fireflies and cottonwood

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Wedding Scouting Report September 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — girldogtorch @ 12:40 pm
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I was at my cousin Marilea’s wedding last weekend outside of Cleveland. That was my last wedding before my own. Just a few weeks before that, we were both in St. Louis for my cousin Tom’s wedding. Following Stephanie’s post about Wedding Hits and Flops, and thinking about those last two weddings, I have some thoughts.

1) Definitely, we will want to do assigned seating. For us, with our large wedding party, we will be doing some serious spatial thinking to figure out where we’ll want to put everyone. Also, we are going to be inviting people from all over for the wedding, and most of them will only know a limited number of other people. But we are both teachers, so seating charts aren’t a new challenge for us.

2) We have a lot of good ideas for favors, and we have a lot of people we’re going to be asking for toasts, but having some sort of toast from us is an appealing idea to me.

3) Vows — I would probably have them memorized. They’ll be straight out of the Book of Common Prayer, and I already have a copy of the service downloaded. I really like the language of it, and I’ll be making myself comfortable with it between now and July 11.

4) Timing issues — both of the two weddings I went to recently had timing issues. Much of this was because of complications because of having outdoor plans with dodgy weather, but I think having a clear and transparent schedule would help. We’ll have to think about that. You don’t want to have too many things to deal with all at once.

5) Greeting everyone — This is hard. We don’t want to have an overwhelming sense of obligation and stress, but we will want to have some interaction with as many people as possible. So, we don’t know what we’ll do with this. Part of why I am perfectly happy to use the Book of Common Prayer ceremony is that the wedding isn’t really just all about us. We are joining a whole wider communion with people who have used the same ceremony and received the same sacrament, and we are having a very public wedding because it is very important that we are sharing our celebration with our friends and family. This attitude somehow will be reflected in what we do and how we act on our wedding day.

6) MC/DJ/music — I was definitely underwhelmed with the obnoxious MC and DJ that came with Tom & Mya’s reception room. We will not be doing anything similar. On the other hand, at Marilea’s wedding, there was no one really coordinating everything and moving things along. I really, really like my idea of using a laptop or iPod to play the music, and we will probably take a page from Andrew & Lynette’s wedding by having someone, or some people, from the wedding party to MC things and help make sure everything is flowing smoothly. We want everyone to have a good time and to know what is going on.

7) Photographs — Stephanie definitely will be more on top of this than me. She knows what she wants, I expect, and has already had a conversation with the photographer. We want to make sure that we have some good photos, but we also don’t want to be absenting ourselves from the gathering for too terribly long. We’ll have to figure out how to do this well.

8 ) Guest book — I don’t even know if Marilea had a guestbook. I remember signing the guestbook for our friends Jeremy and Sara Jane’s wedding, and for Tom and Mya’s. We’ll want to give everyone a good opportunity to write in ours, as well.

That’s all of the thoughts I have just now.

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4 Responses to “Wedding Scouting Report”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Maybe this is more of a comment for the last posting. Here are my wedding experiences:

    1. I’ve always appreciated assigned seating. The only people I know who have had bad experiences with this were family members blatently dissed and seated in the far corner. It relieves a lot of stress for people who don’t know many other guests, couples aren’t split up, and it gives you an opportunity to think of fun names for the tables themselves.

    2. I feel that if the cocktail hour is done well, the guests won’t notice the bride and groom missing for an hour plus for photos. However I think it is beneficial to think of the house party’s significant others during that time. I’ve usually seen them awkwardly standing alone at the reception desperately waiting for the party to arrive, or they end up hiding in their hotel room.

    3. I also agree with the suggested things-to-do list. Weddings rarely take an entire day and leave the guests with free time.

    4. I find guest books and buffets (and other feeding methods) tricky. Sometimes they go well, other times they’re a mess. I’m at a loss, myself.

    I think you have some great ideas. I’m of the school of thought that you can never over plan an event. You hear horror stories of people who didn’t think of these things until the week of the wedding.

  2. Jan Says:

    I would add that we want a family photo. I think the way it was done at Andrew and Lynette’s wedding where it was just, “If you are a member of Andrew’s family go stand on the steps.” Then, “Make sure the photographer can see your face.” It didn’t take long to set up and there we all are. We didn’t get that opportunity at Marilea’s wedding and I think it is important. It is hard enough to get a family photo and a wedding is a great time to do it with who is there.

    I gather from what Leigh had to say that the photographer was “taken by Marilea” and spent entirely too much time taking photos of her. I think she was also trying to make up for not having the ceremony outside by taking photos. I know it was suggested that we go outside, but it wasn’t clear what was going on and where. I think “plan b” needs to be more organized, even if you don’t use it.

  3. Jan Says:

    Oh, and encourage people to take pictures whether it is with throw away cameras you provide or not. Jill and Kip only had photos because other people took pictures because for some reason very few of the photographers pictures turned out.

  4. girldogtorch Says:

    We will definitely include all of you major family members on input for the official “shot list” we make with the photographer. We’ll be working with them (there are two of them) to create a list of all the photographs we “must have.”

    Also, our photographer is bonded through a National Association–if anything happens to them, or to their film, or in the “darkroom” and we don’t get our photographs–their insurance provides for us to recreate the _entire_ wedding, so that they may re-capture all of the photographs.

    Now, I don’t think I would go that far, but if their pictures didn’t turn out, I would definitely take them up on flying us all back in our dress clothes for a series of portraits. Yes, I worry about these things, and I definitely asked the photographer about them.


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