Shawn Rabideau

Shawn talks cake drama, being Bethenny's therapist, and his long-lost twin!

on Jul 2, 2010


As you know from our first meeting, Bethenny said she wanted classic New York, nothing foo-foo, nothing over the top, nothing with frills. She told me she wanted red flowers, tulips and roses. I always work hard to satisfy my clients wants and needs, but at the same time I weave in my personal style to create texture and movement so that there is something different at every angle. Weaving in your personal style is something all designers do whether you’re an architect, interior designer or painter. My concern however was that we didn’t see eye to eye on some of the planning elements, so would we see eye to eye on her flowers? The purpose of the demo is so the client can make adjustments and give input, so they ultimately have exactly what they want. This is the way any good event designer works and as a professional, I am no different. Let’s be honest, even the best designers aren’t mind readers!
When she arrived at the demo she was in a good mood and her eyes lit up when she saw the flowers. I thought to myself, "Phew, she likes it," and for the most part she did. She actually changed very little. She switched out the linen, removed the orchids from the table and requested I remove a few flowers and add in a few more tulips. Done, done, done and done…it was easy breezy, certainly nothing out of the ordinary.

What wasn't ordinary? I still had not met the groom. To be honest in the back of my head I was a bit surprised we had yet to be introduced, so I thought I would ask. I had no idea my role as planner and designer would soon turn into the role of therapist. Therapy sessions in the world of weddings are nothing new, but playing the role of Bethenny’s therapist was new, at least for me. Up until this point Bethenny and I weren’t cozy-cozy. We certainly weren’t doing each others hair and nails at night. But as I was listening to her I could tell she needed to vent; I could tell that our relationship had finally turned a corner. This was the moment that she finally trusted me. She trusted me enough to open up, and she trusted me enough to let me give my opinion. She and Jason needed to talk about the things she was feeling. I always say a person’s feelings are valid and hers certainly were. I had no issue listening to her, but she had to tell Jason what she was telling me, and she had to speak up before they walked down the aisle.

The week before the wedding came and went and it was time for me to do my final meeting with Bethenny (and it was nice to finally meet Jason). To ease her jitters I voluntarily reproduced the floral arrangement for her. It definitely put her at ease, she loved it! It was perfect!

What wasn’t perfect was that she was stuck on the damn cake! It had come to a point that I had to put my foot down. I had to convince her that I would not allow something she didn’t like at her wedding, period, end of discussion. At this point, although hesitant, I think she did trust me. Who obviously didn’t trust me? Cookie. After she bit me it was my time to exit and create a fabulous wedding!

Before I sign off, I have to address the buzz on the web regarding the fact that Tony "Buster Bluth" Hale and I look like we were separated at birth. When I first saw the "buzz" it was here on, and to be honest I was a bit horrified as I thought there was only one "me." But as it turns out after looking at a few photos, we just might be separated at birth. I now think it’s funny and it no longer bothers me. I am not sure how Mr. Hale feels, but if you are out there somewhere and you’re ever in NYC, stop by, I’d love to see myself in person.