Practice Makes Perfect- Why Wedding Rehearsals Make Couples More Comfortable…

Friday afternoon, I loaded up my niece, Leigh Ann and her daughter Madyson into my SUV with Cindy and I to head to our Wedding Rehearsal at five.

The Grooms had written their own vows which I always love because creative input makes ceremonies far more emotional. 

It took a little bit of elbow grease for Cindy and I to unload our Latest Traded Treasure. The effort was worth it though and this  trade was for a bartered Texas Prison Wedding through my sister business, The Pawning Planners at TDCJ Luther Unit. 

I can’t wait to show ya all the finished Barter because as usual, this piece is currently a mess but, I plan to refurbish it before putting the item up for sale in the next few months at Texas Twins Treasures.

Cindy and I really enjoyed our first meeting with the Michaels as did Cindy’s husband, Steve who often calls “from the road” to see what we are up to. Steve is out of town 5-6 days a week driving for Ryder and really enjoys meeting our clients and “visiting.” 

Our first meeting was just as hospitable and pleasant as you might imagine with Michael and Michael who were the most gracious hosts I’ve ever met.

Their four friendly dogs “cozied up to Steve” who enjoyed a buffet of shrimp, cold meats, and cheese with crackers. Steve Daniel is happiest when he has a plate of food in front of him.

Steve Daniel loves to eat and loves good company even more so he was thrilled to see a few photos of the rehearsal he missed that Cindy sent him via text.

One of the guests had suggested keeping all four dogs “put up.” I wasn’t thrilled about the suggestion nor were the Michaels as their dogs are in fact, their children. 

Occasionally, everyone (guests and other family members) want to jump on the bandwagon of what “they think is best” but, I quickly put such a suggestions to rest as I would with any type of suggestions that make the couple uncomfortable on their wedding day. People sometime forget “who’s wedding it is.” 

It’s not uncommon for me to quash a suggestion that has nothing to do with the couples wishes. My role is to do what my clients are happy and comfortable with. 

Since I’ve had more than a few Rehearsals with arguing Inlaws and Outlaws over the years, having a fun filled rehearsal is a welcome joy these days. You appreciate the really great clients.

Going through “the walk” with everyone, I instructed them to stop midway through the procession to “strike a pose” in order for my niece to capture clear photos as young Madyson played with the dogs and her baby stroller.Our afternoon was full of laughs and memories with this wonderful couple. We also enjoyed dinner with the couple and their sisters and I convinced them both to let their pets mingle amongst their friends too. After all, it’s their house too.

Hearing that my two favorite Brides, Jenn Suzanne and Jen Chidgey would be at the wedding along with our old friends Raymond Gill, Kevin Smith and Robert Buckner was great news to me. 

Jen Chidgey often takes photos at the TCGPWA Week Association Parade which is how I met her and had the honor of Officiating their wedding at The Stage Coach Ballroom.Raymond Gill, Kevin Smith and Robert Buckner are old friends from FB that we always enjoy seeing and plan to get together in September for our annual NOH8 Campaign Photo Shoot with Adam Bouska. Hopefully, Jenn and Jen can attend too. 

Leigh Ann and Madyson joined Cindy and I with Maryssa and Makenna last year at the NOH8 Campaign in Dallas and never miss and opportunity to see Adam or Jeff when they are in Texas for an Open Photo Shoot. 

We believe in supporting the community and a Campaign that gives back while spreading Love Not Hate.  

The Michael’s wedding was a family affair of not only family members but also friends who adore the couple and although sadly, Michael’s parents opted out of attending, it was their loss. 

I cannot understand why any parent would choose to skip a Life Event and may not ever understand it. After all, a wedding is traditionally, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Jen and Jenn are such wonderful ladies and much like the Michael’s, we were honored to share have shared their wedding day.

One of the sisters, Laura gave a toast explaining that while she didn’t understand the choices of some of her family members, her brothers friends had become the family that skipped the wedding.

It was one of the most heartfelt wedding toasts I’ve ever heard. I’m including the video here-  Michael’s Sister Laura Toasts The Grooms.

Sadly, Robert Buckner had just left a graveside service for his mother prior to attending the wedding Saturday. We are deeply sorry for his loss. 

Leigh Ann is still working on the wedding photos and we will hopefully have them up on her page this week– Leigh Ann Blais- Maddie & Me Photography. 

My niece was thrilled that the Michael’s also made a corsage for not only me but also Leigh Ann. 

Sometimes it’s the little things but when Clients remember to include their photographer and Officiant in the wedding party- it gives you a better idea of just how thoughtful Michael & Michael really are.A few years ago, I officiated the Darby Wedding in Corsicana with the largest wedding party I’ve ever had. 

Reading a FB post regarding the Brides reasons to plan a vow renewal, I completely understood why.

Apparently, both brides were disappointed that they “had invited everyone” and many guests didn’t even bother to bring gifts. 

The Brides are both now planning a vow renewal in two years and “cutting the guest list in half.” I don’t blame them.Unlike the Darby’s, the Michael’s had an intimate wedding party at their home and skipped a venue with only close friends who made their celebration something to cherish. 

Inviting too many “friends” can spoil your day and although the Michael’s had a full house, garage and patio of over 100 guests, there was no drama. No arguing. No shortage of food. Michael & Michael carefully orchestrated the number of guests and the amount of food and drinks necessary to accommodate them.

At the Darby Wedding, the arbor also fell which was a bit of a surprise and stalled the ceremony. 

Wedding Rehearsals generally take up to an hour but, the Darby Wedding Party was so large and included children which was why I brought my daughter in law, Stephanie Hafele with Cindy and I to help orchestrate as I had a broken foot and was babysitting during the rehearsal for a bridesmaid. We needed three people to orchestrate the Darby Wedding Rehearsal. 

I’m including the Darby video Cindy that shot on location to give you a better idea of how chaotic a last minute rehearsal with a very large wedding party actually is– Darby Wedding Rehearsal Corsicana, Texas.

A few years ago, I had a mother in law at a rehearsal that argued the entire time about where the wedding should take place and “where are you going to put the tables and chairs?” The clients hadn’t rented tables and chairs so obviously, that rehearsal started off with a bang.

Apparently, the mother was unhappy that the wedding was at a park but, the clients hadn’t rented a venue. 

Overcoming objections regarding the location with Inlaws or Outlaws is an ongoing issue with Pawning Planners Clients. 

To overcome objections regarding the location, whether pets should be put up, whether the Grooms or Brides should kiss or not if someone is uncomfortable at an LBGT Wedding and other factors of Inlaws and Outlaws make Rehearsals often miserable experiences for not only me but also, my team. 

I’m not opposed to interjecting my thoughts on matters that have nothing to do with guests or family members. Why? Someone had to be in control and when I’m Officiating and coordinating, that “someone is me.” 

Cindy is and always will be my back up but, when someone wants chairs and tables that they didn’t rent, a “wake up call” is often necessary.

I used the exact same location of the “Mother in Law who wanted more” for a wedding a few months later with no problems whatsoever for the McKay Wedding. 

They didn’t care that there were no chairs or tables and since we were only loaning the floral designs, handling the photography and Officiating while coordinating, this wedding went off without a hitch. 

People can make an event a mess or pleasant. The “people” are ironically, never the couple themselves when “chili stirring” is going on at an event.

Whether you want dogs in your wedding party or a horse escorting you down the aisle, your wedding is your wedding and you need to overcome objections from your friends and family if you are uncomfortable with their ideas or, let me do it for you.Pawning Planners Clients never have a venue. Why? They cannot afford such a luxury which is why these events are always at a park or home. 

I’m frequently asked about the obvious differences of our event locations but, the Clients budget actually dictates the location. From backyards to Prisons, to a C130 at Carswell AFB to an exclusive venue, it’s not unusual for either me or my staff to “bounce” from one location to the next and often in the same day during Wedding Season.I can’t wait to see the photos of the Michael’s Wedding! Leigh Ann is still working on the edits. 

Please keep Jen Chidgey in your prayers as she left the Michael’s Wedding with her wife, Jenn to go to Hugley Hospital with a bout of high blood pressure Saturday.

Since the situation of someone with a short notice request for services continues to occur, it should be noted that my schedule is often booked months in advance and existing clients come first. 

I have a full team of two photography options, six Officiants and Cindy can also coordinate if I’m otherwise booked. Floral Design Orders are never accepted in season. 

The reason for this is my time. We cannot create custom floral designs during our busiest time of the year and require 6-9 weeks for brooch bouquets.

Last year while Officiating and coordinating a Destination Event in California with Cindy and Leigh Ann, my stepdaughter Anne officiated a wedding that I would’ve loved to do for Julie Erwin’s beautiful daughter, Cali. 

I was so disappointed to miss one event while booked at another but, it happens. Julie looked amazing as did Cali and Anne did a great job standing in for me.

Anne is well versed as are all of my Officiants and they frequently call or email me if there is a question or issue that they are unfamiliar with. 

If I’m unavailable and bump you to my staff, I can promise you that you are in capable hands with either my son, my niece, my sister, my father or daughter in law or even step daughter handling your event.My entire family are not only well trained but also comfortable on location and dedicated to making your Dream Event a Reality…