If you are planning an outdoor wedding May, June, July or August in Texas, its essential that you plan for guests who won’t tolerate Texas Summers.
I always suggest encouraging your guests to bring their own umbrellas and over the years, this idea has made outdoor weddings far more tolerable.From the elderly to the pregnant to those who struggle with breathing disorders, having an indoor location for them to cool off and plenty of bottled water is the FIRST thing you need to take into consideration.
Shade being the second thing that will help keep them cool.Being thrown up on at an outdoor wedding is becoming more and more common for me. It’s actually not unusual to have someone in the throw up on me.
In fact, yesterday was the eigth time over the years that I’ve been “in the line of Fire” when someone throws up.
My 2PM booking was at the beautiful Botanic Garden and, literally in the heat of the day. Knowing the guests and wedding party would be sitting in the blazing sun, I had strongly suggested that encouraging guests to bring umbrellas as well as providing buckets of iced bottles of water would help guests tolerate up to two hours in the summer sun.Leaving the Botanic Gardens at 4PM, my slacks and shoes were covered with chunks of vomit. The smell of alcohol in the vomit nearly caused me to throw up too. My SUV still smells bad today although I had cut up lemons and grapefruit to leave in a bowl overnight.
I’ve said it before but I will say it again- an Open Bar at an outdoor event is a bad idea! Iced tea and bottled water are far more important than a stiff drink on a summer day in Texas. Hydrate first and enjoy cocktails second.
Leaving the Botanic Gardens to run home to WorthamWorld for a quick shower, and change of clothes, I grabbed another vestment for my last two bookings of the day, I wearily, checked my watch.
My niece, Leigh Ann, an Officiant and Photographer is still recovering from complications of gallbladder surgery last Friday and I had sent my stepdaughter, Ann to Houston to cover another wedding as my son and daughter in law headed to Plano to handle an Officiant/Photography booking.
Robert and Stephanie also had to “cover” Leigh Ann’s two bookings as well as the Plano event which put all of us on incredibly tight schedules to address our clients as my twin sister, Cindy who is almost always with me stayed home to get her broken air conditioner fixed and dealt with the twins, Maryssa and Makenna as well as her youngest granddaughter, Madyson while Leigh Ann went to follow up surgery Appointments.
Keeping all three of her grandchildren cool was keeping Cindy busy in Weatherford as I bounced from one location to the next from 10AM to 9PM Friday and frequently checked in with her by phone.
Since I already had a full day of five events and running home to shower and change clothes before dashing off to my 6PM Wedding booking at Chateau Forest Park, a quick check of my watch in five o’clock traffic gave my a bit of a panic attack not knowing whether I would arrive at exactly 5:15PM.
Thankfully, I rolled into the parking lot at exactly 5:27PM and had three minutes to grab my vestment and Bible before heading into the venue to find my 6PM Bride, Mezi.
My last visit to the Chateau was somewhat memorable as the air conditioner wasn’t working and as I opened the door, I silently hoped that it was working for this event!
Not surprisingly, it was somewhat warm again at the Chateau but at least it wasn’t in the low nineties as it had been at my last wedding there.
Mezi’a son, Seth located me immediately in the reception area to escort me to his mother, Mezi who was upstairs in the bridal suite.
Finding Mezi upstairs, she was calm and beautiful. Excited but, not in the least bit nervous about her wedding ceremony. I went over last minute details with her regarding her father that weren’t included in the original ceremony.
Arriving early to scheduled events is essential to calming everyone’s nerves. If the Officiant isn’t present- everyone will panic at a wedding. Because I’m OCD, I had scheduled all five events Friday with plenty of time to travel from Point A to Point E. the trip home to shower and change clothes wasn’t in my agenda but, I made it work by dashing through the process before putting the dash on it to get to the Chateau.
I always give clients an opportunity to make any changes minutes before the big event. Mezi wanted to include that her father and the opportunity to escort her down the aisle and give her away. The Groom escorted me to the father downstairs to go over a slow hug and/or kiss after presenting the bride in order for the photographers to capture a “clear shot.”
With less than 20 minutes before “showtime,” I fielded calls from my son and daughter in law, sister, stepdaughter and my husband who knew I was frazzled and running behind my stellar schedule when I dashed through WorthamWorld with my shoes, vestment and slacks covered in vomit.
When I’m in a hurry- my husband never asks questions. It’s so rare for me to be running behind schedule that Matthew stays out of the way while I strip down and jump in the shower before quickly redressing and going to my vestment closet to choose another ensemble. Blowing him a kiss from the balcony, I promised to see him in several hours between 9:30-10:30 and headed off to the Chateau.
Since Cindy normally fields phone calls and emails while I drive, answering my own calls and emails yesterday was a bit of “flying by the seat of my pants!” I had forgotten how often my cell phone actually rings.
From the Groom calling about his July Wedding at TDCJ Linda Woodman State Jail to two brides calling in about upcoming Texas Prison Weddings at TDCJ Beto Unit as well as another bride updating me on her upcoming wedding at TDCJ Hutchins State Jail and a new booking at TDCJ Jester III, juggling clients from all four businesses when everything seems to be going “off schedule” isn’t easy.
I thrive on structure and predictability. Everyone on my team realize that when something unexpected happens, I am a nervous wreck! Cindy laughs and I try to keep from crying under pressure.
My Clients from Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners often forget that I also juggle Texas Prison Wedding Bookings as well as deliveries and custom orders for Texas Twins Treasures.
I’ve got three new Texas Prison Weddings booked at TDCJ Polunsky Unit on Death Row. I’m also nervous about them but, brides reading my blog, “Death Row Marriages- Til Death Do They Part?” Continue to contact me for their wedding ceremonies. There are VERY FEW Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Approved Officiants. I’m one of them.
It’s unusual for me to be as apprehensive about a Prison Wedding as I am regarding Polunsky Unit but, Death Row requires you to walk through the cells as the incarcerated inmate cannot marry in the Visitation Area.
Walking through a Prison always makes me a nervous wreck but, it’s happened nine times in the last two years. If the Visitation Area is unavailable, the Warden chooses another location for the ceremony. Often, the location is far deeper inside the Prison.
At 5:45PM, I asked the DJ if he planned to instruct guests to stand and sit or should I? Handing me a microphone, the DJ decided that he would instruct the guests.
By 6:05PM, the wedding party was ready to proceed. Holding my customized ceremony details and the microphone, the ceremony began.
I often say “what can go wrong usually does” because it has. I was (apparently) out of range on the microphone and the loud cracking noise shocked me so much that I jumped. Waiting on the DJ to adjust the sound, I noticed that the guests were still standing and asked them to be seated but, apparently they couldn’t hear me.
Now I really was dripping in sweat from nervousness and not knowing if the microphone would loudly pop again when I picked it up with all of the guests still standing? It did. I sat it down and gave up trying to use it for the duration of the ceremony.
With the venue filled to capacity with both guests and the wedding party, it was sweltering in the venue and my mouth was dry.
My hair had literally collapsed onto my shoulders and although maybe no one else realizes how disturbed I was regarding trying to talk loudly enough for everyone to hear me was, I was shocked that many guests stopped me to tell me how beautiful the ceremony was.
With the microphone popping and everyone continuing to stand throughout the ceremony with many guests complaining of the heat, I have no idea how a carefully orchestrated ceremony with everything going wrong could have been “beautiful” but, secretly thanked my lucky stars that no one else was thinking what I was.
The DJ approached me after the ceremony to apologize about the microphone “being out of range.” I asked the DJ to please address the problem PRIOR to the champagne toast and also why he didn’t instruct the guests to sit as we had planned? “I forgot. The microphone issue threw me off. The minute you tried to say welcome friends and family members and it started cracking and popping, I forgot to tell them to be seated because I was trying to fix the issue with the microphone.”Hopefully, the DJ got the microphone and sound issue resolved prior to the champagne toast but, I will never really know because at 6:45PM with the signed wedding license in hand, I went to locate the couple.
Since I needed to be in Dallas by 8PM, I couldn’t stay at the Chateau and planned to go over the details of filing the license with the couple. I found them outside and although I was apologizing for the microphone issue and explaining that the DJ was currently working on it, the bride and groom weren’t upset that things didn’t go exactly as planned and both so kind about a few hiccups that no one could have predicted.I’m filing their marriage license Monday with all of my other licenses from Friday, Saturday and Sunday in person as I never mail Marriage Licenses.
Heading to Dallas, I took another call regarding a TDCJ Coffield Unit Wedding and checked in with my sister, Cindy and husband. As usual, my husband was worried about me finding time to eat but, I had grabbed a protein bar while home changing clothes and showering earlier.
My first wedding today is at 1PM and I’m thankful to have a few hours to catch up before delivering Texas Twins Treasures Brooch Bouquets to a client en route to my first event at Bell Tower Chapel today.
I’m on staff at numerous venues which makes wedding season with my existing schedule a literal juggling act!
Hopefully, Leigh Ann will recover soon and resume her bookings as bouncing her schedule to other staff members prevented me from taking on two new short notice bookings this morning.
As usual, there isn’t enough time in my weekend for a lunch date with my husband but, he’s all too familiar with my “in season” schedule of running here, there and everywhere. Matthew will enjoy a weekend of the Race Channel.
My husband works as a land developer Monday through Friday and rarely has work commitments on the weekends unless there’s a problem with one of his four builders or contractors. His “set schedule” is something that eight years in the events industry shows me how remarkably different our schedules actually are.
I’m back at the gorgeous T&P tomorrow and really looking forward to it. I love this exclusive venue and, the air conditioning is always working well regardless of the number of guests.I’m off and running on yet another busy weekend for this Texas Twin and hope all of my friends, twins, Clients and connections stay cool is the sweltering Texas heat.
Planning ahead for your outdoor event can help keep your guests comfortable…