We've wrapped up Halloween and Thanksgiving is here! Here in St. Louis, we're experiencing the requisite up and down temperatures that are the hallmark of our Autumn seasonal experience. Fall is a premiere time of the year for weddings and special events, and just like the weather, things can be unpredictable. Even on the big day.
Like the day some outdoor guests of a fall wedding milled about the grounds and cabins of our charming location with tiny swarms of bees buzzing around their pinned flowers. I had already warned the family about bees being a potential issue, because I now have expert knowledge of seemingly strange, random or benign things, like what bees prefer and what jazzes them.
I had commissioned stepping stones made of wood and each surrounded by a gorgeous ring of carefully designed fresh flowers as the pathway guests and the bridal party would take to their seats for the wedding ceremony. And there they were. Bees at every step along the way. Uninvited guests though they were, the bees mainly kept to the flowers. Aside from a few very attractive-to-bees guests who were bothered, with epipens loaded and at the ready, the rest of the day went along beautifully.
Champagne - draws bees. Cake and desserts - draws bees. Flowers - draw bees. Lets go down the list of wedding ceremony and event essentials and start tallying. Bee magnets. All of it. I don't know where they come from but with these temptations around, they're-a-comin.'
There have been moments of mad rushes indoors because bees were everywhere. Even swimming around in the drinks. It's a situation where I've given cautionary tales to florists and caterers, and sometimes even pleaded with the families and hosts not to have open food and beverages outdoors, yet sometimes everyone insists. Later we discover the wedding cake is covered in bees, they're in a food frenzy and everything has to quickly be hauled inside. For fall weddings, the struggle is really real. Weather and bees are forces we always contend with during this season. You've been warned.
"I can't believe I'm in charge of these wedding bands!" I said to myself during one special wedding day. I was doing the wedding planning and design for an NFL agent and his lovely bride to be, and given the unusual task of converting the wedding ring pillow, into a football wedding ring 'pillow.' I carefully hand sewed the beautiful rings onto the seams of the football, secretly praying this would work and that they wouldn't only be well fastened and not fall off - God forbid, but that the couple would also be able to remove them easily during their ceremony.
I spent the day carrying this now tens-of-thousands-of-dollars-valued football around to both protect it, and keep our unique ceremony idea a secret. I got a lot of quizzical, curious stares from guests wondering why the wedding planner was carrying a football around, like they thought I may just hurl it. But I couldn't give it away, so I had to finesse the appearance of looking totally normal. Nothing to see here. Just the wedding planner making things happen, working the room in heels like a boss, toting a football around, held curiously close to my body.
To hand sew the most valuable and important part of the entire ceremony onto a football and carry it around protecting it with my life and without giving it away... Well, lets just say it was more than interesting, a little nerve-wracking and fortunately it was pulled off without a hitch and became a very memorable part of their big day. The ceremony and ensuing festivities were truly wonderful, enjoyed by everyone and it was one of my most favorite projects.
Another important thing to remember during the holiday months and festivities, is that pets aren't people. They don't have self-control just like many of us don't either on special occasions. I once hosted a lovely Thanksgiving event in my home for about 38 guests. The tables were trimmed, the decor was beautiful, inviting and warm, our buffet was set up and things were ready to go. Until we discovered Rocky, our Australian Shepherd, had eaten half of the turkey! It was heartbreaking. Rocky was happy enough after eating 1/3 of his weight in turkey. The rest of us? We debated between cutting away the eaten part of the bird or washing it off. Neither seemed a very good option, so we decided to toss it and grieve. Now it's a family tradition of storytelling over the holidays. Thanks for the memories, Rocky.
This is a sweet, funny, even a bit charming memory, though this really is an all-too-true lesson for all of us to keep pets away from special events completely. Or keep all foods securely in a room or somewhere that there is zero possibility a dog will get to your delectable delights. Because where there is a will there is a way, and dogs have the will! Think twice about inviting mans best friend to a wedding reception. Or special event. They're all about the food. Really.
Until next time, enjoy the fall, football, family and keep smiling,
I invite you to connect with me for a complimentary consult here.
SHANNON LEMP, TIGHT JEANS
You know what happens when we women of a certain age or even body type try to squeeze into the latest styles of skinny jeans? I think it feels the same way when we try to conform ourselves and squeeze into a world where forever young, green smoothies and high heels reign. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't, and most of the time we fall somewhere in the middle. This strange place we find ourselves in so often is both a riot and reality that I get up close and personal with on a daily basis.
Working with brides and their families over the last two decades as a wedding and event planner and designer, have shown me just about every aspect of the psyche and struggles of women possible, regardless of age, race, creed, color, zip code or however-they-identify. It is fascinating and sometimes fabulously funny! Because my role connects me so closely with women, I am often witness to the unique challenges and concerns women face during the process of realizing the dream dearest to their hearts and souls, their wedding day.
Because my work is highly customized for each and every occasion and need, I see it all, often do it all, and behind the scenes is where the magic - and sometimes the foibles and follies happen.. I'm always able to save the day or the moment during those tricky times, and having a sense of humor is worth its weight in gold in my profession. Tight Jeans is an homage to these fun, fabulous and unforgettable moments and an authentic, as-real-as-it-gets peek inside the everyday life of a busy wedding and event planner and designer.
Welcome to Tight Jeans. Sit back, relax and enjoy! I'm glad you're here.