Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Twosome Tuesday: Things I'd (try to) Do Differently, Part II

We left off last week in Twosome Tuesday: Things I'd Do Differently, Part 1 with #3 of the 6 things I thought I'd like to improve on in future weddings, so I'll go on from there...

4)  Timing.  The last few days it gets tough to keep up the consistent pace necessary to finish strong without a rush at the end.  Organization along the way is crucial.  Short on time and energy nearing Wedding #1, I started filling boxes with things we needed to take to the venue for the wedding and reception. However, they were filled as things were ready, not by how and where they'd be used on-site.  That meant kitchen, dressing, and reception items were all mixed up together.  

Princess Bossy took a couple of days before her wedding to enjoy friends and let some of her to-do list wait.  Spending the time with people was definitely more important.  But keeping up some discipline before and after, or delegating more tasks, may have prevented our heading out late on the day of the wedding...Which, in turn, may have left more time for her to oversee the reception decorations exactly the way she would've liked. 

We all survived and the weddings took place...and without big sacrifices or any real problems.  It just could have been a little more relaxed.  It might have prevented the brides second-guessing any little details about their special days.

5) Getting help.  I was warned.  (I do remember that, JC.)  Thinking that our family and a few of the kids' friends could do all that needed doing for set-up, clean-up, and keeping food and beverages flowing during the reception was naive.  

Thankfully, I could see that I was going to be in over my head for the Sassy/Steadfast wedding, setting up the buffet to feed the 40 people involved and attending, getting beverages and cake ready for reception guests, and also making sure the church youth were doing the tasks, as needed... all while hosting, visiting, and enjoying. 

So I put in a call to my dear friend, who had been asking how she could help, and who was happy to come early and take on a lot of the burden.  
Her husband joined her.  I felt badly that they spent the night running, but being wonderful people with hearts for helping, they insisted they enjoyed being a part of things more than just sitting.  They saved my night, from beginning to end.  I don't know what I would've done without them.  It was for their daughter that we made and decorated cookies last December, so where I surely didn't do it so I could be repaid, I feel good that we'd been able to help them, too.  
(That task described in 
10 Things Learned While Baking and Decorating 500 Cookies )

Princess Bossy has amazing friends who made ALL the food for her reception...And a feast it was.  Shrimp appetizers and 3 amazing main dishes: Salmon, Pork, and Filet Mignon. Also many salad options: Orzo-basil-cherry tomato, Carrot, Lemon Dill green beans, and Cucumber-fennel.  I am not doing the people or the dishes justice, but it was a table-full.  They made it, brought it, set it up, and cleaned it up.  A fantastic help.

Princess Bossy had the foresight to hire 2 young ladies to keep serving dishes filled, do some bussing, and with help from our kids, serve cake and the champagne for the toast to each table.  It worked pretty well and the price of the help was well worth it.

The reception ran behind and the time to clear out of the park-owned building came rushing upon us.  I'd say that about 3/4 of the crowd was still there when the ranger brought the racks for the tables and chairs.  This was not a venue that offered the option to pay more for an extra hour or two.  It was "Be out by 10 PM."  Period.  

The couple's get away was amidst a flurry.  As they headed toward the door, the room was being dismantled and cleaned right behind them.  The whole crowd ended up working together.  As the host, I found this a bit mortifying... as a tired Mother of the Bride, I felt completely blessed to be surrounded by such helpful and loving folks who thought nothing of pitching in to help.  It sounds a bit tacky to have the guests roll up their sleeves and help out.  But I don't think a one of them went away with that impression, or any negative reaction about how things occurred.  There was such a spirit of good-natured camaraderie.

The week after that wedding, 3 of my friends from junior high came over for lunch.  One of them mentioned how she'd had a lot of family and friends make the food for one of her daughter's weddings.  She called and asked certain people to make enough of their well-loved specialties to share.  Then she hired a chef for $200, who brought chafing dishes and kept all the cold things cold, the hot things hot, and kept things filled for serving, then cleaned up after.  I wish I'd talked to her a few months back!  What a grand idea.

6) Savoring the moments.  5 days after Princess Bossy's wedding, I sat watching our niece walk down the aisle at her wedding.  Tears rolled down my cheeks.  It's not that I was overly emotional about that lovely wedding, but I just sat there and realized I'd never get to see either of my older daughters do that again.  
I felt like, maybe, because I had so much on my mind, that the wedding ceremonies were a bit of a blur...I felt like I hadn't stopped and thought to really drink in the experience at the time.  

Maybe it was unavoidable.  Maybe it wasn't that the activity had me distracted.  It's probably more that, like any special moment in our kids' lives, it went so fast and only seems like a blur in retrospect.  Having a video is one of the things we gave up, due to budget.  Now I wish I had videos to watch over and over.  
All wedding photos by Mode Weddings
Thank goodness for their amazing photos.  The smiles in those pictures really tell the stories.

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