Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wedding Execution Installment #3

If you're just arriving - I'm in the middle of a series, as it were. This is day three in the step by step execution of a wedding planned in 2 weeks, for 20 guests for $200. Post number one is here, and you'll find number two (not that kind...) here.

I'm wiped out.

I got home less than an hour ago from the church where I stayed up all night setting up for my Women's Ministry dinner and card-making class tonight, and doing what wedding prep I could.

I actually got quite a bit done. I'll share photos of most of it below.

(ETA: It's now several more hours since I got home - with a couple of cat naps here and there and my daughter's voice fading in and out... I think I may have changed my will, but I can't be sure...)
Four inch purple pillar candle surrounded by roasted white pumpkin seeds from the display at the health food store (since they were out they sold me the display for decorative purposes only.)

Yesterday when I went to pick up the cake at Costco it was totally wrong... That's what happens when you send a wall flower to do a party planner's job. Last week Friday I was playing "beat the clock" as sundown and the Sabbath approached. To save some time, I sent my oldest son and oldest husband to order the cake while I ran through Hobby Lobby for the second time. I thought it would be OK since I'd written down everything that needed to be written on the order form, including "this is a wedding cake, use FALL COLORS - deep purple, golden yellow and dark red for the flowers."

The bakery lady said the form didn't specify fall colors, but my babies' daddy insists that he put it on there. I was never shown the form... And he's a "quality assurance" guy... so I'm guessing it WAS on there.

Instead of using the "fall" colored icing for the roses on top, they used those traditional clown colors. It was hideous! If I hadn't been in such shock and panic I might have taken a photo for your viewing horror. My hands were actually gripping my hair as I stood there and the selective reader bakery girl told me that the "icing girl" was gone for the day. Are you kidding me??? This wedding is in less than 48 hours! I can't think of another place I can get a descent tasting / looking wedding cake for $17.

But God always has a better plan - and I couldn't see the wisdom of it the Friday before, but when backed into a corner my eyes were opened. I left the clown colored cake and and pulled a plain white cake "off the rack" that had a mound of white roses on the top in the middle. (I'll photograph it for you tomorrow when I actually open the seal on the cake.)

My plan is to carefully remove the mound of roses, not eat the icing, and replace the sugary goodness with this:

The Bride and Groom topper I found at Hobby Lobby yesterday. It hasn't been there the last 40 times I've looked on their wedding aisle, and this was the only one. I think this even actually LOOKS like the bride. (Except she tells me her dress is red and strapless...)

I had to punt a bit here. The cake topper is JUST the bride and groom figurine. The piece they're standing on is separate - and $ .99. Incidentally, the bride and groom was $12, and I was able to use a 40% off coupon on it - so roughly $8 for the cake topper - which is awesome, if you haven't priced them out.

But that's not all... I needed to have something to stick the fresh flowers in. So I took a small clear plastic plate (dessert plate) and put two pieces of Oasis foam on it and after I carved the sides to curve it, I taped it in place with waterproof floral tape. Then I just started filling it up. I'm sure it will look much better on the cake. The size is pretty big - it takes up an entire small cookie sheet. But the wedding cake itself is a half-sheet cake - pretty big for 20 people... If we run out of yummy pastry appetizers we'll have cake to fall back on :)

This is SO MUCH better than my original idea for the white cake with the colored flowers. I'm glad the the order got messed up with the bakery. Thanks, Lord! This makes the plain old white sheet cake a little more "wedding" grand.

There is one other minor detail... My son picked up the happy couple by the bride's head (who knows what goes through the head of a 12 year-old boy...?) and they parted company (some might say BROKE!) So now, I have the task of super gluing them back together and I'd appreciate your prayers... I don't have the best track record with super glue... Remember?

Side note: The photography is making the flowers look quite garish... They really aren't this obnoxious and neon looking in person.

Well, my little panic attack in the Costco bakery ate up much of my errand running time. So I raced through cold foods, grabbed some fruit for a fruit tray, a four variety box of 48 filled puff pastry vegetarian appetizers for $12 (and they look yummy - so I got an extra box for some holiday something that I'm sure I"ll need to take some tidbit thing to...) and a cart full of flowers. And I caved for a purple fancy dress, size 6. The price was right, and if the daughter of the bride and groom doesn't have something extra special to wear in her mom and daddy's wedding, she can wear this! Then I ran to the checkout. Which had a quarter-mile line.

I finally got through that (three separate receipts later - people behind me in line just LOVE me!) and loaded up the van. As I was loading my fruit into the cooler I saw a white grape. Literally - white. Ick! When I went to dig it out I discovered that half the pack of red grapes was white! GrOSs! These had to go back... I'm not paying $8 for molding grapes.

I kid you not - the "refund" line was 30 minutes. I was getting pretty impatient, my boys were thirsty (and again, didn't bring any water along for the journey...) and I was losing time. I sent up a quick prayer telling the Lord that I hoped he was saving us from some horrible accident and not just training me in patience.

I got my money back - and now it's 4:30 in the afternoon in one of our nation's largest cities - and I have to pick up the rest of my flowers on the other side of town before the wholesaler closes at 5. Right.

Centerpieces - there are three - set in a tablescape that will do double duty - Women's ministry Thursday night and wedding Friday afternoon. Tea-lights are in hollowed out mini white pumpkins. For a "how-to" on these centerpieces, see my post here.

I made it - just barely - and was pleasantly surprised that they had my flower order I'd placed online ready. (I was surprised, since I didn't get the confirmation email they said I'd get.)

And then it came to me. The "accident" the Lord had saved me from was having an abundance of time to shop at this florist wholesaler... I could drop a bag full of money in that place... in fact... I may be just a teensy bit over the $200 budget now... but I have a lot of silks to return so I'll recoup some of my money. Yeah... that's it.

This has gone on far too long - and I've got to prepare for my card class tonight - so here's the rest of what I accomplished last night / this morning.

The bridesmaid's bouquet. (Thanks, Zachary, for being my hand model.)
I have the Bride's bouquet done too - it's a bit larger, and also hand-tied. This was a lot easier than I thought. You just gather the bouquet in your hand, wrapping it occasionally with floral wire and tape to keep it all in place. Then REALLY wrap it with floral tape and then wrap with ribbon to cover the tape. You can't see it here, but the ribbon is twisted decoratively. It will show more on the bride's when I photograph that tomorrow.

And finally, the Groom's boutonniere. Again - the colors look funky. (But oh so vibrant!)

I think I'm actually going to make it... Most of my "to-do" is check-marked and there are just a few more details to attend to (like finishing the programs and prepping the foods.) The church is already set up just waiting for the happy couple to arrive and be blessed.

Join me again tomorrow for the final touches before the big little day.


  1. Sara, the wedding is sure to be a blessing to this couple and I'm sure your mission to make them feel special on their special day will be accomplished. I love all the vibrant colors and tea lights in the white pumpkins, as well as the purple votives with the pumpkin seeds. The bouquets are lovely, too! Saying prayers and wishing you a rest-up weekend.

  2. It's a good thing you live to do this party planning stuff..cause women that is a lot of running around for a couple whose not even family!

    Nice job.

    I worked for a florist in high school and picked up a few tricks that have come in handy for friends and family weddings all these years. It's a huge savings when you can do this.

    And while dropping off kids at school I saw all the colors and your right the pix are not the same..when I put the lunch boxes in the "school's fridge"
    (your brave) I saw the cake which will look great with that topper.

    I'll have to remember to get the brides to Costco's when we do two weddings next Spring/summer. Egh..I'm already tired thinking about the work ahead.

  3. The way I see it – they ARE family – new members of the Body of Christ. It’s too bad I’m missing out on the huge celebrations that go on in heaven each time a “lost soul” finds The Savior. They won’t need to be having those once we get there, but there will be other parties to be involved in I’m sure! It warms my heart and feels almost like an unfair blessing to be able to do this for someone else that otherwise would go without. I can’t build science labs on university campuses or fund missionary journeys, but I can throw a party :0)

    Oh – don’t wait for Spring to do your Costco savings – these items I’m getting are mostly “seasonal” and they’ll be gone or sold out likely right before Christmas.

  4. I am amazed! All of this and a card making class and Board meeting? I guess you're not sleeping? I can;t wait to see the pictures! Lisa~

  5. It turned out beautifully I was glad I could be of some help to you!!!
    You did a wonderful job and they couldn't say thank you enough so I think you hit it out of the park for them!!
    Hugs, :) Heather


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