what I do

what I do

Friday, August 15, 2014

Why I like to style weddings, a few wedding details, a kidney stone and a really great bathroom transformation

I just finished putting away the last of the wedding props from the wedding this past weekend and am now full speed working on the wedding that is next week. I thought it would be a little overwhelming to do two weddings so close together but I am finding it easier, honestly. I am already in "wedding mode" and as I packed up one wedding it was easy to pull out what I would need for wedding #2.
Thankfully I am in good shape with the design projects I have going on and have some very understanding clients!

I realized this past weekend why I love doing weddings so much. They are just so much fun. Don't get me wrong ... they are a TON of work and the pay is not as great as it should be (everything takes so much longer than you ever think and there are costs incurred that you just never re-coup) ... but I just love the energy, the creativity, and when it is done ... it is done. And I LOVE the brides.

Sometimes, I am just the stylist. But for this last wedding, I did it all; wedding planner, designer, stylist and coordinator. (Well, me and a wonderful crew that without, it could not have been done). I shopped, planned, designed, painted signs, made bouquets and coordinated rentals and food. I figured out how many drinks and ice to purchase, cleaned bathrooms, washed dishes and walked about 30,000 steps a day. We tied ribbons on silverware, decorated kid's chairs and made reserved tags. My house was filled to the brim with wedding decor, and oh, it was so much fun. And truly a labor of love.

When putting on such a large event, it is crucial to have enough help. And to be organized. Luckily I had both because three days before the wedding, I ended up spending the day in the hospital birthing a kidney stone. Having everything planned, written out, and in order was incredibly helpful. But knowing I had "back-up" was priceless. Before heading off to the E.R. and in excruciating pain, I moved all the wedding props from our spare bedroom to the garage to make it easy for the truck to pick it all up, printed out a few table changes we had made the night before and sent a quick email to my sister saying, "On my way to the ER. Kidney stone. Dying!!!!!! You may be running the show. Call me when you can."

My sister, Patti, is my number one wedding assistant/partner extraordinaire. She is a master stylist, can work wonders with fabric and draping and is the strongest woman I know (stronger than many men, can I say?).  Wait until I show you what she did to the outdoor pool restroom! Thankfully she did not have to take over for me, but it was comforting to know she could have if I needed her to. I also hired another wedding assistant, Linda, this year to help me with everything in between. She was a Godsend. The two of them worked harder than anyone should ever work and the results were amazing.

Here are a few details and photos that were not in the wedding post:

About a week before the wedding we decided to add a children's table. I thought it would be cute to decorate the little white Chivari chairs with ribbons. I downloaded tags from Etsy for the name tags. 

Tags from Itsy Belle 

My friend Ellen and her daughter Lily helped me finish the ribbons on the chairs. They also tied velvet ribbons onto 82 sets of silverware.

Flowers are always the star (besides the bride of course!) of any wedding. This bride wanted all white flowers and we provided ... in huge abundance. Linda and I went to the flower market at 4:30 A.M. Friday morning and filled up my car with Hydrangeas, Lisianthus, Dahlias and 13 bags of rose petals.

On the way to the wedding!

I had my friend Robbie, and Gentry, a sweet and conscientious young girl who "shadows me" sometimes, assist her in preparing all the flowers once we got home with them. They soaked the Hydrangea heads, trimmed off all the leaves, and cut the stems to a manageable length, while I headed off to supervise the lighting set-up at the venue house. When I returned after a long day of setting up and rehearsal, the flowers were ready to arrange into bouquets and centerpieces. Thank you Robbie for coming back in the evening and helping me tie the bouquets!

(client photo)

The bride made the boutonnieres herself from shotgun shell casings. They were perfect!

My assistant, Linda was amazing. She managed the crew I brought in to help for the day, acted as the wedding coordinator, ran errands, picked up supplies and brought me food when I needed. She was the "eyes in the back of my head" always looking around for things that needed to be done. I asked her to be in charge of the coffee station ... and she wowed me with what she did. It was perfect. 

The wedding took place in a borrowed house that belonged to a friend of the bride's father. They had a pool restroom in the backyard that we wanted to use for the wedding guests. Are you ready to see how my sister transformed it? Here is what we started with:


I picked up the rug, a few pillows and guest towels at HomeGoods. I asked her if she could drape the bench and arrange the pillows. That's all. Isn't she extraordinary?

I also have to thank my design assistant, Allison. She came out to help with the set-up before the wedding, putting ribbons on our "no parking" zone, clipping 65 Hydrangea stems to put in mason jars, and was going to be in charge of the cocktail hour inside the house. Unfortunately the clippers tried to take off her finger and I had to send her off to get stitches. 

Facebook photo

Thank you to everyone who helped with this labor of love and for all your sacrifices both in time and body! Thank you Ellen and Lily for staying way longer than you were supposed to. Thank you Maria for spending the day in the ER with me (oh, wow - that was a labor of love!) and to Pat for taking carloads of wedding props to and from the wedding. Robbie and Gentry - you went way above and beyond the call of duty. Patti and Linda - I could never have done this without you. And Allison... I hope your finger heals quickly!


Unknown said...

I love all of the features this week - so much inspiration! Thank you for graciously hosting this wedding party,
Interior Design

Mary Ann Pickett said...

You are amazing!

Unknown said...

You are too nice Mary Ann... no more amazing than YOU! Can you imagine what we could do together? :)