Friday, August 28, 2009
How to make a Ring Book
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Sunday, August 23, 2009
I arrived at Engel Farms for their rehearsal at 10:30 am on Friday. We had intermittent showers that day, but nothing too heavy. Our rehearsal only received a few sprinkles. We walked through the plan twice and everyone felt comfortable.
We expected the next day would be breezy and cool, but if there was rain, it would be like Friday. We were so wrong. It rained hard then would stop for awhile, begin to mist, and then start pouring again. This went on all day. It began to clear and the chairs were wiped down before the wedding was to begin Saturday at 4 pm.
Kim made her entrance in the horse-drawn carriage and looked amazing! We welcomed the sun and the guests and began the ceremony. I got about one-fourth of the way into the ceremony, when the heavy mist began and a few umbrellas went up. I looked at Lois in the front row, and she indicated to move. I asked everyone to quickly and carefully come into the barn, so we could finish in there.
I wish we had rehearsed what we would do, but a plan had been put into place just before the wedding, in case the rain didn't let up. We really didn't go through all the logistics, but knew where we would stand and put the crowd. The barn had a loft that would look down to the dance floor area, and it made a perfect extra viewing area for the overflow. The DJ and I quickly got the crowd in and the wedding party in their places. The ceremony resumed and went off without a hitch.
It was definitely a different experience for me this time. I have never officiated the wedding of a family member before. It was much more emotional; having a personal attachment to the person, as well as having so many family members there watching me "work". I wouldn't have traded it for anything, though. I was so happy to be their wedding minister! They are such a sweet couple and I was pleased to give them this "gift." Steve's father, Mark, stood up for him, and when Steve's sister, Abby and her hubby walked up the aisle as attendants, and she smiled and whispered, "I love you!", to her brother, the huge tear that ran down Mark's cheek was impossible to miss. I looked down at Lois tearing up, as well, and was glad I still had two more attendants, some children and the bride's entrance to recover from the lump that just took residence in my throat.
It had been a difficult week prior to the wedding for Julia, Jordan and their family, as Julia's grandmother had just passed away. I tried to keep communication to a bare minimum, and when we last spoke, I told her I would arrive 30 to 45 minutes ahead of time, as is customary for me. She told to come right in when I got there and she would be in the basement area preparing.
I showed up at the mapped out location at 2:45 pm for a 3:30 pm service. I got a "sinking feeling" immediately driving up, as there was not one car in the lot. I walked up to the doorway of the chapel and there were cobwebs on the door! I knew this had to be the wrong place, but I had been told it was a historical site and there was a historical marker in front of the chapel!
I went back to my car and began trying to call the two numbers I had for this couple, but only reached voicemail. I left a message on both. I noticed a woman across the street and approached her, but she said they do have church every Sunday there, but no one had been there last night to prepare (and I knew the couple had gone the night before). A sign outside the church gave two phone numbers; one just rang on, the other went to voicemail but gave an emergency number for the minister. I tried that and got voicemail and left a message, hoping he would know where the location was. I tried the couple's numbers again and left voicemail twice.
Finally, I received a call from a bridesmaid who had gone to get their cell phones and found my messages. I got directions from where I was to Morris Farms Chapel from the photographer and arrived late, but everyone understood what had happened.
The wedding itself was lovely and the location is beautiful. I highly recommend it. The difference between where I was and ended up is not a big stretch. The church I was at first was once on the site where this wedding took place; hence the name/location confusion. However, I must insist, from now on, in verifying the address of the location, especially for smaller weddings that don't have a rehearsal before, as this one. I may even ask that one person have a cell phone "on," and on them before everyone arrives, as the "emergency contact". I would still have been on time (not too far between locations) had I been able to reach someone right away. Another lesson learned. Thankfully, the couple were gracious, patient and understanding, along with all their family and friends.
Friday, August 21, 2009
One of the most common mistakes in planning a wedding is doing anything before the guest list.
So many brides get engaged and say, what should I do first? They are in a hurry to book a venue and start ordering save the dates, but it is so important to know how many will be there. First set the budget, and then create your guest list. What good will it do to have booked a beautiful place that can only hold 150, when you create a guest list that is now 225? However, if you have had your heart set on a very specific location or other vendor, book them sooner, rather than later. Keep in mind that that could very well mean scaling back your guest list to accommodate that dream.
Once you’ve established a budget and know the number of the party, you can either choose your planner, if you are using one (which I highly recommend and they have numerous packages to fit your needs) and they will help you take care of the rest; or proceed to obtaining your venue, Save The Date mailings, catering, officiant, DJ, photographer, florist and gown. Choose anything else after those important elements.