Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Woodside Wedding: Traffic Woes and Hiding From My Groom

After getting into my dress it was about 2:15 in the afternoon. But not everything was going smoothly. Bridesmaid H had just gotten word that the guys were all dressed and ready to head out to the venue, however the 2 groomsmen who had left early with the Uhaul were stuck in traffic from a wreck, on the way to the venue!
(Isn't she pretty? And I love how the earrings Bridesmaid H borrowed from me pop in this picture.)

Yikes, not good, because once you’re stuck on the main road up to our venue, there’s no real way to turn around. The groomsmen and all of our wedding decor was at the mercy of the traffic jam! And with a very tight set up schedule, them arriving at the venue late could mean a late start to our ceremony. :(

I didn't have too much time to dwell on it though, since it was out of my control, so I quickly told my bridesmaids to take another route up to our venue, shoved a new map with the alternate route and an envelope of cash for the cab at them, and focused on the next matter at hand: getting to our first look.
(Me, with one of my many back up maps and driving directions)

I conferred with our photographers for a minute, and it was decided that Mr. Cola would ride with our primary photographer in his car (the photogs needed to have their equipment with them), and he headed down the hall to grab Mr. C. Meanwhile, I grabbed my emergency bag, purse and hanger with my veil and garters, and headed out of the suite with our second photographer.

I peeked down the hall and didn’t see anyone, so we ducked into an elevator. But when we got out of the elevator, I realized I wasn’t 100% sure where my groom was—what elevator did he take, which direction were they exiting the hotel, and why didn’t I pause in the room for a few minutes to avoid this potential ruining of our first look?

So, heart pounding, I dashed down a side hallway and gave Mr. Cola and our other photog a few minutes to safely get out of the hotel. Our photog took advantage of the time to take a couple more photos.

Once we knew the coast must be clear, we headed out to the lobby, where the limo was waiting to take me to our first look location, at a park about 15 minutes away. On the ride there I took full advantage of the air conditioning (did I mention yet that it was a crazy-hot day for June? It was.), called our DOC to let her know about the wreck delaying the Uhaul truck, and repeatedly checked the mirror to make sure I didn’t look like I was melting in the heat. I also had paparazzi snapping photos of me on our ride to the park.

At one point he told me to look serious, but it wasn’t easy! I was anything but serious at that point, more like a mix of calm, excited, relaxed, and giddy, and feeling very glam all dolled up and in my dress! I couldn’t wait to see Mr. Cola at our first look!

Some tips:

#1 If there is any travel involved on your wedding day, make sure you have extra maps and directions on hand. And some alternate routes mapped out. You never know what traffic could be like due to wrecks, weather, etc!

#2 If you're planning to do a first look, have a solid plan on how you, your groom and photographer(s) will be getting to your first look location, not just how to execute the first look itself (which was all that we had planned in advance). Bumping into each other in the hotel lobby would have been a bit of a let down for us, especially considering how much I LOVE how our first look pictures in the park turned out! Stay tuned, because those are coming up in my next post!

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
- We began the weekend festivities with a sunset cruise for our wedding party
- We rehearsed our quick and easy ceremony
- I panicked, but we got our rehearsal dinner decorations set up just in time
- Our families met for the first time at our rehearsal dinner under the trees

- What went wrong on our wedding day, and my tips for future brides
- My bridesmaids and I got our hair and makeup done in the hotel suite
- I put on my wedding dress and became a bride
- The guys watched the World Cup, then got ready in 10 minutes

(All photos in this post were taken by the very talented photographers of Shoot Me Now Photography)


  1. I was so worried about the logistics of our first look! My MOH drove me from the hotel to our meeting place and she parked the car, had me stay there (in the air conditioning - it was a VERY hot June 12th for us too!) and she ran to make sure David and our photographer were set up and ready. Then she ran back and got me. Yea, she's wonderful.

    PS - I say this in every comment, but you looked so gorgeous!!

  2. Ah, thanks for the tips on the first look . . . we are doing one but totally haven't thought about the logistics of it yet! And look at you with your extra maps . . . you thought of everything!

  3. How stressful to find out they were caught in traffic! But it's great that you had extra maps on hand and an alternate route mapped out. One of our groomsmen ran late due to traffic, but it luckily worked out, since I was a little late to the first look myself.