Sunday, August 28, 2011

Behind the Scenes on Wedding Day - Part I. "Almost Showtime!"

Well, the events of the previous weeks and day left me a bit drained, but I got a few hours of sleep and finally THE BIG DAY had dawned!  In this blog I have already written a glossy-magazine style perfectionistic overview of the wedding, as well as my own personal gratitude to God on granting a wonderful wedding day for my daughter.  Well, I thought as a final dose of realism, I would offer a behind-the scenes, glitches-included, record of the wedding day!  (Often taking stock of what didn't work is what is most helpful in wedding planning for the future!)

The wedding ceremony was to begin at 12:00 noon, and the bridal party ladies were scheduled for hair and makeup and due at the church by 7:30 or so.  Thus to allow for pre-wedding photos, the day had to start out pretty early.  (TOO early...note to self, try to talk my younger daugher into a later start time for her wedding festivities!)

The bride, bridesmaids, and I had all spent the night at the Waco Hilton, so the plan was to meet in the lobby at around 7:00 AM and carpool to the church.  Besides waking up and showering, I had to figure out what I needed to bring.  Besides my MOB outfit, I still had the Bride's gown and veil and undergarments with me.  One very important item I had forgotten at home was my dressy silver clutch handbag, so I just loaded smaller items in my big everyday purse and plastic grocery bags, and had my hubby get out of bed to help me carry all the clothing down to the lobby.  The wedding dress literally must have weighed at least 20 pounds by itself!  (I figured I would just do without a purse for the ceremony - couldn't tote that big thing with me down the aisle!) 

My husband stayed behind at the hotel -- his white dress shirt still needed to be ironed.  He also needed to get the digital projector that he had brought with him set up and loaded with the slideshow down in the reception room.  (Of course, at this point, the bride and groom still had the digital file of the slideshow --somehow we were going to have to get it from them before everyone had to be at the church for the ceremony!)

The ladies and I loaded up a couple of cars with our wedding attire and accessories and headed to the church.  Our wedding coordinator had graciously offered to have juice and sweet rolls waiting for us at the church, and when we arrived at the bridal dressing room, about 10 minutes late, they were indeed ready and waiting, as were the young ladies from Trendz Salon in Waco.  And what delightful, helpful young ladies they turned out to be!  Their informal banter helped to calm all of us down a bit, and they also shared some helpful advice and forgotten supplies.   (I think they must have a few weddings under their belt!)

"Backstage" - in the Brides' Room
This is where the pre-wedding hours reminded me of getting dressed for a performance or a play!  Hence, getting ready for "Showtime!"  Our star, the bride, had one hairstylist attending solely to her and that stylist got started on her first, knowing that she would require the most time.  The secondary hairstylist started working on the bridesmaids, while the makeup artist started on other bridesmaids. 

We opted to have all the bridesmaids (and me) getting their makeup done professionally, and that became a line item on our wedding budget.  This was to ensure that the makeup style and colors were all complimentary and done at the same level.  The hairsyling was up to each individual attendant -- they were to pay for it themselves if they wanted their hair styled by the professionals.  I paid for both my daughters' hairstyling, (the bride and the maid of honor) knowing that the bride and my younger daughter, with the important role of MOH and singing two solos in the wedding, would want to look her best.  I'd say about half the bridesmaids opted to do their own hair, and half opted to pay for the professional touch.  (I must say that they all looked gorgeous in the end!)

That's me on the left after
getting dressed and "made up".
The Bride is getting her makeup
done on the right.
I just opted for a blowout and style of my short hairstyle, rather than a fancy "do" and took my turn in the makeup chair.  (We offered the services to the Mother of the Groom too - but she opted to do her own.  Note: -The MOG is such a pretty lady naturally-- she looked amazing without the professional services!)

We had one last minute challenge to deal with.  My daughter the bride had purchased lovely matching pearl pendant necklaces and earrings for the bridesmaids to wear.  In her haste to pack things up and leave our home a few weeks before, she had forgotten to bring the boxes of jewelry that she had not already given out to the maids, and she forgot to ask me to bring them with me.  So, some of the maids had the sets, and some didn't. 

My younger daughter, the MOH, was dispensed to Kohl's to try and find something similiar.  Not being familiar with the town, she had to rely on her phone's GPS navigator to get her there and back.  Unfortunately, she was not able to find jewelry identical to the others the bride had purchased, so she just had to buy similar pearl jewelry.  As a result, she was the last one to get her hair and makeup done, adding to the case of nerves she already had about being MOH and singing in the wedding!  (She and her singing patrner for one song, the groom's brother, had not had much time to rehearse together.)   So as the noon hour drew closer, she, the bride, and I were all starting to feel the pressure!

It was now about an hour before the wedding ceremony was to begin.  The hair and makeup session was drawing to a close, the bridesmaids and I had already dressed, and the bride was finally to the point of getting her dress on.  The photographer arrived just before this and started snapping pictures. The bridesmaids and I started to help her get into her undergarments.  In the back of my mind...something was bugging me.  I had seen lovely portratis of brides dressing in romanticly decorated rooms.  We were in the church bathroom, surrounded by institutional sinks, towel dispensers, and stall doors.  Really?  But I had no time to rethink (or ask to redo) anything...

Just as I was starting to lace the corset of the bridal gown up, I got called to the foyer.  My hubby had finally just arrived, and had tales to tell of the unfortunate turn of events at the reception venue.  The groom had to swing by there (out of his way) before going to the church to give the FOB the digital file of the slideshow, then they discovered the big screen had still not been set up by the hotel personnel. My husband and the wedding coordinator's two assistants (her very lovely and capable grown daughters) had to set up the screen themselves!  Another issue with the Hilton that should not have happened!

But on the positive side, one of the groom's grandmothers had an extra purse that she had brought with her - a sequined black bag.  We had mentioned that I had forgotten my dressy silver clutch at the Rehearsal Dinner, so she had made sure to deliver the extra bag to my hubby when he came over to the church, in case I wanted to borrow it!  So sweet of her -- and I took her up on the offer!