.

Colin Cowie brings together a team of talented and passionate freelance designers and producers. According to research by CareerCast, event organizers have the fifth highest level of work stress, after military personnel and firefighters.

The Bloomberg reporter spent a week following the world’s leading event organizer to discover everything that goes behind the most epic event. And here are the facts behind a million dollar wedding.

The undisclosed secret of the million-dollar wedding planner: Headache thinking how to spend $25 million, among the top 5 most stressful jobs in the world - Photo 1.

Illustration: Kati Szilágyi

1. How to spend 25 million USD in two weekends?

Colin Cowie Lifestyle service is divided into two levels. For projects of $250,000 or more, Colin Cowie’s staff will assist in organizing the event. Cowie herself would “not touch a wedding with a budget of less than $1 million”. The most expensive recent event was a $25 million party at a resort in Mexico.

Colin Cowie wants the ideal time to organize a wedding is 9 months, although he once managed to throw a party in just 6 days. Cowie and his team had to work on every step of the plan.

They will connect the bride with the designer of the wedding gown, invitations, Broadway lighting and Michelin-starred menus. This even includes giving gifts to neighbors in the area before the party.

So how to spend $25 million in a two-day period? When Colin Cowie’s team takes over the hotel, the food and services will improve to a level of excellence. World-famous chefs fly in, staff also promise attentive service.

At one event in the Middle East, 40 VIPs dine at a party that costs $12,000 a person. Intricate stages can be tailored for single use, for example, wooden decks spread over the beach.

At the $11 million wedding that Erin Halley Reddy, one of Cowie’s executive producers, recently hosted, nearly $3 million in flowers and $1 million was spent on tents. A cocktail stand costs about $30,000.

The average US wedding costs about $29,000. But in Cowie’s world, such a wedding would not include concept sessions, where the dishes, flowers and options are fully made for the venue.

2. Event organizers have “cards” ready when things go wrong

A good planner is someone who always has a “bullet-proof” plan B for every bad situation. Cowie usually has a second location prepped and budgeted in case. For example, if the day of the event gets caught in the rain, that won’t be a problem.

There are incidents that are even more ironic. At a wedding, the bride’s father insisted on serving precious wine from his cellar, only to find out at the last minute that every bottle was screwed. The employees had to frantically run around town to buy any bottles of wine they could find.

Sometimes wedding disasters are extremely dire. Early in his career, Cowie built a beach tent lined with lavish Moroccan textiles. Then, the rising tide destroyed everything when there were only 30 minutes left of the event.

3. Opening the bar during the event is a disaster

Sophie Landry, one of Cowie’s designers, says their team always has an ambulance ready for the worst-case scenario. Especially since it’s so hard to limit drinking during a private event.

The undisclosed secret of a million-dollar wedding planner: Headache thinking how to spend $25 million, among the top 5 most stressful jobs in the world - Photo 2.

Illustration: Kati Szilágyi

4. Cash helps smooth journey

A wedding wouldn’t be stellar without a private jet. But the plane here is not used to carry passengers but to carry cakes.

Cowie has flown 18 cargo containers and commercial aircraft stocked with furniture, decorations and food for weddings in remote locations from the Middle East to the Midwest. Cowie once carried a whole set of fireworks on an airplane. He laughed and said: “That time, it felt like we were carrying a bomb through the sky.”

But precisely because the quantity of goods is so large, money “tips” for unexpected cases is essential. Teams in charge are assigned tens of thousands of dollars to “solve problems” when shipping goods. Cowie used the money to get back 5,000 orchids after they magically “disappeared” upon landing.

The undisclosed secret of a million-dollar wedding planner: Headache thinking how to spend $25 million, among the top 5 most stressful jobs in the world - Photo 3.

Illustration: Kati Szilágyi

5. Desserts Aren’t Cakes

It took a year to hire the right baker, Cowie. Ron Ben – Israel is a person who makes 400 cakes a year at a cost of 4,000 to 100,000 USD.

For the Middle Eastern royal couple, Cowie ordered 2,500 hand-decorated cakes that were kept sealed for transcontinental shipping. Total cost is about $500,000, not including labor or transit fees.

However, not every couple can own a giant 10-tier wedding cake. For short couples, the oversized cake will occupy the “spotlight” of the main character. Cowie is also very averse to decorating animal motifs on the cake.

There have been disasters like cake melting in hot weather. A wedding in Sri Lanka once caused Ben – Israel to ask dozens of children to chase thousands of ants into the cake.

6. If you can’t hold a million dollar wedding

Cowie confesses that the secret to making an impression is simple: Arrange 10 tables close together to create atmosphere and let 10 people sit at the same table when other weddings only have 8 people.

Buffett is a no-no. They are a source of sloppy dressing or guests piling up plates with buffets. Three dishes served within 90 minutes are ideal.

Cowie’s advice is not to let the speech be longer than 3 minutes, but just keep it short and concise. Cutting the cake should also be left last to retain guests because according to Western culture, leaving before cutting the wedding cake is very impolite.

According to Bloomberg

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