Shawn Rabideau

Shawn Rabideau shares the whirlwind story of how he came to be Bethenny's go-to wedding planner!

on Jun 21, 2010

Prior to the site visit with Bethenny I had heard rumors she had limited family. However, I didn’t know to what extent. So often a client comes through my door and I have to ask if they a product of divorce, or if a parent has passed. As a planner, these questions are never easy. You're sitting with a client discussing what should be a very happy event and then I have to bring down the mood with difficult questions. Why do I have to ask these things? Because there are so many things that are related to family when it comes to weddings. Who will walk you down the aisle? Will you have the father/daughter or mother/son dance? Will dad be giving the champagne toast? As a planner, I also like to incorporate personal tidbits to make the occasion more special, such as using heirlooms like a brooch in the bouquet, or a father’s handkerchief in a boutonniere or pocket square.

Yes, Bethenny did mention that she had "no family." Was it that she was orphaned and literally had no family or was it that she just didn't talk to her family? Very often one person's definition is different than yours. So when I asked if she had heirlooms, that was obviously another strike. In my mind, just because you don't have family doesn't mean you don't have heirlooms. How was I to know she had no heirlooms? How was I to know she wanted to forget her past? Perhaps it was none of my business and I should have let sleeping dogs lie. However, my job as a planner is to make a client's wedding as personal as possible.

When we left the loft Bethenny wanted to take me to the Four Seasons because she felt I just wasn't getting it. It's not that I wasn't getting it, it was that I had previously called the Four Seasons and found out that they only do one wedding a weekend and that Saturday was already booked. They said they might be able to work something out for Sunday ... "might" being the key word. Julian was clear he would make no promises.

When we walked into the Four Seasons it was obvious Bethenny had her mind made up, she wanted only one thing and that was to get married at The Four Seasons Restaurant. She was not taking no for an answer. That meeting was one of the most uncomfortable meetings I have had in my professional career. You clearly see the stress and the uncomfortableness all over my face. She was adamant she had to have the restaurant no matter what the cost, no matter what I had to do to get it. I think there was even chatter that I should sleep with Julian. For me, that was NOT an option!

With the time crunch of finding a venue and with all cards laid on the table I was no longer coming from the school of yes. I was being honest when I said I would see what I could do, but I made no promises. However, after our visit it was clear I had to make this happen and it was clear that if I didn't she would "rip my balls off."