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Friday, February 12, 2010

Cocktail Hour Decorations and Logistics

Did you know that Wednesday was February 10th? And that’s one two three four five months from our wedding. Which means we’ve now got less than five months until our wedding. Did you just laugh in an erratic, crazy-eyed way too? No? Just me then?

I’m starting to think about logistics and decorations. Since we’re starting the wedding evening with a 5:00 pm cocktail party at my parent’s house, let’s talk cocktail hour logistics and decorations…

Here's a photo of the lake house.

You’ll notice a few things. The site isn’t level. The house has been painted since this photo was taken. The giant juniper bush has also been removed. Let’s also keep in mind that our guest list is now 300 people, and probably 200 will come. And that the lake house faces west and south, which means in early July, it could be pretty hot on the site at 5pm.

Thus the need for ample cocktails.

And you can’t serve booze without food; that’s a recipe for disaster!

So I’ve got a working layout for how this whole thing will function. We’ll tuck a few tables and chairs onto the gravel driveway. The foot band drink station will be under the deck, in the shade. We’ll sprinkle chairs throughout the lawn, in case people wanted to sit. Music will be pumped through the speakers in the house and an iPod docking station (we do this frequently in the summer, so I know it works).

As for decorations, I’m aware that it’s pretty hard to compete with nature. She’s got it down pat. But we could enhance the scenery through some (hopefully) relatively cheap landscaping installations. Petunias are a favorite family perennial; if only because we have a hard time killing them! So decorations will be simple, and easy to put up and take down.

I’m thinking white petunias along the edges of the terraces, which will hopefully help people be aware that hey! There’s a four foot drop there! Maybe also some white dangly ball things in the tree, like these:

In addition to the flowers, we do need to find some way to stake off the terrace edges so no one eats shit off of them. That’d be awful. Any suggestions for cheap, but not terrible ways to stake them off? I don’t want to prevent someone in case of fall; just let them know that the edge is there.

The grassy area will be for congregation, standing around with a plate of food and chatting. I’m sure people will lean up against the rock walls and use them as tables to put plates down on. We’ll have to be sure to spray for bees, and try to level out the grass as much as possible.

Since we’re going a little un-traditional by doing the cocktail hour first, and then the ceremony and reception, DJ and I thought it was important to tell people what was going on. The invitation will only say something like “invites you to join them at five o’clock”, without detailing that cocktails are at 5pm, ceremony at 6:30 pm and the reception at 7pm. We don’t want people to get confused, so DJ’s mom is making signs to stake around the property. Something like this:

In addition to staking some signs into the ground around the property, we’ll be able to pop them into 5 gallon buckets to cordon off parking directly in front of the house. I don’t want to clutter up the awesome view, or the expensive photography, with photos of someone’s Chevy in the background. We’ll to the same mobile 5 gallon bucket idea to put up signs on the bike trail.

I’m thinking we’ll keep decorations pretty low key. Some white flowers, and the iris bulbs might be blooming. Some white dangly things in the trees, signs to tell people what the plan is (and where the bathroom is), and some kind of roping off of the terraces. Am I missing something important?

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