A Tale of Two Dresses
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”
– Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities”
Most people who attend weddings tend to be in awe of the décor, the amazing food and the stunning bride. Not that I’m biased or anything but a first class caterer and event’s company can make even the most outlandish things seem easy to accomplish. The reason that I mention these things is because it reminds me of an incredible time in my catering career that I will never forget. This is a tale rife with mystery, intrigue, heart pounding drama and a delectable “Housewives of (insert major city name here)” – esque ending!
Three hours before a December 1992 wedding ceremony, our gorgeous bride-to-be is basking in her pre-wedding glow and just getting the finishing touches at her favorite salon. Unbeknownst to her, her $13,000 wedding gown has just been stolen from the trunk of her car, along with months of planning and the hopes for her perfect wedding. No words could describe this beautifully coiffed bride’s feelings when she discovered that her wedding dress was MIA in MIA. When all hope seemed to be lost, our heroine, her wedding planner, Lois Beinhorn comes to the rescue in a way that only an incredible planner can. Lois was a dear friend of mine, and knew just what to do on this Sunday afternoon, even though all the Miracle Mile shops in Coral Gables were already closed. Lois, through her many years in the business, had the home phone number of a bridal shop owner and was able to not only get them to open the shop for her but also find the perfect sized and style wedding dress for the bride-to-be. In a mere two hours, she was ready to take her vows, thanks to Lois’ quick thinking, and great attention to detail.
Meanwhile, on the catering end, since the ceremony was delayed about an hour due to the last minute dress substitution, the arriving guests were treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Then, not be outdone by the wonderful food, they were treated to a breathtaking ceremony, overlooking Biscayne Bay, with the bride aglow in her new dress (as a positive side note, it only cost $3,000—and the first dress was insured, so she actually saved $10,000!) Obviously, having your dress stolen out of your car hours before your vows is beyond nerve wracking and awful but a little silver lining never hurt anyone, unless of course she found the thief… ouch!
The next day, the bride’s brother drops by my office to pick up a few things that we had kept at the end of the night. He was very kind and told me how impressed everyone was with our ability to change the entire wedding timetable on the fly and still produce amazing food and first class service to his family’s guests. I thanked him for his kind words and told him we were just happy to be able to turn a nightmare into a dream. As he was preparing to walk out of my office, as an after-thought, I asked him, “Did you ever find out what happened to the dress?”, and to my utter shock and surprise he said, “Oh, yeah, we found out alright… the groom’s ex-girlfriend stole it from the bride’s car!!!”