Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Final Countdown, Part 2 - (Focusing on the Audio/Visual)

The last weeks surrounding the wedding and her college graduation were quite hectic for my daughter. The Groom's brother's high school graduation was also sandwiched into that same week -- and of course they wanted to attend that and take the opportunity to spend some time with the Groom's family for a few days (including putting together the Cupcake Display for the reception with the Groom's mother and grandmothers!) So, it is understandable that my daughter decided to turn over some of the last-minute details to me and the wedding coordinator.

The Bride was not sitting around painting her nails, however. Besides wrapping up their final college semester and preparing for her graduation, she and her fiance were also busy working on some wedding projects that were nearer and dearer to their hearts -- music and visual displays for the wedding. (I suppose this reflects the interests of any typical 20-Something!)

Musical Maid of Honor and Best Man
First, they were having to nail down the details and music to be used during the ceremony and for the wedding processionals and recessionals of the wedding party and the families. She knew she wanted her fiance's brother to play guitar, and her sister to sing. However, joining their two differing performing styles proved to be a big challenge. (Think John Mayer vs. Barbara Streisand.) In the end, the simple, meaningful song "Dancing in the Minefields" won out as an opening duet, with the groom's brother leading by playing beautiful acoustic guitar, and my daughter joining in on choruses. Then my daughter, who is a voice major, was able to have her vocals better showcased in the Unity Candle song, which was "One Hand, One Heart" from West Side Story.

The bride and groom had to pick out music for the DJ to play at the reception as well, and as a surprise for everyone, they actually choreographed and rehearsed their first dance together, to "Why Don't We Just Dance." I loved what she chose as the Intro to the bouquet toss, "All the Single Ladies", by Beyonce! Actually, to finish up completing the wedding soundtrack, the couple ended up having to abandon their bridal party for a few hours after the Rehearsal Dinner the evening before the wedding!

The couple also had worked in the weeks prior to the wedding on a slide show of photos of themselves growing up through the years, to be shown at the reception. I had previously spent many, many hours going through our numerous photo bins narrowing down the choices for her. I suspect the groom's family did the same. Then the Groom had the job of spending many hours scanning all our photos, as well as his own family's, into digital images.

The Bride and Groom also got busy on another visual project - they decided that instead of plain table numbers, their table identifiers would be photos of themselves at places and landmarks in Waco that had particular meaning to them during their courtship. There was some discussion as to the type of frame or holder these would go into for display on the tables -- and in the end they chose simple, clear acrylic frames (which were also cost-effective!) We had 18 tables, so going around to 18 different places to take photos took a bit of time, and then they had to photo-shop the images and get them printed. But the finished product turned out great -- we had a lot of comments from guests on what an unusual, yet personalized idea it was.  Here's a sample:

We also wanted to incorporate the beautiful bridal portraits into the visual display of the reception somehow. My daughter chose one of the formal shots taken by Wendell Samford of Chapel Hill Photography, http://www.chapelhillphoto.com/ and she took the image to Padgitt's Photo in Waco to enlarge into portrait-size which would be prominently displayed on an easel at the entrance to the reception area. She even found a suitable size frame on sale at Kirkland's! (More on this portrait project in a later post...it turned into a last-minute ordeal which the Father of the Bride and I got involved in.)

Not to mention the final few bridal showers and parties were happening...my daughter had two showers thrown for her by her Waco friends (which I did not attend); and then back in Flower Mound, her sister the Maid of Honor, and her other local homegirls threw her a Lingerie Shower... (to which I was not invited...oh well...it would have been awkward anyway!)

So many little details go into the making of a memorable wedding...but they are so worth it in the end!

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