Friday, March 15, 2013

Things I learned while hosting the Wedding of the Century...

It has been 6 days since the wedding and I am just now able to think clear enough to type this post...  No kidding...  I am sure you are sitting on the edge of your seat wondering "Why?"

First, let me state that the title of this post, "Wedding of the Century", MIGHT be a little dramatic...

How about...

"The Wedding of the Millennium"?

Yeah, that might be extreme

How about "My first wedding where I was the hostess"? 

Ah, that is better!

My family..

I adore this picture.  Just lots of fun.  

I think Jessica felt that this was the wedding of the millennium and that we would be judged if it was not perfect.  Do all brides go through that?  I mean, I have stated before, she was a dream to work with during the last 65 weeks... Well, except for weeks 63, 64, and 65....  That is for another post.  

During this process, a few things were learned, and sometimes these "things" were learned the hard way.  Ouch.  So, I am going to write them here in the hopes that what I have learned might help someone else who is planning "The EVENT of the MILLENNIUM..."  (Did you hear that echo?)

Here is my list and these are not in any particular order.  Just whatever came to my head at the time.  Remember, I am still recovering.

    1.  NEVER, and I mean NEVER plan a wedding for the day we "Spring Forward" as a nation. 

    I am not kidding here people.  You know that feeling you get when we set our clocks forward 1 hour? Like you have a hangover for the entire next week?  (I have never been drunk, but I am sure that is exactly what it feels like.)  After wedding cleanup, we made it home at 1:00 am.  Because we were supposed to change the clocks at 2:00 am, we went ahead and "sprung forward" and it was immediately 2:00 am.  We had to be up at 6:15 am to drop family off at the airport.  After the full day we had, we only got 4 hours of sleep.  NEVER plan a full day event on the day we "spring forward".  Trust me on this one.  Notice the dark circles and limp hair in the following picture:
    (Hubby looks good though!  Oh, what we will do for our blogs...  Is there no shame?  You can tell how tired I am.)
    2.  Do not let people get in the way of the photographer taking pictures.

    While I appreciate everyone taking pictures with their own cameras, they should not impede the progression of the photographer.  This is not something guests realize on their own.  They must be told.
     3.  Do not take care of elderly parents/family while you are the hostess.  Have someone else in the family be responsible for them. 

    I know I said these are not in any particular order, but this one really should have been first on the list.  My parents are not that old.  I would not even call them "elderly".  But they are beginning to have issues which are directly correlated to their age.  Let me give you an example:  From my house to the venue, it is a 1 hour and 15 minutes drive.  So, for rehearsal on Friday, I told my parents to be at my house at 1:15.  Rehearsal started at 3:00.  My stepdad made it to the house on time.  My mom... not so much.  She thought that a little side trip to shop in the town was exactly what she and my Aunt needed.  That little trip made my mom late to my house.  As I realized the time, I began FRANTICALLY gathering everyone up and my mom said "Can we stop to get something to eat?  I'm hungry." 

    Little side-note here people:  My mom is diabetic.  She DOES need to eat for her health.  But my mom has known this for 15 years!  Why she does not have a granola bar or something in her purse to eat in the event of an emergency is beyond me.  It was 2:00 when I noticed that we still were not in the cars!  After I had sent everyone an email stating "Rehearsal starts promptly at 3:00 and we only have an hour so don't be late..."  I was 20 minutes late.  I'm sure you could see that coming... 

    My baby sister should have been assigned "mom" duty for the entire weekend....  But she worked her butt off helping my coordinator.  (Thanks baby sis...)
    My mom and my sister dancing at the wedding...
    4.  Communicate with your guests on "rules".

    I use the term "rules" loosely.  There were certain things that we needed to let our guests know before, during, and after the wedding.  For example:  We used sparklers for our send off of the happy couple.  We needed the sparklers to be lit at a specific time so that my photographer could catch the moment.  We announced this to our guests prior to this taking place.  We thought we had it covered.  Nope... the minute the couple appeared, the sparkling began!

 Figure out a way to notify your guests on things that they need to know.  Where to park... how to get photos to you that they took with their personal cameras... etc.  Weddings today have begun to forgo the wedding program so we have lost the ability to communicate with our guests at the event.  If/when I do this again, I will get everyone's contact information (email address) and have information printed for each seat, even if it is not in a program format. 

5.  If your daughter wants to get ready at a hotel with all of her girls, book two rooms adjoining for everyone to have space.
 I know this sounds extreme and it is pricy, but we just did not have enough room for all of us to get ready.  Hence, the M.O.B's flat hair...  It was VERY stressful to try and look wedding best when there just wasn't the space for it. 

6.  Take Airborne (even if you do not have the signs of a cold...)

Listen, what is the harm?  Because here is what is worse... Throwing the "Wedding of the Millennium" on "Spring Forward" day with only 4 hours of sleep.  I was a walking billboard for "Hey cold germs, here I am!"  As if I did not already feel like I had been hit by a MACK truck...

7.  Do not expect people to help just because they see you schlepping heavy bottles of wine up the stairs and you have dark circles under your eyes.  

Apparently, you have to ASK for help.  Most people do not offer help freely.  (Of course, you have your few exceptions and I cannot thank my friends, Abby and Paul, and my baby sister and brother-in-law, Fran and Shane enough for all the work they did.  They worked their butts off.  Not to mention my caterers, but they get their own post!)   

 This tip is a shame really.  I have posted about this before.  I even had people who said they would help and did not.  So, do not be afraid to say "Hey!  Do you see me needing help here?"  I will do this in the future.  Literally, with an event like this, you just cannot do everything.  There should be no shame in saying "I need your help."  And for when we are on the other side of the coin, offer your help.  Just offer.  Even if you have to ask other people who are helping instead of the hostess.  I remember people asking me things during the day on Saturday, but I do not remember what most of those things were and whether I even answered them.  I am not kidding.  Abby, Paul, Fran and Shane had my vision, and then took it upon themselves to do what they needed to do to make it happen.

Abby, Cutler, Julia (Jessica's best friend), Paul, Phillip, and Laura...

Fran and Shane... My baby sister is adorable...


I hope these tips help.  Come back to my blog next week.  I will definitely have more posts regarding our beautiful wedding.  

One of my favorite photos:

She looked so beautiful...

Keep creating!