Sheena & Monihan - The most important wedding I've planned to date!


The following blog post has been eating away at my mind for over the last two years. Reason being,  I've known it would be beyond my ability to put into words how important and special this event was to me.  I can already feel myself gushing as I type these thoughts and it's almost embarrassing. So I'm going to try to just keep it simple.

This was the wedding of my only sibling, my Irish twin, and one of my best friends: my brother from the same Mother, Ry Ry Monihan. It was a huge honor to be asked to plan the wedding for him and his lovely wife, my now sister from a different Mister, Sheena, who has joined the ranks of another bestie.   They are both extremely talented artists, oozing an almost intimidating amount of creativity, style and taste. They are also both very concerned about climate issues and wanted the wedding to have as low a carbon footprint as possible. So yeah, I was feeling some pressure, but I was also incredibly excited.

What I learned through the process was that what I do for a living is hugely rewarding.  The events and vacations we plan really can be life-changing for the participants. This is something we always strive for, but it's hard to qualify when you're on the clock.  This time, though, it was different.  I was finally given the opportunity to not just be the planner and designer, but to also experience the event as one of the guests–someone touched by all the moments on a truly personal level. I left the wedding with new family, new friends, a tighter bond with my old family and memories that are guaranteed to last a lifetime. Needless to say, this was huge on a personal level. But it was also huge as a company owner, for the first time really being able to glean the full extent of what it is we do as planners and designers.

When the event finally wound down, my staff and I had a long talk about how special it was. And how special it is...this work that we do. It really is an honor, this role we're allowed to play in our clients lives and the fact that we all LOVE what we do. From the beginning, we've made it a point to try to work with like-minded people, and not because it makes our work easier for us, but more so because it makes things better for our clients. We really do want to "get" our clients, be attuned to their ways of thinking, so we can create for them moments and memories like I experienced with my family.

I could go on and on about this wedding, probably until all of your computer batteries die. But I'll spare you. Instead, I'll just say that this experience has been a real eye-opener. That when I say it's been the most important wedding I've planned to date, I want my clients to know it is for them that I say this. Because it has recharged my already hyper-active ever-ready bunny batteries. It's rejuvenated my amazing Tropical Occasions staff. And we all have felt a new heightened sense of purpose in the work that we do.

To Sheena-san and Ry Ry Maximón Magillacuttie Monihan, you mean more to me than words can express. You've continued to thank me for this wedding. Well, I cannot thank you enough in return. For the experience, the honor, the lessons learned, my new family, new friends gained, and above all, your friendships, I love you both dearly and forever.

Special thanks to the following:

Callum The Swag Master- AKA as my son, you were the cutest ring bearer  & toast giver, there ever was, and will be, in my highly partial opinion!

Elizabeth Lloyd  for your insanely talented eye and master compositions. You're an insanely talented photographer.

Anahi Contreras and Stephen Denton my Costa Rican based family, for stepping in and managing the show, so I could live in the moment. You are my GO TO people and you always go above and beyond.  I love you both, for all you do, and for keeping me sane (in as much as that is possible).

Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine for falling in love with this wedding as much as me, featuring the event both online and in print.

To my cream of the crop vendors, whom gave heaps of help and love, allowing it all to happen. Soma Chefs, your cuisine and your smiles will always be an item on our menu. You are amazing. Victoria Zoch - your cakes, your talent and your beautiful attitude are all treasures to behold (and eat!).

Costa Mesa- Your support and assistance in every event we produce never goes unnoticed. We love working with you.

David at Taj Mahal- your food is heaven-sent and so are you. Having you meet my family was a joy and thank you for going that extra mile to make sure my new Family from India had authentic Indian cuisine that lived up to their high standards. An Indian family genuinely impressed with an Indian meal way off in the remote coastal beaches of Costa Rica--now that's amazing!

Las Laura's  (Y Mattie too!) de Stylos & Flores- Thank you for all you do and for being such great friends and colleagues for the last 15 years! You support and friendships mean the world to me and my staff.