Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Woodside Wedding: The Welcome Event, And Two Near Heart Attacks

So, where was I? Oh yes, I had just finished helping DIY our wedding flowers all day the Thursday before our wedding, and rushed to meet Mr. Cola at the hotel to unpack my car and change for our wedding weekend kick-off party!

All our bridesmaids and groomsmen, plus a couple of extra friends met in our suite at 4:30pm, and we passed out their gifts, contacts list and schedules for the weekend (all organized and with important times/places highlighted, of course!). All the gifts were a huge hit, and I was really happy about my decision to include Coach purses as one of the BM gifts, because a certain bridesmaid was in need of a new purse, since hers had to be thrown away after getting destroyed during our Wednesday night outing.

Once our wedding party stashed their gifts in their hotel rooms, we met in the hotel lobby and grabbed cabs to downtown San Mateo (which took forever, and we learned from then on to call for cabs in advance). We enjoyed a delish dinner of pizza and beer at Zorba’s Pizza, although we did have to rush through eating a little because we were on a schedule! Luckily I’d arranged for our pizzas to be ready when we arrived.

While Mr. Cola and I picked up the bill for dinner, some of our friends made a beer run to a grocery store across the way from the train we were taking into San Francisco for the night. This is when I had my first heart attack of the night, when I couldn’t find my sister and her boyfriend a few minutes before the train was to arrive; they’d started heading back to the restaurant after going to the store, and I had to call her cell and tell them where to run to make the train.

It’s about a 35 minute ride into San Francisco, and we enjoyed some more drinks on our ride up.

As I’d mentioned, we were on a tight schedule. We’d bought tickets for our wedding party to take a 7pm sunset cruise on the bay, and the train arrived in San Francisco at 6:39pm. However, what should have been a 5 minute cab ride to the boat dock turned into a crazy dash to find three cabs to fit everyone, rush hour traffic, and general confusion because people weren’t listening when I told them where to go once we got to the boat docks.

I was in the first cab to leave the train station, with everyone’s tickets, assumedly so I could get there first and make sure the boat didn’t leave without everyone. But somehow Mr. C’s cab passed us and got there first, and everyone sprinted to the boat dock (this being about 7:05pm by now). And then I had to almost have my second heart attack of the night, when we’d not only lost our 3rd cab of people, but our officient friend and his girlfriend who were meeting us weren’t there either!

Talk about stress, we’d paid over $500 for these tickets, 1/3rd of our party wasn’t there, and the boat cruise employees were already not happy with us. I just remember Mr. Cola on the phone with one of the lost groomsmen yelling, “You gotta run man! I can see you at the other end of the dock, run dude, run toward the sea lions, they’re taking off without you guys!!!” And I was standing there, half on and half off the boat, trying to decide if we ditch our friends and go on the cruise, or get everyone else off the boat and ditch our night’s plans and the money we’d spent on the tickets.

Anyway, thankfully everyone sprinted quickly enough, and the boat’s employees waited, and we were able to cast off about 15 minutes late, so my second heart attack was averted. I still owe Adventure Cat Charters a great Yelp review, not only are we extremely thankful they waited for us (although, after all, we were half of their boat load), but it was also a fantastic little cruise.

Once we cast off, I passed out everyone’s drink tickets (two drinks each were included in the ticket price), and we could finally relax! We headed out past the far side of Alcatraz Island, sailed under the Golden Gate bridge and back, enjoyed the sunset, and came back in along the San Francisco waterfront. Again, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

(Thank goodness I decided against the 4 1/2" heels I'd planned on wearing, I wouldn't have been able to run to get on the boat! And keeping my dress from blowing up in the wind was hard enough without having to worry about keeping my balance in heels.)

After the hour and a half cruise ended, everyone was a little indecisive as to how to spend the rest of the night, since we’d left it up to our wedding party to pick what they wanted to do. Eventually we ended up at 21st Amendment for a couple drinks, followed by taking a late train back to the hotel, and hanging out in our suite for a couple more hours.

(One of our crazy groomsmen, the one who Mr. Cola was yelling at to run to get on the boat, kept his pizza leftovers through the ride up to the city, the sprint to the boat, on the cruise, took it to the bar, and proudly still had the leftovers on the train ride home. The next morning, the box was still uneaten, and left in our hotel suite!)

All in all, a great night, with a couple of hiccups along the way to keep me on my toes! Our wedding party had a blast, which was great because we put together this welcome event just for them, since they're all from out of state. The whole wedding planning process we hadn’t asked for a single thing from our wedding party, they didn’t have to go to any appointments, hole punch anything, pay for their outfits, or tie any ribbons. All we’d asked from them was some set up help on our wedding day and at the rehearsal dinner, and Thursday night’s cruise and pizza dinner was our way of saying thanks to them in advance!

Did you do anything extra special to thank your wedding party for all their help?

Miss any wedding week details? Catch up here:

- I packed an emergency bag that saved my dress
- We had a crazy 4 days prepping for house guests and stuffing favors
- Shopping for a ton of wedding flowers to arrange ourselves
- Mr. Cola drinks a 40 and I have a night out on the town for our low-key bach parties
- A day of DIY'ing flower arrangements
- I kicked off our official recaps with my #1 wedding tip


  1. OK, you are the best bride in the world to give your girls Coach bags! :) And the cruise sounds like it was fabulous. I'm glad everything worked out in the end! I wish we could have hosted a welcome party for our out-of-town friends and family members, but our budget was already completely maxed out.

  2. Oh my gosh, I would have been freaking out! I hate being late and trying to orchestrate everyone . . . great BM gifts, and I love that one of the groomsmen hung onto the leftover pizza all night!

  3. I love how you wined and dined the bridal party - I'm sure everyone had a fabulous time!

  4. You guys seriously spoiled your friends! What amazing gifts and such. I hate doing things with large parties like that because someone or something almost always holds everything up. Glad it worked out and no one missed the boat :)