Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Assignment!

Well my degree is in teaching after all, you had to expect there would be some "homework" somewhere along the line here, right?
Here's the story. In the shop we are going to use the area by the invitations, in front of the center window, to present a "Palette of the Month" display. We thought it would be fun to choose color palettes for weddings that would be trendy, novel and inspiring for our couples that come in the shop. We thought we would project it out about 7-8 months, so the January palette would be something designed for a July wedding, the February palette would be something for August, etc.
Our thought on this is to bring together everything for a wedding--tuxes, vests and ties, invitations and other paper products for your wedding, accessories, favors, etc. We are all really excited about this! It's going to be like planning a wedding every month! We even considered making up a fictitious bride and groom and telling "their story" along with the display. Won't that be fun?
So this is where you all, my readers (all three of you, haha) come in. We would love some suggestions, ideas, thoughts, on what colors to use for our palettes. Tell us what colors you are using for your own wedding. Tell us what your favorite colors were that you have seen lately. Tell us what you would like to see. Feel free to suggest one color, two colors or an entire array of colors. We will pick and choose the "Palette of the Month" for each month based on your input, the trend colors for next year, and of course, what we like the best! haha.
I think this will be a really fun thing to do, and it will give us a lot of great ideas for future weddings. I will post a photo of the Palette each month so that you can see it. But keep in mind that seeing it in person is always so much better and besides, we would love to have you come visit us!
So get on that homework assignment now Class! I expect to hear from you in the next day or two!
Class dismissed!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Megan's Reception (better late than never!!)

So,I believe we left off, two MONTHS ago (Gees! Does anyone have any ideas on how to be a better blogger? I am so awful at this! I have so many things go through my head that I think, "Oh! That would be a great topic!" But when it comes to sitting down and actually writing them, I have a blank mind! Help!) Megan and Trey had boarded the fire truck to go take pictures and all the guests headed for the garden and cocktail hour, right?

Ok, so in the garden, we had the Jeff Brown Trio playing on the patio, and a portable bar set up to serve wine and the bar was open in the ballroom for mixed drinks and such.
It was a little on the chilly side, and a lot of people in the garden, but it was very festive! The servers passed hors d'oeuvres in the garden on trays--crabcakes, asparagus beef rollups, caprese skewers and shrimp shooters (pipettes of wasabi sauce or cocktail sauce with a shrimp stuck on the end! So fun! You put the shrimp in your mouth and squeeze, so that you get the sauce with it, it was a kick!) Eventually everyone moved into the ballroom, and the festivities continued there. The wedding party came back and took a few photos in the chapel, then joined the party.
As the guests entered the lobby, they foun d their placecards and signed the 18x24 picture matte with brown pens.
The matte, emblazoned with a large taupe "W" also had a 5x5 picture of Megan and Trey from the rehearsal.

The tables were set with chocolate brown bichon tablecloths, and each had one of four different designs of centerpieces. The variety was interesting and very pleasing to the eyes.

The placecards, which were displayed in alphabetical order, matched the menu cards which were at each place on the tables.

(All of the paper pieces were coordinated both in the color and type of paper as well as the ever present "W"--save the date, invitation, placecard, menu card, program for the ceremony, and the gift bags for the golf outing and the hotel guests.)
The formalities began with the introductions of all of the parents, grandparents, wedding party, and then the bride and groom.

They went to their cake, in the middle of the dance floor and cut the cake.

This works out really nice because it gives you something to do besides smile and wave after you are introduced! You also have everyone's attention at that point, so they don't miss it. I can't tell you how many weddings I have been to at other venues where we didn't even know they had cut the cake! It was hidden off at the side of the room and no one could even see them cut it. What a waste. If you are spending all that money on a beautiful cake, your guests should see it! That's why we put it front and center in the middle of the dance floor!
After the cake was cut, Megan and Trey took their seats, and the Best Man, Paul,

and the Matron of Honor, Amy,

gave two very lovely toasts. All of the guests toasted the bride and groom with glasses of Frixenet champagne topped with strawberries on the rims. After a prayer, the dinner was served--and what a dinner it was!! The first course was a Granny Smith Apple Salad with crumbled bacon and bleu cheese, sliced apples, and spring green. Yummy! After the salads were served the bride and groom stood up and thanked everyone for coming and made a few comments. Then dinner was served. Filet mignon with a skewer of shrimp and scallops, sour cream and chive mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus. The spice wedding cake was served for dessert, topped with real whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
As the cake was being served, the bride and groom took the dance floor for their first dance. As Amy had mentioned in her toast, watching the two of them dance was truly a treat.

They dance so beautifully together. Trey ended it with one of the best dips I have ever seen at Aberdeen!

The rest of the formal dances followed, and then the dance floor was opened with an anniversary dance. Mike the DJ had all of the married couples come out and dance, and then eliminated them by calling out how many years they had been married. As the number got higher the dancers got thinner and thinner till only one couple, who had been married 43 years, was left. Mike introduced them and asked them what their advice was to the couple. It was a wonderful way to get the party started.
The dancefloor was packed all evening. My theory on this, and I have seen it happen time after time, is that if the bride and groom enjoy dancing and are out there the whole evening, they will have a crowd with them! Mike played lots of great tunes, and everyone had a terrific time.
At this point I must make a confession. I dance in the kitchen. It always seems like about 9:30 or 10 pm I get a second wind, and I walk through the kitchen singing whatever the DJ is playing or if it's a song I really like, well yes, I boogey down folks. It isn't appropriate for us to run out to the dance floor when we are working, but nobody sees me in the kitchen! The staff all think it's pretty funny, and they are particularly impressed that I know the words to "Apple Bottom Jeans" which is one of my all time faves.
Anyway,we invited all of our staff to come out and do the cupid shuffle with us about 10 o'clock; servers, bartenders, dishwashers, kitchen staff; they all came out and danced--it was SO much fun! We wanted to do something to recognize them for all of their hard work and effort. They did so much to make this day perfect for us, and we wanted them all to be publicly recognized for such a great job.
The evening flew by. I remember standing by the bar and just looking around at all that was happening, trying to make a mental picture of it. Megan came over and I said "Megan! We're already to the dancing!" So I put my arm around her and we just took a moment together and soaked it all in. It was really a special moment.
As the reception ended, Megan and Trey changed out of their wedding finery. Megan had a cute little hoodie and pants that said "just married" on the back in rhinestones. They gave eveyone hugs and said their goodbyes, and jumped in the limo that was waiting to take them to Chicago where they were leaving the next morning for Mexico.
Since the wedding, Megan and I have said many times how nice it would have been to have had some time the next day to "debrief"! We had worked so hard on this day for so many months. It was so difficult not to have any time to talk over the events of the day and go over every detail. I could hardly wait for her to get back! I think she will agree that this would have been one of the very very few things we would have done differently. It would have been so nice to have Sunday to talk about it. We had a brunch at the house for all of the out of towners, relatives, and close friends, but it just seemed like something was missing without Megan and Trey there. I think, ideally, the bride and groom might stay and one of our beautiful local B&B's for their wedding night, join in the fun for the brunch on the morning after, and then leave on their honeymoon either Sunday night or Monday morning. In my experience as an independent consultant, the afterparties are the most relaxed, and most fun of all the weekend activities. It's a shame if the bride and groom miss them.
So that's the whole story. And now I promise I won't bore you any more with the details of my daughter's wedding. But for those of you who were interested, I did want to finish the narrative.
All I can say is, I am so glad I have all of the weddings at Aberdeen to work on coming up, because if this had been the end of my wedding planning, I think I might have been very depressed! But I guess that's why I'm in this business. I really and truly want to make EVERY wedding we have at Aberdeen as unique and wonderful as Megan's was. I am here for ALL of our brides and grooms, to help them find ways to make their wedding different and exciting. It's what I do, it's what I love, and it's why I am in this business.
But I must admit, I am just a little bummed that all four of our daughters are married now!!!!!!!

Oh, and by the way, I need a disk for the additional photos I want to add to this post, so check back around the 10th and I will get them added in. If I can't add them here, I will put them in an additional post.