Monday, December 28, 2009

Setting up the Venue...

I woke up a little earlier than I had intended to on Friday morning. I was anxious to make sure that everything would get done in the four hour window that we had to work with at the venue and I was kinda hungry. Not wanting to wake up and rush MOH or Maid Britney, I tried to sneak off to the breakfast room at our hotel quietly. I didn’t manage to do it, but it’s the thought that counts, right? I left them to get ready and I headed off for the lobby, following my nose...

I found not only a waffle machine with make-your-own waffle batter, but I found my Mom and our BM all enjoying breakfast, coffee or a newspaper – take your pick. We all fixed our plates, started chattering away and settled down to eat. I was kind of worried about eating, not really sure why, but I was. Turns out that I didn’t have a thing to worry about, I polished off my plate with ease...

Once we were done eating, my Mom and I headed to the room to find the other girls and get to work. We had scheduled to be at the venue at noon for set-up and we needed to make sure that the flowers got arranged, the rose petals got packed into their packets and lots of other little tasks needed to be done before noon rolled around.

For all the madness that I thought that it might be, things really went smoothly. Maid Britney and my Mom got down to business mixing the rose petals and stuffing the petal bags...they set up an assembly line and got the process done really fast. While they did that, MOH and I started working on the artificial flowers and Mason jar arrangements. I had some fresh flowers to mix in with the artificial ones, and each table needed three Mason jars of various sizes put all together. Luckily, I had worked ahead of time and prepped the Mason jars by putting floral foam and moss all in there ahead of time.

At least I thought I was being smart. It turned out that we had to take some of my prep work apart and start over, but I couldn’t have known that before we got down to business anyway, right? So I didn’t let it bother me. We worked and worked, snipping off buds and leaves and stems...placing the flowers in the jars and working up combinations so that each one was kind of unique all on it’s own. At some point, my stepdad came in to be the muscles of this operation and we put him to work cutting the long stems off of the artificial stems. He thought he was getting an easy job, but truthfully some of those were pretty hard to snip! We were happy to have the helping hand, and it made our work get done that much faster.

Before I knew it, the petal bags were all done, and Mom and Maid Britney started helping us with the remaining flowers. Then, almost as soon as we started, we were done. I looked up in a panic at the clock to see how late we were running...imagine my surprise when the clock showed only 10 o’clock! Yes! We were AHEAD of schedule...and ready to go. We loaded up the boxes and supplies that we would need to take with us from the hotel to the venue and started getting ready to go. Before we left, Maid Britney gave me her lingerie shower gift (which had gotten packed in her suitcase since when she packed the girls hadn’t decided on the final schedule for the day yet) and we had a few minutes for me to “model” my new wares...
Once the cheese-fest was over, we loaded up the cars and caravanned over to my house. Once there, we made short work of the remaining items that needed to be loaded and taken to the venue and got the boys up and about and moving along with their list of things to do as well.

When we got to the venue, MOH, Maid Britney and I all grabbed some boxes and walked into the hall. It was as I remembered it - totally rustic and gorgeous! I got a little shiver of excitement going down my spine in anticipation of the upcoming days ahead. The girls were a little dismayed to find that we had to set up all tables and chairs...the venue was literally a blank slate...but once we got the truck and car unloaded and got down to work, we had all the tables pulled out, set up and started to place in their right positions by the time that the first of the guys showed up. B’s dad came to bring me some smaller folding tables that they had for the cake table, gift table, etc. and my Mom and stepdad arrived with their carload as well.

Before I knew it, we were spreading tablecloths, placing chairs, setting up centerpieces...and really decorating. It was all coming together and it looked so good. We had LOTS of helping hands, for which I am grateful, and when the guys got there with their crew about an hour and a half later, we had even more hands. I was really kind of worried about handling all of this on our own (no DOC or wedding coordinator fit into our budget) but it really went smoothly. It just goes to show what having a great group of friends and family wanting to help make your special day go smoothly can do for you.

Now, I won’t lie. It was VERY difficult for me to be the only person that really knew what was going on. Bless his heart, B tried to help direct people, but he really didn’t know exactly how I pictured things in my head and was pretty much just tackling the tasks that had been “assigned” to him. So every single person that was there to help us set up needed direction on what to do, where to put things, how things were supposed to look...and they all needed it from me. At times it was overwhelming. I got a bit frazzled the closer to 4 o’clock we got as I was trying to finish up everything, with someone calling out my name, needing my attention every two minutes. I really, really, really wanted it all done that day so that no one had much to do the next morning. Especially since I would be tied up and not available to direct!

I also didn’t feel good. Like I mentioned before, Aunt Flo was there with me in full force and I was popping Midol left and right. I don’t always have bad cramps, but don’t you know, this month was one of the months that I was going to be in pain...and I was. Which probably didn’t help my short fuse. I tried REALLY hard not to be all Bridezilla and not to bite anyone’s head off, but I’m sure that I was still short a time or two. Or forty. J I meant to do better, that’s what counts, right?

All in all, I had several creative people there with me helping that could take a little bit of direction and run with it. When they were done, I was consulted, made my suggestions for improvement, and they went back to the end, having those hard workers there by my side putting it all together along with me made it all happen. When we left, the hall looked SO nice...and the ceremony site was almost done too...and all the extra stuff had been stored away out of sight...and all the trash and mess that we made had been picked up. It was truly amazing to see.

Oh you want to see what we saw? Allright, twist my arm...
An overall view...the guest tables
Our head tables...
Some close ups of our centerpieces...
The Cake Table
The Bar Area
The Sign In Table...Along with Kid's Activity Books
The Seating Chart Area
Not to mention that we did it all and only stayed over our limit by about twenty minutes. Not bad, if you ask me! Once we left the venue, we all went in twenty different Mom and stepdad went to pick up J from school and then to get the plates that we rented. B’s parents went to pick up T from his school. They were each responsible for getting the child that they were in charge of cleaned up and ready for rehearsal on time. The girls and I left to go back to the hotel to get ready and the boys had left to do the same at our house a little earlier. And B left to meet his brother at the other rental place where we rented the ceremony chairs to pick them up and get them back to the venue.

We had rehearsal scheduled to start at 6pm...and about an hour and a half to get cleaned up and ready before it started.

Need to catch up? See how I got here...

Girls’ Spa Day
Bachelorette/Bachelor Party


  1. I'm getting married in Redbud next year (that's how I found your blog, while looking for stuff about TOT) and I have LOVED following your posts, it makes me 10x more excited for my own wedding after seeing your details and photos!

  2. I agree with honeybee!!! Or place stuff for sale on craigs list!! I think it will work out for the best as well, less stress in the end for everyone involved everything..