Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wedding Part 2:More preparations

OK, so the saga continues. We left off somewhere near the time my living room and entire home was piled with boxes. OK, so prior to getting to that point, my Princess and the crew had to get those damn boxes ready to roll for wedding day. That meant trial runs of all the tablecloths I had begged and borrowed from friends on the tables we had to pick up and set up (also begged and borrowed) plus over 30 chairs to round up etc. After we determined the cloths for each table, I had purchased yards of various sheer fabrics to use as overlays on each table for the reception. These had to be cut (DO NOT try this in bone chilling wind at the last minute-crooked messes all around) and then labeled by my "diagram of yard layout" with each area marked by number. So, each area for decor had a number and box or boxes. For example, the altar/yard box had:aisle runner, flower garlands, clothes, crepe streamers, hanging stars and letters, tulle, flower petals, unity candle, salt container, lovely hanky from Lynn, lighters for the candles (NEVER have a outdoor ceremony without them!!!!), pins to affix runner to grass (done over the top of carpet remanents cut to size secured with large metal stakes flush with ground), etc. Then boxes for each guest table:cloth, fabric, centerpieces, favor boxes, candles, candy etc. Cake table:server set, plates, decor, flowers, papertowels, Guest book table: book, cloth, card box, honeymoon fund basket, markers, cameras, frame with instructions. Buffet box:clothes, serving spoons, napkins, utensils, menu frames, Bathroom box: basket with necessary items like female products, bandaids, Tums, ibuprofen, Immodium, guest towels, wedding print toilet paper, Kleenex, bouquet, candle etc. I think we ended up with 17 areas for boxes and many had more than one box. All this with accompanying diagram of yard layout, reception area etc for others to follow for set up as most could not be done until the morning of due to weather and I would be gone with Princess for hair session. MAJOR stress to trust the other MIL and family to get this done before I returned. Of course the heartfelt death threats and loaded gun cabinet may have shown how serious I was. Some how, it did get set up best it could and the rest got done when we got around to it after the ceremony.

So, Princess was upset she never got a formal "girl bash" given her Mom ended up as the last minute Matron of Honor and my place was already too damn full. So, instead she opted to spend the night at my house in her old room with her high school pal Heather. All this after an unplanned dinner at my house which included ALL the wedding guests while trying to assemble the damn cake and make up the table boxes! Plus, Heather was unable to arrive until about 8PM as her sister has cancer and is just fresh from chemo and wasn't doing well that day. But at last she arrived to cheer the princess and help us out. Now, I had counted on the Prince to help with cake assembly and decorating that night. Mandatory Mom needs you deal. Nope, instead he is roped into taking the groom out for a night of fun (for which he had to pay and wasn't even part of the wedding party.....hmmm) and left me to sweat it alone. They went bowling, movies, etc until 2am and MOM WAS FREAKING OUT!!!! See, while he was gone I had frosted and stacked the dreaded 3 layer cake, frosted and frozen the grooms ice cream cake, and unmolded the cheesecake. Well, about 9pm my trusty Prince Charming calmly utters from the kitchen, "uh, Honey....we seem to have a cake slide in here...." I pole vault over boxes to the kitchen to see the entire top layer splitting in half and crumbling.......sniff, stomp feet, cuss, cry, yell, throw utensils............ok fine. Off comes the top layer, thrown in the freezer (where it still resides uncovered in shame), repairs to the frosting and prayer chain commenses.

So, at 1:30am wedding day in stroll the groom and Prince all smiles....grrr... Princess is happy now, kisses all around and heads to bed and the groom heads home. No rest for the wicked so the Prince and I spend the next 2 hours beginning cake decor of the worse form ever. By this point I literally could no longer stand without passing out or throwing up from pure exhaustion. My hands couldn't hold a coffee cup let alone a pastry bag to squeeze out stars and squiggles.

So, my Prince to the rescue and he surrendered defeat at about 3am when he could no longer straighten his fingers. I took up the bag until 4am, finished just borders, did more dishes and lists, and laid down til 7am. Could not sleep and by now had literally only slept 38 hours in 3 weeks between work and wedding! Pry my ass out of bed, begin outdoor prep, serve coffee and breakfast to everyone else, head to the hairdresser at 10am with the Princess.

This was our arrival at the hairdresser. No makeup and still lovely with hair undone. Not so much her mom, yeah. Check out the nails, done with home gel kit-we rock for 9.99. Mom was to have a set too, but NO ONE HAD TIME TO DO MINE!!! Sound bitter don't I, well damn it I was, I mean am.... I arrived in my jammies as did not have time to comb my hair or get dressed after showing everyone for the 100th time where stuff was supposed to go! She refused breakfast and kept insisting she was going to puke! Then the hairdresser is 30 minutes late. In her defense, she NEVER works on Monday and lives quite a distance from town. She only agreed to do this updo for us as Princess has gone to her since she was 6 years old. Mary rocks!

The process begins. At this point I am too tired to move closer to her station. I did convince Princess she must at least drink water or something, so I head to the gas station for bottled water and M&M candy. Coax her to down some of both and she is feeling better!

I told her this look would be great with a dog bone like Pebbles, she wasn't buying it.

She wanted curls in the back to show off her undercoat of red to the back of her hair (complements of miss clairol and Mom) Looks really cool in the sun light!

I love this shot. I told her it would be the priceless moment and I would tell everyone she finally had her meltdown. What really happened was she was sprinkling "sparkly fairy dust glitter" in her hair so she was protecting her face. I like my story better.

At last a smile and the tiara being placed. Next we did the tutorial for the idiot mom of how to place both veils and not destroy her handiwork. Note to self, pay closer attention and remember to do it. We damn near forgot! Also notice dear old me in the wrinkled green shirt (aka my pajamas as didn't have time to change, no hair, no makeup=scarey shit!)
So, time comes for the grand total, clutching my checkbook in fear......"$35 please". What? You did not just say that? Two hours of solid curling, pinning, teasing, primping for $35? No way in hell! It pays to have friends gals! Let's just say I love my hairdresser and MY hair and therefore the check written was for $100!

This is one of my favorite photos of all. Princess has sat in my bathroom sink since she was old enough to climb to do her hair and/or makeup. See, unlike her Mom, Dad, and brother, Princess is vertically challenged, uhmm, short. So in order to see in the lame excuse for a mirror in here she had to climb in the sink to get close enough to see. So, here she is doing her wedding makeup, IN THE SINK!!!

It is now 1:30 and the ceremony is at 2:30! Shit! Race to bedroom, clothes flying, Spanx donned to slither into my $29 Ross special bridesmaid size 3 dress (thank god for miracle tailors that gave me the extra 1/2 inch to breath-but by now I had lost a unable to afford 5 pounds and had extra room), hot roller hair, Princess slapped on my makeup, friend Lisa yanks the curls, run off to help Princess don the dress.....

Excuse the blurry photos, we were RUSHING folks! This is the flower girl Gidget, watching Princess antics and wondering what the hell we are going to do next. Little did she know it meant the lovely dress, pink flower, and sparkly bracelet-turned-collar. She was supposed to walk to aisle, but instead I had to carry my granddog in style as she was used to doing.

By now she is demanding a makeup touch up. See that can of Pledge on the TV stand? Unused, dust everywhere-great when photographer shows up with 5 people more crowded into the 1 foot space around the bed....oh hell!

Here we have Prince Charming, obviously not amused nor yet willing to don his new jacket. Did manage the cool horseshoe tie we bought, although would never know what they were in this lousy picture would you? Pretty spiffy in pink though! Notice my house is STILL a disaster area and guests are already arriving via this room, great!

Here is a sorry looking bunch indeed. Left is Lisa, the bridesmaid and my best friend in the world. I am center with Gidget in her stylish outfit. Right is Alicia, the best person/man, Mr. Princess's best friend. This is the only lousy shot I have of our bouquets that I made. The other girls here have special locket charms tied to theirs and the stems are wrapped in coordinated ribbon. Yes, that is a bee hive above Alicia's head-no you don't want to know the story....
So, you see we have still not made it to the ceremony at all. I'm exhausted just reliving the hype up to this point. By now I was thinking, enough already, lets get this damn thing started and move on! Up next, the actual wedding begins. Tune in often as I am WAY behind in work so it may take me awhile to get there.
Meanwhile, some words of wisdom to ANY ONE contemplating a wedding or a dreaded backyard wedding.
1. Photos of every little, teeny, tiny damn thing as you do them. You spend MONTHS (some crazy ones years) planning and doing. Take the damn pix already! Put a disposable one in your purse, your car, your kitchen, everywhere you can fit one. DO NOT WAIT TIL WEDDING DAY TO REMEMBER>it won't happen. I have so many things I wish we had a pic of. No excuse. I have THREE cameras and over 15 disposable there the entire time. Did anyone take a picture? Hell no! We even made a dreaded pic list for the photographer for crying out loud. The details don't matter to a soul except YOU but trust me, take a damn picture already.
2. Make lists, make time lines, and delegate! I pulled it off but am paying for it still. DIY projects are great fun, but MAJOR stress to do alone. Enlist friends, family, enemies, everyone! Some of the best days were the favor assembly day (NO PHOTOS of dipping damn fortune cookies, assembling boxes), making invitations (from the date that never was-never did new ones thank goodness). I wish we had pix but we don't. Making bouquets took me days and arrangements months, not one damn photo. But the lists, while very OCD to my family, kept me in reality and I knew every second where we stood with prep etc.
3. Have fun, make it fun, don't sweat the small stuff. It isn't worth it and no one cares. The day is in the end all about the two people in love being married in front of friends and family. If it wasn't perfect, tough. Shit happens, cakes slide, decor doesn't look right, the house isn't clean, the veggie tray never made it to a tray or a table-WHO CARES!!!! My motto is, if they don't like it they don't have to look or there's the door. Either way, the Princess is married, happy, and in love. THAT is what matters! I could have cried, thrown more fits, pulled out more hair, refused to do things, or paid others to do it. In the end, it was over in a matter of hours, everyone left happy, full of food, and my daughter was married. We did what we could with the little money we have to give her a wedding to remember. It may not meet standards of others or mine for that matter, but we did the best we could. Would they be any more in love or married with more money spent or more time or more fluff? Hell no!
More lessons to follow, promise! That is if you aren't running in fear already from this mess...


Cottage Way of Life said...

I have wondered where you were and this explains it all. You were very, very busy!

I loved reading the tale of the wedding but my gosh, it sure does sound exhausting. What a lot of work. I mean, how did you live through all that and end up looking so fantastic in that photo? I think I would have passed out. It sounds like you did a terrific job making a wonderful day for your Princess, and ... you looked gorgeous, the Princess looked lovely, Gidget looked terrific, and the Prince looked very spiffy, indeed.

I think my favorite photo though was the one with the Princess and her groom (so, have you come up with a name for him yet?) on the couch and Yoda draped on the back of the couch taking everything in. That dog is a charmer.

Lisa said...

Let's just say recovery from this has been really tough. I got SO sick was flat in bed for a week! Yoda is such a charmer, and Gidget is the MOST spoiled granddog ever known to man. We demand sleep overs with her at least once a week, she is in LOVE with her Grandpa. The photo of the couple is pure bliss. Until he showed up at 1:30am she was crying and stressed. Mr. Prince appeared and the world was all good. Mom, not so much!
We got to babysit Yoda and Gidget during the honeymoon, Yoda had never had a sleepover with Grandma. WELL, he is a pillow hog and a total spastic sleeper! They have a third "child" Mooshu (another Gidget) who had to stay with the other Grandma. Three dogs and 5 cats in my bed is my limit!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Lisa, you are amazing. I never could have done it because I have this attitude of "if you want it done right, do it yourself" or "I have a hard time delegating". The wedding was PERFECT! And I love how you used the hankie....very clever. I see a wedding co-ordinator job in your future. :) I sure hope you have recovered from it. You looked Beautiful!! xo Lynn