You guessed it. The week-end of the birthday party, there is a torrential downpour! We experienced heavy rains all morning (there is even a YouTube video of the Santa Barbara Harbor being overcome by large waves) throughout the Southern California area. I had not seen flash floods since my days in Dallas, Texas
The morning of the party, I drove to the house and found the tent (which was set up the day before) to have rivers running thru it! The client, understandably stressed, expressed disappointment with the turn of events.* I reassured her that the dinner would be perfect, and I would do everything in my power to ensure vision of the event. I urged her to go her hair and make up appointments, and enjoy a day of pampering. It took some time to console and comfort her, but reluctantly on her way she went escorted with a gal pal.
Mid afternoon, when the florist arrived, we looked at the weather radar which showed patterns of the rain dissipating around 4 p.m. Guests would not be invited into the dinner tent until 6:30 p.m. Could we pull it off? The florist and caterer both confirmed that if by 5:45 p.m. there was no chance of holding the dinner outside, we would be able to move to plan C - placing design items and set a buffet in the living and dining areas for an indoor affair.
I was in the pouring rain for hours, successfully producing make-shift gutters (my alter ego is MacGyver) to deter rain around rain and not thru the tent. Once complete I swept, mopped and dry vacuumed the inside of the tent. The threatening red marks on the weather radar, eventually turned to light green specs. The rain turned to sprinkles, and by 5:15 p.m. all was dry inside the canopy. With all hands on deck and teamwork, we were ready to go by 6:00 p.m. The heaters in the tent warmed up the space, and combined with the candle light, gorgeous table decor and background music created the most romantic and cozy dinner setting I have produced outdoors after a downpour.
My favorite part is this unique and personalized touch of a play of MadLibs. We called it "AnnLib" and it substituted a guest book. The Felici Events graphics team created a cartoon of the client using her picture and added it to a customized MadLib for guests to fill out.