Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Wedding: Part II - Replanning (Weds. - Fri.)

Wednesday was the day that my Mom and I had originally planned on going to Maine. But with her power still out (and with the chaos that created) she decided it would be best for her to stay at home one more day to really get everything at home taken care of, especially because they planned on staying in Maine for a week after the wedding. So then I was on my own. Dan had decided to keep the dogs with him since the UConn game was rescheduled from Thursday night to Saturday – the first plan was that I would take them because he would be at work all day and then at the game all night on Thursday. But after the National Guard got stationed in Rentschler field to requisition and then distribute supplies after Irene, the game needed to be changed. Yet one more example of Irene changing plans.

It’s not really my style to take all day to pack, get ready and then to not leave by a certain time, but I decided that it was better to take my time and make sure I didn’t forget anything. I had about a million things on at least ten different lists and it seemed like every item was paramount to the success of my wedding.

So while I was packing things in my car, the rental company was unpacking things at the fairgrounds. They thought the field was dry enough to set up the tent, but they knew that their truck would get stuck in the mud on the road. The man in charge thanked my grandfather for taking him down in the Jeep (not what I would have done) and couldn’t believe the damage… apparently Irene forgot to stop in Portland whilst on her hell-bent scheme to ruin everything in her path.

I missed the call from my Nana giving me the bad news, I was in the shower. I’m glad that I missed it, because I think it would have been a hard conversation for both of us to have. When I finally did get a hold of her, she was up at the fairgrounds in the Craft Center, directing the rental men. She wanted to know where I would like the dance floor. Too wrapped up in thinking about the fact that the wedding wouldn’t be in the field, I completely overlooked the fact that we no longer needed a dance floor… which was too bad, because I could have saved us $600.

Everything was getting moved in, and the situation was now out of my hands. I tried to picture the inside of the craft center in my head, but I had never seen it when it wasn’t loaded with vendors selling their crafts. Originally, when I booked the fairgrounds for Plan B, I had asked for the Natural Resource Center. In the summer of 2010, my Nana and I went inside and looked around and figured that the resource center was the best option, we never even bothered to look inside the craft center. However, a few months before the wedding when I called to confirm my $200 Plan B, Kathy said “you’ve got the craft center, that’s where we host events because it’s a good sized space that is close to the bathrooms.” Since I had always banked on a beautiful day, I never thought anything of that little switcheroo… until that Wednesday before the wedding.

I continued to pack my car and cross items off of my list. I had to make an unplanned trip back to Columbia to pick up the welcome bags, and the jeep was filling up quickly. I suppose it was around 3 or 4 by the time I finally left Manchester, but I was by myself with no space to stop for any more treasures, so I knew the trip would be a quick one.

Four hours later I was opening the door to the farmhouse feeling an absolute laundry list of emotions; scared that it would be over soon, hopeful that I could get back to my normal life, still disappointed and scorned about the storm and the venue change… you get the idea. Fortunately, Nana had beer on ice and a corkscrew ready. It was too late to go down to the river and scope the storm damage, and we didn’t go up to the fairgrounds either… we just sat sipping and stewing. I worried incessantly about the river and the fact that even though we had a dry spot for the wedding, we didn’t necessarily have a plan for Saturday. As of that night, Saco Bound still hadn’t opened up the river to canoes and I wasn’t sure whether or not we would be able to host the weenie roast. Things seemed pretty bleak and uncertain on Wednesday night. Thank God for the alcohol that relaxed me into a very short night’s sleep.

Thursday was a big day. My Mom, Dad, Uncle and brother were all coming up and I was finally going to scope out the situation at the River and up at the fairgrounds. I woke up at 7 and put on my “Maine Wedding attire” as Dan came to call it. It seems I had spent many working wedding weekends in Maine wearing the same pink sports bra, grey t-shirt and black Nike shorts. After a quick breakfast, we headed up to the fairgrounds for Tex’s daily walk, and to finally examine the new wedding venue.

When the doors opened and I walked in, my jaw must have dropped. It was a combination of the cement floor, tacky fluorescent lighting and swirl ceiling that got me at first. But in the long run, what really caused me to furrow my brow was the lattice paneling all over the walls. It was as if someone literally decided to vomit lattice everywhere, but not in a nice “covered with beautiful blooming roses” kind of way. My heart sunk immediately. I couldn’t tolerate it… it just reminded me too much of the Elks Club downstairs in Willimantic. I didn’t actually cry, but I was right on the brink. My mind was blank and I had no idea how I could make it pretty…

And then we went down to the River.

The water had all receded back to a fairly normal level and it looked decent down there. Granted, there were about ten million trees down and everything was covered in a layer of silt from where the river had risen up to, but I could still see the beauty. The weenie roast could still happen.

That was all about 30 seconds before my Grandfather tried to drive us up the very small hill into the main cookout area. The Jeep just kept slipping and tearing up the grass. He must have tried 4 times to get up this world’s smallest hill. All I could think was “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! YOU’RE TEARING UP THE GRASS!” I’m not sure what came over him… usually he is a very careful man who thinks strategically about everything. Maybe he didn’t realize how bad the tracks would look; maybe he thought it was manly to be out spinnin’ tires and kickin’ up mud. Or maybe he felt so defeated by the storm and what it had done to his land, to his granddaughter’s wedding that he just needed a win over Mother Nature and her small hill.

I can’t even remember if we got up the hill or had to go around. From the moment the first splatter of mud got kicked up, I had to hide my head and try not to cry. Suddenly the potential beauty I saw was gone, and the sheer task of cutting up all of the trees that had fallen was an obstacle that could not be overcome. We got back to the farmhouse and I went into the old living room and cried… again. Things looked terrible… I didn’t want to be in the craft center, the camp site at the river looked like a natural disaster area and my imagination was crippled by the overwhelming odds stacked against me.

Luckily at that very point, my Mom showed up.

We rode down to the craft center where I declared how terrible it was, and that I wanted the Natural Resource Center instead. I think that my Mom inspired (or enabled) the determined person inside of me who was sure she could get what she wanted by asking the right way. So we marched up to the front office and asked. Kathy informed us that the entire staff was gone for the day to another fair, and that there was no way we could know before tomorrow. But we would have to find out about which bathrooms we could use, and where our caterer could do their clambake.  The man with those answers was across the street in the camping area.

It must have seemed odd to these three men (who were digging a hole to fix a water line) to see 2 cars with CT plates roll up. It was probably even stranger to them that 2 unusual women popped out with Nancy Sanborn (my Nana). I introduced myself and go right to the point, trying to be as charming as I could, without appearing like a bridezilla. Much to my delight, he said that the caterer could cook nearby and that the closest set of bathrooms was up and running. More importantly, he didn’t seem to care at all… as if he couldn’t figure out why I bothered to ask in the first place.

I wanted to get into the Natural Resource Center and start making plans, taking measurements and trying to figure out how to make the space work.

My Mom said, “Shouldn’t you wait until you get the confirmation that you can actually use it?”

My response to her was, “we WILL get it.”

Even though it had the same ugly floor, ceiling and lighting, I could see much more potential in the Resource Center. The walls were a warm pine and the American flag bunting (although not something I wanted to stay) matched the wedding colors. Ideas were flowing, and not just about the reception. If it was a nice day, we decided that we could have the ceremony outside underneath a big tree on the opposite side of the building.

A note about the tree… From the moment I decided that we could get married underneath its oversized branches, I was hit with a wave of déjà vu. I could have sworn that back at the Fryeburg Fair in 2010 Dan and I were talking about the wedding and I pointed to the Natural Resource Center and said, “There is our Plan B.” He wanted to know why it wasn’t our Plan A, citing the difference in cost and effort. So I said, “the field is beautiful, there are mountains everywhere and trees, it’s much prettier down there…” to which he replied, “There are mountains right there” and pointed towards the mountains standing behind the big tree. 

Back in real time, we had returned to the farmhouse to finish up more projects. My Mom and Nana tied ribbons and tags to mason jars while I finished the ceremony programs and the scrapbooks that would be at each table. Good news poured in as we heard that Saco Bound would finally be allowing their canoes down the river again, so it seemed the weenie roast was on. Out on the porch before dinner, someone pointed out a bus driving by headed up to the fairgrounds…

“That must be them, back from the other fair” someone said, “let’s see if we can catch them!” So in witch-hunt style, my Mom piled back into the Jeep and chased down the bus to meet the decision makers up at the Fairgrounds.

Again, I tried to be charming and to-the-point (a difficult combination for me to accomplish). I asked nicely and sure enough, our lucky streak continued.

“You’re too damn young to be married” the man added after he said agreed to the switch. Not sure it was a compliment, but that’s how I was going to take it.

After dinner we went out to North Conway to see what we could buy to brighten up the new venue. We stopped at Lowes and Walmart and the Christmas Tree Shoppe frantically searching for anything that would inspire me to have more ideas. Our plan was to spend a small fortune on plants to soften the space. With the extra money we now had from cancelling the tent, and the portable restrooms, there really was no reason to hold back. But it was September in Maine and the plants weren’t plentiful. Walmart had mums but they wouldn’t bloom by Sunday, and Lowes only had yellow, we wanted white. 

Our trip was more for planning an attack shopping list on Friday than for actually shopping, so we returned to the house rather empty handed. There were still people who needed to know about the change, I wrote the following e-mail to send to our guests:

“So in case you've been living under a rock the past week, you may have heard that there was a hurricane in New England. The hurricane, along with knocking out power- caused some minor flooding... well let's be serious, it's MAJOR flooding. As of Monday, the field we were going to get married in was underwater. So when the tyrannical rental company refused to wait to deliver our tent until the road dried out, we got the terrible news that they would not set up the tent or the chairs, or any of the other things we needed. So if you ever need party rentals in Maine, I would not recommend One Stop Party Shoppe. Yes, they really spell it that way!

Anyway, long story longer, we are now moving the wedding to the Fryeburg Fairgrounds in the Natural Resource Center. Everything will still take place at the same time, just in a different space. Another difference is that there will be parking available at the Fairgrounds, so you can drive your car to the wedding if you don't want to take the shuttle. All of the shuttles will still leave from the hotels at the same time - and there is a note to remind you of that time in each of the hotels. We still hope to host the weenie roast on Saturday, but if you are not coming by canoe, you will want to drive to the farmhouse (818 Main St in Fryeburg) to get escorted down. Hint: your fuel-friendly four-wheel-drive-less vehicle will not make it!

Also, just so you are aware, the beautiful mountains and rivers I had promised all along will not be visible from inside the natural resource center... I'm doing my best to "beautify" but I guess when you get stuck going with Plan B, beauty tends to take a backseat to practicality. On that note though, feel free to wear your stilettos since sinking into the ground won’t be a concern any longer.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon... and if you find that I am intoxicated when you arrive, you can blame Irene... that nasty bitch.”

My Dad and brother had arrived and were working on a plan of their own to clean up the campsite area in time for the weenie roast. After a round of drinks – or two – we all hit the hay late Thursday night knowing that Friday would be the busiest day thus far in the scheme of wedding planning.

It seemed almost laughable that 2 days before my wedding I was sleeping in the same room as my parents and my brother. We hadn’t done that (even in Maine) for years… maybe 8! Needless to say, it’s not that great to share a room when your parents wake up at the crack of dawn and start yapping to each other. So then, I was awake too, and figured I had better get going. I suited up in my Maine Wedding Attire and had breakfast with the rest of the early risers (something is wrong with my family). At the table, Mom and I finalized our shopping lists then threw on sweatshirts before walking out in the cold (45ᵒF) morning air.

My Mom and I took off to North Conway in a mad quest to find everything we needed, and some stuff we didn’t even know we would need. My Nana was stationed at the farmhouse to make sure the men got to work down at the weenie roast site. They had been given an order by Bridezilla; to cut down some birch trees that I could tie up to the posts in the Resource Center, giving it an outdoors feel.

Over in North Conway, we stormed through Christmas Tree Shop, picking up lanterns and wreaths and tin buckets. From there we hit Walmart and bought fabric, plants and a whole mess of other things that we thought might work. But we really hit the jackpot at Home Depot! They had already marked down all of their summer plants, and we took advantage big time scooping up $5 mandevilla plants, impatients, mums, Montauk daisies, you name it. The only problem with our cache was that it filled the jeep to the max, so we couldn’t fit anything else! Our grocery shopping for the weenie roast and the mixers for the wedding would have to wait.

Lucky for me, my most helpful guests began arriving right as I got to the fairgrounds to unload my booty of plants and lanterns. We swung the doors wide open to the resource center and I started giving orders.

About 2 minutes after they had arrived, our friends Jon and Eric teamed up to break one of the lights in the resource center by throwing a football into it. I ordered them to clean it up, and to be thorough, knowing that women might be walking around in bare feet at the wedding. I guess I didn’t know that thorough for them meant a solid hour and a half sweeping and mopping. Good God!

While the boys cleaned, Amy, Amanda and I got to work moving all of the tables and chairs from the craft center over to the Natural Resource Center. This was without a doubt the hardest work I had done for the wedding, and I was sweating all over the Maine Wedding Attire. In hindsight, I should have ordered the boys to do the moving, while the girls and I could have swept and mopped and had time to do about 10 other things.

Meanwhile, our birch trees still hadn’t arrived, so my Mom went down to the weenie roast site to supervise and make sure it got done. Not long after she left, my old Jeep rolled in, with what looked like a small forest tied to the roof racks.

Soon, more people began to arrive and offer their help; it was chaos! There were almost too many people and not enough tasks. Joey, Dan, Brian, Brendan, Eric and Jon were setting up tables while the girls helped me tie the trees to the posts. Then there were even more helpers! Dad and Mike and the North Windham Sanborns, Tom and Laura and Andy, My Aunt Judy... I mean literally ½ of my family and ½ of Dan’s family just showed up, ready to take orders.

The problem was I wasn’t ready to give them! For nearly two years I had been so focused on the details that I couldn’t step back and delegate to my army of helpers. Luckily, many of them had ideas of their own, and so benches got moved to our new ceremony site, the wedding paraphernalia got set up. My genius idea to add globe lights (last minute purchases that I had Brian make at Target in CT, before they left for Maine) came to fruition when we very carefully hung them up.

To say it was a remarkable amount of help and work would be an understatement. But the sun only stays in the sky for so long, so at 5:00, we closed up the building and gave orders for everyone to meet us at the base of Jockey Cap as we kicked off the festivities by taking a sunset hike.

There wasn’t much time for me to shower or get pretty (like I wanted to) so I had to use my 10 minutes wisely… I showered like a man woman and then headed to the Saco River Motor Lodge (friend headquarters for the weekend) without having plucked my eyebrows, or dried my hair or properly applied makeup, and picked up a big group to bring to Jockey Cap.

The sun was already sinking when we arrived, so instead of waiting, we just began our hike to the top. Most of the climb, we all caught up with each other as I finally had time to enjoy being with my friends. At the top we met up with some of my family, and a few other friends. The sky was clear and the sun was sinking slowly over the mountains, offering a great view and tremendous photo opportunities.

I took a deep breath (as I would many times over the course of the weekend) and tried to soak it all in: the wedding was upon us, my guests had arrived and it was finally time to enjoy it. But as all good things, the moment couldn’t last. It was getting dark and if we didn’t head down, we would be stuck in the woods, unable to see. On the way down I was so glad to hear a few people say what a good view it was, and that it was worth the hike to the top. My Brother held my 80 year old Aunt’s arm and helped guide her when it got really dark. What seemed like another rushed experience to me was hopefully a great way to see Fryeburg for the newbies.

Route 302 Tavern and Smokehouse is the only bar in Fryeburg. Literally. So I planned on having all the guests meet up there after the hike to share beers and appetizers and get in the mood to party. At first glance: they couldn’t handle us – there were simply too many people. But in the go-with-the-flow Maine spirit, the owner decided he could fit us out on the back deck, and suddenly we had our own private outdoor party. It was really quite perfect: we had the starry night sky, plenty of beer and appetizers to feed us all, and to top it all off, the live music being played inside the bar was the perfect volume to hear and sing along, but not so loud as to shut down conversation.

Some of my family still refers to that night at 302 as “Beerfest”. It was great, even if I did go scrambling from table to table trying to say hello to everyone. The best part of the night for my friends was when the bill came. The never-ending pitchers and constant trays of apps for 30 people had come to grand total of $350. My city-dwelling friends couldn’t get over it and made declarations that they would be coming to Maine all the time. The bill got split between 4 generous friends and really made the night feel a little more special to me; because they had acted as hosts – letting Dan and I soak up the good times without adding it to our wedding expense list.

Around midnight we all packed in to a few cars and headed back to our lodging. I had to go to the farmhouse with Dan to pick up the cages and my luggage, and then I dropped Dan off at Friend HQ and finally checked in to my room at the Oxford House.

After a long day rife with activity and alcohol, I thought for sure I would get to sleep in no time. But the bed I had was just too stiff, and it was just too quiet without Dan and the dogs. I finally fell asleep at 2, and woke up every half hour until 6:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Wedding: Part I - Preparations (Fri. - Tues.)

The story of this wedding really begins about 9 days before the wedding itself. It was Friday, and my Mom and I had just arrived in Maine for the weekend to finish up as many last minute projects as we could. My Dad and Uncle were coming later that night and planned on taking care of maintenance at the wedding site and the weenie roast area. We continued to do as many things as we could to get ready for the big weekend that we had spent forever planning for. A lot of that was checking in with the companies that would be providing the most essential wedding items: the booze. In the grocery store we bought local beers to have in a cute red bucket I had bought on the way up at Wal-Mart. As we were strolling through the alcohol aisles, I got a call from the rental company about our delivery. We had requested Thursday, but instead they were going to come on Wednesday. I OK’ed the change (even though I would not be there to supervise) and decided that Nana could definitely handle it herself. Earlier was better, because it would give us more time to set up.

We had been hearing about an impending Hurricane for a while, but I wrote it off. Hurricanes are always blown out of proportion in the Northeast, and then they die out by the time they make it up here. In fact, the Labor Day weekend of 2010 there was going to be a big hurricane in Maine. It ended up raining lightly overnight. Needless to say, I was not worried and I couldn’t understand why everyone else was getting so bent out of shape about it. But as we watched the news on Friday night and Saturday morning, it appeared that Irene was as bad as the meteorologists claimed. And contrary to normal weather patterns, she was actually gaining strength. There was a family down the street hosting a tented wedding, and I felt bad for them. I thought to myself, “Thank God my wedding isn’t today!” who knew that might have been better?

So the flatlander contingent decided it was best to head home on Saturday night and avoid the worst of the storm that was predicted to strike CT around noon on Sunday. We were only 20 minutes outside of Fryeburg when it started to rain, but we made it home without issue. I picked up Dan from his Bachelor party weekend and headed home with my dogs. It was midnight, a week before my wedding, and all was well.

Enter Irene.

When we woke on Sunday morning, our power had already been out for a few hours. It was raining really hard and the wind was forcing itself through the trees. I admit that I was actually a bit scared. They said the worst of the storm would hit around noon, but it was only 8 and it looked bad outside. We have city water, so we weren’t too worried about the outage. Dan and I both took hot showers that morning and since it had been unseasonably cool that weekend, we weren’t concerned about not having AC either.

What I did worry about was getting all the rest of my to-do list done without power. Because of the storm it was pretty dark in the house, and obviously without power I couldn’t sew anything. So I did my best and started working on the jewelry I intended to give to the bridesmaids, and to my cousins who would be my ceremony musicians. The storm howled on outside, but by 4:00 p.m. it was over. We went to bed that night without power. About 800,000 other CT residents were in the same predicament.

Monday morning I learned that my office was without power, so I was happy to have an extra day off to get things done. I drove to my Moms in Columbia, where being out of power is a much bigger ordeal (no water!) and we went over the remaining items on my list. Her sister in Willimantic had power, so we could do some sewing there. Mom also planned on bringing laundry there so I gladly handed over a bunch of to-do’s that required power. I had arranged to meet my friend Amy at the lake and get some sun for a few hours before I had to go to Guilford and pick up my dress.  I still am not sure how Amy was able to make it to CT from Atlanta on the previous Friday night. Diana’s sister Debbie had her flight from AZ canceled on Saturday morning, and was unable to get another flight out until Wednesday night!

So I was sitting out under the sun when I received the call that I didn’t take seriously enough at the time. It was my Mom, she had just gotten off the phone with my Nana who reported that the river had risen to just below the hill in the back of the barn, so my wedding site was surely under at least a foot of water.

Repeat: wedding site under a foot of water.

And to make matters worse, our delivery day of Wednesday now seemed uncomfortably early. My Mom said she had been in touch with the rental company and that they didn’t seem very willing to give us more time to allow the field to dry up. I don’t know why, but I didn’t panic. Maybe I figured the water would recede in time… or maybe, I was so scared and clueless that I couldn’t panic. Yah, I’d say it was the latter. Nevertheless, I remained calm and reported to Dan (via text) and to Amy what had happened because of the hurricane. I was too scared of the anticipated reaction to tell Diana, so I remained calm and sat in the sun pondering my options. There wasn’t a ton of time for pondering because I still needed to be in Guilford by 5 to pick up my dress – the shop would only be open for an hour or two because they didn’t have power either.

I borrowed the Jeep from Dan’s parents and made my way southwest. I called my Nana who seemed fairly calm about the whole rising river thing. That reassured me quite a bit… she said that her and Papa would try and drive down there either that night or tomorrow morning to see just how bad of shape everything was in. She said the water had receded so I took a deep sigh of relief. “It will all be fine” I kept telling myself. The forecast was hot and sunny and I assumed the field would dry out. I also assumed that the rental company would give us a break and reschedule the delivery. I never met a situation that couldn’t be somehow renegotiated and rearranged if you just asked nicely.

With the dress in the back of the Jeep, I drove back to Columbia to drop it with my parents. On Monday night, we went to bed without power once again.

Much to my dismay, my office had power on Tuesday, so I reported for duty. Obviously not a whole lot of work got done. I was on the phone with my Mom, and then the rental company. I was in complete shock when the rental company just outright refused to change the delivery date. I begged and pleaded. I asked if we could contact other renters and switch delivery times with them. But the answer was always no. They were completely unwilling to budge.

So I went in my car and cried. For a long time.

Then I called my Nana and begged for some good news. She said that the road wasn’t in great shape, but the field seemed dry and maybe, just maybe they could set up the tent on Wednesday morning. So I clung to that hope and went back to work.

Apparently at some point, the rental company called my Grandfather and asked him if he thought the road was passable. The rental company then told my Mom and I that Papa said it would be ok.  This gave me great hope because I know my Grandfather well, and he is not the type to give you any glimmer of hope if it isn’t 100% true. So I went on with the day thinking that things might work out.

I planned my speech. It was going to start with me holding up Betsy’s black ribbon that she had given me at my shower. Attached to it was a note that said “hope that the things that go wrong on your day are as insignificant as the things that went wrong for me.” The roll of ribbon was supposed to be wrapped around one of the layers of her cake, but the baker had forgotten to do it. So I would hold up the ribbon, relate that story and then launch into all the things that had gone wrong; from Diana’s myeloma diagnosis to the hotel disasters, rehearsal dinner issues, Hurricane Irene and all of the other little things in between that seemed like a never-ending headache to me. Then, after listing all of those things (which I did write down so I wouldn’t forget) I would smile and say something about how it ended up being a beautiful day (which in my head, I never doubted) and how it made me realize that the important thing was that everyone was able to come, and that no matter what went wrong, Dan stood by me and said, “you worry too much about these little things.” And that when my facebook status said, “you can’t always get what you want” Dan had written, “if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need… and that’s me.” Right there for everyone in the world with internet access to see.

Surely, everyone would applaud that speech… it was a good one.

But later on that night, back in the real world, we were still wrestling with what to do about the rental company. Apparently, they lied about what my Papa said. Apparently, the truth was that he said he would drive them down Wednesday morning in the Jeep and that they could evaluate whether or not they wanted to drive down with the tents and the rest of the stuff. I wanted to let them drive down and get stuck… so as to teach them a lesson about listening to their customers. But that’s not really the grown-up thing to do, I guess.

My Nana was in a panic and calling my Mother and me, back and forth trying to figure out what to do if they couldn’t get down there. Should they drop everything at the farm and we could bring it down later? Should he take the tent down with the guys in the pickup and try to set it up? Could we still cancel the tent? Could I rent a tent from another company that would come and deliver on Saturday? We just kept going around and around with different plans and ideas about how to make this all work.

All I could do was think about all of the people who had worked so hard to make it nice down at my Grandparent’s. All of the sweat that went into getting that field ready, the farmer who agreed to plant rye instead of corn that year. The road. I felt like that strong commitment from everyone around me was tying my hands. How could we not have it in the field after all of that? And so then I would cry again, every time I thought about it.

The one bright spot on the day was that we finally got power back around 3:00 p.m. So when I got home from work I looked online at the weather. It called for rain on Sunday.

At that point, I made the executive decision to have either everything or nothing. “If they can get down there, set up down there… if not, bring everything to the Fairgrounds and we will run with Plan B” I told my Nana. It felt good to make the decision and stop the merry-go-round in my head. But I knew the odds were still were stacked against me. We had the AC on as I climbed into bed on Tuesday night, but I’d be a liar if I told you that I got any sleep.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wrapping Up

So it’s all over and done.

About 3 weeks ago, I was counting the days til it was all over. But then on the way up to Maine last Wednesday, I was scared about it being over – I thought I would be too sad.
But now I just feel relieved, and anxious to get on with my regular life. There was so much work that was done for this wedding that it really put everything else on the back burner for a long time. As we relaxed at my Nana’s house on Monday afternoon, my Mom and I reflected on some of the work that we did for this wedding, and I decided to compile a list. So here it goes, starting from the very beginning to the best of my knowledge... I am certain that I left some things out!

1.      Made the invitations for the engagement party
2.      Relationship timeline – engagement party
3.      Love Story scrapbook – engagement party
4.      Dad sheet rocked the basement wall for the e. party
5.      Mom painted the wall, and the stairs
6.      We made fabric curtains and panels to beautify the basement
7.      Mom cooked a ton of food
8.      I made my jewelry for the e. party
9.      I think I made thank-yous for this party too, but I can’t remember
10.   Tin can lanterns that were never used
11.   Thank you tags that were never used
12.   Fabric flowers for the cake stand
13.   Cut out some paper flowers for the invitations that we couldn’t make
14.   Mom did the following (and probably more) for my Shower:
-        Table runners
-        Baking
-        Invitations
-        Centerpieces
-        Trivia
-        Bags that were given as prizes
-        Flowers that were part of my gift
-        Found and oiled old cutting boards for cheese
-        Ironed all of the table cloths
15.   Bought 120 place settings: dinner and salad plate, bowl, cup and saucer.
16.   Made fabric folders to keep washed dishes safe and clean
17.   Washed all those dishes and then hand-picked each place setting.
18.   I made my jewelry for the wedding and attempted a headband that didn’t work out
19.   I made for my girls for the bridal shower:
-        Monogramed beach bags
-        Ribbon edged towels
-        Bikini bags
-        Koozies
20.   Those STUPID welcome bags!
21.   The following paper-related items:
-        Tags for the welcome bags
-        Cards for the welcome bags
-        Itinerary and area guide for the welcome bags
-        Wedding programs (for 2 weddings!)
-        Save the dates
-        Wedding invitations
-        Collection and stamping of postcards
-        “Card s” and “photo booth” signs
-        Cupcake flavor sign
-        Tags for the mason jars, inclu. Sign
-        Thank yous for the shower
-        Snack pack tags
-        Labels for trail mix in welcome bags
22.   Scrapbooks on tables with photos & descriptions
23.   Cookies and packaging in welcome bags
24.   Paper origami stars that hung
25.   Adirondack chairs for Nana
26.   Painted, sanded and scrapped 2 rattan chairs and 1 bamboo couch
27.   Sewed cushions for bamboo couch
28.   Gramma painted wooden table signs
29.   Mom and Dad made wooden table signs
30.   Dad made giant directions sign
31.   Ground up balsam and made balsam bags (stamped, sewn)
32.   Bought all lanterns and removed glass (red) added bows (white)
33.   Tried various cooking projects: whoopee pies, blueberry cookies, chocolate covered blueberries, lollipops.
34.   Sewed and embroidered blankets for weenie roast
35.   Made necklaces and earrings for each bridesmaid
36.   Mom made little clutch purses for each bridesmaid
37.   Made bracelets for our musician cousins
38.   Mom made the table runners
39.   Collected wedding paraphernalia from family
40.   Tied ribbons and tags on each and every mason jar
41.   Made the cupcake stand
42.   Made the photobooth and the tissue poms in it
43.   Mom fixed her old garter and made a new “toss” garter.
44.   Bought, washed and ironed the napkins/towels
45.   And then there was the related, but not directly wedding work:
-        Painting the farmhouse
-        Painting the porch and the fence
-        Building the road
-        Mowing the grass a million times near the river
-        Planting the flowers
-        Building the deck (hired out)
-        Building the wheelbarrow (and painting and then ruining)
-        Cutting trees and stacking wood by the river
46.   Packed and then brought all that stuff to Maine.
47.   And then we switched the venue and in the course of 2 days:
-        Bought $150 worth of potted plants which got wrapped in burlap
-        Cut birch trees to tie onto the posts
-        Strung big lights
-        Set up tables and chairs and bar, etc.  (after we moved them from the other building)
-        Set up all the wedding paraphernalia and the photo booth
-        Set an example table
-        Moved the stuff that was in the way to the other side of the building
-        Covered benches with fabric
-        Set out all the mason jars, etc
-        Strung and hung the origami stars
-        Had the strongest helpers  move benches over to our new wedding site
-        Bought a ton of lanterns, and other decorations to beautify the space
48.   Meanwhile, the Sanborn men were down by the river cutting up all the trees that fell from the hurricane and making the place pretty for the weenie roast
49.   Arranged and secured the canoes and organized the group trip down the river
50.   Hung beautiful hydrangea wreaths on the barn windows

      And when it was really over, we spent the entire next day cleaning up, which included washing those 120 place settings, drying them and then packing them up so that they could come home, where they anxiously await their next wedding!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bye Bye July

Good riddance. July was crazy. Want to see how crazy? Ok, I'll show you:

Adirondack Chairs: June 27

Adirondack Chairs: July 1

Adirondack Chairs: July 4

1st Project of July: Complete Adirondack chairs as a gift to my Grandparents
July 4: Scrape and Sand Chairs

Fresh paint happened on the 24th

Enslave Relatives on July 3: Remove glass panes from Lanterns
July 6: Stop screwing around with hand-grinder. Use Dad's super drill for MORE POWER. Balsam was flying everywhere!
A Project for Mom and Grandma: Fill the bags
Smart Ladies.
Boy those are cute! Cross another one off the list!
Dad slaves over copy-cat sign
Don't let his face fool you, he was actually quite excited about this.
Mom and Nana create a layout on the 23rd

Nicely Done!

July 16 - 23rd: Mom and Grandma hard at work painting posts
The Table Markers sans table names
July 22 - 24: Dad, Uncle Steve, Uncle Joe, Wayne and Papa hard at work at the wedding site: 1. Build fireplace

2. Mow grass.... lot's of grass!

Remove Uncle Steve's stuck van from this treacherous path

Just keep mowing, just keep mowing...

Oh yah, can you build a road while you're at it?

digging to add culverts

still mowing...

gravel delivery!

A little bit bumpy...

Getting there...

working culvert!

Man that looks good! What a productive weekend?
Re-paint this loungy couch a pretty white
July 25: Enslave Bridesmaid and her husband to help make tent decorations
Did I mention we also got married in a religious service? Yah... we did some planning for that during July as well.
Don't look at those bags under my eyes, it was a busy month. Keep your eyes on that adorable dress I got for $45!
 And just think: August might be busier! Thank you so much to everyone who helped me out this month, I definitely could not do it without you, especially the Mom.... she's good! Now if you add in couple of hospital visits and a lot of laundry, you've got my month of July. Hopefully you will forgive me for not posting with more regularity!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Invitations? Check!

I have been pretty busy lately.

Someone whipped me into a panic a few weeks ago by announcing that I needed to have my invitations completed in a mere 15 days. Not only did I have to actually put together 60 invitations, but I also had to come up with an idea since Michaels went ahead and stopped making the paper that I based my first design on.

Thanks Michael's.

No seriously, thank you, because the design I came up with is much, much better. Prepare yourselves to see the cutest invites ever.

Are you prepared?

Keep in mind that my Mom took this pictures with her point and shoot in her basement. There is no stylized setting here.

So basically, you've got kraft paper on a navy cardstock, embossed with an adorable little "blowing in the wind" flower stamp. On the back, are the RSVP directions, loosely held in place so that the reader can take the directions to their desk and follow along. RSVPing through our website will be great for 90% of our guests. But it's going to be quite the struggle for the other 10%.

My Dad wanted to know what people would do if they didn't have a computer or the internet. I laughed... but apparently 2 of his friends who are invited definitely don't have that kind of access. "Oh well" I said, "they can just tell you what they want and hope that you can remember 3 simple orders."

Anyway, the white strip on the side is actually a beautiful shimmery eyelet paper that serves to class up the kraft paper and keep everything banded together. Around the white is some red twine with a red and white tag that has a printed state of Maine outline, with a heart punched into the area where we are getting married.

Are they adorable? God yes. Hopefully the older generations will understand that modern times allow for a more unique invitation. They're not all white and letterpress anymore.... though, if I had the money for letterpress, I'd be all over it! It did take a little bit of convincing to get my Mom to endorse this design... with the kraft paper. But to quote my cousin Nick, "it's all good baby".

I was originally inspired by these invites. What do you think?

Yah... I like mine better too.