Stephen M. Frost
Stamford Tent & Event Services, Stamford, Conn.

The event His daughter's wedding, Sept. 1, 2012, for 135 guests

Was it more stressful than working for a client or less? Much more.

Did you get to try to do something that you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the chance before? Yes. The design was very much a collaborative effort, but unlike client events, my wife, daughter and myself had the final say in the look and feel of the event. It was exactly what we wanted. (Photo courtesy Stamford Tent & Event Services.)

Was your family more understanding of what’s possible in reality—or not? They understood it had to be perfect or they were going to disown me …

What are you proudest about for this event? That I finally got to do something for my little girl that I had done for thousands of other brides my entire career.

In retrospect, is there something you would have done differently? Nope, not a thing.

Do you find that you get these requests often from family? No. My family is very low-key.

And does “family” sometimes include long-lost “relatives” who are your fourth cousin three times removed? How do you handle this? It has only happened once, and I told him I would do it for cost. Once he found out what cost was, he went to a club.

What was the hardest part? Convincing my wife that after 45 years, I actually knew what I was doing.

I help people determine the right size tent every day. Most people think I’m pretty good at it. From the very beginning my wife insisted the tent was too big. I assured her it was the right size. I did site plans and seating plans and she kept insisting it was too big.

The week of the wedding when the crew installed the tent, the first thing she said was “Are you sure this is big enough?” She kept asking the question until she made me doubt myself. Four days before the wedding, before the carpet was installed on the subfloor, I went out at 6:30 in the morning and drew the tables and chairs on the subfloor with chalk just to make sure.

It was perfect.

Next: Of course, you'd give anything in your inventory for your family's event—until a paying client wants it, too! Steve Kohn of Miller's on the challenge of keeping everyone happy.