From Bob Kaplan and Kim Sabo, married August 25, 2006 in Montana.
This is not just the usual praise from a couple for their wedding planner. Patrice is amazing. She is a unique combination of efficiency, skill, knowledge, and above all, heart. She is not simply a wonderful planner; she’s also a great person, and after all we’ve been through together, a real friend. Read on for a tale of joy and woe, of sun and rain, and a wonderful wedding.
Let me start at the end. We had the most spectacular wedding in Glacier National Park, Montana. It was everything we dreamed of – incomparable setting, and every detail right – but not at all formal or "cookie cutter." It all worked smoothly and perfectly. Not only were the guests delighted, but we had the best times of our lives as well. Once the wedding week began, we simply focused on each other and our guests, not the logistics and wedding details.
That’s what happened. How we got there is not the road that Triple A recommends. If it weren’t for Patrice, this ending would have been very different.
We wanted many unique and hard to arrange touches, like a reggae band (in a remote part of Montana). We also had a number of logistical challenges, with some elderly relatives, and coordinated events such as hikes and boat rides over a three day period, including a bachelor party, a wedding on the shores of distant lake, and a reception miles away.
But ready for the real challenge? By ourselves, from our home in Washington D.C., we had arranged several of the events, including the reception, many months before at a private lodge. One month before the wedding, those plans unraveled. The lodge, it turns out, didn’t turn out. The details are not worth going into. Suffice it to say that a month before the wedding, with 100 guests en route to far flung parts of Montana, details like where to have the reception and how to provide food were suddenly in disarray.
Enter Patrice. I called her out of the blue late on a Friday, after finding her name by an internet search. Patrice called me back quickly. I explained the situation. She sprang into action with no-nonsense determination and reassuring calm. By Saturday night, my bride and I were seeing some rays of hope. By Monday afternoon, we were choosing wedding reception sites and making selections from menus. Forgive the oxymoron – Patrice was our tranquil whirlwind. She took a situation that was about as a bad a wedding planning failure gets, and turned it around almost instantly.
In the coming weeks, the smallest details all fell into place. Patrice thought of many things we hadn’t – the little things that add up to big things: the proper size of tables for dining intimacy, the arrangement of things in the tent, which flaps to leave open to maximize view and minimize wind, even what time the various pies should be brought to the event site by the baker for best serving temperature. Patrice knows her stuff.
For a BBQ the night before the wedding, the late season weather was perfect. By the next day, there were some unexpected showers, even a bit of snow in the mountains, and our ceremony site was rained out! Patrice again sprang into action, making sure that guests knew where to go for a quickly-arranged Plan B. Through it all, we and the guests could relax, knowing we were in the best of hands. How would the appetizers get re-routed? They did, magically. The drinks? Handled. Flowers? There, and beautiful. Nothing fell through the cracks.
Patrice is not just an event planner extraordinaire, she’s a great person. We had a blast getting to know her many facets – singer, writer, advisor – and have formed a lasting bond.