Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Love Endures All Things

With every wedding I’ve planned in my young career, I’ve had some sort of personal connection with each one; and I can’t fail to mention that burlap made a debut in each one thus far. I think rustic may be a huge part of my brand image! 

This last wedding will always have a special place in my heart for so many reasons. When I met with the bride, who is a childhood friend, I was second-guessing this career. I wanted to go back to school and study my other passion…nutrition. I prayed that she wouldn’t hire me. At the same time, I was praying that I would find new friends, as moving home after graduation was slightly lonely. God ignored the career change request and answered the friend prayer because this bride, Amy has become one of my best friends and a true gift from God. And through her, I’ve gained a handful of friendships including her now- husband, and we’ve all created memories that will last a lifetime.

Amy and I in Monterey

Me with Amy, Steve, and a really great group of friends! 

Planning Amy and Steve’s wedding never felt like work because I had so much fun with it, and as the days counted down, I was literally sad that it was almost over! We’d bake for Steve while decorating votives with pearls, bling, and burlap or we’d all sit around together and work on song lists while listening to the outdoor channel in the background. We even had an impromptu dance party in their living room one night to teach the bride and groom to dance.

As the week drew near, I began to get excited that all our planning was about to showcase itself. I was also aware that I knew a majority of the guests so I anticipated being a part of the celebration. The wedding took place in a local family’s beautiful backyard surrounded by date trees. We began set-up on Wednesday, and my family was highly involved as my dad decided to create a temporary catering service and cater the wedding because Amy is like a daughter to him.

We worked through the week, and by mid-Friday morning, things were coming together beautifully. I will never forget the paralyzing phone call I got while standing on a ladder zip-tying twinkle lights to a swing set frame.  The maid-of-honor called me in a panic informing me that Amy had called everything off because Steve’s grandfather had a heart attack while golfing with Steve and his dad and was en route to the hospital.  My dad and I commanded our crews to slow down but keep moving, and we rushed to the hospital.  As the whole family from different parts of the country huddled together and held each other, they were informed that their father, husband, grandpa, uncle, and hometown legacy had passed.

The entire tone of the weekend shifted and Amy and Steve had a decision to make. Are we going to have this wedding?  They could not have had a stronger support system. The timing of everything seems so unfortunate, but then again, it was an absolute blessing in disguise. How often is an entire family all together in one location at a time like this? Everyone was either on their way or already there, and the majority of the family had each other to lean into, and with full support and encouragement, Steve and Amy decided to have their wedding as planned because they knew that Grandpa Jim was going to be there celebrating with them.

Now from a wedding planner’s perspective, it was officially time to kick it into high gear. With having a wedding in a backyard that includes a makeshift catering company, there is a lot of work to be done-- from setting up extra electricity, to bathrooms on a trailer, hauling 220 chairs, preparing a guesthouse kitchen to feed 200+ people, and of course all the knick knacks that I deem necessary in any wedding I plan and so much more. We lost a whole day and went into overdrive to catch up, but I wasn’t nervous because first of all, proper planning set us up for success, and secondly, all those things suddenly were not as important, and I had faith that everything that needed to be done would be done.  Now, since this post has gotten lengthy, stay tuned for the recap on how we pulled off a gorgeous wedding without a rehearsal and in the midst of a tragedy. Pictures to come too!!  

The Sign We Built Could Not Have Been More Appropriate! 

Stephen and his Grandparents

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