September 2017

It all starts with a thought.  You know the one you just can't get out of your head?  Out of no where it seems, it becomes a dream.  Now depending on who you are, you may scribble a thought on a tablet or napkin.  Then you find the courage to talk with someone about it.  You have just given that thought life. 

In the mind of an event planner or caterer, this is our daily opportunity.  We get to spend time and energy in imaginations of our own and others!  It may only seem like a training class of 20, a family reunion of 150, a wedding reception of 200, a fundraiser of 700 or a holiday meal for 1200 factory workers.... until it becomes yours.  I have been the answer to every detail of these events, conquered and fed the masses, hit the mark on every detail of the most intimate events and can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

Then this happened to me recently and I thought I had just about seen it all.  Four years ago was the first step...I was mother of the groom.  It was hard for me to not be involved in every little detail and for the first time it wasn't my place.  His bride-to-be was lovely, confident, has a strong mother at her side along with her entire family.  The women of her hometown seemed to live for just this occasion. She had been dreaming of this day her whole life and she stole my sons heart.   I had a place of honor in this celebration, again new territory.  I can't tell you how many times I was told to relax and take it all in.  I didn't know how!  Somehow some part of me seemed to watch it all happen from the sidelines, but her day was perfect and I didn't loose anything in this experience....trust me I gained. 

This year, 2017, rolled in with a ton of changes in my life. Venturing into new avenues as an entrepreneur and consulting.  Anyone that knows me, knows I love network marketing.  Connecting people on purpose!  This year it happened to me..big...and I have been blessed!  I knew my daughter was set to graduate from college in the spring and I was prepared.  But the phone rang and a much anticipated engagement was announced.  For the first time I was going to be mother of the bride.  That one took a minute to sink in and when it hit me, I realized I had been training my whole life for this. From the first moment my mother said " Come on Laura I am going to need your help in the kitchen".  I will admit, I immediately prayed for the caterer because this celebration would be taking place in Texas and not her hometown in Memphis.  Prayers answered and proposals submitted, I connected with Heather Rose with Black Eye Pea Catering in Arlington Texas.  I connected with another life long, I am never gonna be rich, but I love what I do lady!  If you were with us please take time to give them a review at this link:                  https://www.facebook.com/BEPCatering

My daughter was in full control of her dream and I found that I negotiate things with myself very well.  Indoor wedding, outdoor reception and I learned that the grass cut low under the tent was a poplar flooring solution in Texas.  In Tennessee we worry about the soft clay ground and opt for more solid flooring for these type of events. Two days before the wedding I was on the phone coordinating the set of of the tent from my remote office at the Quality Inn.    Juan with the set up team called and went way out of his way to meet my needs. BAM..blow away customer service.  We rented a u haul to secure the tables, chairs and linens.  Off to the pick up the u haul we rolled, some day my husband will need to share the GPS night mares of this adventure..but not today.  My reservation was for noon, I called spoke with Chris and he told me she was ready anytime for pick up.  I once again experienced customer service that blew me away.   Since I was only driving it 8 miles round trip he gave me the truck that was full and turned off the haul package.  I really only paid $19.95, 8 miles and tax...one for the record books.

I only had to put on my planner/caterer hat two more times.  The morning of to meet the coordinator and re-work the floor plan for the tent.  As my imagination bounced and my memory fed all the details my daughter and I had dreamed, the shift of each table was important.  Calculating the space needs for the other vendors, where the sun will be at the time of the event and creating space to allow the bride and groom to visit with their guests with ease.  I felt like an orchestra leader as the direction came out guiding the flow of the hands that were there to make it all happen and I disappeared to finally be mother of the bride. 

I did say two more times and that is after the last guest said good bye, it was time to break down, sort out all the decorations, gifts, cards, lights and yes properly breakdown and store the rental items. Amazing how months of details become a pile in the middle of the room at the end of the evening.  I had the honor of driving the brides car back to their new home full of gifts and yes, properly decorated.  The sounds of the horns honking after a long day still tickles me.

I realized after I locked their apartment door walking back down the steps that I didn't even get a piece of cake.  I heard it was delicious.  But the sweetness of memory that unfolded that day, in the exhaustion that overcame me as I came down those stairs that, this was once a dream. It was a perfect day and it could never be matched in only a bite of cake.  Yeah, to the vendors and workers it was just another wedding for 200 guests, that required an rfp (request for proposal) but started with a dream.  Some days it may seem like just another event.....but this one was mine.