Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Woodside Wedding: What Everyone Else Was Doing During Our First Look

While Mr. Cola and I were doing our first look and taking pictures around the park, my family and our wedding party were headed to our venue.

Our wedding seriously would not have happened if it hadn’t been for all the effort on the part of my mom, my aunt, our wedding party, our DOC and her assistants. I still really have no clue how they managed to get everything set up so beautifully in such a short amount of time, but they did, and we love them all for it!

Here is just a partial representation of everything they set up in about an hour and a half. I love that we have these pictures--you can literally see our wedding coming together!

The flowers on the arbor (the arrangements in floral foam cages on either side had to be assembled on site and then attached with the branches to the arbor with zip ties)

The pew bow flowers had to be hung on the chairs and the ton of petals had to be scattered.

The tall centerpieces had to be assembled (the flowers had been pre-arranged in floral foam, and the vases already had the rocks in them, but water and branches had to be added and the flowers had to be placed on the vases), and the small centerpieces had to have water added and be set in the appropriate places, along with the small cocktail table flowers.

On top of all of this set up for the flowers, my mom and aunt ended up spending some time on Saturday morning replacing some of the hydrangeas in various arrangements that weren’t holding up so well, and repeatedly misting all the flowers to keep them hydrated. That's why buying extra flowers is a must if you're going the DIY route!

While my mom and aunt worked on setting up all the flowers, our wedding party and DOC helped with the rest--a whole Uhaul truck full of decor! This included assembling our massive, over 6ft tall cupcake tower, which had to be set up in time for the cupcake delivery person to arrange the cupcakes on the tower.

The purple flowered table overlays also had to be laid out before the venue staff could set the tables.

You may remember this
post about how we were going to have ivory table cloths and purple chargers decorating our tables. But then it turned out the vendor we were renting the chargers from had been lying that they even had purple chargers and tried to pawn amber-colored ones off on us. The hive really helped by making a ton of alternate suggestions for us, and in the end we decided to just go $150 over our total table d├ęcor budget and rent overlays to add more purple to the tables. Much easier than making chargers and adding another DIY to my plate, and I absolutely loved how the overlays looked on our wedding day! Totally worth the budget overage!

There were also all the LED escort cards to turn on and arrange (I made a spacer guide to help with the set up, so they would all be evenly spaced out on the table. I was also sure to put them all into alphabetical order ahead of time. I can’t even imagine how much longer setting up escort cards would take if they had to be put in order too!).
(Such a shame to have to edit out the last names!)

And the card box and memory stone guestbook table had to be set up, as well as the programs table.

Plus the LED lanterns had to be hung, table numbers, disposable cameras, candles and the napkins with my DIY napkin rings had to be put on the tables (and the candles had to all be lit).
(Apparently hanging the lanterns in a straight line didn't occur to our groomsmen ;) )

(by Shoot Me Now Photography)

Our fauxtobooth needed to be set up.

And the speaker system had to be set up.

Also ton of signage had to go up (buffet signs, DJ table sign, cupcake signs, fauxtobooth signs, signs on the guestbook table, signs reserving chairs, restroom door signs—not to mention the bathroom baskets had to be set out).
(The above photo is actually from our disposable table cameras. It's the only photo I have of our custom restroom signs, so thanks to whoever took this!)

And… much more that had to be set up! Again, I can’t tell you how grateful we are to our family and friends for pitching in, and to the professionals we hired to set up our wedding exactly how we envisioned. Everything turned out so beautifully!

(Unless otherwise noted, the photos in this post were taken by my family and our wedding party—I’m saving most of the pro pics of all our details for later posts! Plus, our photogs were with us for most of the set up time.)

Is anyone else relying on family and friends to help with your wedding set up?

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
- Traffic delayed our decorations getting to the venue, and I almost ruined our first look
- We got to see each other for the first time on our wedding day at our first look
- We took some time for bride and groom pictures in the park


  1. Love love love love love ALL the details -- ESPECIALLY the escort cards! Everything looks amazing -- I love that I get to see this post before it goes up on WB!

  2. It certainly does take an army, doesn't it! Everything looked so beautiful, you could never have known that it was set up just minutes before! We are allowed to drop all of our decorations off to our venue a week in advance with photos of how we want everything set up, and they said they'll set everything up for us. I'm a bit skeptical, but there aren't too many other options given the tight schedule we're going to have on the day of the wedding.

  3. Wow! They all really went above and beyond for you, and it looks like they did a great job! We relied on our coordinator and vendors to set everything up, but it's wonderful that everyone came together for you to make it all happen!

  4. *sigh* Your wedding was so beautiful! Our event was so small that the coordinator had no problem doing it herself, but I like to think my family would have helped. I helped set up my father's wedding last month!