A year ago this week, just months before I was set to start working with Preston Bailey, my mom gave me – what was to her – the greatest news of my life: I was going to be a debutante. I was immediately filled with dread; this was the last thing I ever wanted to do and my parents knew that. So why force me into doing something I didn’t want to do!? As my irritation grew my mother continued talking, uttering the only words that managed to pull me out of immature temper tantrum: “Preston is going to design your ball!” Not only was I going to be working for one of the most talented event designers in the world, he was also going to be planning my debutante ball; I guess I couldn’t complain too much.
Many people asked me what it was like being an employee and a client of Preston’s and I have to admit that it wasn’t much different than just being an employee. I was doing my day-to-day job and didn’t really know that anything was going on with my ball until one day Preston told me: “don’t go back there” motioning to the design area of the office. This area that I had never spent any time in during my employment was now forbidden and it became the only place I wanted to be. Preston, since I know you’re reading this, I promise I never snuck back there! I desperately wanted to take a sneak peak, but on the day that the initial design was shown to my family was the first time I ever saw the concept: New York City was coming to Texas.
On the day of the ball I could hardly contain myself. I had asked my date for the evening to pick me up at 5:30 so that we could see everything before anyone else. He showed up fifteen minutes late, giving me enough time to pace my entire house. I practically leapt into his car, barely saying goodbye to my parents in the process; I was too excited to wait any longer. Trying to sit still in the vehicle was the most difficult thing I had experienced all week (and that includes trying fake eye-lashes for the first time).
We pulled into the country club, a place I had been going to since I was an infant, and I could barely recognize the place. We drove through the lighted Brooklyn Bridge and pulled up to Radio City Music Hall. I barely managed to let my escort stop the car before I escaped the binding seatbelt. I had to see more. From the red carpet entrance, to the Empire State Building (complete with King Kong), to the floral Statue of Liberty, to the fountain in Central Park: Manhattan had arrived in Dallas. After the grand tour of the space I turned around to see Kathy Romero standing there; she, along with several others, must have seen me skipping – literally – from room to room taking everything in. I ran to her and gave her a hug, words failing me at the amazing creation that she, Preston, and the rest of our amazing team had brought to life.
I have done my best for several months to make clients’ dreams come true for their events. I have tried to do my part in helping make everything perfect for them. That being said, knowing all of the hard work that Preston and the team put into an event, I believe I was able to appreciate the final product in a different way than most clients. When I hugged Kathy I couldn’t stop myself from crying. Everything was perfect. I couldn’t believe that an event I never wanted to be a part of became one of the best nights of my life.