Really....what do you do when your only daughter gives you six weeks notice on a wedding (with Christmas looming) and also vows not to visit a bridal store??? Why of course you panic. (insert panic stricken face here). This is part of our story.......this is what I learned......
To Thine Own Self Be True
"I only want one thing.......to have the reception at the Library," said Hannah. Sadly the Library is booked every weekend of 2010 thru October. The building has mahogany wood floors, mahogany trim around the windows, arched columns, soaring twenty foot ceilings, a fancy staircase, beautiful old-fashioned lights and charm galore! It is beautiful, affordable and obviously in demand. The lady laughed when I called in December to book a January date. We were bummed....... Lightbulb!!! What about another week night..maybe a Thursday? Good news--available!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, we booked the Library for a Thursday night reception. Friday wedding. Yes, you read that right--we did it backwards and it SO worked. Be flexible to get what you want.
(guest book entry table)
(looking through the front doors into the library)
Think Outside the Box
My daughter has her own sense of style. While looking for a dress for her senior prom Hannah announced that she would never buy a wedding dress from a bridal store. She is not a ruffly frilly girl and found the process of trying on dresses painful (she is such her mother's daughter in this sense). So--she ordered her dress online from a lady in China.......can you taste the panic here?? I think you can. Anyway, for a mere fraction of the cost of a custom dress, nimble Chinese fingers created her dream dress. She sent her measurements.....a photo of a dress.....altered the dress with sleeves.....said a prayer, said another prayer and waited.........the dress arrived Dec 24th folded in a small black envelope. Merry Christmas!! Be grateful for honest people on the Internet.
Employ Friends with Skills
This is the Girl Power section!! I have wonderful friends & family with awesome talents. I made a list of friends/family and talents and began calling.......for example I have worked closely at church with a woman who cooks like a dream......I offered her a job doing the food. I told her that I am going to pay someone--I would rather pay someone I know. She agreed. One friend made bows in her car on the way out of town. Another was starting a photography business......one owns a wholesale florist....one friend knew a lady who made cakes.....I called the lady and she quickly became a new friend. Sisters cut out labels, monograms, put dresses on hold for me (remember, Hannah and I have an aversion to trying on dresses. Thank you Amanda), ran my errands, loaned me earrings, passed out cute wedding tissues and served lunch. I will always be grateful for the help---it would be horrible to plan a wedding in 6 weeks alone--it was enjoyable with my sisters and friends cheering me on! Thank you, Amanda, Beth, Cindy, Emily, Kim, Sarah, Ali, Addison, Dave, Katie, Miriam, Ross, Jennifer, Mary Anne, Tammy, Kristi, Janice, Dee, Kathleen, Leonard, Lindsey, Lauren, Dani, Crystal, Becca, Jen, Jeannie, Janese, Dana, Lorenzo, Mom, Dad, and my dear hubby Mr M. There really is strength in numbers!
(food tables based on their travels in Europe with chalkboard labels of the country represented)(beautiful flowers) (amazing cake)
Splurge & Simplify
I had a wonderful time planning this wedding. But more importantly I had a wonderful time living in the moment. It was an amazing, happy, spiritual time in my life--and a gift to my daughter and new son-in-law. They are happy as larks. What more could you ask than for your daughter to be in love with a good man and for him to be in love with her? I may very well be the luckiest woman alive! Thanks for letting me live, relive, think, and dream about the past few weeks. They have been magical for me and I am so grateful for that!
Just to add my two cents, I have to also include that this wedding came in $500 under budget! That is including my sister's travel to Utah for the groom's reception...seriously a major accomplishment. We read somewhere that the average US wedding costs $19,000. She was nowhere even remotely close to that. This wedding was done on a real budget and done very well, at that.
Jen...thank you so much for being a guest blogger today. I am so lucky to have you as my sister and one of my very best friends. I am truly blessed. It was a beautiful wedding and reception. Immecably done...with style, and grace, and humility. Couldn't have been better or sweeter! And at the end of the day, the most important thing came down to this day right here (in the above picture). We were all together as a family...celebrating each other, true love, and forever families. What a gift. Jen, I love you so much. Thanks again for being our guest today...it was an honor to have you!